ICYMI: Friday, May 30

Sorry for posting ABSOLUTELY NOTHING this week. I guess our best excuse is that Memorial Day caught up with us? Well, anyway. Here’s what happened this week.

-Good news for Carey Mulligan up there – Levar Burton, after a single day on Kickstarter, has raised enough money to resurrect Reading Rainbow! He raised $1.6 million of his $1 million already and there’s still 34 days left, so they had better come up with some choice backer rewards if they want to Veronica Mars this thing.

-Vulture is winning everything this week: they put up a comprehensive history of Ryan Gosling and a game where you have to feed Tyrion Lannister as much wine as possible.

-The trailer for What If, starring (my future husband) Dan Radcliffe and Zoe Kazan, has been released, and it looks like an actually good version of a romantic comedy. Take notes, Blended.

-Amy Poehler released the cover of her book, Yes Please, which will come out in October, which is just really not soon enough because it is not right now.

-In a non-hilarious prank, the same awful guy who stuck his face into America Ferrera’s gown at Cannes punched Brad Pitt in the face at a Maleficent premiere. He was arrested, obviously, on charges of being a complete shitdick.

-Mindy Kaling, one of the best humans ever, gave the Class Day speech at Harvard Law, where she hit on Noah Feldman and said a whole bunch of other great things, because she is great.

-Laverne Cox, yet another excellent human, is the first transgender woman to grace the cover of TIME Magazine. She could not possibly look more gorgeous on the cover, she’s an exceptionally brilliant human rights advocate, and her groundbreaking show comes back next week (THANK GOD), so I would say she’s having a really good week.

-Three HBO news items for the price of one: Danny McBride is returning to HBO with a non-Kenny Powers series; True Detective will have three leads and will be set in California (which has led to some seriously excellent memes); and HBO itself is developing a 60’s-era Stonewall-set drama, produced by Adam Shankman.

-Pixar won’t have a new movie this summer, but in June of next year Inside Out will hit theaters and Pixar has just released the insanely adorable sounding plot details, which involve a little girl’s brain with Amy Poehler voicing Joy, Mindy Kaling voicing Disgust and Lewis Black voicing Anger. I literally cannot wait for Pixar to nail this once again. Why is everything amazing that’s happening so far away?!?

-Finally, the sad news of the week. Poet, author, and human rights activist Maya Angelou died in her home in Winston-Salem on Wednesday at the age of 86. Her completely original and hugely influential voice will be missed, but never forgotten.

We’ll have some actual content this week, starting with our Game of Thrones recap on Monday! Happy June soon, everyone!

ICYMI: Friday, May 23

Quoth Miley.

Hey there, people who read this blog (no one)! Memorial Day weekend is about to start, so I hope you got out of work early and you’re getting drunk RIGHT NOW. (Owing to my poor luck re: getting sick over holiday weekends, I am still in my jammies, but I think that works too.) Let’s get started!

-Life is never as good as when Jennifer Lawrence has to do press for a new movie. This week, she talked about a number of weird things that Vulture was kind enough to compile, including: smelling Brad Pitt, dance-offs with J.Lo, the real reason for a second Mockingjay movie ($$$$), screaming at Daniel Radcliffe upon meeting him (girl, you and me both), and, most memorably, the time she got so tanked at the Oscars after party that she barfed at Madonna’s house and Miley Cyrus told her to get it together. Never stop, Jennifer. You are a national fucking treasure and also let’s get two pizzas sometime, because we’re both probably terrible sharers.

-It’s commencement speech season, and some schools are pulling out all the stops. Charlie Day showed up at his alma mater, Merrimack College, and gave exactly the funny slash heartwarming speech you would expect from a stone cold weirdo like Charlie Day, and Sandra Bullock broke form by giving the speech at a New Orleans high school. Meanwhile, most kids end up with some guy who used to be treasury secretary to the whatever don’t care president of Whogivesafuckistan.

-Ciara and Future had a baby and they named it Future. Future’s name isn’t actually Future, so technically this baby is The Future. In related news, Future doesn’t look like a word anymore.

Bill Hader is getting his own HBO series and there are absolutely zero details on what it will be or when it will happen. Don’t care, I’ll watch the crap out of it. Fingers crossed for Stefon: A Day in the Life.

-Did you ever think, at this time last year, you’d be saying “Oscar winner Matthew McConaughey” or “Oscar winner Jared Leto?” Well, at this time next year we MIGHT be saying “Oscar winner Channing Tatum,” according to early reviews at Cannes of his new, dark film, Foxcatcher.

-Speaking of hot guys at Cannes, nobody there likes Ryan Gosling’s directorial debut, Lost River. STOP BEING MEAN TO RYAN OR HE’LL GO INTO HIDING AGAIN!!

-The trailer for Magic in the Moonlight, Woody Allen’s next movie, has been released! Emma Stone and Colin Firth appear to be having a charm-off, and everyone is winning.

-Bad news for people who like awesome ladies being cast in cool things: Jessica Chastain will NOT be starring in True Detective‘s second season. Literally no one feels good about this.

-Good news for people who like awesome ladies being cast in cool things: Gillian Jacobs, formerly of Community, will be joining the cast of GirlsI, for one, feel pretty good about this.

That’s all for now, folks! Enjoy your long weekend, and do your best not to pass out on the beach during high tide. No Game of Thrones on Sunday means no recap on Monday, so we’ll be back on Tuesday with new material!

Review: The Maya Rudolph Show

The Maya Rudolph Show

I think the Variety Show format is something that seriously needs to be brought back to the forefront in our current television world. We have resourceful performers like Neil Patrick Harris and Justin Timberlake, not to mention the comedic duo of Tina Fey and Amy Poehler, who have a wonderful myriad of skills that would translate really well into an hour of songs, sketches, and hanging out with celebrity friends. So when I heard that Maya Rudolph was doing a one-off variety show in May on NBC, I couldn’t help but be a little bit excited. Maya had always been exceptionally hilarious on Saturday Night Live, and she definitely has a wonderful skill set to showcase. She sings, she dances, she does silly voices, and it seems like if she really put her all into it, she could produce a funny, entertaining hour of television.

But dear God. What WAS that last night?

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Game of Thrones Recap: One Day I’ll Fly Away

This week in Westeros we’re back in Setup Mode, bringing with it a slightly lackluster episode (save for two particularly enjoyable scenes, but more on that in a bit). Last week, with Tyrion’s demand for a trial by combat, I was pretty psyched to see what happened with that this week, but it looks like we’ll have to wait a full TWO WEEKS (damn you, Memorial Day!!) to see how that pans out and which warrior will fall. (That’s not a spoiler alert. One dude has to die in a trial by combat. That’s just how it works.)

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ICYMI: Friday, May 16

Happy rainy Friday! This week will be remembered forever in pop culture history as “The Week Solange Tried To Fight Jay-Z In An Elevator,” so let’s talk about that and all the other stuff that happened now.

-If you have a pulse, you know about the Jay-Z/Solange fight (although we should really call it the Solange fight because Jay-Z kind of just stood there, as did Beyonce). TIME has everything you need to know about it in one tidy article.

Vulture has exclusive pictures of Julianne Moore and the late, great Philip Seymour Hoffman from Mockingjay: Part 1, the first half of the Hunger Games‘ finale. If we had to lose Hoffman so soon, at least he still has a few films yet to be released.

-Swedish director Malik Bendjelloul, who won an Oscar for the documentary Searching For Sugarman last year, was found dead in Stockholm at the age of 36. His brother has since confirmed that it was a suicide. Extremely, extremely sad news.

Oprah will produce a docuseries about Michael Sam, the first openly gay player in the NFL. After Sam’s unforgettable on-air reaction to being drafted by the Rams, this does promise to be WAY more uplifting than that total bummer she aired last time (oh, Lindsay).

Louie came back on May 5, and though I admittedly haven’t seen a single episode yet, his episode about larger ladies is creating a ton of buzz- both good and bad. Rather than linking to an article that takes one side or another, here’s the full text of the scene.

-Also, Jimmy Fallon can get his guests to do literally anything, including pretending to be a singing bass on a mantelpiece. Lance Bass and the singing bass – two “bassts” from the past. (Sorry. I’m so sorry.)

Neil Patrick Harris was offered The Late Show (it seems, before Colbert was), but said no because he was worried he would find the life of a late-night host boring. As a result, he may have a variety show in the works. Well, you know what they say – when one door closes, another opens, but really only if you’re incredibly famous and CBS loves you for starring in one of their most well-regarded sitcoms and you have the cutest family of all time.

-Speaking of being offered things and saying no, Lily Allen could have played Theon’s sister Yara Greyjoy on Game of Thrones – her real life brother, Alfie, plays Theon/Reek – but said no, because their first scene would have been that time Theon fingerblasted Yara and then found out she was his sister. Yeah. I get it. Good call.

-The film adaptation of Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them, the Harry Potter spin-off focusing on Newt Scamander, will be released on November 18, 2016, taking over the November YA adaptation spot that Mockingjay will leave vacant after 2015.

-Shona Rhimes is officially the new reigning queen of ABC, having inked out a deal to stay with them through 2018. This comes on the heels of her new series, How To Get Away With Murder (starring the incomparable Viola Davis), being picked up for ABC’s fall lineup. Having just gotten super into Scandal and loving that there will now be two badass black heroines starring on ABC, I support this situation 100%.

-Finally, I’m super behind on Mad Men but I am fully aware that Ginsberg chopped his nipple off, so Vulture asked a psychiatrist to analyze his character. Apparently, it’s not as bad as you might think.

This week, now that Trophy Wife has apparently exhausted its too-short run, we will run a feature lamenting the late show, as well as one celebrating John Oliver’s new HBO show, plus, of course, more Game of Thrones recaps. See you then!

Game of Thrones Recap: Trial by Father

Game of Thrones has made some new storytelling decisions this season – some, like the big change in Jaime and Cersei’s relationship, have been huge missteps – but their strongest new tactic is to shift focus to one character (or, as it happens, one group of characters) and not bounce around. Like I’ve mentioned, I’ve read the books, and without giving anything away, we absolutely don’t need to see characters like Arya, Bran and Jon every single week, because they frankly don’t have THAT much going on right now. Joffrey’s wedding was our first example of this, wherein half the episode was devoted to it without the show getting distracted and wondering how Theon was doing, and Tyrion’s trial is the next. From the second Tyrion sets foot on the witness stand, we don’t leave his side, although everyone in his life will.

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