Review: Beyoncé

Note: I intended to post my album review on Monday, but started out with a track by track analysis, which I gave up on fairly quickly – NOBODY actually wants to listen to me dissect seventeen music videos. So, I scrapped that in favor of more of an overview, so as to bore people less.

With just one move – a record-breaking, secretly released, visual and auditory spectacle of an album – Beyoncé is back on top, after a few years out of the game. Beyoncé, her fifth studio album, could be called a memoir of Queen Bey, although it’s not exactly chronological – maybe it’s more of a personal introspection. Whatever you want to call it, it is deeply personal, which is interesting from such a notoriously private woman. The album is self-assured, powerful, sexy, luxurious, and (here I go, dropping the F-bomb) feminist. The fourteen songs are a great album on their own, but with the accompanying, exquisitely shot videos that form a fascinating narrative, the whole package becomes epic.

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ICYMI: Friday, December 13

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Uh oh, guys. It’s Friday the Thirteenth. But instead of Jason coming for us, we’ve got confused Don Draper and Queen Bey to deal with.

-As literally everyone on the planet, dead or alive, now knows, Beyoncé dropped a surprise album either really early this morning or sometime last night (I’m having trouble figuring out which one) and subsequently BROKE THE INTERNET. The “visual album” is fourteen songs and SEVENTEEN videos and is available on iTunes now. I don’t think I’ve ever seen my newsfeeds flip a shit this intensely before. Jennifer Lawrence could choose today to put that turkey on her head and dance naked in The Daily Show‘s studio and no one would notice. Brb while I buy this album real fast.

-Apparently, SNL has been secretly auditioning black women?! I don’t really understand the need for secrecy, especially because I’ve seen or heard of a handful of the ladies listed in the article and they’re all hilarious. I’ve been secretly dreaming they’ll kidnap Jessica Williams from The Daily Show but I would miss her special reports WAY too much. Anyway, come on, SNL! Hire one of these women and stop putting Kenan in dresses!!

South Park, in its infinite wisdom, took on Kimye this week, running with the joke that Kim is actually a hobbit who’s just amazing at Photoshop, which sends Kanye goes on a press tour to prove his fiancée is NOT a Tolkien creature (though her pipe smoking habit and that one time she slayed a dragon with a bunch of dwarves are hard to explain). They make fun of Bound 2, obviously, and even throw in an “Imma let you finish” joke about the Pope winning Time‘s Person of the Year (which goes to show how quick Stone and Parker are, since that happened, I believe, ON WEDNESDAY.) As is to be expected, everything about it is brilliant.

-Re: less brilliant shows, Tosh.0 has been renewed for three more seasons (through season 8). I’m just not a big fan of Daniel “Sexist rape jokes are hilarious!” Tosh, though.

-Writers for Fast and Furious 7 are scrambling to rewrite parts of the movie in an effort to use the scenes that Paul Walker shot before his death. There are a lot of legal and financial issues related to this too, but it also seems very difficult to retire a character in a series about car racing when the actor died imitating art. Let’s all hope they find a tasteful way, somehow.

Dann Florek, aka Captain Cragen, is leaving Law and Order: SVU. This comes on the heels of Richard Belzer’s exit, and to be honest, I never really got over Christopher Meloni leaving. When is enough enough, NBC?!

Netflix has picked up a cartoon from Will Arnett and Aaron Paul called BoJack Horseman about a washed up horse star trying to reclaim his former glory and drinking a lot of whiskey. Amy Sedaris is also lending her voice to the project. I don’t think I’m exaggerating when I say that this sounds like the greatest show that has ever been or will ever be.

-In cute videos, Jimmy Fallon found footage of Amy Adams’ first onscreen work and they watched it together on his show. It’s a Grease themed bank commercial, so of course it’s amazing.

-And finally, the first teaser for Doctor Who‘s Christmas special (and Matt Smith’s final episode) dropped. I’m a few seasons behind, so I need time to deal with my emotions over saying goodbye to the adorable and hilarious Matt Smith. Wah.

Best of lists coming soon! Some time off will be taken for the holidays, so the lists will be up in the next week or so. Now, go spend too much money on gifts people don’t need!

Golden Globes Nominations: Same Old, Same Old.

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(We apologize about the formatting of this article, we had to discuss this over GChat, and thus the spacing came out weird. We’ll make sure this doesn’t happen on future posts!)

BEN:  Oh, The Golden Globes. My favorite awards ceremony, just because of how seriously some people take them. People don’t realize that the Hollywood Foreign Press (who run the Globes) are a tiny committee most interested in promoting star power, especially when it comes to the film acting categories.

NINA:  And this year, the HFPA made some totally left-field choices – snubbing things like Mad Men and Game of Thrones, throwing James Spader into the mix (why?) and excluding the late, great James Gandolfini from a nomination for Enough Said because “he can’t come to the show.” Keepin’ it classy, guys. Let’s go over some snubs, shockers, and just the rest of the insanity you can expect from the Globes.

ICYMI: December 6, 2013

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Oh, hello, December! It’s officially the holiday season now, which, as a non-religious human, I consider to be drinking season, so spike that eggnog and let’s get on with it! (Disclaimer: I am not doing that because it is not even 11 AM and I am at work, but it’s the thought that counts.)

-The saddest news comes first. Nelson Mandela passed away yesterday, at the age of 95, in his home. We lost a great mind and a great humanitarian, and the world will surely continue to mourn this loss for years to come.

-More sad news: Paul Walker died in a car accident last weekend, at the young age of 40. This tragedy has halted the production of Fast and Furious 7, which Walker had been working on until shortly before his death. Rumors abound that the entirety of the movie will be scrapped and re-shot without Walker, but studio executives are also apparently adamant that the franchise will continue, even if this installment is put on hold. By all accounts, Walker was a pretty great guy who ran around buying engagement rings for strangers, so basically, this week has been completely depressing.

-In decidedly less somber news, Joe Jonas, formerly of the purity-ring wearing, teen sensation boy-band the Jonas Brothers has written a kind of expose about being a part of the Disney machine, smoking weed with Miley, and losing his virginity. One of the twins from The Suite Life of Someone and Something wrote a response basically indicating that Jonas’ piece was bullshit. I don’t know who to believe! Let’s get Miley on the case!

-In weird and hilarious and not at all sad news, Kimye went cray cray this week. First, Kanye commissioned (well, maybe, reports differ on that) Andy Warhol’s COUSIN, Monica (?!?!?!) to create a Warhol-inspired painting of Kim. The painting in question is awful and hilarious and I would like a giant version of it for my apartment because it is so insane. Also, the couple apparently wants to get married at Versailles, which is totally subtle and low key. Never stop, Kimye. Keep on being you.

-Britney’s new album came out this week, to pretty bleak reviews. Vulture‘s Jody Rosen actually called it DOA and wondered if “Britney Spears is the most boring person on the planet.” Maybe now people will leave Britney alone after all. (Guys! Remember Chris Crocker?!)

-The Sound of Music live concert aired last night, to much live-tweeting and dismay (even DiGiornos got in on it!). I haven’t watched it yet because life and work but as soon as it’s on Hulu there will be a drunken play-by-play. Obviously.

-Film.com put up a really great compilation of one critic’s 25 best movies of 2013, because it’s officially best-of season! But really watch it, it’s so cool.

Speaking of best-of lists, we’ll be doing some ourselves, with some guest authors and transcripts of Ben and I arguing over which TV shows are better. We’ll also be doing Oscar nomination predictions before the nominations are announced on January 16. And, one of these days, Ben will finish his billion theatre reviews. Happy freezing cold weekend, everyone!

Quickie: Veronica Mars Movie Gets Release Date

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Good news, fellow Marshmellows. According to every entertainment outlet plus the exclusive backer email I received today (yes, I donated money in exchange for some stickers and a sweet t-shirt and the movie of my dreams, so haters to the left), the widely funded, long-awaited Veronica Mars movie will be released on March 14, 2014. (Entertainment Weekly was the first to report, getting the announcement from creator Rob Thomas himself.) This is great news considering fans thought they would have to wait it out til summer, and that’s not the only big change- the distribution has been reworked, giving the film a wider release right away instead of letting it trickle out after a limited engagement opening. The only thing that could make this news better is an exclusive report that Logan Echolls spends the entire movie shirtless and on top of Veronica. Hey, a girl can dream.