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- 06/20/15--06:00: _6 things we learned...
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- 06/21/15--05:00: _The 11 worst father...
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- 06/20/15--06:00: 6 things we learned about a cappella pros Pentatonix
- 06/20/15--06:00: YouTube and Storyful partner for new citizen journalism projects
- 06/20/15--08:27: Street cellist offers incredible cover of 'Over the Rainbow'
- 06/20/15--12:38: Starlee Kine talks about her captivating new podcast, 'Mystery Show'
- 06/21/15--05:00: The 11 worst father figures on Netflix
- 06/21/15--06:00: 5 streaming alternatives to 'True Detective'
- 06/21/15--07:23: 5 free, new mixtapes you need to download right now
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- 06/21/15--15:13: Bryan Cranston shows up at EDC to say his famous 'Breaking Bad' line
- 06/22/15--07:00: Find the magic inside webseries 'The Impossibilities'
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Pentatonix’s new documentary, On My Way Home, which is available exclusively on Vimeo, chronicles the a cappella group’s most-recent U.S. tour as they make their way back to their home state of Texas. The group rose to fame in 2011 as winners of NBC’s The Sing-Off, and they have since gone platinum, won a Grammy, and cultivated a dedicated fanbase of Pentaholics, primarily on YouTube. Their documentary is a chance to learn more about the group as they take their a cappella styling around the country.
We learned six key takeaways from this behind-the-scenes glance.
1) They were adorable babies
The documentary is flush with darling home videos of each of the kids—Avi Kaplan, Scott Hoying, Kevin Olusola, Mitch Grassi, and Kirstie Maldonado—spreading their musical wings. It also gives a great rundown on just how the group formed, from the childhood friendship of Hoying, Grassi, and Maldonado to the inclusion of Kaplan and Olusola after their trio videos started to gain traction.
2) They keep it in the family
No, none of them are related, but Kaplan’s sister is the group’s tour manager. That mean some sibling silliness creeps in on the professional relationship, but as they discuss, it’s hard missing your family on the road, so Kaplan is lucky to have at least one person by his side.
3) Their crew is super talented
Mario Jose, Pentatonix’s tour assistant, is also a phenomenal singer. The group surprised him before the Boston leg and asked him to be their opening act. They even flew in his parents for the special occasion. The moment is emotional, with the rest of the crew and band tearing up as Jose sings to a sold-out arena crowd.
4) They love food
Kaplan, especially, spends the entire documentary eating a lot of snacks, from Goldfish crackers to deep-dish pizza to soup. But everyone spends time bonding over food stuff, with an especially memorable scene three hours before their first show where they gorge on vegetables.
5) Hoying’s mom wants to hold their Grammy for safe keeping
They won the award for their arrangement of a Daft Punk mashup in 2015. “It’s not because I want it,” she explains. “It’s because I’m afraid you’ll lose it.”
6) They never stop working
Throughout the film, the group members always singing, both for fun and for work. In between tour stops, they’re recording for a new album, arranging songs, and conducting interviews. In fact, the documentary even ends with a few clips of them continuing on the World Tour portion, and now they’re touring as the opening act for Kelly Clarkson through the summer.
Screengrab via Pentatonix/YouTube
BY SAM GUTELLE
When YouTube celebrated its tenth anniversary earlier this year, one achievement it noted was its ability to serve as a home for citizen journalism. Over the past decade, eyewitnesses to major world events have used video cameras and cellphones to film their surroundings, and when they go to share their clips online, those eyewitnesses more often than not choose to upload to YouTube.
With that in mind, YouTube has launched a trio of projects, all of which are dedicated to citizen journalism. Most significantly, it has announced YouTube Newswire, a channel that provides a selection of videos about the top news stories of the current moment. In order to curate this selection, YouTube has teamed up with Storyful, an agency that searches for news videos from around the social Web.Before YouTube presents these videos to its viewers, it must first verify them, and that’s where the second project comes in. In the fall, a new site will introduce the First Draft Coalition, a group of journalism experts who will dedicate themselves to the verification of user-generated news videos. The Coalition won’t be the first team to support that mission, but it will be one of the best. Its members have devoted a lot of ink to the topic of eyewitness journalism, and YouTube shared a few of their collective writings through a Medium collection.
With its third project, YouTube is extending its user-generated news video efforts worldwide. It has announced the WITNESS Media Lab, a collaboration with Storyful and a half-dozen other news organizations. WITNESS “will produce a series of in-depth projects that focus on human rights struggles as seen from the perspective of those who live, witness, and experience them,” according to a blog post from YouTube. Up first is a project about the impact eyewitness video has on the discussion of police brutality in the United States.
Additional information about all three of these projects can be found in YouTube’s introductory blog post.
Screengrab via YouTube Newswire/YouTube
If there's one place you probably wouldn't expect to hear a world-class rendition of "Over the Rainbow"—played on a cello, no less—it's right out on the sidewalk, but that's just what musician Aaron Gage treated passersby to as they strolled through the RIO Washingtonian Center in Maryland last week. Gage's performance begins with some fantastic cello, before he stretches his lungs and belts out some seriously excellent vocals. The recording of the performance is obviously not the best, given that it was captured in such a public place along with lots and lots of background noise, but it's still a fantastic watch nonetheless.
YouTube commenters, as always, have found something to complain about, and some are insisting that the song itself "wasn't meant to be sung in baritone." I think it's safe to say those folks have lost their minds.
Screencap via chinechinecherie/YouTube
If you were hooked on Serial, obsessed with The Jinx, or are simply a devout follower of Law & Order reruns, you know the lure of a good mystery. Mysteries fill us with wonder and awe and hook us with the promise of an answer—a final explanation that sums things up and puts all the chaos of life in order.
Starlee Kine, a former reporter and producer from This American Life, loves mysteries. But her new podcast, Mystery Show, isn’t macabre or dark. In fact, it’s full of light. The mysteries are small and large, fascinating and unique. Culled from real people’s lives, some popped up unexpectedly while sitting in traffic, while others have been tucked carefully into pockets and carried around for years. A grown man wonders who the true owner of a unique belt buckle might be, a lesser-known author is haunted by a photo of Britney Spears carrying her book, and a video store vanishes without a trace.
The podcast is beautifully produced. From the captivating opening and closing music to the intimacy of the puzzling stories, the show possesses an unusual tenderness and depth. Each episode casts its own strange spell so that as you listen, you might feel the way you do when you hold a carefully crafted wooden lock box and trace its carvings with your fingers. That is, if the lock box could make you laugh every so often.
Part of the appeal of Mystery Show is that it never feels too serious. Kine is committed to finding answers, but her conversations are full of humor and warmth. The best part? This sleuth delivers. Each mystery gets solved in surprisingly satisfying ways.
Kine spoke to the Daily Dot about her love of mysteries, turning casual moments into meaningful ones, and why The Killing drove her crazy.
What inspired the show? How did it come to life?
I’ve always loved mysteries, it’s like my favorite genre—detective stories and mysteries. My biggest inspiration is actually Columbo. I watched it all the time when I was little. My frame of reference for a detective my whole life has been Columbo.
I had the idea about four years ago for the show. At the time I was reading a lot of articles about unsolved mysteries and they’d be really great and exciting and I wouldn’t realize that they weren’t going to solve them at the end. I’d also realize that they weren’t even new mysteries. They were kind of old mysteries that were being re-written.
I was also thinking about doing a radio show. I wanted to figure out a way to do stories where I didn’t really know where they were going to lead, stories that were about things people don’t normally do stories about. A fully reported, original show. I wanted it to have reporting and writing and friends and to be funny. I wanted it to have all of the things that I like. And I was like, how do I pull off this show? And then I thought, mysteries!
Do you enjoy procedurals and true crime shows? They seem to be having a big moment.
I really do love Law & Order. It’s great. Anytime I’m in a place where there’s live TV I look for Law & Order. I never get tired of it and it’s a source of inspiration. I think Serial is really great too. Sarah does reporting on a truly original story. I think what’s exciting about trying to solve mysteries is you truly don’t know where it’s going to go. You get to tell stories that you wouldn’t tell otherwise. It opens it up in a way that’s really exciting.
One of my favorite moments in the show is in the 'Britney' episode. You’re talking to a Ticketmaster rep about the best questions you could ask Britney [Spears] and suddenly the conversation becomes so personal. How do you decide to follow or pursue those organic moments?
[Dennis] was just interesting from the very beginning. I liked him immediately. There’s something about Britney, though. She’s like a mirror or a reflection or a cipher. She’s a really good entry into talking to people about themselves. There’s like a sadness about Britney and a humanity to Britney that people might not think of, but I have to say, bringing up Britney Spears really got people to talk to me.
I’m always trying something because I’m trying to pace every little step of it because you don’t know what’s going to happen. It makes it very labor-intensive because nothing can be a casual call.
In my mind, the premise of the show is, I want to solve these mysteries and I want the solution to be satisfying, but I also want it to be about the process. The reason I like Columbo is it’s all about process. And even in Law & Order, the cold open is awesome. I really like the world that opens up.
I really like procedurals and mysteries where everything along the way to finding the solution entertains you. I recapped that show The Killing and it was really frustrating because everything was a red herring along the way and it was just to get to a shocking ending. But I don’t understand why the steps to get to the ending wouldn’t be interesting, too. So I always knew that was part of [Mystery Show], so I knew I would try a lot of things and talk to a lot of people. And I feel like with the Ticketmaster conversation, he actually thematically connects with the whole story. And it felt very, very natural. And he’s the one who guided me. It was great.
Do you ever worry that you won’t be able to solve a mystery?
I’m always worried I can’t solve it. It’s more labor-intensive than I thought it was going to be. It’s a lot. There’s only so many things I can do.
Has anything surprised you as you’re making the show?
I’m really surprised. People are sending me mysteries and they’re really good. I’m really surprised by how good the mysteries are.
I wanted to show that there’s real mystery in the world because I crave mystery. And it’s true, there is real mystery out there. So much of the time we’re trying to hope that there’s mystery and so many things turn out not to be as good as we want them to be or as magical. And it turns out there are real mysteries in the world. People have real mysteries they want solved. My inbox is flooded. They’re not like “solve this murder” mysteries; they’re like, “I’ve been wondering about this for 20 years,” and it’s a real mystery. And I’m like, yeah, I will solve that.
It’s very satisfying to know that at the end of each episode there’s a resolution. Are you planning to do any longer, multi-part mysteries?
I want to shake it up for sure. Some are going to be long lede mysteries. I might do a mystery where it doesn’t get solved in the installment, but then we come back to it. I always want to take on a mystery where I can see the path to solving it, not that it’s going to be easy. But that’s why I don't want to do "Where is Amelia Earhart?" because I don’t have anything to add to that.
I do think the show will keep evolving. I can’t have things stay the same or I get bored. Also, I would like to solve all these mysteries, but if there are ones where the only way I can solve it is by having the listeners help me, that could be a possibility. I would like that.
What has been your favorite moment of the show so far?
There so many favorite moments. I liked talking to Dennis from Ticketmaster. We talked for a long time. He made a real impression on me. I’m very impressed by him. I loved giving Hans his buckle. I loved hanging out with Chef Brenee.
But I really liked the Fellini guy in the pilot. When I talked to him it felt like something woke up in my head. I never get tired of listening to him. I love that tape, and we recorded that a couple of years ago.
That moment is what got me excited about doing the show. It made me feel like I want to do this show. I want this to happen. I want more of this. And it’s not like I’m going to go out and have everyone spill their innermost feelings to me. But it was more like this is what is interesting to me because it’s not putting all of the burden on the solution. It [helped me see] what was disappointing about mysteries. I want to solve mysteries because in order to have all these side things, I have to honor the solution. But to me, it’s sad when people phone it in to get to a fast solution.
The latest episode of Mystery Show, “Source Code,” follows Kine as she attempts to track down the very elusive height of actor Jake Gyllenhaal. It’s available, along with every other episode, on iTunes.
Image via Arthur Jones/Gimlet Media
This article contains spoilers for Breaking Bad, The Devil’s Rejects, Joe Dirt, Rosemary’s Baby, The Angriest Man in Brooklyn, and Kill Bill.Father’s Day is a time to celebrate our excellent dads and all they've done to better our lives and expand our knowledge of the world. But not all dads are good dads—some of them kind of suck, actually—and we feel it’s important to recognize those shitty father figures in the world, too. (Plus, you can’t just throw Mom under the bus.)
So, dads and dads-to-be: Take note. Here’s everything you don’t want to do when it comes to the care and keeping of your kids. And kids? Next time you think your pops is The Worst, just remember: At least he’s not literally Satan.
1) Sling Blade (1996)Doyle Hargraves is not the biological father of Frank Wheatley (a young Lucas Black)—his real father committed suicide when he was young—but he may as well be. He hangs around the house constantly (he only goes to his place to cheat on Frank’s mom), calls his buddies up so their bad rock/country band can practice in the night's late hours, then explodes at them for discussing controversial stuff like “writing down vocals” and “playing gigs.” He gets so mad about this talk, that he shoves one band member in a wheelchair into a wall.
But they’ll practice again, because people never really let Doyle Hargraves (such a good name for an asshole) out of their lives. Or will they?
This one’s actually a twofer: Sling Blade (actual name: Karl)’s father is pretty terrible as well, having once charged Karl with burying his aborted brother in the backyard while he was still alive. No, this is not a “life is all roses” movie—but it’s so well written that it’ll still leave you with hope. It’s honestly one of the best American films of all time. So watch it.
2) The Devil's Rejects (2005)
Is Captain Spaulding, indeed, a bad father? He drops everything in his life to help out his fugitive children (a feat he’s gotta know will cut his 10-year lifespan down by about nine years and 363 days). A good father would do that sort of thing for their kids when they’re in trouble—hence the hesitation to include him on here.Then again: He did raise a family full of blindly murdering, raging psychopaths. Maybe that’s the fault of genetics, but if so—statistically speaking—you’d think at least one of the Firefly children would have said, “hey guys, um... I'm going to check out community college and go into radiology instead of just murdering people that come to our house.” Maybe they did, and they’re just not in the movie, but I’m going on what I’ve got to work with, here, and that’s that all his kids turned out to be murderous assholes. So the fact that they all (spoiler alert) die in the end to the tune of “Freebird” must be considered the ultimate consequence of Spaulding being a bad father. Inclusion on list: Earned.
3) Joe Dirt (2001)Joe Dirt’s dad is a pretty bad one: He intentionally left him in a trash can at the Grand Canyon when he was only 8. When Dirt’s journey to find his parents finally comes to a close, with Dirt’s story being a national sensation at this point, he arrives at his parents’ trailer with an army of TV cameras and his parents cop to leaving him there on purpose. Then, they try and sell some ceramic clown dolls to people watching at home.
The only good thing about Joe Dirt’s dad (last name: Nunnemaker, because he was such a jerk that he gave his son a different last name, and that name was “Dirt”) is that he’s played by Fred Ward. So at least he's hilarious.
4) Breaking Bad (2008-2013)
There’s a slim chance that Walter White isn’t actually a bad father; the whole series walks the line of “Is he bad, or is he protecting his family?” And, in the end, the real enemy might just be cancer itself (and the American healthcare system, since it basically says the shitty fuckmess of private healthcare is the reason that all your favorite characters are dead).In the end, he does provide for his family (maybe—there’s some debate out there about where that money for them most likely ended up), but he does it after five seasons of cheating, lying, killing, and being almost entirely absent.
So, ultimately? He’d have been a better father without the meth. (Side note: Personally, I still like the guy—I just think he was a bad dad, even if that was the opposite of his original intention).
5) Kill Bill: Vol. 2 (2004)When we learn at the end of Vol. 1 that the Bride’s daughter with Bill is still alive, we fully expect him to be training her to be an assassin or something, making her sleep under the house and occasionally taking her out to the woods to kill her own food with arrows and cook it over fires that she’s made herself by rubbing sticks together.
So it’s a little weird when (spoiler alert) the Bride finally gets to the last name on her Kill List (Bill), and his house looks like somewhere Danny Tanner might raise a child in. The kid watches cartoons, eats cereal… She’s downright normal.
So is Bill a bad father? Well, he appears to take good care of his daughter, but he did try to have her mother killed, and he does lead a ring of misfit assassins. So, at the moment, yes. Check back in during her rebellious teenage years.
6) Hot Rod (2007)
Ian McShane’s Frank is a big fan of tough love: He regularly spars with his stepson Rod (Andy Samberg) and beats the daylights out of him. He mocks Rod’s inability to grow a mustache, and he think Rod’s dreams of becoming a famous stuntman are stupid (which, to be fair, they probably are). One argument with Frank leads to Rod going into the woods to dance off his anger, which is one of maybe 3,000 reasons that this movie rules.When Frank needs a heart transplant, Rod gathers his team (all of whom were absolute nobodies at the time of filming and are straight-up A-listers in Hollywood now) to help him prepare to jump 15 buses. His plan: to raise enough money to save Frank’s life. Why? So he can fully recover before he smashes in his face.
Frank has a good heart (not literally—I mean, he needs a transplant, after all), but his love/hate relationship with his son and the fact that he hits him really hard in the face with a sparring stick, are pretty incontrovertible proof he’s earned a spot on this list.
7) Mad Men (2007-2015)
Confession: I’ve only seen two and a half seasons of Mad Men. I know that makes me a bad person, but the show is an hour long, and after hopping off the binge-watching train to catch up with Breaking Bad instead, I got so far behind on the show that I’m not sure I’ll ever get back to it.But even two and a half seasons is enough to know that bad dads are everywhere in this show. Evidently in the ’50s, if you lived in the city, you were either a horrible, neglectful father that regularly cheated on your wife, or you were gay. (Yes, I know the show moved past the ’50s, but I’m willing to assume the cheating and neglect and alcoholism remained through the ’70s. Call it a hunch.)
The show should also be noted for its unintended result of making Don Draper, maybe the show’s worst dad, the sexual fantasy of a lot of people. The lesson*: Wear a suit, be an asshole, keep your mouth shut, and succeed in every aspect of your life (except the part that involves your family). 'Merica: Corporate Style.
8) There Will Be Blood (2007)
Daniel Plainview did nicely adopt a kid whose actual father had died. But as his ego inflates and his mind goes to crumbles, Plainview screams at his adopted son that he’s just “a bastard from a basket,” so I’m pretty sure it cancels out.There Will Be Blood is probably not the first movie that comes to mind when you think “hmm, which film could use a sequel?” but I’d honestly be quite curious to find out how Plainview’s kid turned out.
9) American Beauty (1999)
Lester Burnham isn’t really the worst dad; he’s pretty typical, really. Emotionally estranged from his daughter in high school, generally bored with his life—all of this feeds into the massive midlife crisis and existential dilemma that is American Beauty.Now, I’ve never been a parent, so it’ll be at least 18 years (and hopefully a few more) before I might know what it’s like to have an 18-year-old daughter with a hot friend. I’m sure I’d notice, maybe even think about it a second too long, but I'd like to think that it’d stop there, that when she walked by, I’d think, “man, if I were in my 20s...,” and then get back to reading The Economist. The fact that Lester obsesses over Angela, to the point of changing his diet and starting a grueling workout regimen, is what qualifies him for this list. The fact that his daughter recognizes his obsession, and he still continues with it—that seals his fate on here.
10) The Angriest Man in Brooklyn (2014)
One of the last releases of Robin Williams’. I don't know if he’s actually the angriest man living in Brooklyn, but he definitely scores above average. After discovering that he’s terminally ill and will be dying either very soon or very, very soon, he attempts to record a message to his son on a camcorder, to tell him how much he loves him, but he ends up getting angry and worked up and then he passes out.He hasn’t had the greatest relationship with his son. Ever since his son told him he was going to pursue a career of dancing, rather than follow his father’s footsteps and join him at his law practice, he’s basically ignored him. He’s not a great husband, either. He’s married to his job, and discovers that (spoiler alert) his wife his having an affair with a much older man (like, in his 70s) who he’d always assumed was just an innocent neighbor. The odd thing: He’s not even that bothered about it. He just wanted to make sure he could have sex with his wife one more time before he died, and the whole affair thing is more or less just an obstacle to that happening. He’s angry to enough to have long ago written off the possibility of a perfect ending to his life.
11) Rosemary's Baby (1968)
As this is the last movie on the list, I'm going to issue a spoiler alert right here: If you haven't seen this film, just stop reading the article now and go do so. Now.
Yes: It was directed by a man that sodomized a 13-year-old girl while she was drugged in Jack Nicholson’s bathtub. Either try and ignore that or don’t; maybe knowing that will just make the whole thing creepier, considering how strange it is that a man who committed that crime made one of cinema's greatest allegories about feminism.Anyway, the spoiler: The father here is, quite literally, Satan. So, as far as bad dads go, this one probably takes the cake. It doesn’t get any worse than Satan—unless you subscribe to a religious mythology closer to Lovecraftian stuff, in which case maybe there is. (I read At the Mountains of Madness, and I’d rather shake hands with Satan any day than meet whatever the fuck that thing in that novella was.)
The husband is a pretty massive dickhead, too. Actually: Everybody but the main character, played by Mia Farrow (whose involvement with the film led to her divorce from Frank Sinatra, because he felt she was spending too much time at work), is a Grade-A monster. After all, they all (even the fucking nice old people) help to drug Farrow and strap her delirious body to a bed, so that Satan can rape her.
And that’s pretty fucked-up, especially for 1968.
Screengrabs via Netflix | Remix by Joey Keeton
The freshman season, which starred Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson, became a watercooler sensation last year, but many fear it will suffer a sophomore slump, since it’s focusing on entirely new storylines and characters this time around. And it’s the characters that truly made True Detective great, elevating crime material we’d seen a thousand times before by filtering it through the lenses of inimitable detectives Rustin Cohle and Martin Hart.
Of course, not all of us have an HBO subscription (or an HBO Go code we can borrow), so there will inevitably be some folks feeling left out of tonight’s True Detective season 2 debut. Thankfully, Netflix and the Daily Dot have your back. We’ve compiled five streaming alternatives to True Detective that involve elements of crime and are anchored by interesting, flawed, complex characters. And, just like True Detective, each show is contained in a single season, so they’re perfectly suited for summer binge-watching. Enjoy.
Even five years after FX gave Terriers the axe, this wound is still fresh. Created by Ted Griffin (Ocean's Eleven, Matchstick Men), Terriers stars Donal Logue as Hank Dolworth, a recovering alcoholic ex-cop who works as an unlicensed private detective in the Ocean Beach neighborhood of San Diego. His partner is his best friend, Britt (Michael Raymond-James), a former criminal Hank once gave the benefit of the doubt. Naturally, Hank's family situation is complicated as well: He's got an ex-wife he's still hung up on, and his schizophrenic sister has taken to hiding out in his attic. Over the course of Terriers' single, damn near perfect season, Hank and Britt struggle to make ends meet, stay out of trouble with the cops, and solve the one case they can't shake: a murdering real estate developer who opens the door to a far larger conspiracy involving powerful people who would prefer Hank stop nosing around already and possibly also die.
Hamstrung by a confusing marketing campaign that involved an actual dog and no clues as to what the show was about, Terriers just didn’t get the ratings it needed to survive, and that’s the biggest crime of the entire series. Still, the show landed on tons of critics’ “best of 2010 lists,” and was even nominated for Outstanding New Program by the Television Critics Association. The cast is uniformly stellar, with Logue and Raymond-James bringing the core characters to life in rumpled, hilarious fashion. The season-long arc is packed with twists and turns, featuring scripts by top-notch TV vets like Shawn Ryan (The Shield) and Tim Minear (American Horror Story). In a perfect world, Terriers would be five seasons in by now. If the show taught us anything, it’s that the world is far from perfect, but that doesn’t mean you aren’t obligated to try to fix it anyway.
Over the course of True Detective’s first season, many speculated that some of the show’s more surreal elements were leading up to the show having some sort of paranormal component. In the end, that never materialized, but that ambiguity is partially what led to the inclusion of the underrated Awake on this list. Airing for a single season on NBC in 2012, Awake starred Jason Isaacs (Harry Potter’s Lucius Malfoy) as Michael Britten, a cop who was in a horrible car wreck with his wife (Laura Allen) and son (Dylan Minette). Now he’s caught between two alternate realities. In one world, his wife is alive, but his son died in the crash. At the end of a day spent in that world, Britten closes his eyes and wakes up in the other, where his son survived the wreck but his wife didn’t. Is he crazy? Dreaming? Really bouncing between parallel universes? All Britten knows is that he desperately wants both realities to be true.
Awake creator Kyle Killen has said the concept of the show was inspired by the way dreams can feel totally real until you wake up, and the core moral quandary is hugely compelling. Would you want to know the truth, to “wake up” if it meant losing one of your loved ones all over again? Isaacs’ performance as Britten is both crucial and outstanding, showing us a man ricocheting between grief and gratitude, compelled by the mystery of his situation but also terrified to poke at it too much, lest it unravel and cost him everything. What became the series finale was written before the show was canceled, so don’t expect every question to be answered. In the case of Awake, that ambiguity is actually perfectly consistent and satisfying.
Created by Paul Haggis and Paul Moresco (Crash), The Black Donnellys is the story of four brothers navigating family, religion, and organized crime in New York City’s Hell’s Kitchen. Setting is nearly as integral to The Black Donnellys as themes of family, exploring the slow gentrification that is pushing out the traditional Irish residents and power structures, as well as Irish-American organized crime headbutting with its rival, the Italians. Jonathan Tucker stars as Tommy Donnelly, the second oldest of the brothers and the one who always cleans up his siblings’ messes. Jimmy (Tom Guiry) is the eldest, a drug addict and thug with a bad temper. Kevin (Billy Lush) is the second youngest and a gambler, but a bad one. Sean (Michael Stahl-David) is the youngest of the clan, a ladykiller his older brothers try to keep out of trouble.
The Black Donnellys follows Tommy’s attempts to stay on the straight and narrow, only to be continually pulled back into the rough by his disreputable brothers. The show’s excellent cast also includes Olivia Wilde as Jenny Reilly, a childhood friend Tommy is completely in love with; Star Trek: Voyager’s Kate Mulgrew as the Donnelly clan’s widowed matriarch, Helen; and Keith Nobbs as Joey Ice Cream, a longtime friend of the Donnellys who serves as the show’s unreliable narrator, frequently revising or tweaking the story as he tells it.
4) Hit & Miss
Hit & Miss is a British series that originally aired on Sky Atlantic and DirecTV’s Audience Network here in the States. Chloe Sevigny stars as Mia, a preoperative transgender woman who works as a contract killer for some very bad people. Years after leaving Yorkshire, she returns upon learning of the death of an ex-girlfriend and, more importantly, that she fathered a son she never knew about. Mia finds herself guardian of not only her 11-year-old son, but his three half-siblings, something neither she nor the children are thrilled about. Nor are her criminal bosses willing to lose her to domesticity. She must juggle newfound parenthood against her continuing obligations in the “killing people” department, while also navigating tricky romantic waters with local lad Ben and dealing with arguably the worst landlord in history.
Hit & Miss actually began as two unrelated dramas: one about a transgender mother and another about a hitman. Series creator Paul Abbott came up with the clever idea to combine the two, resulting in a wholly unique series that blends family and relationship drama with crime elements and a fascinating protagonist. Sevigny gives a fine performance as Mia, although her accent is occasionally spotty, and it’s kind of a shame a second season never materialized. Transgender characters are getting a lot of exploration on shows such as Amazon’s Transparent and Netflix’s Sense8, so Hit & Miss is more timely now than when it originally aired in 2012.
5) Lights Out
Patrick “Lights” Leary is a retired heavyweight championship boxer living the good life. He’s got a beautiful wife and three amazing daughters, a big house, and the comfortable lifestyle his career afforded him. Well, he used to have that, anyway, before his crook of a brother/business manager burned through the family’s entire savings. Now, Lights is forced to attempt a comeback while suffering from the early stages of “pugilistic dementia,” the toll all those years of getting hit in the head took on him. And if he starts getting hit in the head again on a regular basis, things will only get worse. He’s got other options, of course. He could always take work as muscle for a local gangster, but that’s not exactly the sort of thing that’s going to make his daughters proud.
Lights Out fits squarely into the mold of “deeply flawed male antiheroes” that defined much of cable drama in the era between The Sopranos and the recently wrapped Mad Men. Actor Holt McCallany makes Lights a hugely sympathetic lug you can’t help but root for, but one who often makes terrible decisions, starting with hiring his dishonest and incompetent brother as his business manager. Sadly, Lights Out couldn’t keep the lights on in 2011, failing to attract an audience in spite of mostly solid reviews. Still, it works well as a sort of self-contained miniseries, resolving the big dilemma of whether Lights will get his championship back but leaving viewers with an ending they’ll have a hard time cheering for.Screengrab via trainIn11/YouTube
Every day, dozens of free rap releases hit the Web. These are the moment's most interesting and resonant—and this week they come to us via the benches of rap's most successful teams.
1) Starlito - IntroversionEast Nashville rapper Starlito has a career spanning more than 10 years, since he was an underclassmen at Tennessee State University through his brief stint with Cash Money Records. He has willingly settled into being a sort of lone troubadour (albeit one who also makes collaborative mixtapes) exploring his soul. Introversion follows earlier mixtape titles such as Mental WARfare and Post Traumatic Stress, continuing ‘Lito’s confessional raps, with his expression of detachment occasionally retracted to reveal an understated depth that gets obscured.
Starlito is one of the best rap writers working today, but because he avoids pop song formats (though not super corny samples) and rapping louder than an inside voice, he’ll probably never find the success he deserves. He can paint beautiful imagery: "Crushed ice all in my watch and my cup/I come from watching the cops on the block with a tuck"; show off his deadpan humor: "Sauce dripping on my Scottie Pippens feel like I’m walking on air/Meant to say Balenciagas got a lot of them just bought four pairs"; keep it realer than most: "How many times them n***as shot at us? Shit not enough/Probably why I never got hot as Buck, but I didn’t give a fuck"; and tell a story: “Got a call from my homie ready to kill this n***a about some shit that happened 12 years ago.” There are five features with ‘Lito’s stepbrother, Memphis rapper Don Trip, a couple songs with another Southern naval gazer Kevin Gates, and one with fellow Cashvillian Young Buck. Starlito’s anxiety is a constant, but at one point he utters, “Peace with myself coming soon.” Whether that’s a new album or a new state of mind, I sure hope so.
Remarkable reference:“Shell shock shorty on the block with that 40 like Shawn Kemp in ‘94."
2) Fat Trel - Georgetown
Rick Ross has squandered countless rap careers. Not by intimidation or, like, out-rapping anyone, but by signing them to his music label Maybach Music Group and apparently losing their paperwork behind a filing cabinet. Other than Wale, who gets all his studio time and promotional material from Atlantic Records; and Omarion, who’s only kind of relevant because of Love and Hip Hop: L.A., every artist on MMG could pool their money together and barely buy a Mazda, let alone a Maybach.
Northeast D.C. rapper Fat Trel signed with Ross in 2013 and has yet to have a proper single or album. It’s disappointing because Trel was supposed to be a great D.C. rapper. He was everything that fellow Washingtonian Wale wasn’t–fully embraced by the city, effortlessly charismatic, and he could rap like he could kill you. But Trel got into downers and started hanging out with Tommy Hilfiger’s rapping progeny. These things have not helped the rapper’s creativity.
Georgetown is only the second mixtape Fat Trel has released since 2013, which might also be the last time I really liked a Trel track. Don’t get me wrong, I can appreciate the hell out of his rapping, but I haven’t listened to any of his songs more than five times since his “Started from the Bottom” freestyle. But he keeps making music and I keep listening for something good. I did like the 808 Mafia-produced “Wzup wit Me” and “I’m Ill,” featuring one of Trel’s Slutty Boys, Boosa da Shoota. Elsewhere, “Funky Style” is a campy New York tune that samples Milkbone’s 1995 classic “Keep It Real.” “I’m da Type” has much better rapping than the beat deserves, and “Murder Gardenz” is the best song on the tape, with a music box setting the scene for Trel’s urban marauding.
Remarkable reference:“Dick so big when I put it on a wig thought my daddy was a elephant."
3) Skooly - Blacc Jon Gotti
I’ve wondered for a while what a Skooly solo tape would sound like. He’s half (used to be a lesser fraction before they became a duo) of Rich Kidz along with RKaelub, who emerged out of Atlanta’s late aughts swag rap scene and have evolved into something far more polished. Their shiniest moment might be “My Life” featuring the rapping equivalent of the Kool-Aid Man, Waka Flocka Flame. Their collaboration sounds like being shot into outer space in a spaceship full of molly water. Rich Kidz have steady been releasing some of the most fun rap music out, but it often sounds like Skooly is the only one who brings the energy.
Skooly is the one bouncing off the walls and the one snapping the hardest on the vocals in every Rich Kidz song. Unfortunately this isn’t the perfect mixtape from which to launch a solo career, but there are some songs on here that turned me into an on-beat contortionist. Skooly has a talent for rapping increasingly more shrill on a track without ever losing the melody, but the songs on this tape are mostly too slow for anybody to wild out to. On “Simple,” Skooly threatens to shoot up your spot over some Goo Goo Dolls jangly guitars, then a crazy electric guitar solo shows up on “Bacc on My Shyt,” and there’s also a piano-driven ballad called “Cry Me a River.” Only on “Everything” does Skooly really get loose—the beat all but getting out of the way for a cresting tide.
Remarkable reference:“More stripes than Adidas/Catch a n***a like a Randy Moss."
4) Lucki Eck$ - X
Sometimes the word “alternative” is used as a vague signifier, like how every rock song in the ‘90s by anyone besides Bruce Springsteen was labeled alternative rock (alternative to what?). But when Chicago rapper Lucki Eck$ dropped his debut mixtape, Alternative Trap, it truly was out of left field. While Eck$’s hometown was deconstructing Atlanta trap rap and white European producers suddenly started calling their dubstep music “trap,” Lucki was conversationally tongue-twisting punchlines over trippy bedroom beats.
His second mixtape, last year’s Body High, had both more complex production and more traditional song structures. After making a tape with a lot of good and unusual rap songs, he’s almost moved past rapping altogether on his newest, X. There was hardly any singing on Lucki’s earlier output–occasionally he would float off into a Big Sean-like sing-songy flow, but he fully embraces that talent here. In the past, he has drawn comparisons to A$AP Rocky because of the shared influences that came from outside their own regions, especially as a specific style was drilled into place in Chicago at the time of Lucki’s debut.
Here, a big influence seems to be the rapper who came to embody that specific Chiraq sound, Chief Keef, and indeed Lucki explores that same darkness. Keef himself has become somewhat of a loner with increasingly abstract rap songs, and that is where Lucki is most comfortable. Oddly enough, there’s a song called “Mia Wallace,” which is now the second song about Uma Thurman’s Pulp Fiction character out right now, and there’s a subtle remix to the beat of Mike Jones’ 2005 classic “Still Tippin’,” on which Lucki somersaults from flow to flow. The song with Chance the Rapper and Young Chop, two Chicago artists with contrasting styles, doesn’t even stand out but for Chance’s squeaky voice. On the rest of the mixtape, Lucki Eck$ may have found his sound, but unfortunately now a lot of the songs kinda sound the same
Remarkable reference:“You like the town(?) I referee/I like riding around to Meek/I fuck the line I sneeze the beat/I take my time I need to breathe."
5) Trouble - #ZayDidIt
It’s been an unnervingly long four years since ATL rapper Trouble’s most successful song, “Bussin.” In 2011, anyone with a massive, hulking, Lex Luger beat and guns pointed at the camera could potentially write a hit. Trouble kind of did with “Bussin,” a first-person hood horror movie complete with constant cocking and firing sounds that got a remix with three rappers who are more famous. And then I didn’t hear from him again. He’s apparently been putting out mixtapes, features–even an album–and he was also shot multiple times last year, but he’s almost assuredly ruined any chance of a moderately successful rap career. This new tape has every song clocked in at 3:29, despite none of the songs lasting that length. There is a long silence at the end of every track on #ZayDidIt, sometimes more than a minute, and apparently not enough people cared to do anything about it.
At the same time, producer Zaytoven is the Mozart of late-aughts Atlanta rap. He struck gold with the Migos’ “Versace” a couple summers ago, and even though that success has been a rarity this decade, and he may not have made a new beat since Obama’s first term—or at least I would 100 percent believe anyone accusing as much—I just can’t turn down those dulcet piano tunes. Every song sounds formulaic, but it still makes me feel like spinning around in an office chair. Trouble isn’t a bad rapper or anything: The hooks are clumsy but they hit their target, and the couple songs with Bankroll Fresh are improved. It’s just hard to praise something so shoddy.
Remarkable reference:“Just don’t sit there on your Instagram/Acting like you don’t really give a damn/How could you switch up on me?/How could you give up on me?”
Screengrab via WORLDSTARHIPHOP/YouTube
Taylor Swift, who’s been a critic of streaming services like Spotify for poorly compensating artists for their music, wrote an open letter to Apple Music on Tumblr Sunday. Her earlier music will be available to stream as part of Apple Music, but she isn't allowing latest album 1989 onto the service, which launches June 30.
Although she respects Apple for what it’s trying to do, she doesn’t like that artists won’t be compensated at all during Apple Music’s three-month free trial period. Swift is already successful without streaming services, but her stance isn’t necessarily just because she wouldn’t be compensated.
This is not about me. Thankfully I am on my fifth album and can support myself, my band, crew, and entire management team by playing live shows. This is about the new artist or band that has just released their first single and will not be paid for its success. This is about the young songwriter who just got his or her first cut and thought that the royalties from that would get them out of debt. This is about the producer who works tirelessly to innovate and create, just like the innovators and creators at Apple are pioneering in their field…but will not get paid for a quarter of a year’s worth of plays on his or her songs.
As an influential figure in the music industry, she’s speaking up for every struggling artist, songwriter, and producer who won’t get paid for three months. They respect Apple, but are too afraid to speak out against the deal. And while she supports Apple on most stances (iTunes sales provide part of her revenue), she cannot support it not compensating artists and asks for it to reconsider its stance.
“We don’t ask you for free iPhones,” Swift wrote. “Please don’t ask us to provide you with our music for no compensation.”
Photo via GabboT/Flickr (CC BY SA 2.0)
Kindle Unlimited is often billed as Netflix for books, a subscription service where users pay a monthly fee for access to 700,000 titles.
At the moment, Kindle Unlimited authors are paid by the number of times their ebooks are borrowed, a similar method to traditional libraries. However, Amazon will soon introduce a new system where payment is calculated based on pageviews.
Amazon says this decision was inspired by "authors who asked us to better align payout with the length of books and how much customers read." Starting on July 1, authors will be paid by the number of pages read per month, not by the number of times a book is withdrawn. This means long books will have more monetary worth than short books of equal "popularity." Meanwhile, if a book is requested by lots of Kindle users but none of them get past the first chapter, the author won't be making much money at all.
For authors who write specifically for the Kindle ebook market, this new system may incentivize longer books with more plot twists and page-turning drama. It could also cut down on writers padding books for length, because they'll be more aware of readers tuning out halfway through. Either way, it's easy to see how this could influence writers' creative output.
One key thing to note from Amazon's announcement is that it doesn't say how much authors will be paid. Its example uses an imagined $10 million overall fund, divided between 100 million pages in the library. So:
"The author of a 100 page book that was borrowed and read completely 100 times would earn $1,000 ($10 million multiplied by 10,000 pages for this author divided by 100,000,000 total pages)."
These round numbers make the concept easier to understand, but they're also pretty misleading. No one will be making anything like $1,000 for a 100-page book read 100 times. This would come out at $10 per ebook, or 10 cents per page—an unrealistic amount even for an ebook sale on Amazon, nevermind the equivalent of a Netflix stream.
Amazon frames this change as a system favored by authors, but that doesn't really gel with the company's history as an online distributor. Industry insiders have already criticized Kindle Unlimited for demanding exclusive distribution rights, and Kindle Worlds (Amazon's licensed fanfic publishing platform) imposes strict copyright and content restrictions on its authors.
By calculating payment based on pageviews, Amazon will almost certainly reduce the overall amount of money paid to its authors—all while continuing to collect the same subscription fees from Kindle audiences.
Photo via Tatsuo Yamashita/Wikimedia (CC BY 2.0)
Two women with the most famous eyebrows in show business finally determined who has the better set—maybe.
With this hairy and momentous occasion, Graham Norton set Paper Towns actress and model Cara Delevingne against Game of Thrones and Terminator: Genisys star Emilia Clarke for an eyebrow-off. They’re both on point, no doubt, but whose was better?
Jake Gyllenhaal, who has slightly less impressive eyebrows, watched on—probably in jealousy—while Clarke’s Genisys costar Arnold Schwarzenegger was set to judge. In the end, though, it doesn’t really matter. Delevingne, Clarke, and their eyebrows will run the world anyway. We’re just living in it.Screengrab via The Graham Norton Show/YouTube
This article contains spoilers for Orange Is the New Black.Season 3 of Orange Is the New Black finds correctional officer John Bennett (Matt McGorry) trying to sketch out his future and that of his baby with inmate Dayanara. Bennett just wants to do the right thing, but he faces several obstacles.
Some fans criticized Bennett's behavior this season, namely the fact that he left the prison without saying anything to the pregnant Daya, right after proposing to her. Fans are apparently unaware that he's playing a fictional character, and this photo only fanned the fictional flames.
"To make matters even more confusing," he wrote, "I am even dressed in fictional character John Bennett’s costume (a costume is like fictional clothes) in this photograph that was taken on the television set and afterwards I went home to my apartment in New York City where I don’t have a child because I’m not a father and have never worked in a prison and TV is not real life.”
Judging from some of the comments on that post, it seems a few people still don't get it, but hey, he tried, much like his fictional character, John Bennett.
And let us never forget the real highlight of season 3:H/T Entertainment Weekly | Photo via Disney | ABC Television Group/Flickr (CC BY ND 2.0)
Bryan Cranston showed up with DJs Above & Beyond in the middle of their set to a screaming crowd of thousands of fans before asking them to answer one of Breaking Bad’s most iconic demands. You’re goddamn right they answered.Above & Beyond, who are big Breaking Bad fans, have a track titled “Walter White,” named after Cranston’s famous character, and they had Cranston on to start the song. And once the music starts going and he starts dancing, we have another reason to love him. He’s got some serious moves.
It's a lamentable truth that as one grows older, many of the mysteries that absorb us in our youth begin to dissipate. They are explained away or revealed to be mythic or fraudulent. It's a damn shame, because things are pretty boring without any sort of wonder or intrigue.
So it's always somewhat disheartening to see a precocious youngster prematurely breaking down these walls and demanding answers when they should just be musing. You want to shout: "Wait! It's too early! You can't go back, you know? Over here there's just working and paying taxes and filling in forms. It's terrible."
But of course you say nothing, as it's just not done. Nor is it really possible to keep a lid on a thing like knowledge if you believe you have someone's best interests at heart.
And there's a moment in The Impossibilities—Anna Kerrigan’s eight-part, gently comedic webseries—where this happens. A young girl at her own birthday party acts unimpressed at one of the hired magician’s tricks. The illusion wasn’t real. She has a book. She knows how it was done.
The magician, Harry (Ashley Springer), wants to explain that if the apparent impossibility of the trick doesn't astound, then at least the method should. But he’s conflicted. He’s stuck in his role as a sort of quasi-babysitter and doesn’t want to offend, and what’s more, the know-it-all has already left the room, smug in her unmitigated knowledge.
But more problematically, you get the feeling that Harry doesn’t really believe what he’s saying. He's doing it out of reflex. Arguing the existence of wonder and magic is a tough sport at the best of times, nigh on impossible when the advocate of the defense doubts his own client. Harry and The Impossibilities’ other protagonist—lesbian yoga instructor Willa, played by Kati Rediger, Springer’s real wife—are two characters who are struggling to locate some sort of joy in their day-to-days. They have, as Kerrigan told the Daily Dot, “both had their dreams crushed by the realities of their lives but they still hope to find magic.”
And it’s that “hope” that drives the series. Or rather, the question that accompanies it. Can you ever actually rediscover that old feeling of wonder, the spark of amazement and admiration, if you've come to believe that it's all just a big trick?
"As humans, we are all curious to know how things work—especially the things that amaze us," said Kerrigan. "That, like magic, seem beyond explanation. But as Harry says, 'Once you know how magic works, it's no longer magic.' And hey, that's kind of a great metaphor for becoming an adult, right? I know that as I've gotten older, and supposedly wiser, less and less things amaze me. I experience less awe-creating impossibilities. And I think that's something that both Willa and Harry struggle with in the series."
And it's a struggle that finds this series at its most relatable. Many people sprout platitudes about finding "more in life" without the hint of an idea as to what they are looking for. But what a lot of people are unable to come to terms with is the discordance between those impossibilities and what they now know. Or rather, a product of how they now "know better."
It's a sure-footed sign of a strong series, and Kerrigan has enmeshed magic throughout The Impossibilities to demonstrate this. Each episode begins with a short, captivating routine from Harry—Springer has been a professional magician since the age of nine and it shows—that is thrillingly poised to call into question our very understanding of what is indeed possible. It is a temporary feeling; our reason soon gets the better of us, but it's brilliant and provoking while it lasts.
"When a magician succeeds in defying the known laws of the world through magic, he creates a feeling of impossibility in his audience," said Kerrigan. "They know it shouldn't be possible, and yet their senses have perceived that it is. To quote the magician, Simon Aronson, 'The impossible is as wonderful as it is rare.'"
Screengrab via The Impossibilities/Vimeo
In July, Netflix finally debuts the much-anticipated Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp, but there are quite a few titles to keep you busy until then. Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas and Terminator 2: Judgment Day are both leaving Netflix on July 1, and that's quite the double-header for the dead of summer.
Here are all the titles leaving Netflix in July:
1) Beauty and the Beast: Season 1-3
2) Big Fish
3) Big Top Pee-wee
4) Bratz: Fashion Pixiez
5) Bratz Kidz: Sleep-Over Adventure
6) Bowling for Columbine
7) Cast Away
8) Cheech & Chong's Next Movie
10) Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead
11) Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas
12) Four Weddings and a Funeral
13) Fried Green Tomatoes
14) Harper's Island: The Complete Series
15) Hawaii Five-O (1968): Season 1-10
16) Jack Frost
17) Knight Rider: Season 1-4
18) Louis C.K.: Hilarious
19) Melrose Place 2.0
20) Melrose Place: Season 1-7
21) Mission: Impossible: Season 1-7
23) Natural Born Killers: Director's Cut
25) Racing Stripes
26) Seven Years in Tibet
27) She's All That
28) Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow
29) Space Cowboys
30) Stephen King's The Stand
31) Super Troopers
32) Terminator 2: Judgment Day
33) The Adventures of Young Indiana Jones: Vol. 1-3
34) The Care Bears Movie
35) The Fly 2
36) The Langoliers
37) The Last Samurai
38) The Manchurian Candidate
39) The Muppets Take Manhattan
40) Three Kings
41) Trailer Park Boys: The Movie
42) Wings: Season 1-8
43) X-Men: Evolution: Season 1
44) Myth Hunters: Series 1
45) Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon
46) The Last Stand
47) Shipping Wars: Season 1-3
48) Wahlburgers: Season 1
49) Dragnet: Season 1-4
50) Miami Vice: Season 1-5
51) The Inbetweeners: Season 3
52) Leave It to Beaver: Season 1-6
53) Magnum P.I.: Season 1-8
Illustration by Max Fleishman
Why work up a sweat when the next rollout from Netflix is on its way? With plenty of documentaries, action, comedy, musicals, and witnessing Benedict Cumberbatch’s inability to say penguin in a movie about penguins (Penguins of Madagascar) in the latest lineup, there’s plenty to keep you occupied long after the credits roll.
Here are all the titles coming to Netflix in July:
2) An Honest Liar
3) Bad Hair Day
4) Bionicle: The Legend Reborn
6) Dave Attell: Road Work
7) Death in Paradise (Season 3)
8) Grandma’s Boy
10) Invizimals: The Alliance Files
11) La Reina del Sur
12 Octonauts (Season 3)
13) Piglet’s Big Movie
14) El Señor de los Cielos (Seasons 1-2)
15) Saw V
16) Set Fire to the Stars
17) Shooting Fish
18) The Secret of Roan Inish
19) Underworld: Evolution
20) Velvet (Season 2)
21) Knights of Sidonia (Season 2)
23) Hell on Wheels (Season 4)
24) White Collar (Season 6)
25) Monster High: Scaris, City of Frights
26) Witches of East End (Season 2)
27) Monsters: The Dark Continent
29) Chris Tucker Live
30) Violetta (Seasons 1-2)
31) Bad Ink (Season 1)
32) Bible Secrets Revealed (Season 1)
34) Goodbye to All That
35) Lost Soul: The Doomed Journey of Richard Stanley’s Island of Dr. Moreau
36) Preachers’ Daughters (Season 2)
37) Storage Wars: Texas (Season 1)
38) The Killer Speaks (Season 2)
39) Da Sweet Blood of Jesus
40) H2O Mermaid Adventures (five new episodes)
41) Penguins of Madagascar
42) The Physician
44) BoJack Horseman (Season 2)
45) The Human Experiment
47) Glee (Season 6)
48) Java Heat
49) Teacher of the Year
50) The Guest
52) Marvel’s Hulk and the Agents of S.M.A.S.H. (Season 2)
53) Almost Mercy
54) My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic (Season 5)
55) The Wrecking Crew
56) Turbo Fast (Season 2)
57) Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp
Photo via Sudakaran Gnanasegaram/Flickr (CC BY 2.0) | Remix by Max Fleishman
Celebrities' families can be just as ridiculous as ours.
Sunday night, ABC premiered the latest season of Celebrity Family Feud, an update on the Saturday Night Livesketch where actors play against each other with their families in the name of charity. Regular Family Feud host Steve Harvey was on hand to mediate the entire thing.
Black-ish star Anthony Anderson’s mother, Doris Hancox, stole the show at the very beginning by giving what she thought was a very reasonable answer to the question, “Name something a nude magician might pull a rabbit out of.”Her entire family is facepalming at Hancox, but she doesn’t understand why. Unfortunately, neither did the survey-takers, but we’d give credit for creativity.
First of all you are not really that supreme. While throughout history White Supremacy it must be admitted you have achieved some very dominant positions. These positions have been gained mostly through force or some biological agent such as disease that did a lot of the dirty work for you in advance.
He also addressed other cultural institutions and how industries are created:
One color does not dominate the other nor can it. Sure Steve Jobs was white. But the guy who built the computer was probably Chinese. And the girl who wrote the programs for the computer is probably from Mumbai. And the raw materials that were used to make it where probably first pulled out of the ground by somebody in South Africa.
And he says white supremacists should rebrand:
In closing white regularity (the race formerly know as white supremacy) I myself on behalf of my own black regularity salute you. Good luck with the northwest front I hear it's beautiful in the spring and probably a strategic death trap if and when Yellowstone finally decides to blow up!
Read the posts below:
H/T Complex | Photo via SportsAngle.com/Flickr (CC BY SA 2.0)
An x-rated video of Vine star Carter Reynolds leaked Sunday that purportedly shows him pressuring his ex-girlfriend for oral sex, raising issues of consent and spurring Internet backlash.
The video is filmed from Reynolds' point of view, with his pants pulled down and his erect penis exposed. His ex-girlfriend, Instagram celeb Maggie Lindemann, tells him "I don't think I can" and repeatedly stresses "I am really uncomfortable." Reynolds tells her to "do it," and "just pretend (the camera) isn't there." Lindemann eventually curls up and stops looking at the camera. It ends with Reynolds saying, "Oh my gosh, Maggie."
The duo has had a tumultuous relationship, with several breakups, the most recent of which was in May. Lindemann is 16 years old, and Reynolds recently turned 19, leaving issues of consent and statutory rape on the table depending when and where the clip was filmed, as well as child pornography issues depending on how old Reynolds is in the video. (For those reasons, we've chosen not to link to it here.)
Fans and fellow social media celebs have taken to social media in anger over Reynolds' actions.
Reynolds is far from the first social media star in trouble over sexual misconduct. Last year, YouTuber Sam Pepper came under fire for prank videos where he assaulted unsuspecting women, and several other YouTube stars have been accused of pressuring fans into sexual situations by using their fame.Reynolds and Lindemann have yet to comment, although Reynolds has made a few statements via Twitter.
Once upon there was a 42-year-old man named Carl McCoid. His wife had just divorced him, but he still had something better than matrimony: his obsession with Miley Cyrus.
To show his admiration for the singer McCoid christened one of his daughters "Miley," which certainly won't be awkward for her once she hits puberty. But following his divorce McCoid went even further, promptly emblazoning himself with 29 different Cyrus tattoos (including three full portraits). The art cost him nearly $5,000, but he may have ultimately paid an even bigger price—his dignity.
But the Cyrus party may be over: It turns out that 22-year-old singers don't always like it when fans twice their age tattoo pictures of them onto their body. In Cyrus's case, she dropped a bombshell for poor Carl in 2013, when she mentioned his tattoos in a radio interview she did in London. According to the Daily Mail at the time, McCoid thought she probably didn't like the portraits because they still showed her with long hair, circa Hannah Montana, shortly after she'd gone for her infamous buzz cut. But now he's apparently decided he's going to painstakingly remove each of his expensive tats, one by one. He told the Daily Mail that he wanted to remove them because he liked her new style less than her old one, and because he really wanted to find a new girlfriend, and it's kind of hard when you're wearing a pop star.
The fact that she reportedly blocked him on Twitter probably also had something to do with it.
However, on social media McCoid has been celebrating the tattoos and the many fans who tweet him in support for his keeping them.
He also seems to be planning something new involving the tattoos.
Whatever his plans, he's raking in the attention in true Miley style.
It's too bad these two kids can't be friends, since they have so much in common. Oh, wait, he's 42 and she's 22. Yeah, no, still creepy.
Maybe it's time to step away from the celebrity obsessions for a while, Carl.
Photo via Instagram
The documentary Out In the Night has its broadcast premiere on PBS and LOGO Monday night. The film tells the story of the New Jersey Four, a group of young black lesbians who were essentially jailed for defending themselves during a homophobic attack.
In the summer of 2006, seven friends headed to the West Village to hang out in the New York City gayborhood. A man started sexually harassing femme Patreese Johnson, and when she responded that she was gay and uninterested, he attacked. Surveillance footage showed Dwayne Buckle following the group as they tried to walk away—calling them names and shouting "I'll fuck you straight," then spitting and throwing a lit cigarette at them. Buckle was seen in the footage pulling out one girl's hair, then pinning another one to the ground and choking her.Johnson, terrified, pulled a steak knife out of her purse and slashed Buckle in the arm. Then two men ran over and started beating Buckle. When he later ended up in the hospital with stab wounds in his abdomen, he told police only that the men had attacked him.
But the story that ran in the lurid daily tabloid newspapers of New York City warned of an "Attack of the Killer Lesbians" and a "Lesbian Wolf Pack." The girls had stalked the streets, the papers spun, looking for straight male prey to maim and murder.Despite evidence showing exactly what took place, and not-guilty pleas of self-defense, Renata Hill, 24; Patreese Johnson, 19; Venice Brown, 18; and Terrain Dandridge, 19 all went to prison. All four received charges of gang assault and sentences of between three and eight years behind bars.
They were convicted by an all-white jury so terrified of the girls that one juror, according to the Daily Beast, sent his wife out of town for protection during the trial.
Media coverage of the attack was deplorably ignorant of the evidence and skewed in favor of Buckle. The New York Times ran the headline "Man Stabbed in Attack After Admiring a Stranger" and described Buckle's behavior as a polite compliment followed by a gang of violent girls ambushing him.
The New York Daily News trial coverage was titled "Lesbian Wolf Pack Guilty: Jersey Girl Gang Gets Lockup in Beatdown" and quoted Buckle saying "this is what I get for being a nice guy."
Longtime Gay City News reporter Susie Day mocked the insensitive headlines with an analysis titled "Killer Lesbians Mauled by Killer Court, Media Wolfpack."
Today, Buckle is a relatively successful independent filmmaker. The four young women he sent to prison all have criminal records and, since being released, are slowly starting to rebuild lives—attending community college, raising children, getting jobs. But the one thing they still haven't been able to do is be heard.Renata Hill told the Daily Beast the four women participated in making the documentary "so everyone can hear our stories to override what the papers said—that’s something our kids will have access to in the near future. They never asked our side of the story and it’s not fair.”
The timing for a retelling of the New Jersey Four story couldn't be better, with growing cultural awareness of racial profiling, street harassment, and LGBT discrimination.
"This case is not cut-and-dried; it is messy and complicated," said filmmaker Blair Dorosh-Walthe in a press release, "As we move beyond marriage equality as the central LGBT issue, the women's experiences reveal so many more that need to be addressed: feeling safe on the street. The right to defend yourself without fear of imprisonment. Addressing police brutality. And representations of spectrums of gender that aren't neatly 'male' or 'female.'"
Out In the Night premieres tonight at 10pm ETon both PBS and LOGO. The documentary will then be available to stream online from June 23-July 23.
Photo via Lyric Cabral