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Recent Entertainment articles from Daily Dot

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    Ask any woman to describe her ideal mate and she'll likely rattle off a list of descriptors including smart, funny, ambitious, and kind. But none of those are high on the priority list for Allie Davis. When it comes to finding her Jay Z, the only character trait this ultimate Beyoncé fan cares about is an encyclopedic knowledge of the pop icon. 

    Over the weekend, the 21-year-old decided to put her boyfriend of over two years through the paces by presenting him with a quiz that tested his expertise on everything from One Direction members to the infamous elevator incident. In order to stay in the relationship and "On the Run" together, Davis' boyfriend had to score 60 percent or higher. 

    Despite not knowing the complete lyrics to "Drunk In Love" and misidentifying Queen Bey as a rapper, her boyfriend managed to pass, scoring an 80 percent. The fan's beau was a good sport about the whole thing, telling those on Twitter that he "knew this was a joke from the beginning." "Sometimes we love to pester each other," he added.

    If you're yearning to test the strength of your relationship with a little pop music pop quiz then you're in luck. The fan, who's better known as Fergyoncé on Twitter, has made a blank version of the exam available on her blog for all the intrepid couples out there. 

    Good luck, and may you forever be drunk in love. 

    H/T Bustle | Photo via caotiquemind/Flickr (CC BY SA 2.0)


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    News organizations are known for picking a hodgepodge of celebrities and barely celebrities to rub elbows at their tables during the annual White House Correspondents' Dinner in D.C. each spring, but this year Arianna Huffington has broken with the tradition of at least including an Oscar-nominee or two, focusing her table on digital influencers instead. 

    “There’s a new power center,” Huffington told the Washington Post. “People whose names you might not have heard of have tremendous power—and we want to know them.”

    Huffington tapped a mix of digital influencers from different mediums, including YouTube’s Tyler Oakley and Bethany Mota, Snapchat star Jerome Jarre, blogger Heather Armstrong, and Vine stars Marcus Johns and Nash Grier. The Huffington Post table is not limited to digital stars, however. Also invited are scientist Neil deGrasse Tyson, hip-hop artist Killer Mike, and NPR journalist Sarah Koenig

    Huffington might be positioning this as a grand new gesture, and it may be the first time so many digital stars are clumped together as guests, but mainstream media has been paying attention to digital heavyweight for some time now, and the same key stars tend to pop up on every short list as nominees, partners, or guests. Even the White House itself has already taken notice.

    Of the digital set, Oakley has interacted with both President Obama and the First Lady before, and Mota interviewed Obama following his State of the Union address, alongside other YouTube powerhouses GloZell and Hank Green. That particular incident caused some frustration and outrage in advance of their interview, and then many news organizations acted surprised that digital content creators could do a good job making digital content with the president.

    With each new step forward, are we fast approaching a time when digital influencers will just be called celebrities, no qualifier?

    H/T Tubefilter | Screengrab via Tyler Oakley/YouTube


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    Lat Sunday, David Lynch announced via Twitter that he would no longer be working on the new season of Twin Peaks, set to air on Showtime in 2016, claiming the studio didn’t want to front the cash required to properly realize the script. It would be one thing if there were creative differences, but the fact that the script will cost too much because it’s probably too awesome is just salt added to the wound. Fans were not thrilled with the news, and Showtime might be panicking over the backlash:

    Now, the cast has chimed in with their collective disappointment over their co-creator/director’s departure, releasing a series of videos using the analogy “Twin Peaks without David Lynch is like X without Y.”

    It wouldn't be too surprising to see Showtime back down and cough up the money. The network is probably getting the message that the excitement of Twin Peaks returning is completely moot without Lynch on board. 

    Somewhere, Mark Frost is screaming into the night sky that he co-created the show and wrote 30 episodes, but the night sky is reminding him that he also wrote the two Fantastic Four movies, and that it will probably take a Lynch to keep him on an even keel for the Peaks return.

    H/T Pitchfork | Screengrab via Noisey/YouTube


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    You can already subscribe to a YouTube channel, but soon you may be able to subscribe to YouTube, for a fee, and access creator content ad-free.

    According to a report from Bloomberg, a subscription-based service direct from Google's YouTube platform could be coming by the end of the year, with paid subscribers able to access content without advertisements. Bloomberg obtained a letter aimed at creators that alerted them to the possibility of the new service, and how the revenue might be shared between YouTube and its creators.

    "By creating a new paid offering, we'll generate a new source of revenue that will supplement your fast growing advertising service," Bloomberg reports the letter read.

    "While we can't comment on ongoing discussions, giving fans more choice to enjoy the content they love and creators more opportunity to earn revenue are always amongst our top priorities," a YouTube spokesperson told the Daily Dot.

    A new subscription service wouldn't eliminate ads from YouTube, much like Hulu still relies on ads in addition to subscriptions. With independent subscription services like Vessel launching recently, the model for YouTube fans to pay for content at a premium level already exists. 

    Videos will still remain on YouTube for free, with ad support. The move would be in line with YouTube's other advances to generate more revenue from its platform. Viewers can rent movies directly from YouTube now, and Google recently launched YouTube's Music Key Beta, allowing music access on the site and offline for $10 monthly.

    The Daily Dot obtained YouTube's updated terms for partner channels, which indicate that the platform is adding provisions for subscription revenue. This despite no active subscription plan.

    Together with the YouTube Terms of Service and the YouTube Partner Program Policies (each of which may be updated from time to time and are incorporated herein by reference), the following YouTube Partner Program Terms apply to your participation in the YouTube Partner Program (the "Terms"). Please read the Terms carefully. If you do not understand or accept any part of these Terms, you should not upload Content for monetization on YouTube.

    Monetization Revenues. YouTube will pay you as follows:
    Advertising Revenues. YouTube will pay you 55% of net revenues recognized by YouTube from ads displayed or streamed by YouTube or an authorized third party on your Content watch pages or in or on the YouTube video player in conjunction with the streaming of your Content. YouTube is not obligated to display any advertisements alongside your videos and may determine the type and format of ads available on the YouTube Service. For clarity, YouTube reserves the right to retain all other revenues derived from the YouTube service, including any revenues relating to ads on search result pages.
    Subscription Revenues. YouTube will pay you 55% of the total net revenues recognized by YouTube from subscription fees that are attributable to the monthly views or watchtime of your Content as a percentage of the monthly views or watchtime of all or a subset of participating content in the relevant subscription offering (as determined by YouTube). If your Content is included in and viewed by a user in multiple subscription offerings, YouTube will pay you based on the subscription offering with the highest amount of net revenues recognized by YouTube, as calculated by YouTube.

    Payment Account Requirement. In order to earn or receive payment of any revenues hereunder, you must at all times have an active AdSense account associated with your YouTube user account(s) (or such other payment method as required by YouTube). YouTube does not owe you for any revenues that may be associated with your Content during any period in which you do not have a valid method of payment.

    Payment Terms, Limitations and Taxes. YouTube will pay you for any revenues due within approximately sixty (60) days after the end of any calendar month, so long as your earned balance is at least US $100 (or its equivalent in local currency) at the time payment is due. You are not entitled to earn or receive any revenues in connection with your Content in any of the following circumstances: (a) if one or more third parties claim rights to certain elements of your Content except in cases where YouTube’s policies or systems support sharing a portion of the revenues with you, as determined by YouTube; (b) if monetization is disabled on your Content by either you or YouTube; or (c) your participation in the YouTube Partner Program is suspended or terminated pursuant to Section 4 below. YouTube will use reasonable efforts to notify you if any of these circumstances should occur.

    Termination. Either party may terminate these Terms for convenience with 30 days prior written notice to the other (including via electronic means). YouTube may either suspend or terminate your participation in the YouTube Partner Program immediately upon written notice (including via electronic means) if YouTube reasonably determines or suspects that you have violated these Terms. For clarity, in the event of any termination of these Terms the YouTube Terms of Service will survive and continue to apply to your use of the YouTube service.

    Governing Law. The governing law and dispute resolution provisions of the YouTube Terms of Service will also apply to these Terms.

    Miscellaneous. Capitalized terms used but not defined in these Terms will have the meanings given to such terms in the YouTube Terms of Service. These Terms replace all previous or current agreements between you and YouTube relating to the YouTube Partner Program, including any prior monetization agreements that are in effect between you and YouTube as of the effective date. Except as modified by these Terms, the YouTube Terms of Service remain in full force and effect. YouTube’s right to modify or revise the Terms of Service (as described in the YouTube Terms of Service) will also apply to these Terms.

    There's no proposed timeline or price for the alleged service. Meanwhile, fans craving exclusive access to their favorite YouTubes can still turn to third-party solutions like Vessel, which charges $2.99 a month for access to a select list of premium content. Or continue to tolerate the five-second skippable ads that YouTube has in place.

    Editor's Note: This article has been updated to provide additional clarity and context. 

    H/T Bloomberg | Photo via Tax Credits/Flickr (CC BY 2.0) | Remix by Jason Reed


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    If used to be that if you wanted to watch Game of Thrones, you had to barter for an HBO GO password like it was a cigarette in prison, but no longer. With the launch of HBO Now, the network has made its hit programming available to stream without customers having to pay for expensive cable packages.

    But just because it's cheaper doesn't mean it's free. To make sure that they get paid for their programming, HBO sent a few Sopranos stars to shake down a kid by the name of Jake Caputo.

    Three years ago, Caputo launched TakeMyMoneyHBO.com and began a tweet campaign to let HBO know just how much he and other fans would be willing to pay for a standalone service. With the launch of HBO Now, the premium cable network decided it was finally time for Caputo to make good on his tweets and asked Salvatore “Big Pussy” Bonpensiero and Paulie “Walnuts” Gualtieri to help them cash in.

    Everyone who's torrented Game of Thrones, be warned. Paulie and Big Pussy are coming for you, and they certainly won't be as gentle without the cameras around.

    H/T Uproxx | Screengrab via HBO's Channel/YouTube

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    Several big name YouTube original celebs have signed on with Vessel, but now daytime TV's reigning queen Ellen DeGeneres will offer content through the platform's premium service.

    In addition to releasing clips from her show on Vessel for free, she'll also window one-to-two clips per show to premiere on Vessel before they go anywhere else on the Web. DeGeneres announced the partnership on her show Wednesday, showing off Vessel to her loyal audience.

    DeGeneres' YouTube remains the most popular talk show YouTube channel, with her 11.5 million subscribers eclipsing late-night kings Jimmy Kimmel and Jimmy Fallon. She's also launched several Internet sensations thanks to her program, most notably 11-year-old cover singer Sophia Grace, who now has successful original music of her own.

    While Vessel normally costs $2.99 a month, DeGeneres launched her partnership with a special that allows users to get a year for free if they sign up in the first 48 hours, much like Vessel's launch deal

    "With Vessel, our hope is to bring short bursts of happiness to your day, whenever and wherever you need them," wrote Vessel CEO Jason Kilar on the site's blog. "The 'Ellen' show’s videos do just that, and we couldn’t be happier to be working with Ellen and her team to offer them through Vessel."

    The partnership comes at a key time, when rumors of a YouTube subscription service have emerged, which could potentially eat into Vessel's revenue model. With big-name content creators like DeGeneres signed up to promote the service, a new breed of fans may flock and foster the premium YouTube subscription movement.

    Screengrab via TheEllenShow/YouTube


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    Music makes us feel stuff: joy, melancholy, rage, disquiet. Also, frequently: unbridled enthusiasm. Especially in a live performance, a reptilian sector of the human brain takes hold, prompting fans to forget the assumed boundary between a performer and their audience.

    Thus, every musician will at some point find themselves sharing the stage with someone who doesn’t belong there. And how they react in that moment says a lot about them, as well as the nature of celebrity, art, and delusion. Here are some of our favorite encounters.

    The diplomatic response

    When an overzealous and seemingly drunk woman tried to hug Maroon 5’s Adam Levine during an Anaheim show this week, he was able to play it cool until security stepped in.

    At the 40th Grammy Awards in 1998, Bob Dylan was performing “Love Sick” when one of the background head-bobbers tore off his shirt to reveal the words “SOY BOMB” written on his torso and began dancing amid the band. Dylan looked bewildered but took it in stride.   

    When Taylor Swift came face-to-face with an obsessive fan, she was nothing but smiles.

    The actual invitation

    Playing in Albany, N.Y., Sir Paul McCartney saw a curious pair of signs held aloft by a couple in the crowd. “He won’t marry me ’til he meets you,” read one, while the other stated: “I’ve got the ring and I’m 64.” McCartney invited them both onstage, where they got properly engaged.

    The old heave-ho

    Afroman generously asked a bro to join him onstage for a toke at a Christmas show last year, but when the guy didn’t pass after puffing, he chucked him back into the sea of stoners.

    Some poor sucker tried to get rapper Riff Raff’s attention during a set, but all he got was a flying tackle from his security guard, Burly Boy Kane, who proceeded to dump him offstage.

    New York rapper Action Bronson, meanwhile, didn’t wait for the hired help to dispense with a pesky stage-crasher. Instead he dropped the mic and sent the dude packing himself.

    The stunt gone wrong

    Not sure what this Aussie dude was thinking when he decided to dangle from a stage truss during a New Year’s Eve A$AP Rocky concert, but we can only assume he regrets it.

    The bizarrely violent

    Just who in the world would start a fistfight with Run the Jewels? Right in the middle of a blazing verse? And then try to take on their entire retinue of security personnel? This guy.

    Afroman should stick to throwing people who rush the stage, because when he knocks them out with haymaker punches, the show ends early and he gets carted off to jail.

    The craziest thing about this shirtless Brazilian guy trying to drag Beyoncé offstage mid-song is that afterward, she stood up for the guy, saying that he “just got excited.”

    Tim McGraw didn’t take too kindly to a woman who grabbed at his crotch and apparently ripped his very nice jeans; indeed, video appears to show him slapping her for it.

    The upstagers

    Jay Z stepped aside to let a 12-year-old named Justin spit some bars at a show in North Carolina last year, and he may well have discovered his heir in the process.

    Jason Mraz pulled up a shaker-bearing Taipei fan for some impromptu accompaniment during “Be Honest” and was shocked—in a good way—when the guy could harmonize, too.

    Michael Bublé took a huge risk by letting a mom coerce him into singing a duet with her her 15-year-old son Sam, but it paid off big time—and the crooner couldn’t have been happier.

    A Los Angeles audience got a pleasant surprise from Kristin Chenoweth’s special guest Sarah Horn when the two duetted Wicked’s “For Good” in 2013. Turns out Horn is a vocal coach, so let’s just say she knows what she’s doing.

    The lessons here are simple: If you want to get on stage, you’d better have a modicum of talent, and it’s best to make sure your hero wants you up there. Also, better to just leave Afroman be.

    Photo via Curran Kelleher/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)


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    Louie, FX’s tiny-budget hit, returns for its fifth season April 9. The show has been praised for its unflinching examination of all the ups and (more often than not) downs that make up life, and it’s struck a very relatable chord with viewers.

    Louis C.K.—creator, writer, director, editor, and star of the show—began his career as a standup comedian in the ’80s. He worked with fair success for many years, but parenthood opened up his act considerably. For a standup comic, all life events are fair game. Childhood, marriage, what your idiot friend said that one time: All are kindling for the observation and analysis that makes a joke a joke.

    Until parenthood, every relationship we have is mutually consented to. Our parents chose to have/raise us and our friends and spouses aren’t assigned. But when you have a kid, you become responsible for the welfare and happiness of something outside yourself. It’s a whole new ballgame.

    Here’s a look at how parenthood affected C.K.’s work.

    Introspection

    Honesty is a comedian’s medium. Comedy is about truth and accessing universalities by heightening them to absurd levels.

    Having a kid made C.K. joke more about who he is, rather than what he sees, does, and thinks. The focus of an early bit about naming children is wholly outward. His child named “Ladies and Gentlemen” is fictional and doesn’t cause the comedian to do any soul-searching.

    In his 2008 special Chewed Up, he confesses that around the 45:22 mark:

    My 5-year-old, the other day one of her toys broke and she demanded that I break her sister’s toy to make it fair. And I did. That’s how much shit she gave me. I broke the little toy. And I felt awful. I felt like crying. And I look at her and she’s got this creepy smile.

    Here, C.K. is confronting what it means to bring up a child. We all have a different set of experiences based on choices our parents made and continue to make, and most of us are just doing our best. Sure, C.K. is telling a story about his daughter, but he’s really admitting something about himself, knowing that other parents will relate.

    Laughter is one of the communal phenomena that comes with consciousness. Hearing C.K. confess imperfection and failure creates a sense of joy and unity between artist and audience, and it’s expressed physiologically. A parent is linked forever with the child, and every action taken ripples down to the new life, so how these artists continue their careers can’t help but affect their children. Every comedian-turned-parent has to decide how they are going to deal with this new relationship in full view of all who care to watch.  

    Laughter is knowledge. Comedy is intimacy. Art is confession.

    Aliens

    A common theme in C.K.’s work is the difference between adults and children. He knows he can’t talk to his kids as he would an adult. In season 2, he flips off his younger daughter Jane after she says some incredibly hurtful shit to him. And in his 2007 special Shameless, he tells a pretty terrible story that addresses the same thing. What C.K. is doing when he “calls out” his daughter is discussing the differences between how we talk to adults and children:

    She’s a girl. She’s 4, and she’s also a fucking asshole. It’s true. I say that with no remorse… She says, ‘Mama I saw a doggie today,’ and I was like, ‘Really, where did you see a doggie?’ and she says, ‘I’m telling mama, not you,’ and I’m like, ‘Fuck you! I’m just asking to be nice anyway. You think I actually give a shit about the dog you saw? Like that was gonna be an awesome story, that you saw a fucking dog? Who gives a shit? I’ve got better stories than you. I’ve got an interesting life. I’m on fucking television. I won an Emmy. You don’t ask me what fucking happened to me today, you little bitch.’ I didn’t say that to her, obviously, but that’s the thing, nobody ever calls her on her bullshit. That’s how she got to be an asshole in the first place.

    Raising adults

    Children grow up, and it’s the job of the parent to prepare them for the harsh realities of the real world. In a season 4 episode of Louie, C.K.’s younger daughter steps off a subway car just as the doors close, separating her from her father and sister. When he finds her, he screams:

    “People get hurt, it’s a dangerous world… bad things happen… go ahead and cry, that’s what you should be doing. You should be scared and crying.”

    Season 4 saw his daughters become more prominent characters. The older they get, the less they’re aliens to their father, and the more he can relate to their experiences. In the two-part episode “In the Woods,” C.K. catches his older daughter Lily smoking pot. The episodes are both mainly flashbacks, ending with C.K. telling his 12-year-old daughter, “Goodbye to childhood.”

    Now that his children are having adult experiences to which he can relate, the artist is forced to consider his own choices.

    Absurdity

    C.K.’s early work tended toward the absurd. Looking back, bits like “dolphin jokes” and his impression of a superhero being propositioned by a hooker almost seem to belong to another comedian. His work has become more grounded, but it’s never let go of the absurdity of life.

    Much of season 4 is threatened by a looming hurricane. The news coverage is over the top, especially for a show built on realism. The storm is reported to have obliterated Cuba and killed LeBron James, and in these moments, C.K. is exploring the surreality of the real. It is C.K.’s brutal honesty and simultaneous admiration of the absurd that makes him such a compelling artist.

    The screen

    We all vent from time to time, but standup comedians do it in public. It’s no wonder that some of the Internet’s most beloved celebrities are comedians: The 21st century is all about oversharing. Art is representation, and representation is not the real.

    In the season 4 episode “Elevator Part 3,” his daughter Jane asks him a few questions:

    Jane: Am I easy to be around?

    Louie: Yeah, you really are… it’s like my fourth favorite thing.

    Jane: What are the first three?

    Louie: Number three, riding elephants. Number two, collecting hydrogen… And number one would have to be remembering being with you.”

    Experiencing is just that; remembering is processing and understanding. Remembering the action is more powerful than the action because it has been subject to interpretation and processing. Creating life gave C.K. a new understanding of himself, and this new understanding lit a fire under his career. His is the creativity born of the desire to positively connect with the world—and the fear that it is impossible.

    Photo via Louie | Remix by Fernando Alfonso III


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    In a Tumblr post on Thursday morning, Taylor Swift announced that her mom has been diagnosed with cancer. Although she didn't disclose any details regarding her mom's condition, Swift said her mother felt it was necessary for her daughter to share the information with her followers.

    The 25-year-old writes:

    She wanted you to know because your parents may be too busy juggling everything they’ve got going on to go to the doctor, and maybe you reminding them to go get checked for cancer could possibly lead to an early diagnosis and an easier battle… Or peace of mind in knowing that they’re healthy and there’s nothing to worry about. She wanted you to know why she may not be at as many shows this tour. She’s got an important battle to fight.

    Thank you for caring about my family so much that she would want me to share this information with you. I hope and pray that you never get news like this.

    Love you.
    Taylor

    You can read the note in its entirety here

    She also tweeted out the link to the Tumblr post.

    Our thoughts are with the Swift family at this time.

    Screengrab via TaylorSwiftVEVO/YouTube


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    Netflix can pump out all the original series it likes, but nothing can eclipse the juggernaut that is Orange Is the New Black. Waiting till June 12 for more episodes won’t be easy.

    Between new facilities, the return of a familiar face, Big Boo’s new haircut, and Crazy Eyes’ erotic fiction—which, frankly, sounds amazing—it seems as if Piper Chapman and her fellow inmates at Litchfield Penitentiary will have their hands full in season three of the acclaimed comedy. Check this brand-new trailer and just try to tell me you’re not excited.

    Looking good, but still: Fingers crossed for a guest star who was on Oz.

    Photo via Netflix/YouTube


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    Science can be, well, disgusting, but that doesn't make it any less interesting or educational. A new YouTube series from educational powerhouse PBS Digital Studios wants to make even the weirdest science entertaining by giving you a weekly dose of gross.

    PBS has paired with Boston-based NOVA to produce Gross Science, and it's kicking the lessons off with three videos about very unsettling topics: how the normally boring sea cucumber can eviscerate its own internal organs; how 3-foot-long worms mate in your abdomen; and how various diseases can make you smell.

     "Paradoxically, I find the most beauty and wonder in science when I examine its slimy, smelly, creepy underbelly,” NOVA Digital Producer and Gross Science host Anna Rothschild said in a statement. “We're thrilled to partner with PBS Digital Studios to bring to life a new series that inspires curious people of all ages to enjoy science, to see it as a story, and to ask lots of questions about the world—especially if they're about poop and parasites.” 

    Rothschild will produce one Gross Science lesson every week, with a total of 40 videos in the first season.

    Screengrab via Gross Science/YouTube


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    On Thursday, Netflix got fans’ mouths watering with new trailers for Orange Is the New Black and Grace and Frankie. Not to be outdone, HBO decided to give devotees something to look forward to by releasing a teaser trailer for the second season of the critically acclaimed drama True Detective

    The minute-long first look at Nic Pizzolatto’s crime thriller is packed with plenty of wistful stares and gritty glimpses into the underbelly of corruption in California. Though the occult vibe isn’t present in the teaser trailer, the final shot does leave viewers with a chill as a masked man places his gloved finger over his lips in a gesture of silence. 

    Fans will have to wait till the June 21 premiere to find out exactly how Pizzolatto plans to top his astounding first season. But from the looks of things, Rachel McAdams, Colin Farrell, Taylor Kitsch, and Vince Vaughn will be quite the formidable cast. 

    H/T Buzzfeed | Screengrab via HBOChannel/YouTube


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    When in 2010 Katie Couric opined that a Muslim version of The Cosby Show was what America needed—to alter perceptions of Muslim-Americans, just as The Huxtables "did so much to change attitudes about African-Americans in this country"—The Daily Show answered the call. The sketch,The Qu'osby Show featured correspondent Aasif Mandvi and skewered the networks' tendency to homogenize their tokenistic representations of minorities with the creation of the reassuringly non-threatening Qu'osby family—four Toby Keith-listening, swine-chewing Muslims with nary a Koran in sight.

    Five years later, and after a successful Indiegogo campaign, Mandvi has resurrected the idea in the form of a webseries, Halal in the Family, which has just dropped on Funny or Die.

    The series addresses the one-note nature of the sketch—there is only so much comic momentum that can be gained from depicting Muslims eating bacon and drinking "pork juice"—with a summating coda to end each episode, tying the innocuous narrative back to a greater social observation. It's disarmingly fun stuff, with a thoughtful core; and with its topicality, a fine successor to Archie Bunker and family.

    Correction 2:10pm CT, April 9: An earlier version of this post misspelled Aasif Mandvi's surname.

    Screengrab via Funny or Die 


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    Thirty-four years after the release of 9 to 5, Lily Tomlin and Jane Fonda reunite on Netflix in Grace and Frankie, and now fans finally have a first look with a series trailer.

    Tomlin and Fonda play ex-wives of two men who come out of the closet and intend to marry each other. While the show is helmed by Friends creator Marta Kauffman, Tomlin and Fonda play far-from-friends. The longtime foes are thrust together by their new circumstances, to hilarious results.

    Martin Sheen and Sam Waterston round out the cast as the two husbands in question, and the trailer showcases the show's quick wit and progression through the fallout from their big announcement.

    Netflix will release the entire series on May 8.

    Screengrab via Netflix/YouTube


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    Things are getting down and dirty on tonight's episode ofLip Sync Battle, according to a teaser clip.

    It's Emily Blunt vs Anne Hathaway, aka The Devil Wears Prada reunion we've all been praying for. Earlier this week Spike premiered a clip of Hathaway dominating on Miley Cyrus's "Wrecking Ball," but now we know Blunt isn't pulling any punches, at least in the lap dance department.

    We only see a small part of her "No Diggity" performance, but she's definitely living up to the spirit of Blackstreet, if LL Cool J's face is anything to go by.

    The Hathaway and Blunt showdown airs April 9 at 10pm ET on Spike.

    Screengrab via Lip Sync Battle on Spike/YouTube


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    “Whoa is me,” moan the armchair chefs. “Those mean people at Netflix are no longer airing Good Eats, and we have nothing to watch to satisfy our food video cravings.”

    While it’s true that Alton Brown’s iconic science-meets-grub series got the boot, fear not, cooking show devotees: There are plenty of options to stream across your screen while you toil away making your coq au vin or just plop on the couch with a bowl of mac and cheese out of a box.

    If Alton Brown is your personal cooking sherpa, you can always watch him do his hosting duties on Cutthroat Kitchen or Iron Chef America on Netflix. Neither is my cup of matcha, but here are five other food shows—some classic, some less so—to fill your personal food show diary.

    1) Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives

    Available on: YouTube, Hulu, Netflix

    Yes, Guy Fieri is a real turkey. No one who wears so much bling should be allowed on television, let alone in someone’s kitchen. His stock phrases “welcome to Flavortown” and “knuckle sandwich” are nails on a chalkboard. Still, Triple D is an enduring guilty pleasure that is a zeitgeist to our current food culture. Unlike shows such as Bar Rescue and Kitchen Nightmares (U.S. version) where the scenes are overly orchestrated, this Food Network program has an undeniable authenticity and pop culture zing to it.

    2) The Naked Chef

    Available on: YouTube, Hulu

    Back in 1999, long before Jamie Oliver became a celebrity chef with the noble aim of changing the menus of every school cafeteria, the BBC produced a program that showcased the young Brit’s straightforward approach to cooking. In many ways, The Naked Chef is the model for many current food shows that focus on quick, elegant meals, but none captures the knowledge and passion Oliver displays in this program.

    3) Bizarre Foods With Andrew Zimmern

    Available on: Netflix, Hulu

    Of the current crop of food experts/chefs on broadcast TV, cable, and streaming, Zimmern is in a class by himself. While there is little chance I will ever eat any of the icky, gooey things Zimmern unearths (so to speak) at a Cambodian market, the man has a deep, savant-like knowledge on a wide range of culinary topics, and he is able to communicate his thoughts in a clear manner that never belittles his audience. Zimmern’s charm is authentic, and he is a master of multiple media with a newspaper column, podcast, and multiple video efforts.

    4) Kitchen Nightmares—U.K. version

    Available on: YouTube

    On its way across the Atlantic, the original BBC program featuring celebrity chef and notorious F-bomb dropper Gordon Ramsay went from hearty entrée to wilted side dish. The U.S. version is heavy on drama and light on narrative while the BAFTA-winning Kitchen Nightmares is as much about British food culture and trends as it is saving failing dining establishments. The BBC version on YouTube includes most of Chef Ramsay’s foul language, which is part and parcel of his love-it-or-leave-it personality.

    5) The French Chef 

    Available on: Amazon Prime, YouTube

    From 1963 to 1973, a quirky, wonderfully talented woman named Julia Child essentially invented the modern cooking show. To this day, no one has come close to displaying Child’s skill (trained at the Sorbonne), signature style, and encyclopedic knowledge of French cuisine. The premise of her show, produced by Boston’s public TV affiliate WGBH, was to prove that preparing French food needn’t be the domain of expert cooks. Imitated and even parodied, the Grand Dame of the food-TV genre has not yet been eclipsed by any cook or food wizard, and we’re doubtful anyone ever will.

    Screengrab via Amazon Prime


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    Petulant pop star Justin Bieber has been known to get overly familiar with fans during meet and greets, but never with his fellow performers. Yet on Wednesday night, all that changed. 

    When the 21-year-old took the stage to accompany Ariana Grande during her concert at the Forum in Los Angeles, he got a little handsy. During a duet of the Bieb's 2012 hit "As Long As You Love Me," the performer decided to go for a grope by pulling Grande into his arms. The singer quickly eschewed his playful advances leaving him with only a salty look. 

    TMZ was first to take note of Bieber's sly moves, reporting that Grande's beau Big Sean was in attendance at the event and was forced to bare witness to the grinding. The gossip site later backtracked, stating that the rapper was in Canada during the concert and fired off a few angry tweets after catching wind of the incident only to delete them shortly after. 

    Soon other tweets allegedly dispatched by Big Sean about Bieber copping a feel began popping up on Twitter.

    Yet, the only thing that ever surfaced on the rapper's timeline was a cryptic sentiment about wishing he could be two places at once. 

    On Thursday morning, the tabloid that started the beef squashed it by shining some light on the flurry of supposed tweets. After a rep for the rapper reached out to clarify that none of the tweets about the incident were valid the site printed a retraction."We're told Justin and Sean are good friends... and that he and Ariana are just fine." 

    Amateur Twitter sleuths had already done their detective work, noting the tweets missing time stamps. 

    But what's to be made of the tweet where he wishes he could be two places at once? "We're told it had nothing to do with JB, and Sean just misses friends and family while on the road," TMZ concluded. Sadly the clarification about the debacle came all too late and other sites had already started running with the news that Sean was out for Beiber's blood.

    There you have it, another social media scandal brought to you by Photoshop. 

    H/T BroBible | Photo via joebielawa/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)


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  • 04/10/15--05:00: The future of Vimeo
  • A glimpse into the future of Vimeo—long the bellwether for the online video industry—might shed some light on the future of the webseries as growing part of digital entertainment.

    Founded in 2004 as an alternative to YouTube, Vimeo was the first streaming platform to offer HD quality. The video platform was also a leader in establishing an open API for developers while maintaining its reputation as being creator-friendly by offering a 90-10 revenue split for monetization. Its recent partnership with Indiegogo and investments in original content such as High Maintenance are proof points that Vimeo hopes to maintain its position as a home for leading independent film and webseries.

    “I am in the business of giving you a platform to distribute your content and make it as easy as possible to manage it,” Greg Clayman, Vimeo’s general manager of audience networks, told the Daily Dot. “We live between Hollywood content at one and and YouTube at the other.”

    Vimeo shares a trait common to the successful players in the online video marketplace: the ability to add new services that help stimulate the supply and demand parts of its business. For creators, the company’s open platform affords video auteurs access to a set of tools that promotes distribution to targeted audiences as well as analytics on the performance of individual short films or episodes. For example, Vimeo recently brought on StatDragon as a premium $20 add-on partner that can deliver granular details about user engagement. In 2014, Vimeo acquired Cameo, an application that assists videographers in their efforts to stitch together disparate mobile clips to create a seamless story.

    Of even greater significance on the supply side is Vimeo’s investments in Maker Studios and Machinima to fund the efforts of emerging webseries and film creators. As a result of those investments, Vimeo will gain access to a continual stream of fresh content to add to its growing catalog of 55,000 on-demand videos. By adding to its library of pay-per-view (PPV) shows, Vimeo hopes to increase its estimated $40 million in revenue (reported in 2013), even if it only takes 10 percent of PPV sales. Working with third-party providers allows Vimeo also to grow its $199-a-year Pro service, which includes unlimited HD streaming, mobile/connected TV compatibility, and the ability to create a custom-branded video page.

    All of which leads to possibility of Vimeo creating a subscription service to compete with Netflix, Hulu,Amazon Prime, and others. Vimeo CEO Kerry Trainor recently hinted that the company was examining the possibility of launching a premium business not only to compete with Netflix, but also to distance itself from YouTube. Trainor also said that Vimeo’s new publisher program, which allows the likes of the Atlantic to offer embedded Vimeo-hosted, branded video pages, will help grow his company’s user base. More users equal more opportunities to convert free subscribers to paid subscribers.

    As Vimeo competes with the likes of YouTube, Netflix, and others with deep pockets, success in the online video business boils down to three key elements: curation, multiplatform delivery, and partnerships. The ability for consumers to discover new content and watch it on any device is at the heart of the future of video services.

    In the area of curation, Vimeo takes a professional approach to its selections. “We have a large curation team, and they create staff picks, our on demand page, and have the job to and bring those selections to a large audience,” Clayman told the Daily Dot. And while Vimeo subscribers can create their own personalized channels by theme or category, there is no easy method to share those playlists. No matter how many machine-based and expert curators Vimeo and others employ, sharing of individual user playlists is a low-cost, proven traffic and engagement driver. In the second half of 2015, a number of video providers—including an emerging live video site—will be offering selected users the tools to curate and share personal channels.

    On the multiplatform front, the growing trend for video services is to become a seamless part of the device experience whether it's native to the smart TV screen or a click away via mobile. For example, Netflix is featured on device remotes from Sony, Toshiba, Panasonic, and Philips. On the remote for its streaming stick, Roku has Netflix, Amazon, M-Go, and (for some reason) Blockbuster one click away from access. Part of being seamless is offering a viewing experience that is tailored to the digital venue. While Vimeo scores well on the Roku, its Amazon Fire TV app does not include the ability to search. The only workaround is to use Chromecast (which Vimeo recently added) to search and stream from phone or tablet to the big screen. Whether the Amazon Fire shortcoming is an issue related to Amazon’s often mysterious application requirements is unclear.

    Vimeo has scored big in content partnerships, with CEO Trainor underscoring its commitment by saying the company will spend $1 million in its Indiegogo deal. But where Vimeo may struggle in finding strong partnerships is within its ownership group, InterActive Corp. While video is a vital part of IAC’s dating sites Match.com. OkCupid, and Tinder, those clips don’t provide much for Vimeo from a business standpoint. Others in the IAC family, including CollegeHumor, Ask, Dailyburn, and the Daily Beast have channels on YouTube but not on Vimeo. IAC does not have a hardware or device company in its portfolio.

    Lacking such organic partners is a barrier to competing in the trend of collapsing the video ecosystem so that one company—or a group of partner companies—controls the end-to-end experience in video. Amazon, for example, creates and buys content and has both the mechanism to collect money for the content and an array of connected devices for viewing. The same goes for Apple and Google. Having a cadre of blood relatives in your camp is not essential, but it sure helps.

    More than any of its competitors, Vimeo understands creators, and it expresses that awareness by providing the financial and technical support to be successful. Life in between YouTube and Hollywood has a lot of room for opportunity and innovation. Vimeo’s ability to stay ahead of the curve and further its focus on its viewers will dictate its future trajectory.

    Illustration by Fernando Alfonso III


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    As far as pseudo-piracy programs go, Popcorn Time is a really nice one. It has a great interface, excellent quality, up-to-date movies and shows, and has somehow integrated steaming into torrent technology in a way that actually works, which is shocking to anybody who’s ever tried to hit “preview” on a downloading torrent (not that I ever have). It also comes with a built-in VPN service, which is always nice when you’re trying to not get fined or arrested for stealing media.

    In short, the Argentine-made service takes the Web's sweltering jungle of questionable torrents and essentially creates a user-friendly platform for them. It also just made Netflix and Apple extremely nervous.

    To be fair, it’s been making Netflix pretty angry for a while now (about a year), with the streaming giant’s latest letter to shareholders even mentioning the program by name:  

    “Piracy continues to be one of our biggest competitors. This graph of Popcorn Time’s sharp rise relative to Netflix and HBO in the Netherlands, for example, is sobering.”
    The graph being referred to is this one, and “sobering” is probably too kind of a word:

    According to a September article from TorrentFreak, Popcorn Time had been installed on 1.4 million devices in the U.S., where there were roughly 100,000 active users, with 15,000 new downloads occurring every day.

    The Netherlands trailed only slightly behind, with 1.3 million installations, but when you consider the population there is only 17 million, that’s a pretty intimidating number: It means that 7.6 percent of the country has installed the program, which is only slightly less than the entirety of its left-handed population. And when you consider the Netherlands only has about 700,000 Netflix subscribers—almost half the users of Popcorn Time—you can see why Netflix might be a tad concerned about this rogue “we don't need no stinkin’ money” piracy program. 

    Plus: Those numbers are seven months old, so they’re certainly much higher now. And with the mobile apps now hitting the (literally) free market, they’re probably on the verge of skyrocketing.

    And speaking of mobile apps: Netflix isn't the only company with reasons to fear Popcorn Time. The developers have just released an iOS version of the program, and the app requires no jailbreaking (which always comes with the risk of just plain ol’ breaking) your iPhone. It’s added to phones via a desktop installer, which involves plugging your iPhone into your computer, opening the installer, and following some simple instructions. 

    Yes, that’s right: The installation process in no way includes the iTunes store, and Apple can’t be happy about that. As a matter of fact, it’s most likely going to wage total war on the developers of Popcorn Time, but it seems to be a fight that the developers are willing to get in the trenches for. As the team told The Next Web:

    “The installer guys have no doubt that this will be a long journey, playing ‘cat and mouse’ with Apple. It probably won’t like them breaking its closed eco-system. But seeing their work now and the future updates for the installer they’re already working on, we’re sure they’re ready for any obstacle Apple will throw their way.”

    So it looks like we may have a new Pirate Bay vs. the World situation on our hands, which is always exciting. With an Android app expected later this month, things can only be expected to get more heated.

    H/T The Next Web | Screengrab via Computer Care Clinic/YouTube


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    What do you do if you’re Jimmy Fallon and Madonna is your guest? You get her to play “Holiday” on kids' instruments with the Roots, of course.

    Fresh off her Meerkat video premiere of “Ghosttown,” Madonna sat down with the festively dressed band on The Tonight Show and played a stripped-down version of her ‘80s hit. She handled vocals and cowbell; the band brought in kazoo, xylophone, melodica, and bongos.

    Madonna really brings it at the end with that whistle.

    Screengrab via The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon/YouTube 


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