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Oh No They Didn't! -

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    How after dozens of false starts, the star of 'Masters of Sex' finally got on top

    A bone scraper and a sausage piper surround Lizzy Caplan, and yet she is nowhere near the set of her show, Masters of Sex. She is wearing jeans and open-toe sandals. This may have been a mistake, since she is walking into a refrigerator filled with dead pigs on hooks. It's a tight fit into the meat locker of Lindy & Grundys, a posh Los Angeles butcher shop, and one of her human shoulders brushes against a pork shoulder. Caplan lets out a small yelp.

    "This is horrifying," she says with a grin. "I don't eat a lot of pig because the outside is the same color as the meat. You need that disconnect you get with beef."

    Caplan is here for a sausage-making class, and, a little later, she is introduced to the Dickeron, a swordlike knife-sharpening contraption. Her hair, in a Fifties bob for her Emmy-nominated role of sexologist Virginia Johnson, starts, well, bobbing up and down.

    "Pretty soon, I'm going to be making my own sausage," says Caplan. She pauses, popping the giant greenish-gray eyes that have dominated multiple TV shows and movies that no one watched. "Once I get my own dick machine."

    Caplan picked the sausage-making class for our meeting, and I joke that I felt a tad uncomfortable writing about a female kneading pork. "I'm making it difficult for you because you're going to have to figure out clever ways not to make innuendos about sausages," says Caplan. But wouldn't jokes be OK because she chose the place? Caplan gives me a withering stare. "I guess you could, but I'm expecting more from you."

    It was hard to tell if she was kidding or not. This is a vibe Caplan gives off to the uninitiated. "Part of her shtick is to come across as cold and standoffish at first, but it's not at all what she's like," says Seth Rogen, who has known her since they were teenagers on Freaks and Geeks and who recently directed Caplan in the upcoming spy caper The Interview. "Lizzy's very sweet once you get to know her. She has always played the smart, funny girl who cuts through the bullshit. That's much harder than what I do, playing dumb."

    In a way, the sausage-making conundrum is an apt metaphor for Caplan's career. (No, really.) At 32, Caplan is best known for playing the anti-manic pixie dream girl (see Zooey Deschanel and Kirsten Dunst) in a bushel of little-seen but hilarious enterprises – get ye online and watch the caterers on Vicodin in Party Down or 2012's girls-gone-wilding Bachelorette – where she's the snarky girl with a heart made of some metallic concoction that is not gold. It was a great life, but Caplan felt hemmed in as "that girl" and wondered if that was all Hollywood had for her.

    And that's where sex came in. Caplan is winding up the second season of Showtime's Masters of Sex, where she plays the research partner/lab partner/sex partner of Dr. William Masters as they delve into the study of sexual behavior during the 1950s. Eventually, their studies would land them fame, but the first years were harrowing, particularly for Johnson. There's more than a little of Caplan in Johnson, not so much the sex part as wanting to be taken seriously in an industry more than happy to overlook her. The doubts of casting directors became her own doubts.

    They remained even after she got the part. Caplan, co-star Michael Sheen and show creator Michelle Ashford met in L.A. with Showtime execs after the pilot was picked up in 2012. Sheen, a classically trained Welsh actor who has seemingly been playing Tony Blair his entire career, regaled the room with tales of portraying Jesus in a 72-hour re-enactment of the Passion play. Caplan listened closely and felt a roomful of eyes turn to her.

    "Well, I once starred in a movie with Dane Cook," she said.

    Everyone in the room laughed. But when Caplan got back to her car, she thought, "I'm sitting across from Jesus, and everybody's eating out of the palm of his hand."

    Then she started to cry.

    At the shop, Caplan fires questions at Amelia the butcher, not unlike the way some of her characters might – "Have you ever gotten a pig and then cut it open and a baby fell out?" – and the conversation quickly takes a turn to the sexual proclivities of the American male as it relates to meat. Amelia recounts how strangers online send her messages about what they would like to do to her among the pork.

    "Weird," shouts Caplan above the sounds of pig-grinding. Ice is added to ease the transition from pig meat to sausage. "This was in the news recently, because somebody just got arrested for it. It's like animal porn, but then they kill the animal. Like, pop a chicken's head off while you're jerking and shit."

    Amelia is horrified. "Oh, no. I am so turned off by this," she says.

    Caplan looks thoughtful for a second. "But doesn't it sort of warm your heart that there's something for everybody?"

    Amelia doesn't know what to say, so she just cleans up the pork snow-cone ice left over from our sausage-making.
    A little while later, Caplan exits the butcher shop with a bag of sausages that she'll prepare for her dad tomorrow on Father's Day. She takes a seat in a booth at a nearby restaurant, and while it's not quite a wall, a reticence drops over her, making it clear she's much more comfortable talking about choking chickens than her personal life.

    She was raised not far from here, in the Miracle Mile in Los Angeles. Caplan is the youngest of three kids whose father is a lawyer. She had the childhood of a typical Jewish L.A. kid, a bat mitzvah, a domineering piano teacher, a trip to Israel, and a liberal home where questions about sex could be asked. But then her mom fell ill and died when Caplan was 13. Through the grieving, Caplan first started thinking of becoming an actress.

    "Strangely, from that age on I thought the only reason why I could even attempt to be an actress was because this horrible thing happened to me," she says in a quiet voice. "Like something dark and terrible had to happen in order to earn your stripes as a human being and be able to be an actress. I don't know where I got that from."

    Caplan went to an L.A. arts high school, and then started going on auditions. Her first role was on Freaks and Geeks, co-starring Rogen, who recalls her as "funny, Jewish and smart, pretty much the whole package for me." She was supposed to appear in one episode, but her charm won over showrunners Paul Feig and Judd Apatow. "There was something unique about her performance," Apatow recalls. "So we brought her back again. Then, when it was time to shoot the finale, we were so impressed by her work that we thought, 'What if Jason Segel's character started dating Lizzie?' She was amazing as his rebound romance."

    The Freaks and Geeks experience set the tone for much of Caplan's career as she ambled into her twenties: winning quiet acclaim playing the role of "who's that girl?" in shows and movies that disappeared. Caplan estimates she shot at least seven pilots. There were moments of brilliance, but lots of no's – her role in Mean Girls was followed by a year without work. She scored a part in True Blood in 2008, but that came with its own trauma. On her second day, she was required to do the first nude scene of her career.

    "I remember all the many hours of pep talks required of my friends, like, 'Tell me that my body doesn't look weird,'" says Caplan. "I walked into my dressing room, and where your clothes are hanging on a rack was just one pair of underwear."

    Caplan did what most people would do in that situation: She swigged some vodka, got drunk and started asking crew members how they liked her ass. Caplan recounts the story with some reluctance, perhaps regretting that and some of the other stories she let out of the bag about when she was young and brash – including a tale about passing out on her birthday naked and splayed on her bed, compelling her gay roommate to move out – and it's clear she wants to be seen in a more serious light now that she's on Masters of Sex.

    "Aiming for the stars becomes a bit soul-crushing after you're told 'no' for the thousandth time," she says. "I didn't want to be continually rejected. I was right at the doorway of believing I couldn't do anything else when this came around. It was right in the nick of time."

    Since Masters of Sex started, Caplan hasn't let her character wander away. She persuaded Thomas Maier, author of the book version of Masters of Sex, to let her listen to some of his interview tapes with Virginia Johnson. She became fascinated with the contradictions of Johnson, who insisted she never loved William Masters even though they ended up married for two decades. "There hasn't been one day that has gone by in those three years that I have not been thinking about this job," says Caplan. "I don't remember a time before Virginia Johnson."

    Caplan harbored fantasies of spending the night with Johnson at her assisted-living center in St. Louis, but it didn't happen. Johnson died last year and was ambivalent about the show. But Caplan, who dated Matthew Perry for years and describes herself as "recently seriously single," sees something of herself in Johnson.

    "She wanted to be a mother, but she didn't want to be a wife necessarily," says Caplan. "I still have this idealized version where maybe I'll get to be both simultaneously. That's the goal right now. But she tailor-made her own life, picking and choosing from each category what she wanted. That was difficult for a woman in the 1950s. That's how I want to live my life. It's an act of bravery for women now who choose not to get married, who can have babies on their own and pursue their careers first."

    But it's not just the feminist part of Johnson that connects with Caplan. Johnson was often derided in the book and on the show for getting by on sass and not substance. It's not too far from the way Caplan was viewed in Hollywood before Masters of Sex. "I think Lizzy looked at Virginia and said, 'There are so many things I can identify with,'" says show creator Ashford. "She's lived much of this herself."

    The great irony is that the sex scenes in Masters of Sex are the easy part of the show for Caplan. After the vodka on the True Blood set, she's reached a comfort level with her naked self. Before a recent taping of a scene where Caplan and Sheen copulate, Caplan reclined, put her legs up and yelled, "Ah, home again."

    The psychological strain of Virginia Johnson has been more difficult. Caplan seems exhausted by the experience in a way one is not exhausted by playing the love interest in Hot Tub Time Machine. A few weeks ago, she found herself sitting in her dressing room saying to herself, "I don't wanna do this, I don't wanna do this, I'd rather be doing anything but this."

    "It was a momentary 'what the fuck, why am I here?' kind of an existential crisis," she says. "But it passed real quick. This is only my second Season Two. I'm so lucky." Caplan flashes a quick smile. She then gathers up her bag of meat and heads for her BMW. There will be no crying tonight.

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    Get all caught up on The Good Wife with our Ultimate Look Back recap on CBS! Don't miss the season premiere on Sunday, Sept. 21 at 9/8c.


    still pissed CBS is keeping this on sunday nights. also, fingers crossed for julianna tonight!

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    Fans might not have been thrilled with that ending, but they sure did watch: HBO’s True Blood finished its run with the vampire drama’s biggest audience of the season. All told, 4.5 million viewers tuned in for Sunday’s final episode across its two plays, which is on par with last year’s sixth season finale. Moreover, social buzz for True Blood surged to 99,000 tweets.

    The True Blood boost helped HBO’s freshman Rapture thriller The Leftovers rise to a season high, averaging 2.1 million viewers across two airings. One question on this show is what will happen now that it no longer has this big True Blood lead in? On Friday, Cinemax’s period medical drama The Knick set a nightly record with 754,000 viewers.

    For their respective seasons, including all forms of viewing, True Blood has averaged 9.4 million viewers; The Leftovers 7.3 million and The Knick 2.7 million.

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    Miley Cyrus won the biggest award of the night at the MTV Video Music Awards — Video of the Year for “Wrecking Ball” — and she used that worldwide platform for good.

    Instead of walking to the stage to accept her Moon Man, she sent her good friend Jesse from My Friend’s Place in Los Angeles in her place to tell everyone his story and shed some light on the issue of homeless and runaway youth in America, “who are starving, lost, and scared for their lives right now."

    Miley, who watched his speech with tears in her eyes from her seat, called in to On Air with Ryan Seacrest on Monday morning to talk more about what inspired her to make the bold move … and how she spent the rest of her night post-VMAs.

    “First of all, I have to thank all my fans because they put put me on to the highest platform I could have been on and given me and Jesse the biggest voice we could have,” she explains. “The reason it was so important at the VMAs is because it’s for young people. Jesse is my same age and that’s what this show is for. I think people need to see this … at least, I know I did after last year … to remember what matters.”


    And Miley is confident her Smilers will follow her lead and get involved. “My fans love this stuff. My fans live for me to give them a goal and then to prove their love for me by achieving it. And there’s nothing that makes me happier than working with My Friend’s Place right now. I’m just totally so into it!”

    Although she’s a big believer in the cause, Miley was so nervous for Jesse up there on the stage and how the rest of the famous faces in the audience would react to his message.

    “The courage that he showed to get up there and give that speech,” she says. “I didn’t know how everyone was going to be and seeing his hands shake, it kind of broke me. I wish they wouldn't have kept putting the camera on me to make it about me crying. I cry when I’m the happiest.”

    Miley was inspired to make a bold statement at the VMAs after all the attention (and backlash) following her twerkfest with Robin Thicke on last year’s stage.

    “I just didn't realize my platform, I didn't realize my power,” she explains. “And I think I really realized it after the VMAs [last year] … there’s something special and there’s only few people that experience this that no matter what I do, there’s no winning or losing, it’s just going to be talked about. Period. I’m going to be on the cover of everything no matter what and I can’t help it. There’s going to be talk, so what do I want them to talk about? If I’m going to be given this loud of a voice and this big of an image and this big of a platform and this huge of an opportunity to talk to young people in American right now, what am I really trying to say? Because I don’t think what I was trying to say is what happened the year before.”

    The message was so important to Miley,she didn’t tell anyone about her plan to send Jesse up onstage for fear that the secret would get out. In fact, while sitting next to Katy Perry in the audience, she pretended like he was her date … and then the “This Is How We Do” tried to pour him a drink!

    “I’m like, ‘This kid has to give this speech!’” she jokes. “I’m like, ‘Katy, please don’t get Jesse drunk right now’ … I didn’t want to tell her because I was scared if someone found out, they’d try to stop me … no one knew. The only person I told, because I knew that he would respect it, was Juicy [J], who was sitting next to me. I couldn't hold it in, I was so excited. I knew that he would respect Jesse and it was cool to have someone there who could keep us both calm.”

    And after their big moment, Miley and Jesse went to the ultimate post-party: dinner at In-N-Out! But she didn’t exactly get what she wanted.

    “A veggie burger at In-N-Out … don’t let them trick you!” she laughs about her order. “It means it’s lettuce and tomato only on a piece of bread.”

    Miley is asking for fans to get involved and help donate to My Friend’s Place. Go here for more details!

    Listen to the full interview at the source. She talks a lot and very fast but it's worth the listen.

    To read more about the cause and and to get involved/donate click here!

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    No shade, no shade.

    Image and video hosting by TinyPic

    The 2014 MTV Video Music Awards was the year’s most exciting night in music television, but while you were tuned in watching Beyoncé win her Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award and Taylor Swift shake it off, there were plenty moments backstage that you didn’t see.

    First off, it was all love between Nicki Minaj and Iggy Azalea, despite all the rumors of a female rap beef. “You did great,” Iggy told Nicki as she passed her just as MTV News began to conduct our interview with the “Anaconda” spitter.

    “Thank you baby,” Ms. Minaj responded with a warm and welcoming smile.

    We were posted backstage for a large part of the day and watched Jay Z as he arrived with Blue Ivy in his arms. Daddy and daughter made a bee-line straight to Beyoncé as she got ready for her performance.

    Ariana Grande‘s dressing room was right down the hall from Bey’s and a great spot to just be a fly on the way, because right after Ms. Grande won for Best Pop Video we spotted her and Big Sean walking down the hall holding hands. New couple alert?

    Speaking of new couples, what’s up with Katy Perry and Riff Raff, we don’t actually believe that the “This is How Do” collaborators are dating, but they were hanging backstage even when the television cameras weren’t there to capture them.

    Video @ the Source.

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    The Doctor’s latest incarnation delivered the sci-fi cult-fav’s biggest U.S. premiere audience yet.

    BBC America’s Doctor Who returned to 2.6 million viewers when including its first two replays—a record-setting opener for the series. The debut airing of season eight’s “Deep Breath” featured star Peter Capaldi’s first full episode as the Doctor. During its 8 to 10 p.m. premiere Saturday night, Doctor Who was the most-watched show on cable and dominated Twitter for the day among TV shows. The numbers are despite the episode leaking online weeks in advance.

    Still, the performance is modest compared to the show’s U.K. audience, which posted 6.8 million viewers on BBC One, the show’s biggest premiere delivery since 2010. It’s also lower than the “Day of the Doctor” special, which had 3.6 million last year.


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    Is the former Nickelodeon star a true double-threat? We take a closer look at the pop singer's onscreen abilities.

    Though the core of Ariana Grande's audience was built from the tweens who became fans watching her acting work on Nickelodeon, as a pop star, the 21-year-old caters to an older crowd. Her first single "The Way" was a throwback to peak Mariah Carey, built around a sample made famous by Big Punisher's 1998 hit "Still Not a Player," while "Right There" interpolated Lil Kim's "Crush on You," released in 1997, when Ariana was just four. Even newer stuff like "Bang Bang" and "Problem" has a jazzy maturity that feels miles removed from the slick EDM-pop that fellow ex-kid TV stars like Selena Gomez and Demi Lovato are currently trading in.

    Consequently, Ariana is much more likely to appeal to 20-and-30-somethings than your average Nickelodeon-bred pop star, but unless they already have kids themselves, a lot of those older fans were likely introduced to her through her music, and were thoroughly unfamiliar with her TV work. At some point, us older fans new to the Ariana bandwagon have to get a little curious: What was she like on TV? Was she any good? Were her shows any good?

    For those of you still that unfamiliar with her pre-music days, a little background on Ariana's acting career: she started out as a Broadway actress, playing the supporting role of cheerleader Charlotte in the kiddie musical 13. A couple years later, she moved to TV when she landed what would be her signature role: Cat Valentine, classmate and friend of protagonist Tori Vega (Victoria Justice) on the Nickelodeon show Victorious. That show lasted three seasons (technically four, since the last was subsequently split in two) before being canceled, at which point the Cat character was given a joint spin-off with Jeanette McCurdy's Sam Puckett character from fellow Nick hit iCarly, creatively titled Sam & Cat.

    Going back to that first episode of Victorious now (from 2010, though it feels like a lot longer ago) can be a little bit jarring -- like going to watch Brittany Murphy's performance as the frumpy, hapless Tai in Clueless if you only knew her from her sexpot roles in 8 Mile and Sidewalks of New York. In the Victorious pilot, Cat even has Tai-like frizzy red hair, an idiosyncratic-to-be-generous fashion sense, and the tendency to break into hysterics at a moment's notice. (A frazzled "WHAT'S THAT SUPPOSED TO MEAN??" is also set up to be Cat's recurring catchphrase.) It's virtually unrecognizable as the composed, stately, brunette Grande we've come to know from her performances and music videos.

    By the time the show actually got picked up for a full first season, Grande and the producers seemed to realize it would be a good idea to tone down some of Cat's histrionics, as well as de-frizzing her hair, though they kept it a straight red. Cat was still a little manic, but mostly just very impressionable and easily swayed -- often confused and more than a little dim-witted, but generally sweet and well-meaning. Ariana plays her in such a way that she rarely changes facial expressions or vocal tones throughout the entire show; whether Cat's ecstatic or furious, chilled-out or freaked out, she keeps the same innocent, moony-eyed look with the same soft, lilting monotone.

    While Cat could occasionally get a little grating, on the whole she was one of the best, most compelling characters on the show.Victoria Justice was stuck playing the straight part of the irritatingly perfect Tori -- mostly irritating because she often seemed to be ignorant of her own perfection -- while Ariana got to have all the fun playing the supremely silly Cat, going off on long rants about not understanding the distinction between lemonade and first aid, or suggesting space pirates and kangaroo babies for the school prom theme, or mistakenly ordering 144 Pajelehoochos (the Victorious double-down on the Snuggie) online.

    In fact, the best Victorious moments tended to focus on a Cat side-adventure with another, contrasting supporting character, like Tori's obnoxious and narcissistic older sister Trina, or Tori's unapologetically vicious frenemy Jade. One of the show's funniest bits comes from an episode where Jade suspects her boyfriend of cheating on her with Tori, and tries to enlist Cat's help tracking them down, ultimately deciding just to steal her phone and imitate her voice, much to Cat's consternation:

    Ariana slays it throughout with her throwaway comments ("We stopped, am I in trouble?" "Bossy!," "That's so disrespectful"), her emotional sincerity and supreme lack of guile making a hilarious counterpoint to the successful manipulations of the conniving Jade (and to Jade's pitch-perfect, though literally phoned-in, impersonation of Cat). It's classic comedy stuff, like something out of an old Marx Brothers routine, and Ariana sells her end beautifully.

    It was probably episodes like these that would give show creator Dan Schneider the inspiration to form Sam & Cat. The spin-off gave Cat a full-time Jade-like pairing in the form of iCarly's Sam, a self-centered, violence-prone schemer, who moved in as Cat's roommate and felt no remorse in taking advantage of her naivete and gullibility at every possible turn. Grande and Jeanette McCurdy had good chemistry, and since Cat's best moments seemed to come when paired with opposite-minded characters, a whole show of such moments seemed like a winning recipe.

    However, while Sam & Cat got off to a pretty good start and mostly drew good ratings, the series quickly took on a decidedly sour tone. It was one thing to see Cat get occasionally beat up in B plots on Victorious, but to see her take it on the chin from the genuinely mean-spirited Sam in the main plot of nearly every episode got pretty rough.

    Most insanely, the first season ended with Sam leaving Cat to rot in a jail in Arizona for two weeks, simply because she was enjoying having Cat's grandmother ("Nona") around to cook and clean for her and didn't want Cat to come back and displace her. Seriously, this is how the season actually ends. What's more, because the show wasn't renewed for a second season, that episode now goes down as the series finale, which even makes the old Arrested Development series-ender seem jovial and good-natured by comparison.

    Perhaps it's unsurprising that the on-screen bitterness seeped into real life, as a schism formed between Grande and McCurdy that likely did the show in. Alleged causes abound: Grande was making more money and McCurdy wanted a commiserate salary, Grande's people disapproved of McCurdy's fast-lane lifestyle, McCurdy viewed Grande as a "trouble friend" -- you can read all about the facts and rumors in Emily Yoshida's excellent Know Your Beef breakdown for Grantland. But whatever it is, it caused the second season of a fairly popular show to be aborted, and put Grande's acting career on ice, at least temporarily.

    So is Ariana Grande a really good actress, or just a likable performer who stumbled into a good part for her? Well, we don't have a ton else to go on yet, besides the Disney TV Movie Swindle, a mostly lame Ocean's 11-type heist flick for the Nick set. In it, Ariana plays Amanda, a supremely athletic cheerleader with a secret nerdy streak. Her character is supposed to be something of a polar opposite to Cat, the typical "hot chick" with an attitude of superiority, but while she has some enjoyably snappy moments at the beginning, as the movie goes on, more of Cat's monotone delivery and unchanging facial expression begins to seep out, until she basically sounds like a slightly more polished version of her Victorious creation.

    It seems like maybe Ariana doesn't have a ton of range as an actress yet, though she unquestionably has a good deal of charisma, and a generally sympathetic quality that can make you furious when a meanie like Jade or Sam won't stop stepping on her. Hopefully if and when she does get back to acting, she can play an adult sort of character -- hopefully outside the Nick umbrella -- so we can see what she's actually like as an actress when she's playing more of a person than a type.


    she's already said she'd only do acting projects that involve singing, so they'd have to be musicals for theater or movies. prob for the best.

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    Late screen siren Lauren Bacall left the bulk of her $26.6 million fortune to family, carving out a special $10,000 bequest for her beloved dog, Sophie, and directing her three children to keep her personal papers private, according to her will.

    The estate documents, filed in a rush order at Manhattan Surrogate’s Court on Friday because the family plans to auction off her artwork this fall, evenly split her property among children Sam Prideaux Robards, of Manhattan, Stephen Humphrey Bogart, of Naples, Fla., and Leslie Bogart, of Santa Monica, Calif.

    “I request that my children respect my wish to keep private certain personal letters, writings, diaries and other papers or memorabilia,” Bacall wrote in the 10-page will written last September.

    The honorary-Oscar winner also named all of her children as executors of her estate.

    The first item in her will was the $10,000 for son Sam to care for her papillon pooch, Sophie. Bacall and Sophie were often seen by neighbors walking outside her $9 million apartment at The Dakota on Central Park West.

    After taking care of the pup, ­Bacall also left gifts of $250,000 to each of her grandsons, Calvin ­Robards and Sebastian Robards.

    Bacall said she wanted that money to be used for college. They’ll have access to the rest of the cash when they turn 30.

    Household staffer Maria Santos received $20,000 while another employee, Isla Hernandez, got $15,000. Hernandez, a Honduran immigrant who worked as the ­actress’s maid for the past 14 years, was shocked by the news of her $15,000 bequest.

    “Oh, my God!” Hernandez exclaimed in an interview with The Post. “It’s wonderful. I never thought she would do something for me.” Hernandez admitted with a chuckle that her longtime boss was both “nice” and “demanding.”

    Her estate is comprised of her co-op apartment, royalties, tangibly personal property, cash and the remainder of a trust ex-husband Humphrey Bogart left her.

    Bacall, born Betty Joan Perske in The Bronx, died this month from a stroke at the age of 89.

    She wanted people to remember her not only for her first famous husband, actor Bogart, but also for her second, lesser known spouse, actor Jason Robards Jr., even though the couple’s marriage ended in divorce.

    “My obit is going to be full of Bogart, I’m sure,” she told Vanity Fair in a 2011 interview.

    “I’ll never know if that’s true. If that’s the way, that’s the way it is,” she told the magazine.


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    New PSA from NAMI and the cast of "Please Like Me" reading stories from You Are Not Alone

    Can you remember the last time you fell for a TV show? I'm not talking about a series that offers a decent escape from reality; I'm biding my time with plenty of those this summer. No, I'm referring to that rare gem that presents a world so delightful you feel a little sad when the credits roll.

    For me, the experience came a couple of weeks ago when I started watching Please Like Me. Written by and starring 27-year-old Josh Thomas, the Australian dramedy is sincere, a little silly and has no American counterpart.

    Please Like Me begins with poor Josh being dumped by his girlfriend, partly because, as she informs him, he's gay. Minutes later, Josh indeed makes out with a boy for the first time. And while other characters mention this development, it's not turned into a huge deal, because there are just so many more interesting things going on.

    Meanwhile, Josh's mother is struggling with bipolar disorder, and his giraffe-loving pal can't muster the confidence to dump his overbearing girlfriend. But I don't want to give too much away, particularly since there are only six episodes in the first season.

    Many American shows targeted toward (and I hate this word) "Millennials" seem to think the best way to portray them is to blend chiseled faces with a cool soundtrack and maybe throw in a werewolf somewhere. Please Like Me raises the bar for such series — and is as savvy with its visuals as it is with the dialogue.

    * * *

    Recap: 'Please Like Me' Season 2, Episode 3: 'Parmigiana'

    I would argue that "Parmigiana" is one of the more eagerly anticipated episodes, primarily because of the return of Geoffrey (though that's not the only appealing aspect of this week's story). Beyond the Geoffrey-Josh plot line, "Parmigiana" explores the budding relationship between Tom and Jenny, the investigation of Grace's purple poop, and a game of hide-and-seek between the patients in the hospital. It is a well-structured episode that tackles the façades the characters create, especially the ones that ruined that the relationship between Josh and Geoffrey.

    The episode begins with Josh and his roommates dressing John and Grace in kitschy costumes. Josh suddenly receives a call from Geoffrey, who wants to go out for dinner and catch up. As Josh splits his attention between his phone and the people around him (a narrative/visual trope that will play throughout the episode), the roommates start an epic photo shoot starring Grace and John (played against the show's theme song, of course!).

    After returning his "tattooed" baby sister to an angry Mae and an annoyed Allan, Josh goes to the hospital to visit Rose. He stumbles into Arnold, who institutionalized himself in order to avoid purporting a façade that he was getting better. Josh takes Arnold and introduces him to Rose and her friends, all of whom are all discussing the origins of Hannah's mental state.

    While preparing for his dinner with Geoffrey, Josh begrudgingly gives into his roommates'/Jenny's idea that he should "trim [his] pubes." During his manscaping session, Josh receives a call from Allan and Mae who want to know what he did to make Grace's poop turn purple. In spite of Josh protesting that he didn't do anything, Allan hangs up on his son and continues his journey to the emergency room. Meanwhile, Jenny receives a text from Tom (who is sitting two feet away from her) that contains a picture of his penis and an invitation to "Fuck [her] face off." Jenny initially reacts in a hostile manner, but she slowly accepts this faux pas, mentions that she is fine with them sleeping with other people, and even laughs at Tom's inability to send a proper dick pic (which was intended for Niamh).

    Back at the hospital, Ginger grows bored of her surroundings and wants to play a game with her friends. Hannah lowers her head and starts counting, while Ginger and Arnold run off to hide. Rose runs into another patient, Stewart, who wants to join her in the game (they hide in the bushes outside).

    At an unnamed restaurant, Josh meets Geoffrey, who sports a shaved head. In spite of the aesthetic change, Geoffrey still offers nothing in terms of enlightening conversation. The awkward pauses are filled with Josh's curious party tricks (touching his nose to his eye and balancing a spoon on his nose), all of which are defense mechanisms used to combat an inevitable fact: Josh and Geoffrey are not very compatible as friends. They pay their check and Geoffrey passionately kisses Josh, who returns the favor with enthusiasm.

    The two return to the apartment where Josh introduces Geoffrey to Patrick. Geoffrey attempts to narrate the spoon trick to Patrick, but it is yet another futile attempt to create a semblance of chemistry between the two. Josh takes Geoffrey to his room where they undress and make out.

    At the hospital, Hannah – who is bored with the game – tells Ginger – who is hiding under a table – that no one is looking for her anymore. In the bushes outside, Stewart and Rose accept that the game ended a long time ago, so they have sex instead.

    Back at the apartment, Geoffrey cries over his father, who died earlier that week (this mirrors the series premiere episode, in which the two first meet while Geoffrey is crying over his father's incarceration). Josh tries to comfort Geoffrey by relating to the situation and discussing the emotions he had over the death of Aunty Peg. In the other bedroom, Tom grows closer to Jenny due to her openness with sex and asks her for a monogamous relationship. She accepts the offer.

    Back in his bedroom, Josh answers his phone while apologizing to Geoffrey for pausing their conversation. It is Allan and Mae who realized the poop was a result of Grace eating beetroot. They apologize, but Josh hangs up on them. Josh leaves the room to go get some wine, but returns to an empty bed and a voicemail: it is Geoffrey saying he needs to cry alone and that he realizes that Josh doesn't want to be friends. After listening to the message, Josh goes to the living room where Patrick is playing a videogame. Josh admits the events that occurred in the bedroom (including how he thought about his prickly pubes while Geoffrey was crying over his dead father). Patrick tries to console him by suggesting that they watch a show about "cupcakes" or "storage," but Josh declines and says the bloody videogame will suffice.

    The episode wonderfully counterbalances the lack of verbal communication with a desire for physical intimacy. From Tom's dick pic to Geoffrey's voicemail, the characters all admit their carnal/emotional desires from a distant vantage point. These themes mirror some of the issues Spike Jonze brilliantly explored in Her regarding technology and communication (only in this case, the characters aren't disembodied voices). I'm curious as to the fate of Geoffrey and whether he will appear in future episodes, but I am more interested in the development of Josh's emotional state. He hides behind his phone, his jokes, and his party tricks in order to avoid any meaningful connection with other people. The first season explored Josh's emotional detachment, which powerfully climaxed with him crying over Aunty Peg's death. I feel that the creators are headed down this route, and I will await this emotional climax with bated breath.


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    Image and video hosting by TinyPic
    True Blood showrunner Brian Buckner has done some post-finale reading and knows fans have questions. During a conference call with reporters, he answered some of them. Here’s what you need to know:

    • Why did we not see the face of the man Sookie ended up with?“The idea was that we wanted Bill to be correct when he said that Sookie could have a normal life, the twist, of course, being that Sookie chose to keep her power and specialness and persevere—despite his belief that she couldn’t be okay without giving up her powers,” Buckner says. “Charlaine [Harris] took a lot of abuse for choosing Sam [in the novels]. We felt like it was irrelevant, honestly, who Sookie wound up with. What we wanted to know was that she was happy and living the life that she wanted to lead, and to introduce some other stranger in the last five minutes of the finale wouldn’t have made a lot of sense. So we made a choice it’s everyman, it doesn’t matter. So we didn’t have a version where we revealed him. I mean, we basically cast the man with the best arms from our stunt crew.” His name is Tim Eulich, trivia buffs.

    • But why didn’t it come down to the Bill-Sookie-Eric love triangle? “I think I’ve actually honored all the writers that have been here, in terms of it not being, ‘Which man will Sookie choose?’ That was the thing we were pretty leery of because you immediately alienate everybody who likes the other guy. So we chose to have it, Sookie marries any man, because it doesn’t really matter who it was. It’s a story of Sookie overcoming her own demons so that she can lead a life that she wanted without giving herself up.”

    • How does Buckner reconcile True Blood‘s gay metaphor with vampire Jessica’s wedding to Hoyt with vampire Bill killing himself? “Yes, True Blood is an allegory about otherness, but when you read a novel that is allegorical, it is usually about one character, right? To maintain allegorical correctness across the board with 20 characters is sometimes impossible. You have to pick a center,” he said. “So for us, in this story line, I think it’s obvious from the seven years that Sookie and Bill were not meant to be true love forever. So now you’ve got to pick whose otherness you’re gonna protect. And the truth is, there was a version of this finale that I pitched to HBO earlier this year, before we got started in production, where we tried to be very postmodern and had Sookie give away her powers. That felt real wrong. And I eventually came around to the point of view that it was wrong. But the allegory to be protected, I think, is Sookie’s.”

    • Is Bill a hero in the end? Here’s where Buckner believes the situation gets confusing: “Sookie has been asking for a normal life, to be normal. She has felt inflected but also empowered with her power. So I don’t think Bill was being a weasel for suggesting to Sookie,’Use your light.’ I don’t think it was weak. I don’t think it was, ‘If I can’t have you, no vampire can have you.’ I don’t think it was any of those things. I do believe it was heroic. But he also had to have a secondary reason for wanting to go, because when Sookie puts away her light, Bill has to still want to die. Otherwise, let’s get over to Fangtasia right now,” he said. “I think what Bill came around to, similar to what Godric came around to, is that a human life is extraordinary, too. It’s what Niall, Bill, and Gran (via flashback in the finale) all told Sookie. “I think he was meant to feel heroic. I’m not confused by it, but it is certainly made more complex because it’s ultimately a Sookie story, not a Bill story.” And the moral of Sookie’s story goes back to what Gran told her: “You don’t have to change yourself in order to have everything you want. You are the obstacle. That’s what I was hoping people were carrying forward when Sookie makes her ultimate decision not to give [her light] up in the finale.”

    • Why wasn’t the ending darker? “I think that she was the center of the show again in a way that i don’t think she has been in a bit of time. I wanted to give her and our fans a happy ending. I know that this show has made its living on sex and gore and violence. But without story, all that starts to take on the feeling of a snuff film,” he said. “The director [of the finale], Scott Winant, actually said to me, ‘I get what you’re doing here, because if you’re going to go bigger and bolder than you’ve ever been, where are you gonna go?’ So the more surprising ending for this is this intimate, small beautiful story of these people in a small town…. To me, you want to know these people are gonna be okay. A lot of our fans who aren’t journalists, frankly,” he said, laughing. ” I think fans are going to appreciate knowing that we parked these people in a good place. At least that’s my hope. But it was certainly the intention. It’s not really being out of gory moments, but you kinda go, ‘To what end?’ Like, it’s not all that fun to explode vampires over and over again. So if you want to do something that is unexpected, you kinda have to go the other way.”

    • Did they ever think about killing off any main characters aside from Tara, Alcide, and Bill this season? No.

    • Why isn’t there more Eric in the finale?In short, Alexander Skarsgard had commitments in London for the filming of Tarzan.“His story, as originally conceived, honestly ended somewhere around episode 8. And then when I started to write 9 and 10, I realized I needed more complications, and I thought it really fitting to sell Sookie out at the end of episode 9 and then to rescue her at the top of 10…. For a while, we weren’t even sure that we would have him for our finale because of dates and stuff, and then there were adjustments.” (And though Buckner didn’t want to take the bait when asked if there was a story he thought could be explored in a spinoff, he did: “I believe that there is life in Eric and Pam running a multinational corporation.”)

    • Why do people like Hoyt and Brigette get so much screen time? “Hoyt—that’s a Jessica story. Brigette was a Jason story. You can’t break episodes by saying, ‘Every character’s gonna get five minutes of screen time. It’s not the way you can approach writing a script. You gotta be telling the stories, and let the stories dictate who gets the screen time,” he said. Would he have liked to have more Lafayette in the end? Yes. But Lafayette and James getting together was the catalyst for the Jessica and Jason, Jessica and Hoyt, Jason and Brigette story lines to come, which were simply meatier.“I learned this when I writing on Friends—Ross and Rachel together wasn’t quite as much fun as Ross and Rachel sparring,” he said. “I don’t know what the scenes would be if we just did scenes of James and Lafayette being happy together. I’m thrilled that we got Lafayette true love, but it sorta peaked by episodes five and six. So there was closure for that character. I love him, too.”

    • Why spend so much time on Lettie Mae?When they filmed the season-six finale, Buckner had no intention of killing off Tara. But then realizing they had to have a casualty to make the Hep-V threat real, and not knowing how he’d top that season-six finale scene between Tara (Rutina Wesley) and Lettie Mae (Adina Porter), he thought it made sense for Tara to be the one to go. (?????) “I didn’t know what to do with that for 10 more episodes. The writers chose to tell a story about the redemption of Lettie Mae. I understand that people feel like, ‘What would we tell the story of Lettie Mae and not the story of Tara.’ I get it, but you have to make certain choices, and I think that this season there are characters who got more explored than they’ve ever been explored—like Andy and Holly. And other characters who people have come to love but have already been thoroughly explored, who at the end of the day may have been short-shrifted. We have a massive cast, and it is both a curse and a blessing.”

    • Is Ginger is still at Fangtasia?“Yeah, I think Ginger is definitely still at Fangtasia. As a matter of fact, we actually recorded some additional dialogue as Pam goes up those stairs, where she called off to Ginger, ‘Open the safe!’ But we just decided for speed’s sake, just to vamp speed Pam up the stairs, so there was no room for the dialogue. They stole the whole thing from her—I think there’s gonna be some loyalty there.”

    i can't believe i wasted 6 years on this show

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    Auction for the first comics appearance of Superman breaks previous record set by Nic Cage's copy for $2.1 million.
    An original Superman comic, sold for 10 cents at a West Virginia newsstand in 1938, was purchased at auction Sunday night for $3.2 million, making it the most expensive comic book ever sold.

    The copy of Action Comics No. 1, which features a caped Superman lifting an automobile, was sold on EBay by Darren Adams of Pristine Comics in Federal Way, Wash. The previous record for a comic book was $2.1 million, for another Action Comics No. 1, sold by the actor Nicolas Cage in 2011.

    Superman was the brainchild of Joe Shuster and Jerry Siegel, both North American-born sons of European Jewish immigrants. Their creation is widely credited as the beginning of the superhero genre. The comic book had a print run of 200,000 copies, but only 100 or so survive today, and most of those have had some restoration work done to them.

    “This book is like a museum piece,” Adams told the Washington Post. “It’s a freak-of-nature work.” The colors are especially vivid on both the covers, and interior pages, which show a baby Superman (in diapers) lifting furniture over his head, and Superman as a young man wearing a business suit and leaping over a skyscraper.

    Adams describes the comic book’s provenance in a YouTube video. Purchased off a newsstand by a man from West Virginia in 1938, the comic book was stored in a cedar chest “at high altitude” for four decades. When the man died, a collector purchased it from his estate.

    A couple of owners and more than 30 years later, Adams purchased it. He first saw the copy in a bank vault. “It wasn’t just a copy of Action Comics No. 1. It was the copy," he said. "I was floored. The emotion was overwhelming.” Adams paid seven figures for it.

    On the CGC comic book grading scale, it rates a 9.0, the highest rated of any of the three dozen known, unrestored copies in existence.

    Adams and EBay are donating 1% of the sale price to the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation for spinal-cord injury and paralysis research.

    When will your faves?


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    SOURCE 1& 2
    I hate these two, they need to go away and never come back.

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    I'm so excited for this, I finally bought the box set this year and I can't stop rewatching the first season tbh. It also makes me a bit sad that is coming back for only six episodes, but it's better than nothing I guess. :(
    ps: sorry mods if I submitted this two times, my internet died after I submitted the first time and I wasn't sure if it got through.


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    justinbieber: We wake up singin good ol johny cash @khalil came with with the crazy tone lol


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  • 08/25/14--15:29: 2014 Emmy Awards: Red Carpet
  • 2014 Emmy Awards: Red Carpet

    Lena Dunham

    Sarah Hyland

    Laverne Cox

    Kate Mulgrew

    Samira Wiley

    Teyonah Parris

    Kiernan Shipkan

    Taylor Schilling

    Amanda Peet

    Anna Chlumsky

    Natasha Lyonne

    Anna Gunn

    Laura Prepon

    Kelly Osbourne

    Debra Messing

    Allison Tolman

    Hayden Panettiere

    Heidi Klum

    Keke Palmer

    Mayim Bialik

    Dascha Polanco

    Michelle Monaghan

    Lena Headey

    Natalie Dormer

    Julie Bowen

    Melissa McCarthy

    Christine Baranski

    Kaley Cuoco

    January Jones

    Octavia Spencer

    Taissa Farmiga

    Sarah Paulson

    Julianna Margulies

    Allison Williams

    Allison Janney

    Julia Louis-Dreyfus

    Amy Poehler

    Kate Mara

    Katherine Heigl

    Kerry Washington

    Lucy Liu

    Betsey Brandt

    Michelle Dockery

    Sibel Kekilli

    Zooey Deschanel

    Claire Danes

    stream: 123
    sources: 12

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    Cody Simpson perpetually has a smile on his face, but he's been hiding some major feelings about the people involved in his music career! Cody announced on Twitter today that he was "finally free" and working on his "first true solo album."

    Although he has since deleted the tweet, it definitely sounds like he was frustrated with his record label, Atlantic Records, for trying to turn him into just another pop star.

    We've always loved his stripped-down acoustic songs, but we're guessing this means he didn't enjoy his tracks like "Surfboard" — the dancey track definitely sounds like the kind of "beats" he's referring to.

    While we're proud of Cody for following his heart, we're definitely curious about what's next for the singer. Since he's been collaborating with Justin Bieber, we might get an entirely new sound! Cody says that he is super-excited to share his new music with us, and we're ready to hear it.

    What do you think about Cody's decision? Are you excited to hear his new music?

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    Team-up with Avengers and GotG has been "talked about"; currently casting Jessica Jones

    Netflix Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos has just pulled back the veil of secrecy a bit about Marvel's plans for the five series is bringing to the network in the coming years. As of now, we know that there are four solo series planned, with a fifth one being some sort of special event that includes all four established characters in a The Defenders crossover. But not much else is known. In a chat with Empire Magazine, Sarandos offered the following insights on how this all came to be and where it could be headed.

    On how this all came to be and where it could be headed:
    "It was really based on the theatrical model of The Avengers. Could you take another group of characters, The Defenders, and go about it the same way? Normally they do the big movie and then eventually they get to the group origin story. Having 13 hours to tell each of these stories, you can go right to the origin story and the action at the same time."

    On how Daredevil will differ from the 2003 Ben Affleck film:
    "The series will not be afraid to go darker than the film did. What we love about this particular set of heroes is that they're a little more down to Earth. Costume wise and also in that these are gritty crime stories, more in the streets than in the clouds."

    On The Defenders getting in on the inevitable Avengers/Guardians of the Galaxy team-up:
    "It has definitely been talked about. If you sense some hesitation in my voice, that's classic Marvel fashion. They like to keep that veil of secrecy. But Daredevil is already shooting, since that's out first. Eventually the series will run very close together. You can then have a separate season where the characters will cross over."

    On the immediate future:
    "Right now, the writers' rooms are open and they're looking at casting Jessica."


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    EXCLUSIVE: Game of Thrones Star Sophie Turner Fronts Karen Millen’s Fall Campaign

    Over the past year and a half, British-based retailer Karen Millen has successfully implemented a major rebranding transformation to appeal to hip, younger customers, both in the U.K. and worldwide. Following the recent openings of two major flagships (one in Knightsbridge and the other on Fifth Avenue here in Manhattan), the contemporary label kept up its momentum last week by teasing the trailer to its new Fall ’14 campaign video, titled The Journey, featuring a mysterious, red-haired leading lady, which elicited the response: “Who’s that girl?”

    Today, the full film debuts here on, where KM is revealing none other than up-and-coming actress Sophie Turner (who is best known for her role as Sansa Stark on HBO’s Game of Thrones) as its face of the season. The brand assembled a creative dream team for the project, including director-photographer Glen Luchford; stylist Katy England; and It Brit models Rosie Tapner, Lara Mullen, and Brogan Loftus, who explore the vibrant East London neighborhood alongside Turner, wearing pieces from the latest collection. “The idea behind the campaign is to bring our brand world and our woman to life. It is designed to give an evocative snapshot into the energy and creativity of London, where our inspiration is drawn from and the KM atelier is based,” explained Gemma Metheringham, KM’s chief creative officer. “The KM woman has both style and substance: She’s memorable, with a strong character. Sophie is not only very talented, but she also has a great personality and powerful energy, in addition to being incredibly beautiful.”

    To coincide with its #KMTheJourney campaign, the retailer will also host a pop-up at its Brompton Road location for six weeks beginning September 1. There, it will offer a curated selection of 15 statement-making fall coats that shoppers can customize in a variety of luxurious fabrications. Below, Turner took time out of her busy filming schedule (in addition to currently shooting season five of GOT in Belfast, Ireland, the talented 18-year-old will also appear in two forthcoming films, Barely Lethal and Alone) to chat with about her Karen Millen campaign, personal style evolution, and more.

    —Brittany Adams

    How has your opinion of Karen Millen changed since working with them on the new campaign?
    When I was growing up, I always saw Karen Millen as a resource for women who were a bit older. Since I started going into their stores more over the past few years, I’ve realized it’s for people of all ages, and actually a really cool brand that I can believe in, so I jumped at the chance to be a part of their campaign when they approached me.

    What was the chemistry like with the creative team on set in East London?
    I had so much fun during the two days we shot. The director, Glen [Luchford] was just incredible. He’s been behind so many awesome campaigns—like Calvin Klein and Yves Saint Laurent—so I couldn’t believe I was actually working with him. And with Katy [England] behind the styling, we really had the best of the best on this team. It was kind of funny because we were in the middle of London shooting a fall film on what had to be the hottest day of this summer. I was wearing this huge puffy coat and—not to sound gross—but there was definitely sweat dripping down my back.

    Speaking of coats, what were some of your favorite items you wore for the shoot?
    I absolutely loved that black faux fur coat I’m in when they finally show my face toward the end of the film. I could see myself wearing it casually or for a really posh night out, and it would be perfect for both occasions. The clothes are so versatile, and I will be mixing and matching them with pieces from the ’80s and ’90s that I’ve been swiping from my mother’s closet.

    In general, can you describe how your personal style has changed over the years?
    I’m pretty young and still trying to figure out—with the help of my stylist, Alex Breed—what my signature style is. Some days I want to look like a hipster kid, and then other days I want to be prim and proper. I really wish I had, like, seven lives so I could go from being a hipster one day to a punk the next. But that’s the great thing about fashion. In a way, it’s like acting, because you can try on all these different roles. When I was younger, my mum used to dress me in, like, lime green leggings with a matching neon jumper and hair scrunch, so I’d say I’ve definitely progressed since then in terms of style.

    Aside from Karen Millen, what other brands are you a fan of?
    There is so much British talent out there now. Matthew Williamson has always been a favorite of mine, and I am definitely also rooting for up-and-coming designers like Michael van der Ham. I’ve been to two fashion shows before, for Roland Mouret and Christian Siriano, and hoping I can get a break from filming to see some of the shows next month in London.

    The GoT cast making that paper, tbh.

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    Ariana Grande's debut album Yours Truly was released almost exactly a year ago, and over the past 12 months, the former Nickelodeon star has transformed from pop artist you ought to know to an undeniable superstar, with three singles in the Top 10 of the current Hot 100 chart, a slot opening the MTV Video Music Awards, red-hot dating rumors and millions of followers watching her every move. Grande is expanding as both a brand and a musician: as her profile has gotten bigger, she has pulled more sounds into her repertoire while keeping her biggest weapon, a remarkable vocal range, as a steady foundation. As a full-length, Yours Truly succeeded due to its consistency, with R&B producer Harmony Samuels concocting a buttery sound for Grande to embrace and keeping the subject matter uniformly kid-friendly. My Everything acknowledges that winning formula and disregards it, instead opting to turn Grande into a dance artist, a pop artist, a soul artist and an artist capable to singing the line "Picture me and you making/Making sweet love/Baby, give it to me" with no hesitation.

    As a result, My Everything is a less cohesive project than Yours Truly, although its best moments eclipse the highs of Grande's 2013 debut. The singles "Problem" and "Break Free" remain dizzying dance tunes, and back-to-back solo songs "One Last Time" and "Why Try" possess the types of flawless melodies that are typically reserved for the world's biggest pop divas. The back half of the album's many collaborations are hit-or-miss -- "Love Me Harder" with the Weeknd amazingly meshes together two dissimilar types of artists, while the A$AP Ferg appearance on "Hands on Me" is lost amidst the song's sexual vibe. The deluxe edition of the album is a similar grab-bag, with the explosive Top 10 hit "Bang Bang" giving way to the comparatively breezy "Only 1."

    One plea for Grande's future albums: it's time for her to own a stunning ballad. Songs on My Everything like the title track and "Just a Little Bit of Your Heart" attempt to match the awe-inspiring effect of Grande's voice but fall short, and one is left longing for the rising star to burst through with her own "I Will Always Love You,""Un-Break My Heart" or "Someone Like You." Grande has proven that her fizzy pop-R&B sound can get our hearts soaring, but next time, let's hope that she breaks them.Exactly, Billboard. We need that ballad

    Which songs on My Everything are worth repeated listens? Check out our track-by-track review of Ariana Grande's sophomore album.

    1. Intro - Eighty seconds that welcomes Grande fans back into the fold, reminding everyone that her voice is still a wonder and that she's still preoccupied with finding unconditional love.

    2. Problem feat. Iggy Azalea

    The subtle introduction leads directly into the irresistible, inescapable single "Problem," in which Grande invites Iggy Azalea, Big Sean's whisper and a raucous horn riff into the fold while still doing the heavy lifting herself. As time passes and the plays add up, one starts to notice the way Grande nimbly handles her start-stop vocals, rattling off a line like "And even though I can't forgive you/I really want to, I want you" with a playful breathlessness before yearning on the following line, "Tell me, tell me, baby/Why can't you leave me?"

    3. One Last Time - A song like "One Last Time" demonstrates Grande's newfound maturity and ambition on My Everything: while the downbeat admission of "I know/that you got everything/But I got nothing here without you" is the pained sound of a narrator racked with guilt, the chorus sets aside that humiliation and scoops up a sense of hope in front of pummeling drums and a three-note synth line.

    4. Why Try - Co-written and co-produced by Ryan Tedder, "Why Try" is constructed as Grande's "Halo," an unabashed diva moment that bowls over the listener with vocal power and mid-tempo emotion. The lyrics might have needed some polishing, but Grande presents a line like "Now we're screaming just to see who's louder" as if her livelihood depended upon it. Needs to be her next single tbh

    5. Break Free feat. Zedd

    With an assist from EDM maestro Zedd, second single "Break Free" is the total antithesis from its predecessor "Problem." Whereas the Iggy Azalea/Big Sean/Max Martin collaboration was a kitchen-sink amalgamation of various talents, "Break Free" possesses a laser focus, with Zedd's outlandish electronica serving as an icy platform for Grande's towering hook and forced rhymes. An underrated, enthralling dance single.

    6. Best Mistake feat. Big Sean - A moody ballad that grows stickier upon each listen, "Best Mistake" carries a tidy collection of impressive production details, the momentary string stabs among them. Big Sean's guest verse is unnecessary, yet has morphed into an interesting confessional now that the dating rumors are on.

    7. Be My Baby feat. Cashmere Cat - Grande's voice has long invited comparisons to Mariah Carey, and on "Be My Baby," the younger singer tries to evoke the nonchalant romance of Carey's best early-90's R&B cuts. Ironically, the song sounds like it would have been better served by another vocalist, as Grande's booming pipes threaten to overpower the casual atmosphere. A solid track that moves the album along briskly, but far from Grande's shining moment on My Everything.

    8. Break Your Heart Right Back feat. Childish Gambino - The relative misstep "Be My Baby" allows the following track "Break Your Heart Right Back" to shine even brighter, as Grande sounds infinitely more comfortable with the scorned-lover track and slinky interpolation of Diana Ross'"I'm Coming Out." When Grande needs a break from twirling, Childish Gambino steps in and thumps his chest; the guest verse works, even if you have to overlook the line "The flow so gross, my nickname school lunch."

    9. Love Me Harder feat. The Weeknd - Ariana Grande and the Weeknd come from different musical planets -- Grande started on Nickelodeon, Abel Tesfaye started by singing "Codeine cups paint a picture so vivid" on his first mixtape -- but as duet partners on the springy "Love Me Harder," the pairing somehow makes sense. The driving guitar riff in the chorus is delicious 80's cheese, and the Weeknd's ultra-sincere crooning works well while serving as callbacks to Grande's demands for romantic satisfaction.

    10. Just a Little Bit of Your Heart - Also known as "the one co-written by One Direction's Harry Styles,""Just a Little Bit of Your Heart" is another showcase for Grande's stellar ability to emote all over your average love ballad… but this one does not rise above being average. The final chorus contains some spectacularly high notes, at least.

    11. Hands on Me feat. A$AP Ferg - Whoa! An out-of-left-field banger that removes Grande from her teenybopper phase and finds the 21-year-old discovering her inner Rihanna with lines like, "Shirt off, keep the high heels on/Might be a little thing but I like that long, yeah/Don't let these eyes fool ya/I can take it, hold nothing back, give it to me." A$AP Ferg dances around the bold song like a court jester, but can't distract from Grande essentially declaring that this is the end of jeer Nickelodeon phase.

    12. My Everything - While Yours Truly ended with "Better Left Unsaid," a hint at Grande's foray into dance music, the title track to My Everything concludes the standard edition of the album on a somber note. A more affecting ballad than "Just a Little Bit of Your Heart,""My Everything" calls back to the album's intro and finds Grande struggling to regain the solid footing she once had with her partner.

    13. Bang Bang with Jessie J & Nicki Minaj (bonus edition)

    Jessie, Ari and Nicki team up for this decade's version of "Lady Marmalade," and one of the more uncompromisingly fun moments on My Everything. Grande lovingly cedes the spotlight to Jessie J's massive melismas and Minaj's double entendres.
    14. Only 1 (bonus edition) - "Only 1" unspools like the best kind of bonus-edition track: one that doesn't quite fit in with the standard edition, but deserves the chance to be digested by the artist's rabid fan base. Short, snappy and sumptuous, "Only 1" is a light confection that succeeds due to its busy, intricate percussion.

    15. You Don't Know Me (bonus edition) - The deluxe edition of My Everything concludes with Grande's very first anti-fame rant. "You want a perfect picture to believe in/Then you can't be looking for me then," she sings, suggesting further messiness on album number three.


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    When Nicki Minaj switched outfits after performing ‘Anaconda’ at the VMAs, apparently she didn’t have enough time — causing a serious wardrobe malfunction. Luckily, was there to hear her nipple-filled explanation of what went wrong.

    Nicki Minaj is definitely a good sport! At the 31st annual MTV Video Music Awards, the 31-year-old went directly from “Anaconda” to “Bang Bang,” and didn’t have enough time to zip up her dress. However, she totally avoided a nip-slip by holding it together — which is better than having her nipples out, she said after the performance! Good for her for having such a great attitude!

    After the performance, she headed backstage to the VMA press room and when asked what happened, she simply responded with “We ran out of time getting the dressed zipped up!”

    However, she went even further to explain that she was actually thrilled.

    She shared an Instagram post of herself with Jessie J and Ariana Grande with a caption that read, “The BANG BANG video is out now!!!! Love u girls. Sorry about my zipper.”

    She later posted a pic talking about her nipples! The caption read, “God is good. As long as a nipple didn’t come out to play, I’m fine. Love my team. CASPER, Rushka, Adam, Oscar, Joyce, Gee… Many more to name but they’re all winners! No weak links. There’s no greater feeling than having ppl who inspire u and who work passionately and relentlessly to get the job done. the myx is starting to make me feel real good right now thank u to Slim, Richelle, Katina and the entire REPUBLIC team.”


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