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Oh No They Didn't! -

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    There was once a time when Freddie Prinze Jr., Sarah Michelle Gellar, Matthew Lillard and Linda Cardellini were deemed the right fit for a "Scooby-Doo" live action reboot. The results were actually pretty good (financially anyway), with the movie taking over $275 million worldwide. But by the time "Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed" came around, audience interest had cooled, and the sequel committed the cardinal sin of earning less than its predecessor. And thus a movie franchise was dead. At least until now.

    Warner Bros.—barely a week after Casey Kasem, the original voice of Shaggy, is in the ground—have announced a new live action reboot of "Scooby-Doo." Randall Green will be tasked with writing the script that makes Fred, Daphne, Shaggy and Velma interesting for a generation who have no context of what a Mystery Machine is or what it does. But perhaps that's the key because they can (hopefully) have a little fun with a format and characters that are somewhat dated, even as strong as they continue to resonate for those that grew up with them.


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    The Ladies of 'Think Like a Man Too' Take on Las Vegas

    The movie's stars join "GMA" to play "What Happened in Vegas" quiz game.

    Sources:; http://interview-ladies-man-play-las-vegas-quiz-game-24171586

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    Year old disturbing videos of the winner of RuPaul's Drag Race season 4 (and known P.O.S.) resurfaced on the internet just recently. In the video, Sharon is seen assaulting a girl and goes as far as to using her as an ashtray. There are no details on who the woman is and what her relationship with Sharon is. All we have are questions~

    "I Hate Bad Drag" -
    In this Vine, Sharon declares she hates bad drag and proceeds to continually slap and smack the girl in the face.

    ??? -
    I don't even have words.

    Ashtray -
    In Sharon Needles' grand finale, he continues to abuse the girl and use her as an ashtray.

    hmm. those videos made me so uncomfortable... :| does anyone have anymore info on this bc i'm lost and disturbed.

    gia gunn would never TBH.

    source of videos

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    Jesse Metcalfe and girlfriend Cara Santana have been taking London by storm this week, navigating an exhaustive list of fashion shows while showcasing their impressive wardrobes.

    And Tuesday was no exception for the American couple, who stepped out looking as stylish as ever at London Collections: Men's Tiger of Sweden show.

    Adopting something of a retro look for their outing, Jesse and Cara looked polished and co-ordinated as they hit the British capital's streets.


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    A Brazilian supermodel has revealed that she burns her hair to keep it in good condition.

    Brazilian model Barbara Fialho, who has walked the runway for Victoria's Secret, swears by velaterapia - a procedure which uses an open flame to burn off spit ends.

    She told Fashionista: 'If I did [straightening treatments] I would lose all my hair! They’re very strong.'

    Fialho added that fellow catwalk darlings Alessandra Ambrosio and Isabeli Fontana are also fans of the service, offered at Sao Paolo's Laces and Hair Salon.

    Laces' website explains that a flame 'cauterizes the hair, leaving behind a passage of nutrients to its interior, removes split ends and the impermeability of the hair caused by brushing and other chemicals.'

    Local experts agree that it's a popular practice among Brazilian beauties.

    'It's unbelievable. You don't get shorter hair, but if you touch the treated side it feels so much smoother and healthier!' Vogue Brazil editor Victoria Ceridono tells Fashionista.

    According to, the three-hour process is intended to open up the hair follicle, making it more receptive to conditioning.

    Fialho, who has also walked the runway for Naeem Khan and Temperley London, says that velaterapia is actually gentler than the alternatives.

    Sounds as if this Brazilian beauty craze can't hold a candle to other treatments.


    How do you take good care of your hair?

    Image and video hosting by TinyPic

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    Shailene Woodley is flirty in bikini bottoms on the latest cover of Women’s Health magazine, on newsstands June 24.

    Here’s what the 22-year-old actress had to share with the mag:

    On her favorite foods: Sweet potatoes are unreal. I eat chocolate every day. Raw chocolate, hands down, the best gift to human beings. My favorite dish to cook…any sort of pot roast. In a ceramic enamel pot. You just can’t go wrong with the flavors. That’s always my go-to. But what I do most often is generally an egg dish with whatever vegetables are in season because it takes 10 minutes, and you have the tastiest meal ever. You got your protein, you got your veggies, you got a little carbs in there.

    On her proudest physical feature:I guess I’m proud that I’m very fit. That’s not a physical feature but I’m very proud that if somebody was like, ‘Alright, we’re walking to Central Park right now. I’d be like, ‘let’s run to Central Park right now.’ I’m really proud of my ability to be fit or stay fit and honor my body in that way. In a fight or flight situation, I consider myself a fighter, and so regardless of whether I would win or survive or anything, I want to know that I can give it my all. When I feel fit and when I feel strong, I feel like I can empower and fight back.

    On her dream gig:I would love to play Stevie Nicks. She’s just such a fascinating woman who’s lived such a life and is still living such a life. Her music was really profound for me in my life. Yeah I think it’d be an adventure to play Stevie Nicks. I love that there is no other Stevie Nicks in this world. She is so fully herself, and undividedly herself. That in itself is such a powerful lesson to take in and be like, ‘wow.’ No one is going to be the next Stevie Nicks and Stevie Nicks was next the next anyone. And I think that’s such beautiful advice for all of us. You do you, we do we. She does she in such a beautiful way. I think it’d be great to sing in a film. I love to sing. I guess another dream movie would be a movie like Once. It’s so romantic and sensual and musical but doesn’t feel like a musical necessarily.

    Source 1 and 2

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    Building upon the success of their 2013 event, Kiehl's has once again teamed with Marvel Custom Solutions and enlisted a triple threat of super heroes for a Limited Edition custom Captain America comic book.

    The illustrations deliver an all-new adventure set in Kiehl's historic New York flagship store. The 12-page story features Captain America, Black Widow and Falcon as they fight to save the world in the Mighty Marvel Manner.



    The globe-saving trio is a larger than life reflection of Kiehl's Triple Threat, a powerful skincare routine of cleanse (Facial Fuel Energizing Face Wash), shave (Ultimate Brushless Shave Cream), and moisturize (Facial Fuel Energizing Moisture Treatment).

    The thrill-packed story takes the trio on an out of this world excursion from a sinister A.I.M. base on the surface of the moon, to ancient tunnels deep beneath Kiehl's historic flagship store.

    When a secret payload of rare ingredients -- that may have been a part of the original Super-Soldier formula -- is stolen from S.H.I.E.L.D., Nick Fury enlists Captain America, Black Widow, and Falcon to race against the clock before the maniacal M.O.D.O.K. can use the materials to bombard the Earth.

    "When an all-American landmark like Kiehl's flagship store is threatened, it's only fitting that our legendary Super Soldier leaps into action," said Marvel Custom Solution's Creative Director Bill Rosemann.

    "To celebrate our second team-up with Kiehl's, we're upping the excitement by uniting Captain America with his famous friends, Black Widow and Falcon. It takes a team to save the world, just like it takes Kiehl's Triple Threat to save a man's face."

    The limited edition Captain America comic is now available in Kiehl's retail stores, Kiehl's department store counters nationwide, and on (


    Bizarre tie-in marketing is the American way tbh!

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    Tuesday is arms day for the Winter Soldier.

    Celebrity trainer Don Saladino posted a pic of his "Topless Tuesday Team workout" featuring Captain America: The Winter Soldier actor Sebastian Stan:

    Today's Topless Tuesday Team workout with @ironfist1_ @southampton1974 @imsebastianstan -Pull downs with 3 different grips. 10 reps each grip x 4 sets -cable rows 3 different grips. 10 reps each grip x 4sets -wide grip hangs 1 min hold 2 sets -close grip hangs 1 min holds 2 sets -pullovers 4 sets 10 reps superset with back


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  • 06/17/14--20:08: MTV's Finding Carter Trailer

  • Source

    I saw the trailer while watching Awkward season 4A finale, It look really good. What do you think of the trailer? Are you going to watch the premiere ONTD? 

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    Colin Firth has ditched “Paddington.”

    TWC-Dimension confirmed that Firth will no longer voice the talking, accident-prone young bear Paddington, with the British thesp asserting that he was unable to find the right voice. The film, produced by “Gravity” and “Harry Potter” producer David Heyman, stars Nicole Kidman, Hugh Bonneville, Sally Hawkins, Jim Broadbent, Peter Capaldi and Julie Walters.

    Trailers released so far have not included a voice for Paddington.

    “Paddington” follows the comic misadventures of the bear from darkest Peru who’s found at Paddington Station and adopted by a London family. StudioCanal financed and is distributing in the U.K., France and Germany; TWC is distributing in the U.S.with a Christmas released date.

    Firth, in a statement to Entertainment Weekly, said, “It’s been bittersweet to see this delightful creature take shape and come to the sad realization that he simply doesn’t have my voice. I’ve had the joy of seeing most of the film and it’s going to be quite wonderful. I still feel rather protective of this bear and I’m pestering them all with suggestions for finding a voice worthy of him.”

    Director Paul King said he’s seeking another voice actor, adding that the split with Firth was amicable.

    “I cannot thank [Firth] enough for his contribution to Paddington. We love the voice and we love the bear, but as our young bear came into being we agreed that the two didn’t seem to fit. So, with somewhat heavy hearts we decided to part ways.”

    ONTD, do you think he dodged a bullet here, or were you excited to hear him voice a marmalade sandwich eating bear?


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    Last week, Amazon introduced Prime Music, a streaming service included in a Prime subscription that scared … absolutely none of the big music streaming competitors.

    Within hours of Amazon introducing its music streaming service, Prime Music, the consensus among critics and observers is that the service is … okay.

    While Amazon played up the fact that Prime Music has “unlimited, ad-free streaming” and a catalogue of “over a million songs,” anyone and everyone evaluating the service was quick to point out that players in the streaming scene such as Spotify have well over 20 million songs. “It’s hard to tell who is the target audience for Amazon’s service. If it’s a consumer mass market play, there are still some big gaps,” TechCrunch observed, noting that 9 of the current top 10 in the Billboard Top 100 were not available last week via Prime Music streaming.

    Businessweek called the service “half-baked,” declaring “there is little reason to believe that Prime Music will lure people away from Spotify or Rdio.” The tech columnist at USA Today agreed: “If you’re already a paying subscriber to Spotify, or huge fan of Pandora, nothing in Amazon’s new Prime Music offering, introduced Thursday, will make you want to switch.”

    Prime Music’s reception in the marketplace bears an eerie resemblance to that of another streaming service, which also happens to be an Amazon product. Tech and entertainment writers have long argued that Amazon Prime’s streaming video options were no match to Netflix, which has a far more robust catalogue of TV shows and movies.

    When Prime Instant Video was still new, critics bashed its “dismal lack of popular and recent titles.” Likewise, music critic Bob Lefsetz called Prime Music a “disaster” because, among other reasons, there are so many holes in the catalogue it’ll inevitably frustrate subscribers. “Now Bezos wants me to waste time, which nobody has any of, to click around and find the music I want to hear on his service, ultimately being disappointed in a fair share of my efforts?” Lefsetz wrote. “This is not a benefit, this is a DISTRACTION!”

    Much of the Prime Music criticism is completely valid. But it probably doesn’t matter. Amazon customers are not only likely to see Prime Music as a benefit, but as the best kind of benefit, one that’s totally free, passed along by those generous benefactors in Seattle. Amazon Prime was born as a two-day delivery service—buy as much as you want on the site and get two-day shipping for $79 annually—and that’s what the average subscriber still thinks he’s paying for. All the extras, including video streaming, some free Kindle ebook rentals, and now, Prime Music, tend to be viewed as just that, as perks or extras.

    It’s hard to complain about a service being somewhat subpar when the service being provided is free. Or at least when it feels like the service is free. Of course, you’re paying for the service, via your subscription fee—now $99, up from the original $79—plus all of those purchases you’re making at Amazon. But it still sorta feels free. For that matter, the “free” two-day shipping isn’t really free either; it’s more like a flat prepaid payment of $99 for a year’s worth of shipping.

    By bulking up what’s included in the Amazon Prime service package, Amazon is using a tactic out of the storied cable TV bundle playbook. The average pay TV subscriber watches only around 17 channels, yet his package includes 100, 200, perhaps 700 more options. Paying $90 per month for a mere 17 channels sounds like a lot. But when that $90 gives the customer a bundle of 600 channels, it feels like a much better value—even if you never watch 573 of them. Similarly, Amazon Prime members are likely to feel like they’re getting good value for their Prime bundle, even if they rarely or never take advantage of the streaming options and other extras.

    Just knowing that these extras are part of the package helps convince some consumers that a Prime membership is worthwhile. And if they actually use those streaming options for hours and hours, week in, week out? That works out well for Amazon too, because the more time spent on the site, the more likely a subscriber is to be tempted into making purchases. And the more likely a subscriber is to feel that an Amazon Prime membership is an absolute essential. Subscribers will only head more in that direction as Prime Music adds to its song list, which is sure to happen in the same way that Prime Instant Video has expanded its catalogue, adding HBO shows like “The Sopranos” in April.

    And hey, remember, it’s all free for Prime subscribers


    Wut r they talking about, u can download the songs for free it's not just streaming. Discuss.

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  • 06/17/14--20:45: Preview for Power 1x03

  • src

    is anyone watching this? i want it to do well bc of my bb sinqua

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    Rapper Game surprised as the romantic lead of Nicki Minaj‘s “Pills N Potions” video. There, he obliges to draping fur over his bare chest, biting on one of Minaj’s bunny ears and, most importantly, gazing wistfully at the Pink Print femcee’s direction. In short, he did the complete opposite of what he’s done as of late: maintain the tough-gangsta persona of his West Coast upbringing, but with groan-worthy beefs that now overshadows his (otherwise respectable) musical output.
    Then came “Bigger Than Me,” a misogynistic diss track that declares him to be the black Marshall Mathers (he’s gotten over his beef with Eminem, see), takes aim at XXL‘s new Freshmen class wholesale, and while calling out Frank Ocean in the process: “Tampon lyricists, evacuate the premises / Mute BET cyphers, because I don’t want to hear that shit / May be you rest in piss, f— n—-s / hey Frank Ocean, go ahead and f— these f— n—-s.” He ends by suggesting that Miguel sing to his song. Pardon?

    Rap isn’t the same as when the Game initially came up, as a member of 50 Cent‘s G-Unit crew. Unlike a decade or so ago, when he started beefing with G-Unit itself (the crew’s now planning a reunion, without him), such diss tracks may have had more clout. But in 2014, and with its sole purpose being to pick on rappers half his age, “Bigger Than Me” is all bluster — nothing but embarrassingly dated as a concept, even while taking aim at recent cover stars.
    Plus, at least with “Pills N Potions,” music fans got to see a new, unexpected side to Game. With “Bigger Than Me,” Game only stresses that he is nothing without his shameless ploys for attention. Hear the song and see a sneak peek of its forthcoming video below.

    Source x YouTube


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    Not even Disclosure's rise to fame as trendsetters for last year's U.K. garage revival could overshadow Sam Smith, who lent soulful vocals to the Lawrence brother's whiplashing hit "Latch."It was impossible not to notice Smith's heart-rending range, which seemed to have come out of nowhere (even though the 21-year-old London singer had technically been around since age 12, when he signed a management deal as a preternaturally talented jazz vocalist). Even with his signature unforgettable voice, however, Smith was still trying to figure out his musical identity at that point. As he told Billboard in a recent interview, during the beginning stages of writing his debut LP, "In the Lonely Hour," he wanted to make a "Rihanna record."

    It's a good thing he decided not to. Given the success of "Latch" and Smith's follow-up single, Naughty Boy's ridiculously catchy 2013 smash "La La La," he could easily have made a more beat-reliant debut. Instead, "In the Lonely Hour" draws from the same classic soul that spawned albums like Norah Jones'"Come Away With Me," a favorite of Smith's, or Adele's "19," which his album is currently on track to outsell in the U.S. its opening week. More importantly, he sounds comfortable with himself. The acoustic "Latch" that appears toward the end of the 14-track effort is no better or worse than the original; these arrangements seem to come more naturally to Smith. A bed of strings and a simple piano chord progression highlight every snag in his voice, the sudden leap into falsetto, a controlled yet tremulous vibrato.

    And Smith bares more than his vocal cords on this record. Every story of unrequited love that's been put to song is powerful in its own right, but Smith's admission that the object of his affection was a man -- besides being a brave thing to do -- put to rest any speculation of his sexuality and set an emotionally open tenor for the rest of his career. “After writing the album," he told Billboard, "I felt I’d given everything out, and I’m willing to keep doing that with my music for the rest of my life." Here's to seeing how he keeps pouring his heart out.

    "Money On My Mind": "Money On My Mind" kicks off the album on a sprightly note, with a crisp, skittering backbeat and chopped-up backing exhalations. The first official single is a bit of a bait-and-switch: those kinds of synthesizers don't set the tone for the record but reappear until the very end, and at first listen it's easy to focus on the blaring chorus and miss the "I don't have" that sneaks up beforehand.

    "Good Thing": Beginning with swelling strings that spill into a muted guitar line like teardrops breaking (yes, it's that dramatic), the second track is the real beginning of the end that "In the Lonely Hour" is all about. Here lie the first hints of trouble in Smith's relationship, from a dream that he was mugged outside his beloved's house to the worse realization that he dared think his love was reciprocated.

    "Stay With Me": Smith wowed an audience likely seeing him for the first time with this stunning cut on "Saturday Night Live." In it, he turns a desperate plea for a one-night stand to stay into an eloquent statement on being a sensitive man who knows what he wants, but has no illusions that he'll get it. With judiciously placed tambourines, the song builds to a resounding gospel chorus that would give goosebumps to even the most hardened Don Juan.

    "Leave Your Lover": Asking for one night to keep going, begging the one he's in love with to leave his lover -- anyone who's made those same mistakes knows the outcome usually doesn't work out like a movie ending. This is one of the few moments on the record where it's apparent Smith has never been in a relationship; otherwise he would realize such dramatic concessions (standing in the rain, willing to give up everything) don't work if he's just not that into you.

    Rest of review - Source


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    Spotify has named their top 25 artists under 25 and we're breaking down the five artists who soared to the top of the list.

    Coming in at number five is crossover superstar Taylor Swift. Her album Red was released over two years ago but according to Spotify she is still streaming strong today at a reported 800,000 times a day.

    Taylor's ex Harry Styles and the rest of One Direction are at number four. And in a surprising statistic, nearly half of the listeners of the group are guys! What's their 1D song of choice?

    "They're music streams about one million times a day. And their song Story Of My Life is one of our biggest hits at the moment," Spotify Trend Expert Shanon Cook explains.

    Miley Cyrus bulldozes into the third spot on the list. She is follows breakthrough artist Lorde who at number two is a perfect example of someone Spotify has helped explode into mainstream music. Her hit single Royals has been streamed 160 million times.

    So how did Spotify come up with their  list? The music streaming service tracked the biggest artists based on the amount of streams they've accumulated and which artists had top hits.

    "We also considered how much our listeners were sharing certain artists," Cook adds.

    Since sales are not part of the equation here, the top 25 under 25 is a new way to track who's on top in the social media age. Watch the video to find out which artist topped their list at number one. Hint: he is the first artist to reach a billion streams and Madonna is eager to work with him!

    Video won't embed...view with the rest @ the source...

    LOL @ 1D with the fanboys...

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    Fans of the popular children's cartoon Paddington Bear were delighted last week when the first still from an upcoming film version of the series was released.

    The image, premiered by the Telegraph June 10, features a gently smiling CGI-version of Paddington in his signature blue duffle coat standing outside Buckingham Palace with a suitcase (presumably filled with marmalade.)

    As the still began circulating the web, film lovers were eager to the discuss details of the movie itself; casting choices (Colin Firth [OP: Colin dropped out of the film -- is creepy paddington to blame?] and Nicole Kidman, among others,) release date (Nov. 28 in the U.K.) and the film's animation style.

    Others, however, were more concerned about Paddington's look.

    While, as Complex noted, the "slimmed-down" version of the film's title character "at least somewhat resembles the book version," many found Paddington's expression in the image quite... well, creepy.

    Within hours of the original still being released, Twitter users started using the hashtag #CreepyPaddington to describe the character.

    Many turned to Photoshop to illustrate the point, inserting Paddington into classic horror films like The Shining, Silence of the Lambs, and The Exorcist.

    On June 11th, 2014, a single topic Tumblr blog called creepypaddington was launched to roundup some of the meme's best submissions (like this one, below!)

    there's some more text and more pics at the source.

    what horror film would you put creepy paddington in?!

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    Ryan Phillippe and Paulina Slagter needed a boost last weekend, and that's exactly what they got!

    Thanks to local mobile nutrition service VitaSquad, the couple got hooked up to IV drips at Miami's W Hotel Saturday.

    Phillippe and Slagter's joint session lasted about 30 minutes. "They were really cute and came in for a treatment together," an eyewitness tells E! News. "She was making funny faces at him while he was trying to get some work done on his computer. They were very playful and having a good time."

    The Boost IV series contains a customized blend of vitamins, minerals and amino acids, which are infused directly into the bloodstream. This allows for 100 percent absorption and immediate results.

    The treatment offers seven varieties of "Medical Cocktails" that help fight fatigue, anxiety and hangovers. Professional nurses administer the drips and the effects can last up to four days.

    It was a welcome moment of relaxation for the Shreveport director, 39, and the law student, 23. After all, the two were seen sipping Patron and packing on the PDA at Wall nightclub on June 7. Two days later, Phillippe and Slagter drank Don Julio Añejo and hit the dance floor at Delano South Beach's FDR.

    The pair didn't travel to Florida just to party, however. During the daytime, Phillippe and Slagter were often photographed frolicking on the beach, tanning by the pool and yachting in the Atlantic Ocean.


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  • 06/17/14--21:34: Oh Sweet Mercy.

  • Photography by Bjorn Iooss | Styling by Ms Gaelle Paul
    Words By Mr Mike Hodgkinson

    As things stand, if Mr Michiel Huisman is to be remembered for only one role it would surely be his plum assignment as the lover of the Mother of Dragons. By landing the role of mercenary Daario Naharis on season four of HBO's Game of Thrones, the Dutch actor has been required to do his lascivious best with Ms Emilia Clarke's character, Daenerys Targaryen. At one stroke, by acting out such a popular nerd-boy fantasy, he simultaneously announced himself in spectacular fashion and unleashed the green-eyed monster in us all.

    On the back of that enviable exposure, Mr Huisman is currently riding a wave of Hollywood momentum. Later this year we'll see him with Ms Reese Witherspoon in Wild, to be followed early in 2015 by a leading role, as Ms Blake Lively's love interest, in The Age of Adaline.

    While it may seem to anyone born outside the Netherlands that he pretty much came out of nowhere, the record shows he's been putting in a regular and honest showbiz shift for a couple of decades. He began acting pre-teen and cut his teeth in Dutch TV movies before sidelining into music as guitarist/ lead singer with the millennial pop-rock band Fontane.

    The break that launched his international career came about when - in a gamble of stunning bravado - he convinced the producers of another excellent HBO series, Treme, that he could play the piano where no such ability existed, only to appear on cue, at the designated hour, with the necessary talent in place. No Faustian bargain was required, only insane hard work.

    "I had about a month and a half before we started shooting the first scene in which I'm playing a song," Mr Huisman, 32, tells MR PORTER in Los Angeles. "So I played for six hours a day, straight, on a crappy keyboard, just to get my left and right hands to do what I wanted them to do. My wife went nuts. It was like banging my head against a wall until, all of a sudden, it felt like the wall was not there any more. It's one of the cool things about being an actor, I think, to get the opportunity to do that kind of stuff."

    Now resident in his adopted home city of New Orleans (where Treme is set), Mr Huisman spends much of his time living out of suitcases, and has just returned to the US from shooting sprees in Belfast and Croatia for Game of Thrones.

    Right from the outset, his arrival on the no-holds-barred fantasy drama posed a couple of stiff challenges. First, by taking the established part of Naharis, he became a drafted-in replacement for English actor Mr Ed Skrein (who left GoT to supersede Mr Jason Statham in The Transporter franchise), and so faced a battle for the loyalty of fans already invested in the character. ("What happened to Daario Naharis?" asked The Daily Beast.)

    Second, as the Mother of Dragons' prime suitor, he was required to deploy the full force of his dark charm and sex appeal, or face derision, if not outright fan hostility. On both counts, it appears, Mr Huisman has succeeded handsomely.

    "What I try to do is not worry too much about the critique and really trust in our producers and writers. I admire them; I think they're really good. With something that's so popular and so highly anticipated there's always going to be people thinking that we're making the wrong choices - but there are a lot of people who think we're making the right choices."

    Mr Huisman clearly has confidence not just in those around him but also in his own abilities - even ones he might have to speed-learn before he arrives on set. We'll wager that there's much more up his sleeve than the key to Daenerys Targaryen's boudoir.

    Game of Thrones season four is currently on HBO in the US and Sky Atlantic in the UK


    Holy mother of mercy. Kill me now. Better than that ass shot, IMHO.

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    One of the many, many reasons I absolutely loved Fargo — the FX drama that builds upon the 1996 Coen Brothers movie of the same name — is that it’s filled with allegories and digressions and asides that may or may not mean something, but they always make you think. (More on that later.) So in the spirit of the show, let’s start with one of my own — or rather, one that, like this show, builds upon somebody else’s.

    In the 1961 novel The Moviegoer, Walter Percy coins the phrase “certification” to talk about how your perspective on your hometown changes when it appears in a movie. This happens to the novel’s hero, who realizes that he’s watching a movie in the same neighborhood where that movie is set. Percy writes:

    Nowadays when a person lives somewhere, in a neighborhood, the place is not certified for him. More than likely he will live there sadly and the emptiness which is inside him will expand until it evacuates the entire neighborhood. But if he sees a movie which shows his very neighborhood, it becomes possible for him to live, for a time at least, as a person who is Somewhere and not Anywhere.

    Rex Sorgatz, a native North Dakotan, brought up this scene from Percy’s book in a great piece about how the movie Fargo “made North Dakota feel like somewhere, not anywhere. It made Fargo feel like Fargo.” I’d argue that great art also does the opposite: It makes Fargo feel like Fargo. In other words, it records over your original experience of a place and replaces it with a movie, as if you’re just a character in somebody else’s film. You start to view scenes from your life as if the Coen brothers wrote them.

    This is what has happened to me while watching Fargo, the television show. Despite what its title says, the drama actually takes place in Minnesota, where I lived for five years. When I think about the days when I walked home in the sub-zero weather, the liquid in my eyeballs starting to freeze, I remember looking up and watching the snow fall: white flakes floating down from a white sky. But when I try to conjure that memory now, all I can see is that gorgeously shot chase scene from Fargo, where Molly (the phenomenal Allison Tollman, who deserves an Emmy nod for her facial expressions alone) goes crunching through the snow, looking for two hit men in the middle of a storm flurry. (Warning: spoilers from here on.) When the camera points at the sky, it’s the first time I’m back in Minnesota, with that uneasy view of never-ending nothingness, white falling from white.

    If Fargo‘s showrunner, Noah Hawley, has a superpower, it’s this: recording over people’s memories. And he has a particularly challenging one to tape over. The Coen brothers’ film topped many critics’ best of the year lists back in 1996, and some fans weren’t crazy about the idea of anyone reworking their favorite dark comedy. So Hawley did something smart. He acknowledged the brilliance of the original by casting his project as a mirror reflection, albeit one that’s through-the-looking-glass. Like the film, the TV show focuses on a weak-willed Midwesterner (Martin Freeman as Lester Nygaard) who kills his wife. A female cop (Tollman) is working the case, and two goofball hit men (Adam Goldberg and Russell Harvard) get wrapped up in the murder. (The film doesn’t have an equivalent to the best character here, the frighteningly cool-tempered psychopath Lorne Malvo, played by Billy Bob Thornton, who helps Lester dispose of his wife’s body.) But since there are two versions of Fargo, Hawley doubles everything else. There are two cops: Molly and a Mr. Nice Guy named Gus (Colin Hanks). There’s a set of goofball FBI agents (the comedians Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele are perfectly cast) to counter-balance the set of goofball criminals. Lester bludgeons his wife to death, then he remarries, and his second wife gets killed.

    Characters repeat or echo phrases from the movie: “And for what?” “Go Bears!” “We’re doing pretty good.” (For analysis of these and other Easter eggs, check out EW’s exhaustive master list here.) Sometimes, they even nod to other Coen brothers movies — say, by ordering a white Russian, the Big Lebowski’s favorite drink, or by listening to a parable from a rabbi, which recalls a speech from A Serious Man. Hawley makes inside jokes of minutia from the original Fargo, as if to reward the very superfans who might’ve turned against him. In the original, one character angrily calls another a mute; in the TV series, one of the hit men is literally mute. The film shows the female cop’s husband cooking eggs for her breakfast. The TV show finds the police chief Bill (Bob Odenkirk) insisting that he needs to eat the omelet his wife made before he can discuss the crime. (Odenkirk is both hilarious and a little heartbreaking as Bill, an official who’s not the sharpest blade in the woodchipper.) And that big suitcase full of money that was left in the snow? A supermarket chain owner named Stavros Milos (Oliver Platt) finds it, many years later. (The TV series takes place 19 years after the film.)

    But this isn’t just an easy game of spot-the-reference. Some scenes feel even more Coen brothers-y than anything the Coen brothers have directed themselves. I laughed out loud at one particularly weird, funny, Coen-y conversation between the two hit men:

    “Nobody likes being watched while they eat.”
    “Some people do.”
    “Oh yeah? Who?”

    The scene sent me Googling the words “Mormon” and “Coen Brothers,” until I realized that this joke was pure Hawley. Coen brothers fans might love Hawley’s aesthetic, but his Fargo is original enough to stand as its own creation. The show is a pretty good example of what the philosopher Jean Baudrillard called a simulacra: a copy that portrays things that no longer have an original. (Think of the throwback American diner that makes up so many restaurant chains. Diners never actually looked like that during the 1950s. Johnny Rockets and others invented it.) As I fall in love with Hawley’s vision, I find that I compare it to the Coen brothers’ own masterpiece less and less.

    Okay, wait, one last comparison: You can argue about whether the Coen brothers were making fun of North Dakotans, but Hawley definitely takes Midwesterners seriously. Sure, his Midwesterners still talk funny (“Ah, jeez” “Yah, sure”), and they can be overly pious. At one point, Lorne unleashes locusts in Stavros’ supermarket and arranges for blood to pour from his shower head, and Stavros believes he’s witnessing Biblical plagues. And yet, this is also a deeply spiritual show, one that wrestles, unironically, with the Big Questions that the God-fearing folks of the Midwest hold dear — and many of the rest of us too. When Gus wonders how he can be a good person in an immoral world, it’s genuinely affecting. (“Only a fool thinks he can solve the world’s problems,” his rabbi neighbor tells him, to which he replies, “Yeah, but you gotta try, doncha?”) When Bill worries that the sense of community is disappearing, he’s not making fun of people in small towns; he’s speaking directly to them. (“Whatever happened to saying good morning to your neighbors and shoveling their walk and bringin’ in each other’s Toters?” he asks. Anyone who knows what Toters are will understand what he’s talking about.) Even the hit men seem to live by a moral code, one that places their friendship above the job. Come to think of it, the hit man’s riddle might imply that they’re spiritual too: Mormons like being watched while they eat, but only if God is the one watching.

    Of course, Hawley is watching them too. And he’s pretty good at playing God. In this recap-crazy era when everyone’s Googling and analyzing the same references, it feels like he’s messing with critics’ minds. Each episode of Fargo is named for a philosophical problem — “Morton’s Fork,” “A Fox, A Rabbit, and A Cabbage,” “The Crocodile’s Dilemma” — and the characters often speak in puzzles that beg to be decoded. Some of them are rich with meaning. In one scene, Lorne tells Gus a riddle about how the human eye can see more shades of green than any other color. “Why?” he asks. Later, Molly explains the reason: Humans have evolved to see predators through the trees and the grass. After hearing that, I suddenly realized that many scenes in Fargo are filmed in different shades of green. Clearly, this is a challenge to viewers: When you’re gazing across a town where everyone looks pretty much the same, can you really distinguish the predator from the prey?

    Other times, the answer to Lorne’s riddles isn’t so obvious. When Lorne decides to blackmail Stavros, he tries to scare him with a fable. It’s about a boy who’s raised in the woods and the wolves that start circling that boy. Is Stavros the boy and Lorne the wolf? Maybe! Or is the boy Stavros’ son? Also possible! Does it mean anything that wolves keep appearing on this show, right before someone’s about to die? Perhaps! You could over-analyze it, but I wonder if there’s something else going on here. The Midwest is famous for its colloquialisms and folk wisdom. Some of those stories mean something. Many of them involve animals and don’t make much sense. (My husband, who’s from North Dakota, has a favorite: “If it’s a horse apiece, who gives a damn?”) Much like that suitcase full of money in the snow, some of these allegories feel like MacGuffins. In a TV-watching climate where everything has to be a metaphor — why recap otherwise? — even the most important-sounding tales can be random and meaningless.

    Life can feel random and meaningless too. That’s another point that Fargo sends home. The original film famously insisted that it was “based on a true story,” though Ethan Coen later revealed in the introduction to the published screenplay that “[the film] aims to be both homey and exotic, and pretends to be true.” The fact that Hawley’s show is a retelling of a retelling of a not-so-true “true story” makes Fargo feel like a particularly smart take on Midwestern storytelling, like the gossip that spreads through small towns. But it also calls into question the idea that a film — even one that’s based on real life — can ever capture the truth. “Real life doesn’t unfold like a story,” Hawley recently told NPR. “Things happen that don’t fit neatly into a box.” So it makes perfect sense that, in a Midwestern noir series that always seems to be ramping up the suspense toward some grand climax, Lester meets his end in the most mundane way, by falling through the ice. Not everyone ends his story with a shoot-out. Sometimes, you just make a wrong turn, and you’re done.

    There’s an ordinary, everyday quality to the horror on Fargo, which isn’t to say it normalizes violence. In the most epic death scenes, the violence is virtually invisible. When Lorne kilsl every mobster in Fargo, it’s brilliantly filmed from the outside of the mob’s headquarters. You can hear the screams as the camera follows Lorne around the building, but the one-way glass ensures you can’t see what’s happening inside. This isn’t your typical anti-hero drama, where evil is glamorized or good people do bad things for sympathetic reasons. Lester evolves from a henpecked wimp to an equally meek monster. He even dresses his second wife in his own jacket so that Lorne will kill her instead of him. This guy was never good. Only polite. And the banality of his evil only makes him scarier.

    Maybe that’s why the very last scene of Fargo feels so satisfying. Bill promotes Molly to take over for him as chief of police. But Gus is the one who ultimately brings down Lorne, shooting him before he can even get up. We’re cheated of watching Molly, the show’s true hero, get justice for the case she worked so hard to solve. But she refuses to let anyone feel sorry for her. “This is your deal,” she tells Gus. “I get to be chief.” Her story will continue beyond that climactic showdown, because (as Hawley says) real life doesn’t unfold like a story. I’d like to imagine her ordering take-out with Gus one night and watching the Coen brothers’ movie. I’d like to imagine her living as a person who is Anywhere and not Somewhere. But I can’t. Not anymore. She can only be here.


    PLEASE if you did not watch this show go watch it immediately. Best new show, way better than True Detective (which I also loved), etc. Also Allison Tolman is perfect that is all.

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