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Recent Entertainment articles from Daily Dot

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    “I am failing as a woman. I am failing as a feminist.” 

    Writer Roxane Gay opens one of the essays in her new collection, Bad Feminist, with these words, a statement that no doubt resonates outside the pages. Bad Feminist touches on feminism, the Internet, race, class, education, and young adult literature. She tells her story through the lens of pop culture and criticism, and moves from writing about “Blurred Lines” and The Help to connecting the Hunger Games novels and her own trauma as a young girl. 

    But essays on bad feminism bookend the collection, as Gay takes a deep looks inward: 

    “There are many ways in which I am doing feminism wrong, at least according to the way my perceptions of feminism have been warped by being a woman.” 

    In another essay on Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg, Gay explores the “have it all” maxim, which has become a common refrain online, along with a challenge: Can she? Elsewhere, Gay offers an alternate, perhaps more accessible definition of feminism: women who don’t want to be treated like shit. 

    “Alas, poor feminism,” she writes. “So much responsibility keeps getting piled on the shoulders of a movement whose primary purpose is to achieve equality, in all realms, between men and women. I keep reading these articles and getting angry and tired because they suggest there’s no way for women to ever get it right.” 

    Gay, who also teaches creative writing at Purdue University, spars and philosophizes on Twitter. She was recently cited as one of 35 writers who “run the literary Internet,” and her debut novel, An Untamed State, illustrates her way with narrative around issues of sexual violence, class, and privilege. She says she started calling herself a “bad feminist” as a tongue-in-cheek remark. 

    “And I thought, ‘Oh, that’s funny,’” she told the Daily Dot. “But then I started to realize I am a feminist, and I very much own my feminism, but I’m not really good at it, and I wanted to just acknowledge that I’m not really good at it.

    “But it’s difficult, feminism. There’s so much in our public sphere that works against it. And so I was willing to own my feminism at any price. I might not be doing it right, but I’m going to own my feminism.”

    We asked Gay a bit more about her bad feminism, the role of Twitter, and the enduring legacy of Sweet Valley High. 

    Do you see feminism as a guide or an identity?

    Oh, it’s an identity. I believe in the equality of women, and more than that, I believe we have to consider all of the things that contribute to identity: race, class, gender, sexuality. The things that shape how we move through the world. Feminism is part of my identity, but it’s not the whole of my identity. But it’s also a guide; trying to understand the world and how it affects women, and what we can do to change those things that affect women negatively.

    What is the state of feminism on Twitter? Is it healthy? Is there too much policing? 

    I think it’s a chaotic mess, but it has to be because it’s a huge issue we’re dealing with, and there are a lot of voices, and voices create space, so it’s going to be awkward. There’s always too much policing on Twitter. … It’s just human nature to police each other, and try to control each other. But I don’t think that has anything to do with feminism, and everything to do with human nature. I think, alternately, these are growing pains, and growing pains are healthy. 

    How did people on Twitter react to your story about racial profiling at Best Buy?

    Well, any time you talk about race in America, someone’s going to tell you that you’re wrong, that it was probably just bad customer service; people were asking me why I won’t talk to CNN, that I was making it up. I was just ranting on Twitter. I had no idea the story it’d become. That wasn’t my intention. But at the same time, I wasn’t going to stay quiet. The manager of that Best Buy, we actually spoke a few days ago, and he [and the employee] apologized. But the other side was people of color saying, “ I could easily have written this. Thank you for speaking up.” 

    What do you think about the role Twitter's played in Ferguson?

    I think Twitter has been absolutely instrumental. Whenever people talk about how Twitter is a waste of time, I point them to what Twitter does in times of social upheaval, here and elsewhere. Without Twitter we would have a fraction of the information we have about Ferguson. I know we need journalism, but good journalism isn’t as agile, and Twitter is very agile in these circumstances. 

    Is the rise of the citizen journalist a positive thing?

    Yes and no. [Training] is important, and allows us context and history. One of the things I’ve appreciated about journalists, especially this week with what’s going on in Ferguson, is seeing people talk about the economic disparity in the community, and the egregious imbalance of how often African-Americans are stopped, for example, for traffic stops. That context is important, in addition to the moment outrage of, “I can’t believe this is happening.” We need to know why this is happening again

    What did you think about the Women Against Feminism Tumblr that was going around?

    They’re entitled to that opinion, but it’s sad to see women feel that way. It’s ironic to see women feel that way. I don’t put much trust into these campaigns where you stand in front of a camera with a placard and think you’re doing something. Actually, I think it’s perfectly appropriate what they’re doing, creating a Tumblr. I think it shows just how little they understand this world and the importance of feminism. 

    I was always more of a Baby-Sitters Club fan, but I really liked your essay on Sweet Valley High. What was it about those books that grabbed you, and how do they tie into the evolution of what young adult lit is today? 

    I appreciated the constancy of them. There was a formula, and that formula is pretty much there in every book, but they were just so familiar. And books were always the familiar thing for me. I think also, they were these people who were so enviable but they had drama too. Sweet Valley High is a soap opera for young adults. And oh what a soap opera it is. I think what it allowed you to understand is the stories of young people matter and deserve to be told, even when they’re flimsy. … As a feminist and a woman of color, I look at those books, and I think there was only like one or two black characters across 100 or so books. Really? That’s a problem. I would love to see a Sweet Valley High that focused on people of color. … But it did open up this space for YA to flourish. 

    Your chapter on The Hunger Games: When did you make that connection with your sexual assault? 

    It’s not something I was going to write about. I was just like, “Why do I love these children’s books so much?” I started writing the essay after I saw the movie with my boyfriend at the time and a friend of ours. And I love the movie; it was like a rapture for me. And I was really sitting down and thinking, “OK, these books have had a profound effect on me.” I began to write the essay, and I was thinking about Peeta [Mellark], of course, and then I realized that I really connected with Katniss and this overwhelming sense of unending trauma she endures across the books. And it was so accurate, how she dealt with that trauma, and you could see the results of it. … And I think I needed that to say, “It’s OK to show your damage.” That got me thinking about getting raped when I was a child, and how really it was books that saved my life. I was able to read books and know I wasn’t alone and that bad things happen to good girls. 

    Has teaching a younger generation made you hopeful? 

    Absolutely it makes me hopeful. How could you not be? Even when they’re frustrating, they’re still awesome. They think in ways that always surprise me. And teaching keeps me motivated as a writer. These are the people that I need to be writing to. 

    Are you seeing women, or men, embrace their feminism yet?

    No, not yet. I often times in the classroom get women who say, “I don’t need feminism.” One girl told me feminism is bullshit. And I was like, “Girl, no. I’m gonna need you to stop that.”  

    Photo courtesy of Roxane Gay


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    Once it was proven that kids could handle hard news (and field reporting), it was only a matter of time before they branched out with their broadcasting talents. In Denver, two future chefs are charming YouTube with an adorable cooking show.

    The Barefoots stars pint-sized kitchen masters Amelia Winslow and Nahum Gonzalez, who have produced five episodes demonstrating their skills at bringing cookies, granola, and more to delicious, haphazardly shaped life.

    Things kicked off in May 2014 with their first episode, "Pumpkin Muffins."

    They even did a video that outlines how to make puppy chow.

    According to a profile on the show by the Denver Post, Amelia's father is Andrew Orvedahl, a local stand-up comedian and online video producer in Denver. His videos have appeared on FunnyOrDie and Amazon has tapped him as a writer for an online sitcom.

    While Orvedahl's résumé is impressive, it's safe to say that his own on-screen skills are nowhere near as adorable as that of his daughter.

    H/T Denver Post Screengrab via The Barefoots/YouTube


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    Aaron Paul’s Breaking Bad run is officially over after the Emmys Monday night, but he’s going out in a blaze of glory with one more scavenger hunt.

    Last September Paul famously held a scavenger hunt in Boise, Idaho, before screening “Ozymandias,” and he had fans scrambling around the city in search of a golden ticket (and the opportunity to be called “bitch” by Paul himself). He can’t exactly give away tickets to the Emmys this time around, but it’s something just as good for nostalgic Breaking Bad fans in Los Angeles.

    He announced on Instagram Wednesday that he was hosting yet another scavenger around Hollywood before he heads to the Emmys to see if he and his fellow castmates can win (or lose) a bunch of awards.

    He doesn’t specify just how much he’s planning to give away, but he promised that he would hide signed Breaking Bad scripts, posters, dolls, action figures, and art around the area while posting clues throughout the day.

    For him, it’s one last thank-you at the end of an era.

    “Just wanted to do a little something to say ‘Thank You’ to everyone that has supported us thru out the years,” he wrote. “We couldn’t have done it without you!”

    The Breaking Bad sequel that never will be is also a nice consolation for all of us who won’t be anywhere near Los Angeles come Monday as well.

    H/T Uproxx | Photo via Thibault/Flickr


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    With contractions starting and no one at home to help her, actress Jaime King did the only sensible thing to get herself to the hospital for the birth of her baby. She fired up her Uber app. 

    King shared the story on Conan O'Brien's show, claiming that she felt like calling an ambulance would be "kind of dramatic."

    "[Uber] says they're three minutes away, and an ambulance you don't know," King explained. Who knows, this could easily be Uber's new slogan, and the untapped market of expectant mothers could be goldmine for the company.

    And yes, she did give the driver five stars.

    Screengrab via Team Coco/YouTube


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    In a Twitter-to-TV deal that we hope fares better than $h*! My Dad Says, Comedy Central has ordered an animated pilot of @DadBoner, based on the irreverent feed of the same name.

    Deadline reports that comedian Mike Burns, who posts from the @DadBoner account and published a book titled Power Moves: Livin’ the American Dream, USA Style as Karl Welzein—a beer-swilling, weekend warrior alter ego—will write the project with Tim Long, a Late Show With David Letterman vet who is currently a consulting producer on The Simpsons:

    On the show, Karl Welzein has developed his own philosophy of life, indulging in dangerously generous helpings of booze, fast food, and American pride. Since his wife kicked him out of the house, Karl has been crashing at his buddy Dave’s and living like a “true bad boy” with “plenty of babes”—in his own mind.

    What can we expect from this potential series? Well, now seems as good a time as any to revisit some of @DadBoner’s defining tweets—and imagine them spoken aloud by a cartoon character:

    You know what? I think basic cable is going to be just fine.

    H/T Deadline | Photo by Matt Watson/Flickr (CC BY-ND 2.0)


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    While Kenny Rogers might have the final word on what it takes to be a decent gambler, Willie Nelson is the true master of cards. It appears that at the ripe old age of 81, Nelson has taken to a new hobby of card tricks, or at least showing them off on social media.

    Recently, Nelson has taken to his Facebook page to post a series of videos in which he performs card tricks that are a lot more complicated than repeatedly asking, “Is this your card?” Nelson’s feats of the deck involve complicated narratives spoken in his signature dulcet timbre. It’s like if that mindfreak Criss Angel was way more mellow, or Penn and Teller were tolerable.

     
     


    Photo via Bob Tilden/Wikimedia Commons (CC BY 2.0)


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    The Kloons, a trio of dudes with a hilarious YouTube channel and successful viral video studio, have hit pay dirt with a project called “Sisters.” The first episode racked up 2 million views, and with the second—uploaded yesterday—it’s clear the concept has legs.

    “A couple years ago my cousin and I were hanging out at a family gathering and started noticing how silly my mom and aunt's conversations were,” Kloons member Nik Kazoura explained to the Daily Dot in an email. “My uncle, cousin, and I started cracking up and realized we had to use their material somehow. Getting inspiration from Drunk History, we thought it would be hilarious to do a lip sync video.” Thus “Sisters” was born.

    Two years passed between the idea and execution, but finally, Kazoura said, “as everyone was about to leave my mom's house after a family dinner, I asked my aunt to wait a few minutes so I could try to record them.” Using lanyards, he “hung a smartphone around each of their necks. They then went on to walk around the garden, and 15 minutes later I grabbed the phones and listened back to the recording.” The result? Pure poetry.

    Apparently, we’ve only just scratched the surface here: “Rest assured, we have lots of great material to come,” Kazoura said. “More garden anecdotes, some great TV and movie gossip, and lots of classic sister interactions. They think the videos are very funny and are always happy to help.” Isn’t it nice to see a loving family become Internet famous together?

    Photo via The Kloons/YouTube


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    It seems to be nearly impossible for Chris Pratt to stop being the best. The Guardians of the Galaxy star has been on an awesome streak lately with an inventive take on the ice bucket challenge, charming audiences with tales of him flashing his junk to Amy Poehler, and French braiding an intern’s hair during press junkets.

    Showing no signs of stopping, the actor made a visit to Children’s Hospital Los Angeles on Wednesday in Star-Lord garb. Working with Marvel and the Children’s Miracle Network, Pratt held a screening of his blockbuster hit at the hospital for younger fans and their families to enjoy. For fans in the Pediatric ICU and Bone Marrow Transplant Unit too ill to join the screening, Pratt made special in-room visits dressed in full Star-Lord regalia.

    E! News reports that Pratt spent extra time with diehard Lego fan Dylan Prunty, who recognized the actor's voice from The Lego Movie. The actor indulged Prunty's fandom by reciting lines with the patient for 10 minutes. 

    Pratt ended his visit by passing out Guardians of the Galaxy gear and toys to kids, posing for countless pictures and signing autographs for eager fans. 

    H/T Cinemablend | Photo via gageskidmore/Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)


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    Less than a year after exploding on YouTube with "Christmas Jammies," the Holderness family has returned with their latest viral sensation, "Baby Got Class."

    Set to Sir Mix-a-Lot's very educational classic hit "Baby Got Back," the video celebrates the end of summer and the return to school for the young Holderness children. Featured are short narratives about summer vacation and confusion over buying back-to-school supplies. And, as with "Christmas Jammies," "Baby Got Class" is hilariously lame as only a G-rated suburban parody can be.

    In keeping with the "Christmas Jammies" tradition, Penn Holderness makes sure to work family updates into the lyrics:

    "Summertime's nice
    Kayaks and water slides
    Penn Charles finally learned to swim
    And Lola read to him."

    We can't wait to see the Holderness family updates once their kids are old enough to go to senior prom.

    Screengrab via The Holderness Family/YouTube


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    Should you have any lingering doubts that the ice bucket challenge has gone full ego-trip supernova, feel free to put them aside: 50 Cent just dared Floyd Mayweather to demonstrate grade-school literacy in exchange for $750,000 to any charity of his choice.

    Then he dumped a bucketload of ice water off a mansion balcony. Cool. 

    The rapper and boxer, once friends, have been sparring over the details and ramifications of personal entanglements among their circle of acquaintances. Mayweather this week made comments to the effect that certain hip-hop stars are fading into irrelevance; 50 played innocent, mentioning that it was Nelly, not he, who stole away Mayweather’s fianceé.

    Apart from demonstrating his own tenuous grasp of the English language, 50 failed to specify which page of the Harry Potter saga Mayweather would need to read, but we hope it’s not a boring part about Quidditch practice. Most importantly, we’re all more aware of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis than we were five minutes ago. Right? OK then.

    Photo by Dave Catchpole/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)


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    On numerous occasions, usually when trapped in the claws of Shakespeare and Emily Brontë, I’ve contemplated starting a book club with my dear friend Sparky Sweets, PhD. We’d sit and drink tea with our pinkies out, chat about gold chains and his robust do-rag collection, and catch up on his growing YouTube show for literary players, Thug Notes.

    A parody of CliffsNotes, Thug Notes is as educational as it is comedic, cutting to the heart of such classic texts as Crime and Punishment and The Great Gatsby and encouraging readers to develop their own understanding of the book. Reading along with the hilarious Sparky, played by L.A.-based comedian Greg Edwards, viewers can’t help but come back every week for a new video and, whether they realize it or not, they’re taking their own steps to learn outside of the classroom.

    “Sparky is a regular guy,” says Edwards of his character. “I always think he’s from South Central, East L.A., Boyle Heights, and just a regular dude who enjoys to read. He has a library card, he loves to read, and he talks to his friends… I look at Sparky just like LeVar Burton in a do-rag and saying slang.”

    But it takes more than Edwards’s charisma and Sparky Sweets’s bibliophilic ways to make Thug Notes a success.

    •••

    The channel is the brainchild of business partners Jared Bauer and Jacob Salamon, two writers and film critics with a passion for arts education and comedy. Bauer originally came up with the idea of Thug Notes in line at the Egyptian to see Barry Lyndon.

    “I was joking around with my friend in line about how Barry Lyndon is the original gangster story because, even though it’s a slow-moving, kind of reflective movie about social structures, Barry Lyndon does kill a British officer and make a shit ton of money by gambling,” argues Bauer. “The woman behind me in line was like, 'You obviously don’t understand the movie at all.' I was like, 'Everything I’m saying is accurate; it’s just in another language maybe you aren’t comfortable with.'”

    From the very first video, Thug Notes has received acclaim from publications such as the Huffington Post and YouTube Nation, which have praised the team for doing the impossible: making viewers want to read.

    “I guess that is the joke because literature, especially the classics, are kind of enshrouded in deliberately difficult vocabulary in order to truly ‘get it,’” remarks Bauer. “And so that’s kind of Sparky in an abrasive way. [He] proves that no, I can explain it in slang and you can get it.”

    •••

    2014 has been the team’s year. The company recently changed its named to Wisecrack in order to expand and produce more education shows such as 8-Bit Philosophy, which explains philosophy using video game graphics, and Behind the Genius, an upcoming show about figures in history. Bauer is currently knee-deep in writing Thug Notes the Book, set to come out next year, and announced in our interview that the team is currently working on shows about movies, music, and history.

    Subscribers to Wisecrack’s channel get a weekly dose of education they'd be hard-pressed to find anywhere else. And though the Wisecrack team cannot erase the memories of your horrible high school English teacher or drunk philosophy professor in college, they can make you passionate about education again.

    Go and learn your ass off on their channel: Many great literary classics are just waiting for their chance at a reunion.

    Screengrab via Wisecrack/YouTube


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    BY DAN OZZI

    A few weeks ago, KISS frontman and ridiculous clown-person Gene Simmons made some pretty Gene Simmonsy comments about depression and suicide in an interview:

    "Drug addicts and alcoholics are always, 'The world is a harsh place.’ My mother was in a concentration camp in Nazi Germany. I don't want to hear fuck all about 'the world is a harsh place.' She gets up every day, smells the roses, and loves life. And for a putz, 20-year-old kid to say, 'I'm depressed, I live in Seattle.' Fuck you, then kill yourself."

    After Robin Williams committed suicide last week, the quote started spreading around and people were quick to pounce on Simmons. One radio network in Australia banned KISS’ music as a result. But really, how seriously are we collectively supposed to take the opinion of a 64-year-old adult man who wears makeup for a living?

    But then today, people’s ire shifted towards Henry Rollins, who you may know as the former frontman of Black Flag or talking head in every music documentary ever made. Rollins is something of a self-elected spokesman for a generation who grew up with 90s punk or alternative music, and while he’s probably regarded as a bit more dignified than Simmons, he’s always come off like a high school gym teacher waxing intellectual about serious issues.

    This morning, Rollins published his weekly column for LA Weekly. The title: “Fuck Suicide.” He took his usual no-bullshit, take-life-by-the-balls, go-out-there-and-bench-press-away-your-problems attitude on the topic which has worked for him the past towards issues like juice cleanses and getting things shoved up your butt but on the subject of depression and suicide through the lens of Robin Williams’ death, it didn't exactly go over as smoothly:

    “I no longer take this person seriously. I may be able to appreciate what he or she did artistically but it’s impossible to feel bad for them. Their life wasn’t cut short — it was purposely abandoned. It’s hard to feel bad when the person did what they wanted to. It sucks they are gone, of course, but it’s the decision they made. I have to respect it and move on.”

     

    Read the full story on Noisey.

    Photo via jaredeberhardt/Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)


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    We can all thank Tom Hiddleston for making our Friday.

    He, like seemingly everyone at this point, had been called to complete the ice bucket challenge to raise awareness and donate to the ALS Association (which has raised $53 million in donations), and he carried it out in an eye-catching fashion. Drenched, he called for Benedict Cumberbatch to take on the challenge himself.

    While Cumberbatch didn’t complete the challenge in 24 hours, he did eventually deliver. And even if you’re sick of ice bucket challenges at this point, his is worth watching.

    As an ambassador for the Motor Neurone Disease Association (a charity that raises money for diseases like ALS), he decided to use his ice bucket challenge to bring awareness to that charity and gave people in the U.K. a phone number to which they could text donations.

    And even though he’s been nominated more than once, he thought he could get away with just doing it once. He thought wrong.

    Photo via MND Association/YouTube


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    Saved by the Bell may have proported to promote family-friendly teen fare, but behind the scenes, it was a completely different story, according Lifetime's new unauthorized biopic. The network is giving fans a taste of the film on its Facebook page in advance of its television premiere.

    We've already seen a clip from the movie that shows the behind-the-scenes bickering of the young cast, but the new five-minute clip actually shows how the fim is going to be structured. We see the cast experiencing the first taste of mega fame before Zack does his trademark "time out" to freeze the action (poorly, we might add; some of those extras cannot hold still) and start to voice-over. However, Screech jumps in and takes over narrative duties, serving as our eyes for the journey from obscurity to pop-culture powerhouses.

     
    Post by Lifetime.
     


    It makes sense to have the story told through Screech's eyes, as the film is loosely based on actor Dustin Diamond's tell-all about his time on the show. The book details alleged drug and alcohol abuse, sexual exploits, and general ego issues with the cast. It will be interesting to see to what level that behavior is depicted in the Lifetime version.

    The Unauthorized Saved by the Bell Story premieres Sept. 1 at 9pm on Lifetime.

    Screenshot via Lifetime / Facebook


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    When we last left Hannah Horvath she was in flux, more so than her usual existential uncertainty. After things with boyfriend Adam soured, we saw Hannah consoling herself by clutching her acceptance letter to the Iowa Writers’ Workshop to her chest. This left many viewers to speculate on where that would take her when HBO’s hit series Girls resumed. Would we see Lena Dunham’s character take a reprieve from her volatile relationship with New York City for the calmness of the midwest?

    While we don’t have an official answer on that, we do have a teaser trailer that was tweeted out Friday by the official Girls Twitter account. Though the clip is just 30 seconds, we see Hannah riding her bike through what appears to be a non-metropolitan college campus before clumsily crashing.

    The behind-the-scenes look at season 4 also introduces us to Dunham’s stunt double, Dakota, who she snapped an Instagram pic with a few months back.

    For more behind-the-scenes season 4 speculation, you can head on over to the Girls production diary and browse until your heart's content. 

    Photo via kapkap/Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)


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    The Internet sure loves a good mystery.

    With the popularity of True Detective, Orphan Black, and even Game of Thrones—along with the Purple Wedding, remember trying to figure out who killed Jon Arryn back in season 1?—over the past few years, we love to dig deeper than what we see on the screen and try to get to the bottom of whodunit. And it’s not just the question that drives people: It’s the motive, the endgame, and just what makes a character tick, the pieces that can’t be satisfied with your typical broadcast procedural drama.

    We just don’t like being spoon-fed the answers anymore.

    Intruders, the newest show from BBC America, involves a secret society, a mysterious number that keeps reappearing, characters who aren’t what they seem, the dark and often gloomy weather of Portland and Seattle, and a shroud of mystery ripe for Internet sleuths—and that’s just the first episode.

    Premiering Aug. 23, it’s taking the post-Doctor Who slot in the TV schedule with hopes that people will stick around once they catch the last glimpse of Peter Capaldi for the week. It’s difficult to categorize into one specific genre. It’s got hints of horror, crime, thriller, suspense, and even science fiction, many at play simultaneously in a single scene. With only eight episodes in the first season, the first episode is a fast (and at times, overwhelming) flow of necessary information, but things dial down in later episodes as the show has time to focus in more on plots. 

    But in case you’re deciding whether to check it out (or you’ve already seen the first episode and still find yourself a bit confused), we’re here to break it down for you. (Don't worry; we'll still leave plenty of mystery for you to parse.)

    The premise

    Intruders is based on the 2007 novel The Intruders by Michael Marshall (pen name Michael Marshall), and it follows a group of people who initially seem unconnected, but as the story unravels, it delves the intricacies of a secret society and the key to immortality.

    In the first few episodes, we follow Jack Whelan, a former-cop-turned-author with a dark past, who’s asked by Gary Fisher, an old friend, to help him with a case. Soon after, his wife, Amy, goes missing. Madison O’Donnell, a 9-year-old girl, isn’t acting like herself at all and leaves a trail of violence and death in her wake. Richard Shepherd, a mysterious man in a secret society, is determined to stop the truth at any cost, no matter how many bodies he leaves in his wake.

    People may die, but their souls can live on, and all of them seem to be haunted—or invaded—in one way or another. 

    The support

    One of the less pleasant aspects of adaptations (for fans, anyway) is when the original creator despises it, causing feelings of unease or tension among book fans and TV/film fans.

    But Smith, who has seen the first three episodes, has been very supportive from the get-go. Originally, the BBC was interested in adapting his work, but things fell through after the network failed to move the location of the story to the U.K., leaving it for BBC America to pick up.

    Smith, like many authors, is super-protective of his work, especially when it comes to TV and film adaptations, and he said that if Intruders sucked, he would’ve said so—loudly.

    “I couldn’t be happier, too, with the ballsy way in which Glen [Morgan], Jane [Tranter] and Julie [Gardner] have allowed the mystery to take its time,” he wrote on his blog. “The thing that saved the television industry, and has raised it so far above movies in the quality and depth of its output, is this willingness to engage with viewers as adults, to expect an attention span and use it to tell a story in the way it’s meant to be told.”

    Although he’s not going to be writing any episodes for the show anytime soon, he’s been pleased with what he’s seen so far.

    The cast

    Intruders has a host of familiar faces, but viewers will also be meeting many for the first time.

    Doctor Who fans are sure to recognize the show’s Jack Whelan, played by John Simm with an American accent, who charmed and scared the crap out of us as the Master. In one way, he's the heart of the show because he’s often left as confused as the rest of us, and in the beginning, his story is the most straightforward: His wife is missing, and he’s trying to find her on his own.

    The show has some star-studded Oscar power with Mira Sorvino, who many will know from Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion and Mimic, but she’s also dabbled in sci-fi recently with a stint on Falling Skies. As Amy, she’s both haunted with a yet-to-be-revealed past while sharing her body with another.

    Whenever James Frain is on the screen as Richard Shepherd, you can’t look away. He’s ruthless, except when it comes down to the one thing he absolutely needs to do, and he gives dimension to a character who could easily be just your regular assassin.

    By far the one to keep an eye out for is 10-year-old Millie Bobby Brown, who plays the 9-year-old Madison. In three episodes she’ll impress you, creep you out, scare the crap out of you, and at one point in the pilot, make you turn away from the TV, but she’s not your typical creepy girl from horror films. At times, she’s portraying both a scared young girl and an older man set out on revenge, and in other hands, it could’ve been disastrous. With Brown, she’s one of the most interesting people on the show.

    The mystery

    Qui Reverti, the secret society at the center of the show, is shrouded in its own mysteries. Many of the people as part of it (living or souls intruding upon another living body) often say, “Because in the beginning, there was death.”

    The calling card, along with the society’s bible or guidebook, is emblazoned with the number nine, and if you look closely enough, you could probably see it scattered throughout the episodes (although maybe not to the level that Lost did with its mysterious numbers).

    There’s something to be said about them, and Smith and the stars are more than happy to play along on social media.

    Much of the how and the why are still up in the air, and we don’t know all that much about Qui Reverti. Book readers may have to bite their tongues for this one, but if there’s a will (or a telling frame to latch onto), the Internet will find a way.

    Photo courtesy of BBC America


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    For most celebrities, the ice bucket challenge is yet another way for them to flaunt their Hollywood friendships by calling out their famous friends to take the polar plunge. But leave it to rapper 50 Cent to put a different twist on the wildly viral fundraiser, challenging fighter Floyd Mayweather Jr. to a reading contest.

    On Thursday, the rapper posted a video to his Facebook page daring Mayweather to read an entire page from a book in the Harry Potter series “out loud without starting and stopping or fucking up.” The reward for completing such a gargantuan task? 50 stated he would donate $750,000 to a charity of the fighter's choice, before exclaiming “fuck the bucket of ice” and throwing it off the balcony of his mansion.

     

     


    Later that day, the rapper revised his challenge allowing Mayweather to read a simpler work, Dr. Seuss’s The Cat in the Hat. In his Instagram video, 50 Cent stated that if Mayweather were to accept, Jimmy Kimmel would gladly host the challenge on his show.

    But after radio station Power 105.1 aired a clip Friday morning of Mayweather attempting to read radio drops, things don’t look promising. Charlamagne Tha God, one of the hosts of the station’s morning show, read the two-sentence script in 10 seconds before going on to play the clip of Mayweather fumbling through the copy for almost 90 seconds.

     
    The only thing that stings more than Mayweather's punch is hearing him fumble through those sentences. 
     
    H/T Uproxx | Photo via Bryan Horowitz/Flickr (CC BY 2.0) | Remix by Jason Reed

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    Who knew that Sam "Mayday" Malone (known to us all as Ted Danson) had a thing for Prince? Or to be more specific, the gaudy outfit he wore on the cover of Purple Rain.

    In yet another subtle-yet-hilarious clip via Funny or Die, we find Danson (Guillermo) and his lover, actor/director Mark Duplass, taking their argument to therapist Elisabeth Moss (of Mad Men and West Wing fame). The couple disagrees over whether it makes sense to spend $7,000 to buy the getup His Purpleness wore on the record cover and in the film of the same name. Duplass pleads his case that 7K is a princely sum and represents their entire savings. When Danson excuses himself to the bathroom, Danson’s partner confesses to Moss that he grew up in a station wagon with a single mother… only to be interrupted by a great sight gag and punchline.

    Danson, who first came to the public’s attention as the dancing DA in the 1981 film Body Heat, has proven to be a versatile talent with some of this funniest work coming in ad-lb form on Curb Your Enthusiasm. While we’re at it, Moss and Duplass have great straight man skills which raise this two-minute video to must-watch status.

    Photo via Funny or Die


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    It’s called "television's biggest night," and for those pioneers who see the Internet as the broadcast delivery medium of the future, all eyes Monday will be on which made-for-the-Web series score Emmys.

    While somewhat disappointing, the 2013 Emmy successofNetflix’s House of Cards brought over the top programming into the spotlight. While a number of armchair pundits felt the show was robbed, the breakthrough House of Cards became the first non-network show to be nominated for an Emmy and was a likely catalyst for Amazon, Hulu, and others to increase their output of original shows.

    Getting our scorecards ready for 2014’s awards show, Netflix is poised to make the leap from being considered to being a big winner. The streaming network makes a healthy showing among the nominations with a few, such as Orange Is the New Black, already going into the big night with statues in hand. In order to keep the Aug. 25 telecast down to a reasonable timeframe, the Creative Emmy Awards were handed out Aug. 16 at L.A.’s Nokia Theater. At that ceremony, Orange scored creative wins for Oza Aduba (Outstanding Guest Actress, Comedy) as Crazy Eyes) and Outstanding Casting for a Comedy Series. A complete list of winners—digital and otherwise—are available at the Emmy website

    You can find online and offline scorecards everywhere that invite viewers to play along with host Seth Meyers, but let’s create one specific to categories and entrants featuring Web-related content. For the sake of those of us with short attention spans, we’ll stick to the big-money categories. 

    Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series

    It’s Kevin Spacey (Netflix’s House of Cards) versus Jon Hamm (Mad Men), Bryan Cranston (Breaking Bad), Matthew McConaughey (True Detective), Jeff Daniels (Newsroom), and Woody Harrelson (True Detective).

    Predicted winner: McConaughey. The film and TV insiders love him. Spacey is a longshot; 2013 was Cards’ window for awards.

    Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series

    Here it’s House of Cards versus True Detective,Game of Thrones, and Breaking Bad.

    Predicted winner: Breaking Bad. A parting gift for one of cable TV and social media’s most popular, buzzy shows. 

    Outstanding Drama Series

    Looks familiar: House of Cards versus Breaking Bad, Downton Abbey, Game of Thrones, Mad Men, and True Detective.

    Predicted winner: True Detective. Yep, another HBO gem that is loved by audiences and critics alike.

    Outstanding Leading Actress in a Comedy Series

    Taylor Schilling (Orange Is the New Black) takes on some stiff competition: Edie Falco (Nurse Jackie), Julia Louis-Dreyfus (Veep), Lena Dunham (Girls), Amy Poehler (Parks and Recreation), and Melissa McCarthy (Mike and Molly).

    Predicted winner: I’ll go out on a limb with this one. Falco should win, no question, but the award will go to Schilling as OITNB’s first win of the night. After a mediocre first season, Schilling upped her game in season 2, really digging into the highs and lows (mostly lows) of her character's life-altering time in prison.

    Outstanding Leading Actor in a Comedy Series

    Ricky Gervais (Netflix’s Derek) takes on Matt LeBlanc (Episodes); Louis C.K. (Louie), Don Cheadle(House of Lies); WIlliam H. Macy (Shameless), Jim Parsons (The Big Bang Theory).

    Predicted winner: Easy one. William H. Macy because he is just a great actor, and I’d watch him read the Yellow Pages. 

    Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series

    Kate Mulgrew (Orange Is the New Black) against Julie Bowen (Modern Family), Mayim Bialik (The Big Bang Theory), Allison Janney (Mom), Kate McKinnon (Saturday Night Live), Anna Chlumsky (Veep).

    Predicted winner: Mulgrew. One of the more veteran actors in OITNB, she nails the role as the crusty Russian matriarch at Litchfield. Season 2 gave her some wonderful scenes and dialogue, and she came through. 

    Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series

    Orange Is the New Black versus Episodes, Louie, Veep, and Silicon Valley.

    Predicted winner: Another Orange win. If Silicon Valley (from HBO) wins, I demand a recount.

    Outstanding Comedy Series

    Orange Is the New Black takes on Veep, Big Bang Theory, Silicon Valley, Modern Family, and Louie.

    Predicted winner: Orange Is the New Black. Clean sweep? You betcha.

    The impact of Web-delivered TV in the past year can be felt in some other categories. My favorite show of the season, Luther, is up for three Emmys this year. The show is a BBC production, but much of its current popularity is owed to its distribution via Hulu.

    The Square, a documentary distributed by Netflix about the 2011 Egyptian Revolution, won four Creative Emmy Awards including Outstanding Documentary or Non-Fiction Special. 

    Netflix’s Brave Miss World was nominated for Exceptional Merit for Documentary Filming but lost to HBO’s Life According to Sam. Brave Miss World is the compelling story of Miss Israel/Miss World’s mission to shed light on the issue of rape after become victimized during a photo shoot in Milan.

    While we’re at it, we cannot overlook the power that YouTube virality has for such Emmy Award-nominated cult shows as Portlandia. If you haven’t seen the bit about ordering chicken in a Portland restaurant, you may be alone.

    After the dust settles, and the last post-award-party kale chip is devoured, we’ll take a look at what social media had to say about the winners and losers on Emmy Night.

    Stay tuned.

    Photo via Netflix


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    Ever wonder what what it would be to make a video that poses LiveJournal questionaire-style queries to your favorite celebrity, but also follows them around intimate spaces as they answer you? Vogue's 73 Questions series makes that a virtual reality, with filmmaker Joe Sabia at the helm of a first-person shoot with luminaries like Sarah Jessica Parker, Olivia Munn, Blake Lively, and Daniel Radcliffe.

    The series, a partnership between Vogue and the Scene, gets a glossy, Vogue-appropriate presentation on its website, but is also making waves on YouTube.

    The project is the brainchild of Sabia, who's created digital pop culture projects like a time machine that lets you explore 1,300 cultural references found in 200 episode of The Office. In February he recived a call from Jed Weintrob of Condé Nast Entertainment (parent company of digital-first platform the Scene) asking what kind of video Sabia would make with Sarah Jessica Parker if he had the actress for a day.

    "I didn't admit it to Jed at the time—I mean, I don't know if I've ever told him—but I had never seen an episode of Sex and the City in my life," Sabia told the Daily Dot.  

    He decided the best approach was to simply let the Parker be herself, and film her in a single take answering icebreaker questions shot from his point-of-view. Originally he's suggested 100, but found that was too ambitious and whittled the number down to 73 because that "looked interesting." The resulting video was a hit, and Sabia and Vogue decided to own the format, signing up more celebs for the treatment.

    "In the end, this is basically the reinvention of an interview," Sabia explained. "It's this weird format where you have to watch each video five times to catch all the facts. It fits with the speed, style, and mode of the Internet.

    Shooting a single video takes six hours of work on site, as well as countless more in prep time. Sabia says the celebs and crew alike all cross their fingers and hope they can get it in one take, and that so far he's not received any pushback from the stars at the center of the project.

    "For the most part, it's exciting to say this has turned into a kind of club I think celebrities want to be a part of," he explained. "Vogue doesn't just take anyone, so the celebrities know going in this is a special case type of thing. And working with them has been nothing less than a joy so far, and they all fully understand the job that needs to get done."

    Sabia was tight-lipped about the series' next big-name star, but he offered three hints, "It is a woman, her favorite app is Instagram, and her favorite Disney character is Tinker Bell." As for Sabia, he's got a long list of celebs living or dead he'd love to put to the 73 Questions test.

    "It would be pretty epic doing Michelle and Barack in the White House," he said. Outside the bounds of Vogue, his list is more fanciful.

    "Stephen Hawking in zero gravity," he continued. "Billy Joel live on stage at a concert. The guy who who created Full House on the set of Family Matters. If I had the chance to bring back dead people to interview? Bob Marley in a Russian bath. Franz Liszt in a church. Socrates in a Greek diner, because why not? I think he'd happily oblige knowing his compensation in exchange for an interview was Earthly resurrection."

    Screengrab via 73 Questions/Vogue

     


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