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Recent Entertainment articles from Daily Dot

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    Sex and the Citywhich details the experiences of one Carrie Bradshaw as she immerses in love, life, and everything in between alongside her besties Charlotte, Miranda, and Samantha—is arguably one of HBO’s most successful shows to date. While it’s been more than a decade since the show ended, Amazon has reportedly added all six seasons of the series to its roster of premium channel content that’s streamable with a Prime membership. Amazon Prime subscribers may also watch the episodes offline by downloading the Amazon Video app on their televisions, phones, and other eligible devices.

    If this piece of news excites you, or if you’ve forgotten what made SATC a pop-culture classic, here are a couple of reasons to plan your next binge-watch session immediately (preferably with someone who hasn’t seen a single episode).

    1) You can figure out which of the SATC girls you are most like.

    Do you believe in love at first sight? (Charlotte.) Are you open to absolutely anything sexually, no matter how risqué? (Samantha.) Is sarcasm your defense mechanism? (Miranda.) Do you feel like you’re in constant search of what you want in a relationship? (Carrie.) 

    Go beyond the usual personality quizzes and remind yourself of what makes each of the women you’ve grown fond of truly unique. After a while, you’ll definitely find yourself relating to one of them more than the others (I’m a total Carrie myself), and then you can settle on which of your friends is the rest of the cast.  

    2) You can have (onscreen) surrogate gal pals to commiserate with.

    Since every episode of the show provides you a peek into the foursome’s dating styles and beliefs, and you can rest assured that you’ll have at least one character to relate to. If your own set of girlfriends is in need of a break from your incessant whining about your relationship woes, SATC is definitely an adequate alternative.

    3) You can figure out which of the SATC boyfriends is your type.

    The show has covered myriad dating scenarios, ranging from realistic to outrageous, so you are guaranteed to accumulate a few dating insights you can apply in real life. Of course, while you are cringing over Samantha swallowing a guy’s “funky spunk” or laughing at Miranda trying to avoid tuchus-lingus, you can also pick your fave beau. 

    Do you think Aidan is the best boyfriend a gal like Carrie could ever ask for, or do you agree that Big is her soul mate? You can even put Charlotte’s lovable Harry and maybe even Samantha’s hot Smith on the list. (Let’s go ahead and rule out Carrie’s Aleksandr Petrovsky aka The Russian because he’s the worst.)

    4) You can get ideas on how to spruce up your wardrobe.

    Since the show is set in the country’s fashion capital, you know you’ll find an outfit or two worn by the ladies that you wish you had in your closet. Wouldn’t it be great if you had a tutu you could wear to work and effectively pull off? 

    That’s right: The ensembles the women don on SATC are usually next-level eccentric (especially considering that SATC was set in the late ’90s), but if it’s fashion inspiration you want, it’s fashion inspiration you’ll definitely get.

    5) You can fall in love with writing (again).

    A big part of every SATC episode is Carrie’s voiceovers. She’s a sex columnist who regularly ponders on love’s many facets, and you can follow along as she visibly types her thoughts onto her Mac. 

    If you’re a writer on hiatus, hearing Carrie’s questions may awaken your urge for words, and you can finally finish that novel you’ve been working on for years. If not, it will at least make you wish you had a journal or a blog handy, just in case.

    6) You can take a virtual tour of New York.

    All 94 episodes of SATC would not be as entertaining without Carrie, Charlotte, Miranda, or Samantha, but the show would surely not be the big hit it was (and still is) if not for its location: New York is the heart and soul of the series. If you’re unable to take the Sex and the City tour in person, you can at least live vicariously through the characters on the screen as they enjoy cupcakes from Magnolia Bakery, a movie at the Paris Theatre, or a stroll by Central Park. Be sure to take notes for your next trip to the Big Apple.

    H/T Deadline | Photo via David Shankbone/Wikipedia (CC BY 3.0) | Remix by Fernando Alfonso III


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    The candidates at the second Republican debate took many swings at Hillary Clinton on Wednesday night, but the Democratic candidate was more than prepared to throw some political punches of her own.

    While Clinton's appearance on The Tonight Show on Wednesday was filmed prior to the debate, it was pretty easy to guess what might be said. So Jimmy Fallon, dressed as Donald Trump, called Clinton prior to her appearance onstage to conduct a mock interview. Remember, Trump had already interviewed the best person out there: himself.

    During the real interview, Clinton talked about her plans to raise people's’ incomes, reduce the national debt, and handle rising college tuition costs. She also discussed her use of teleprompters, her classified emails, and taking that selfie with Kim Kardashian.

    Fallon threw some rapid-fire questions her way, but she mostly talked about Trump and admitted what many Americans were thinking: she’s entertained by his campaign.

    “I think that he’s going to go as long as he wants to go and more power to him,” she said. “He’s making the most out of it and I’m having a good time watching it.”

    And her Trump impression ain’t half bad.

    At least she now has the perfect GIF lined up for the rest of the GOP debates.

    Screengrab via The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon/YouTube


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    A giant twist is only a phone call away.

    Burger Fiction put together 57 of the biggest phone call scenes in film, and while they can often be hilarious or suspenseful on their own, it turns into one hectic scene with dozens of recipients on the line trying to make sense of it all. It’s like one giant conference call without everyone interrupting each other.

    Notably missing is the “moaning practice” phone call in When Harry Met Sally, but when you have the president discussing a pregnancy, potential breakups, matters of national security, and cows, it might’ve had to wait for another day.

    Screengrab via Burger Fiction/YouTube


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    In college, I bought all four seasons of Mr. Show on VHS from eBay, and proceeded to watch the tapes so often that they actually started disintegrating and I tried to mend them with Scotch tape. 

    The Mr. Show fandom is a devout one, and news that Netflix’s new iteration of the series, With Bob and David, is premiering on Nov. 13 should fill fans with binge-ready glee. Earlier this year, it was rumored that Mr. Show might land back on HBO, where it ran from 1995 to 1998. But in April, it was announced Netflix had elbowed its way in, and the cast was in rehearsals again.

    That the series is back 20 years later, its stars much older, is the main joke in the first teaser for the show. 

    Even better news: Odenkirk says they want to do more episodes

    H/T Splitsider | Screengrab via Netflix/YouTube 


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    Taylor Swift, still in the middle of her star-packed 1989 World Tour, will be performing in Columbus, Ohio, for two nights. And the Columbus Zoo would love it if she could swing by while she's in town.

    Because it isn't enough to simply ask celebrities these questions on Twitter, several of the zoo’s employees banded together to create a zoo-themed music video for “Wildest Dreams.” Considering they work with thousands of animals everyday, arranging the perfect backdrop for the video was easy. The endeavor even received the backing of Jack Hanna, the director emeritus of Columbus Zoo and an acclaimed animal expert.

    “I’ve been here for 37 years,” Hanna says in the video. “Will you please come here so these girls will stop for goodness sakes?”

    Swift loved the tribute to her work, but she had a question of her own regarding the video’s true star.

    Don’t we all, Swift. Now go and let us live vicariously through you.

    Screengrab via Columbuszoomedia/YouTube


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    This week on YouTubeGigi Gorgeous and Kylie Jenner ask the eternal question, "What's in my mouth?"

    The duo paired up for a collaboration video where they feed each other "disgusting" things they found at the store. The most shocking revelation: neither woman knows what a green been tastes like? We can only hope they were pickled and that's what threw them off.

    The girls are actually very good at guessing the mystery foods, sometimes even before it goes in their mouths based on sounds alone. When things take a turn toward the actually gross with pigs' feet, they can't get over the smell enough to truly eat them, although Gorgeous braves a lick and declares that they taste like salt and vinegar chips.

    The pair promise there's another part to their collab on Kyle's newly launched site, but it's not yet available. The only thing we know for sure about it is that their hair extensions will look flawless.

    Screengrab via Gigi Gorgeous/YouTube.


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    If you scroll through the dazzling display of humanity on Periscope long enough, you’ll eventually come across someone smoking weed; it’s become a performative, community-building act on the livestream app. So two Portland, Oregon, comedians decided to turn their love of blowing trees into a very blunted call-in show.

    Every Thursday at 8:20pm PT, Robbie Pankow and Jen Tam host Bongcast Live, in which they solicit call-ins (and nudes), jabber about pop culture, and get blazed. To hear them tell it, they were destined to meet: One night at an open mic gig, Pankow did a joke he’d been practicing about fashion and Tumblr.

    “It never got any laughs at all,” Pankow said. “Except one night I heard one person cackling in the back.”

    “I found myself laughing at Robbie’s jokes about Tumblr when nobody else in the audience knew what Tumblr even was,” Tam said. “I told Robbie in real life that I liked his Internet-based humor and the rest was history.”

    For two years, Tam and Pankow bounced around ideas about what they could do together to capitalize on their shared sense of humor.

    “But we pretty much just ended up in Jen’s living room smoking weed and making each other laugh,” Pankow said. “Once Periscope became a thing, it seemed like a really natural thing to just make that the show.”

    Bongcast Live was born out of nostalgia for a medium, but its birth also marked a very special day in history.

    “We both had live call-in shows that we enjoyed when we were kids,” Tam said. “Loveline, Howard Stern, The Best Show on WFMU, radio stations that would let kids call in shout-outs for their high schools. Also, Oregon was legalizing marijuana use on July 1. We launched the first official show on July 2 when it was legal to puff at home while broadcasted all over the world.”

    So why are so many people ripping bongs on Periscope? The act is something “a little ritualistic,” Tam said. “Weed has been illegal for so long that being a stoner is some kind of a cult of illegality. You bond on a common acceptance of criminality.”

    “Lots of people on Periscope are like, driving or eating or partying with friends,” Pankow added. “I think it’s just another social media place to document what you’re doing and feel like your life is important for once. And people who smoke weed love doing it on camera. Probably cuz there’s lots of cool pics of rappers and Miley Cyrus doing it.”

    Tam added that she’s interested in the “voyeuristic” relationship users of the app experience, and the glorious array of “weirdos” you can connect with at any given moment across the globe, much like the Internet’s gilded dong carousel, Chatroulette. There’s also the ease of producing a show on the app, which highlights how much potential there is for comedy broadcasting. UCB was using Periscope to give improv advice, and comedians like Nick Kroll and Jimmy Fallon were some of the app’s early adopters. Comedy clubs are jumping in too

    Along with podcasts, Periscope offers yet another platform where comedians can try out material—and on Periscope, they can get an instant flurry of feedback. 

    “There's no editing or uploading or anything, you just press a button and start having a show,” Pankow said. “The downside is that it’s only viewable for 24 hours after the stream ends, but for now that just makes the whole thing more rare and valuable. It’s a limited collectors’ edition podcast. No DVR.”

    Indeed, Bongcast Live is best experienced in the moment, in a cloud of smoke, with all the other weirdos. 

    Illustration by Max Fleishman 


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    BY ALLEN WEINER

    Each day, a firehose of data related to online video pours through the inboxes and social media touch points media observers rely on to not only keep abreast of trends, but also to gaze into the near future of the industry. The trick, as I have come to learn over the years, is the fine art of synthesis which ties information together into a logical structure.

    But then there are frustrations in this imperfect world where the data dominoes refuse to neatly line up to the satisfy advertisers, content creators and… analysts.

    As a long-time follower of Ooyala (yes, I remember their launch), I enjoy reading its quarterly Global Video Index as it is chock full of information nicely teed up for contemplation and visioneering. From its recent report, there are a number of interesting facts that emerge:

    • Mobile video continues to rule with a CAGR of more than 111 percent since the same quarter in 2012.
    • Nearly half of all video plays globally in Q2 were on a mobile device.
    • Broadcasters streaming long-form premium content saw ad completion rates at and above 90 percent depending on the screen.
    • For content more than 30 minutes in length, connected TVs at 52 percent were the top choice.

    Taking liberties with the evasive definition of connected TV, I view that to include smart TVs (with Web access built in), as well as those connected to a IP-powered set top box such as Amazon FireRoku, various game consoles, and Apple TV.

    Recalling one of my favorite phrases (the origin of which escapes me), that last data point about viewing of “TV-like” content (more than 30 minutes) is “like running 99 yards of the 100 yard dash.” It’s also a fact that is important especially as we enter yet another fall TV season—a trend that is still alive, but just barely. If I am on the money end of the business, which primarily includes advertisers and marketers, or am a subscriber to NetflixHulu or Amazon Prime, I am interested in digging deeper into the data around those 30-minute-plus programs. To this point, Netflix and Hulu have been unwilling to reveal the drill-down numbers of how many people watched any given program. And while interested parties probably don’t care about how many people viewed the 2001 film Hardball, it would be nice to know how such shows as Longmire and The Mindy Project fared.

    Read the full story at the Video Ink.

    Illustration by Max Fleishman


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    Fans of Run the Jewels likely love the group's sophomore effort, Run the Jewels 2, and when a Kickstarter campaign was started last year so rappers El-P and Killer Mike could remake that album with cat noises making up the beat, the duo reached its $40,000 goal a week ahead of time and raised more than $65,000 overall.

    After teasing a track from the album in May, Meow the Jewels have dropped the single. It's called "Oh My Darling Don't Meow"—which, we're just guessing here, is a takeoff of the Run The Jewels song "Oh My Darling Don't Cry."

    Take a listen and then download the track for free at Run The Jewels' website.

    My review: My lord, that's a lot of cursing in this song, and I'm not sure the cats who were sampled for the beat would approve of such language. Except, of course, when Killer Mike raps, at the 1:26 mark, about how he beats the puss. That's obviously a tribute to the felines who have helped out (though points off for endorsing violence against animals).

    But yeah, the entire venture seems a bit silly.

    In case you forgot, however...

    Screengrab via massappeal/YouTube


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    Toddlers have the attention span of a distracted gnat. Add in the fact they never like a toy for more than a week, and it makes it highly impractical to hand out lumps of cash for apps that are going to sit on your iPhone gathering digital dust.

    From soundcards and flashcards to math and music, we've handpicked 10 free iPhone apps for toddlers that are worth downloading. Our choices are ideal for those moments when you need to distract them with a shiny phone or when you want to spend some quality touchscreen time together.

    Tried and tested by actual real-life toddlers, none of which were harmed during the writing of this article, here's our current pick of 10 free apps for today's discerning tots.

    1) Nursery Rhymes

    You won't hate going through "Humpty Dumpty" for the umpteenth time with this app. It's practically wasted on toddlers, it's so darn pretty.

    That being said, your little one will get a big kick out of the imaginative, interactive graphics that bring classic nursery rhymes into the digital era in a very clever way.

    With eight free nursery rhymes, there are enough to make this worth a download. But we hope the developers will add more in time.

    2) Toddler Flashcards

    There are a limited number of flashcards that are free in this app, but as your toddler has a limited attention span, it's worth a look.

    Designed by parents and featuring attractive photographs (rather than drawings), you can work your way through categories such as food, things, shapes, colors, and the alphabet.

    If flashcard-based learning works for your little cherub, it's only $1.99 to upgrade to access the full collection.

    3) Laugh & Learn Where's Puppy's Nose? for baby

    Especially suited to younger tots, this app from Fisher-Price combines some light learning with fun, bouncy songs.

    All that's required to move through the app is a simple tap on the screen, so your little monster will learn to identify basic body parts, as well as get an introduction to a touchscreen interface.

    4) Farfaria Storybooks

    FarFaria offers a subscription-based model in which you can pay to access its entire library of books. However, if you're happy to part with your email address, you can enjoy one free book a day.

    With categories such as Preschool Playground, Fairytale Falls, and Sing Along City, you'll certainly find a title to titillate your toddler.

    5) Forest Band

    Utterly charming, this seriously lovely looking app will let your child play on a free glockenspiel.

    In kid-friendly pastel colors and complete with super-cute forest creatures, this app will see little Johnny tapping away happily at a pleasing-sounding virtual instrument, even on its very basic level.

    You can pay to access the piano option or unlock built-in songs, but the free version of this app should be enough to entertain most musical rugrats for literally minutes at a time.

    6) Drawing Desk

    If you're looking for a simple doodling app, Drawing Desk has you covered. The free Kid's Desk category offers a crayon-based, touch interface so little ones can just pick a color and draw on the blank canvas with their fingers.

    Complete with fun sound effects, there are also simple illustrations to color in, stickers, and other graphics for more sophisticated users, as well as the option to save and share creations.

    With just a small banner ad along the top of the screen, Drawing Desk comes recommended as a digital canvas for your tot, but you may even find yourself splashing out for the full, ad-free version.

    7) Preschool Games - Farm Animals

    Best for older toddlers, this is a fun option that encourages your child to recognize farm animals. Your child will be presented with photos of a varying number of different beasts and asked to "touch the lamb," for example.

    They can keep going until they get the correct answer, at which point the game offers a plethora of encouraging phrases.

    As well as the usual farmyard suspects, this game will challenge vocabulary with options such as "foal," "calf," and "ducklings."

    8) Sound Touch Lite

    This app combines flashcards and sound for an immersive experience for your little learner. There are two free categories—animals and transportation—with 12 cards in each.

    What's great about this app is that there are multiple variations for each card, so, for example, if your toddler taps on the duck five times, they will see five different images and hear five different sounds.

    9) Child's Play

    This app qualifies as gaming, but it has a lovely, tot-friendly premise, promising "no violence, no failure and no tears."

    While there are a variety of paid-for games for toddlers, pre-schoolers, young children and the under fives, the four free games are stunningly simple, tap-the-screen delights perfect for little ones.

    Hit the "Play All" option and your toddler will switch between popping bubbles, making fireworks explode in a night sky, getting sweets from a piñata, and making frogs jump to catch a fly.

    The graphics are simple but sweet. The continuously changing gameplay should appeal to even the most attention-deficient, and you can tell yourself it's great for little Johnny's hand-eye coordination.

    10) PBS KIDS Video

    If you really need to bring out the big guns, may we suggest PBS KIDS Video? The ultimate in toddler pacification, this app offers videos from PBS KIDS TV series anytime, anywhere.

    Whether your rugrat will be miraculously quiet when presented with Curious George or Sesame Street, you can feel happy handing over your iPhone. The software promises a "safe, child-friendly viewing experience for all ages."

    Aaaand, relax.

     Photo by Rafiq Sarlie/Flickr (CC BY SA 2.0)


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    The stars of digital video shined at last night’s Streamys Awards, the annual celebration of the best of YouTube, Vine, Snapchat and all other forms of digital video content.

    In a night that was dubbed a #TeamInternet takeover by consummate hosts Tyler Oakley and Grace Helbig, the worlds of digital and mainstream melded in a major step forward for the world of online. The two biggest awards of the night, Entertainer of the Year and Show of the Year, went to Cameron Dallas and fouseyTube, respectively.

    “I’m running for president in 2020,” joked Yousef Saleh Erakat, aka fouseyTube, after a more somber moment discussing mental illness and addiction in his acceptance speech. “What up, Kanye.”

    While 35 awards were handed out earlier in the week at a reception at YouTube Space L.A., nine more awards made the main show, including Lilly Singh’s win for First Person channel and Gigi Gorgeous’s win for Beauty. Singh, who’s one of the new faces of YouTube’s advertising campaign, had nothing but praise for YouTube and Google in her acceptance speech, saying she’s glad they’re “not scared to put a brown girl on a billboard.”

    The event marked the first time the Streamys were televised, with the 90-minute show airing live on VH1 as well as streaming online. The biggest breakout successes of the night’s more highly organized television show proceedings were the video packages that preceded each award. The Streamys tapped various digital creators to put their own spin on the moments, which led to beauty vlogger Kandee Johnson transforming herself into nominees for First Person Series and Honest Trailers giving a new take on a category. This, coupled with the tight time restrictions of live TV, gave the evening a definition and flow that had been somewhat lax in years past when it was just a self-contained ballroom.

    That’s not to say attendees were not relaxed. During commercials they flooded the bars (winner Flula was spotted paying for his own drinks, despite having a shiny Streamy in hand) and mingled, and the crew from Video Game High Schoolwere up on their feet for every musical guest. With the addition of a television audience came big-production numbers from musical guests including Hailee Steinfeld, Future, and OMI. While they were flashy and impressive, they were relatively disconnected from the YouTube space as a whole, despite efforts from the organizers to include digital elements. The night closed with Sir Mix-a-Lot, the first and only performer or presenter that prompted an older usher to lean over and ask the press table who was on stage at that moment. For all the shine of digital media, sometimes you just want to know who got much back.

    A full list of the night’s winners:

    Beauty: Gigi Gorgeous
    Comedy: Flula
    First Person: IISuperwomanII
    Kids and Family: What’s Up Moms
    Lifestyle: iJustine
    Pranks: PrankVsPrank
    Viner: King Bach
    Entertainer of the Year: Cameron Dallas
    Show of the Year: fouseyTube

    Photo courtesy of Streamy Awards


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    When you check in to Oscar's Hotel for Fantastical Creatures, a new series on Vimeo thanks to New From Digital, expect the unexpected.

    The six-part series created by YouTuber PJ Liguori blends a playful aesthetic with strange, dark themes. The result is something, well, fantastical—and very reminiscent of whimsical-yet-seminal projects like Labyrinth.

    "We were inspired by all the things we loved as kids," said Liguori. "We tried to take those feelings and make them into something new that still felt nostalgic."

    The first episode, which deals with a demonic dance party, debuted on Vimeo this week. It's available individually for $1.99, or fans can purchase a pass to the entire season for $9.99. In an ecosystem where most content is still free, Liguori said he's only received positive feedback for branching out in the pay-per-view realm.

    "I think the audience understands that with that payment comes a much higher level of quality content," said Liguori. 

    Oscar's Hotel for Fantastical Creatures is loaded with big-name YouTube stars, if you can recognize them in their elaborate creature costumes. There's an octopus Mamrie Hart, Jake Roper as a demonic horse clown, and Steve Zaragoza as what appears to be an alien-like bug. Chris Kendall plays Oliver—Oscar's decidedly-human nephew—who takes over the hotel in Oscar's absence. Naturally, chaos ensues.

    The series was produced as part a New Form Digital incubator, with Liguori's short film selected to make the leap to six-part series. Expanding on the ideas of the short was a challenge, said Liguori, because they'd given themselves so many possibilities.

    "The challenge was condensing it because there were so many ideas flying around," he explained. "The format of the show lends itself to that because it’s almost a creature of the week."

    About those creatures—Liguori had the help of Jim Henson Creature Shop to make his dream a reality. He's been a longtime fan, but said he felt like working with them was very natural.

    "We meshed very well," he said. "It was a collaboration. We said, 'this is how we think the creator would move,' and the Henson guys would say, 'great, this is probably how you’d construct that.' It would be a method maybe we didn’t know about."

    "I had a lot of fun, especially with the Repossession Fish," said Kendall about acting alongside puppets who just happen to be voiced by legends Alfred Molina and Patrick Stewart. "I thought it was going to be weird, but it was actually really natural. I just had a blast with it, it was like a dream come true."

    With five more episodes to come, Oscar's Hotel is open for business and excited to take fans along on its wild ride.

    Screengrab via KickThePJ/YouTube


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    How to deal with those landmark birthdays? You know the ones, finishing in zero and acting as a frightening comparative yardstick that illuminates your failure as an adult to the world. By 30 Edison had invented the phonograph, and a couple of years later, the light bulb. You get smug when you have a pretty good week at fantasy football.

    "When I turned 40 I was a bit terrified—like— “the world is ending now that I am careening into middle age.” HOLY FUCK," filmmaker Alice J. Rose told the Daily Dot via email. "So I threw down and had a crazy big hurrah party, down to the coke on the boobs and Wonder Woman popping out of a giant cake. And 40 is not what I thought it would be. It's BETTER." 

    Not that Rose had to worry, mind you, about falling off that precipice into 40-something irrelevance and deterioration; she does stuff that you never will. Like collaborating with Petra Haden to make albums—she's an accordionist—and directing "a ton" of music videos for subjects like indie godhead Bob MouldCake, and Laura Gibson—the last of which was shot at a "real haunted hotel with a huge 200 degree hot spring."

    But the instinctive jolt that she felt as she approached her fifth decade hasn't gone to waste. Rather she has used it as the starting point of her new webseries, The Benefits of Gusbandry. Dialing in on straight Jackie, played by former MADtv standout Brooke Totman and gay River (Kurt Conroyd) the series tracks the two as they feel the pressure to leave their youth behind and forge an intense, yet platonic, relationship; that of the "gusband" and "swife." In the first episode, the friendship is cemented at a party modeled on the aforementioned shindig that Rose threw for herself—cake, boobs, and coke.

    Jackie and River's relationship is based upon Rose's own friendships. Or more specifically, the bond that she shares with what she calls her "gusbands." 

    "Gusband is a portmanteau of “gay” and “husband,” explained Rose, "It's a term of honor for these important men in my life. Same with “swife” which is far less reductive than “fag hag” which EVERY SINGLE WOMAN I know who have gusbands would like to see decommissioned FOREVER. As “gusbands and swives” we are in committed relationships, though some of us can’t stop at just one gusband."

    She continues: "I've always been a bit of a mess in the dating world, and quite prone to picking the exact people I shouldn't be with, resulting in thick scars from heartbreak and occasional half-hearted Tinder binges," she said. "My gusbands give me the benefits of “husbandry”—stepping in gladly and most handsomely as my date for any number of social gatherings, to make me dinner, join me on vacation, rub my feet in the hot tub, bitch and moan about the day's events. It's fantastic." 

    And she's not lying about the vacation, recently travelling to Thailand and Cambodia with her "primary gusband," Largo, on what sounds a whole lot like the post-nuptial cavorting of a smitten, recently married couple. "It was the “honeymoon” both of us had always dreamed of but we took it together instead!" said Rose, "Sunset walks on the beach, countless couples massages, romantic dinners for two and occasional international Grinder [sic] dates for him while I binge-watched Downton Abbey by the hotel pool." 

    The role that these gay men play—Rose credits them for being the "support system of my sanity"—and the nuances of their rapport with straight women is both the subject and cause of this series. "I think a lot of women and gay men have this relationship but there’s just not a lot out there media-wise to point to in reference. This is why I had to make this show," she said. "Truthfully, I look it as lifelong romantic rehab. With my gusbands, I have created a safe emotional base to make my future romantic mistakes from. And they might not want to be with a woman in the carnal sense, but they happen to love strong women and have emotional space for that."  

    Beyond the interest created by exploring the novelty of the leads' relationship, perhaps the most striking component of the first episode is the soundtrack. It's not something which should surprise considering the creator's musical pedigree but the pursuit of an impressive musical palette and a thoughtful mix is often an afterthought in the world of the webseries. 

    In Gusbandry, however, the opening episode crackles thanks to the soundtrack Rose pulled together with her friend Erika Anderson (better known as indie rock hero EMA): with music from Portland bands (and Rose's pals) Summer Cannibals and Bed, Princess Superstar, and original music by Anderson for when "John Hughes heartbreak vibes" were required.

    If the pilot is to be trusted this will be must-stream TV—there are eight episodes in the first season, to be rolled out once a month. And expect a hopeful arc: In Gusbandry Jackie finds herself at a personal crossroad as her landmark birthday approaches; but despite her earlier fears it was a conundrum that Rose herself successfully navigated. 

    "I’m 45 now and I feel like I’m really just getting started," she said. "I may have had good ideas at 20 and 30 but it's only now that I’m capable of fully manifesting them and being strong enough to fight my way through the ruckus of this crazy business. I would tell anyone turning 40 to see it as a beginning of an era, not an end."  

    Photo via The Benefits of Gusbandry


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    Warning: This post contains autoplaying video.

    Whatever happened to Central Perk’s Rachel-obsessed head barista?

    It may have been 11 years since James Michael Tyler appeared on Friends as the deadpan Gunther, but he still remembers his glory days on the popular show like it was yesterday. When he’s not answering questions posed by fans online, he’s regaling them with a “cover” of the show’s theme song that befits his character.

    In the video below, you’ll see Gunther backed by a set that resembles Rachel and Monica’s apartment. You’ll probably expect him to start off with his usual morose self but eventually give in to the upbeat power of The Rembrandts’ “I’ll Be There for You.” Instead, he reminds you of what makes Gunther the Gunther we all grew to love those many years ago: a depressingly sad man who is in dire need of a hug.

    “I’ll be there for you, when something something something else happens.” Perhaps a Friends movie, Gunther? A fan can dream.

    H/T E! Online | Screengrab via Netflix/Youtube


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    We technically have five days left before summer officially ends and fall begins, so you can keep listening to all the contenders for song of the summer if you want. It’s totally OK.

    If “Uptown Funk” happens to be your pick and you’ve made it your business to watch every imaginable rendition of the monster hit, make sure you hit pause on whatever it is you’re watching on YouTube and play this one instead.

    Besting this take on the song that supercuts famous movie quotes, YouTube user What’s the Mashup? produced what could be seen as the ultimate evidence that “Uptown Funk” is the quintessential dance tune every party playlist should have. Comprised of 100 dance scenes from various films, every snippet used seems to fall perfectly in sync with Mark Ronson’s masterpiece.

    Obvious picks like Dirty Dancing, Footloose, Napoleon Dynamite, and Saturday Night Fever make the cut, as well as surprise appearances by clips from Face/Off, The Goonies, and Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi.

    Given the variety of scenes used, movie buffs would certainly have a grand ol’ time identifying the films featured in the mashup. If you need a little help, you can check out the full list of movies used in the video description.

    H/T Refinery29 | Screengrab via MarkRonsonVEVO/YouTube


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    Finally, you’ll be able to binge-watch Monty Python’s Flying Circus

    According the BBC’s director general, the channel will be rolling out a streaming site for programming next year in the States, in an effort to generate revenue and create new content. 

    That means those who want to (likely) pay a monthly fee will have access to the BBC’s historic, deep wells of programming, from the Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant-helmed version of The Office to Absolutely Fabulous and The Old Grey Whistle Test, as well as lesser-known shows that never quite made it to the U.S. 

    The BBC’s most popular shows, Doctor Who and Sherlock, won’t be included at first, due to rights deals. 

    This streaming rollout is coming in response to a government review of the company’s funding and scope and whether the channel should be “all things to all people.” Looks like they took that to heart. 

    H/T The Atlantic | Photo via Peter Daniel/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)


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    Last weekend, you might have read a New York Times–style story about the Bindle Bros., two Williamsburg pioneers with a vision to simplify how we carry the weight of our everyday lives: bindles.

    Yes, bindles. 

    As the story hit during Fashion Week, many weren’t sure what to make of it. Did they need a bindle? Was this the end of Williamsburg? The Business Company profile of Josiah and Dusty Bindle, the CEO and CFO of Bindle Bros., only intensified the confusion.  

    Creator Kemp Baldwin explains that his city of residence was his canvas, really. 

    “I live in Williamsburg, and I saw something at a show that I thought was like the next evolution of hipster, uh, craziness?” Baldwin said. “I made a joke to a friend about artisanal bindle bags, and that sort of spawned this. Also, I’ve been kind of into watching all these reverent business profile documentaries about companies that are just born, just sort of new into the world, and they're going to change the world. That sort of entitlement all these videos have. 

    “And I thought, ‘What’s more ridiculous than a company that is selling bindles that's going to change the world?’” 

    Comedians Ben Kronberg and Matt Klinman were enlisted to play Josiah and Dusty Bindle, respectively, and they got especially into their mission statement. Klinman mentions that another local business inspired them in their quest for super-expensive DIY authenticity, as well as a little bit of tech startup ego. 

    “Everybody in our generation thinks what they're doing is very important because they’re doing it,” Klinman said. “Because we’re all our own protagonists in our story." 

    Some people saw through the video’s satire of Brooklyn, marketing, and faux earnestness. Others got really, really mad, especially on Twitter. As much as we need stories about people who make us feel better about ourselves, the balance is we need things to blindly hate. A simple video about an overpriced bindle startup got people talking about the insidious nature of “homespun” commerce, the death of the dream, etc. 

    That tension has even shifted to the Bindle Bros. When asked about sales on the street, the three begin to argue. Have there been bindle sales behind Baldwin’s back? Is this a bindle swindle? 

    “Uh, we might break up,” Baldwin said. 

    But then, the larger truth. 

    “It’s a culture we’re all part of and a victim of,” Klinman said. “I think it’s this idea that your idea is the next big idea. … You see these things and you’re like, ‘That’s ridiculous,’ but then there's like this pang of like, ‘I kind of want that?’”

    And some of those angry people became fans, once they actually read the story. 

    “Those are the highest compliments,” Baldwin said. “When someone’s gone from about to start calling for a boycott on the Times and the Bindle Bros., to being a fan.”

    Screengrab via Josiah Bindle/Vimeo 


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    It’s been two weeks since Nicole Arbour uploaded her now-infamous video “Dear Fat People,” and united the YouTube community in taking a public stand against fat-shaming. As of this writing, nearly 81,000 video responses have been uploaded to the platform—including viral pieces from Grace Helbig, AsapSCIENCE, Phil DeFranco, Boogie2988, and Akilah Hughes—that have started conversations with fans about body image, fat-shaming, and defining the line between comedy and cruelty. Arbour will be hard-pressed to continue defending her video after the intense backlash from her fellow creators and the director of the anti-bullying movie in which she was cast publicly dropping her from the film.

    Arbour’s video may evoke the sound of nails on a chalkboard, but it’s also responsible for inspiring one of the largest YouTube conversations of 2015, and it has given us a chance to highlight deserving, body-positive vloggers working to make YouTube an inclusive, accepting space for all fans. So from across the pond in the U.K. to sunny Los Angeles, keep an eye on these five body-positive vloggers as they use their channels to celebrate viewers just the way they are.

    1) Meghan Tonjes

    Musician Meghan Tonjes is the queen of body positivity! She eats it, drinks it, and dreams it as the founder of the Booty Revolution and a long-time plus-size advocate. Her body image activism has earned her appearances on The Ellen DeGeneres Show and made her one of the most prominent creators working within the body positive space on YouTube. In her videos, such as “Make a Fat Joke and Make it Funny,” “Dear Instagram,” and “Hate the Donut, Not the Fatty,” she breaks down plus-size stereotypes and reinforces the fact that beauty comes in every shape and size. Tonjes’ outspoken nature and candid conversations about relationships, bodies, and sex have inspired over 20 million video views. Uploading numerous responses to Arbour’s video on her own channel, Tonjes also appeared this week in the BuzzFeed video “I’m Fat But I’m Not ….”

    2) Anna Akana

    Akana’s purpose as a filmmaker, vlogger, writer, and comedian has always been to inspire others to be their best selves. In her video “How to Put on Your Face,” which has been viewed 3.2 million times, Akana presents a makeup tutorial that substitutes beauty products for traits such as confidence, bravery, and happiness. She’s an inspiration not only for her work as a female creator, but also for making her own opportunities as an Asian-American actress and director. Through her open conversations about social anxiety and body image, Akana has built a strong bond with her audience of 1.2 million subscribers and shown through example that feeling comfortable in one’s skin is an important step on the journey of self-care.

    3) Akilah Hughes

    Through her comedy, Akilah Hughes has taken on the complex issues of race, feminism, and beauty in interesting and engaging ways. In her first viral video that put her on the YouTube map, “Your First Black Girlfriend,” Hughes calls out the annoying and often stereotypical questions asked of black women. Her content is relatable and celebratory of all our hot mess moments (heels, being single at Christmas, Friday nights in a onesie). Hughes is inspiring audiences as a black female entertainer who has risen to fame by being herself—an accomplishment foreign in the world of Hollywood. Her natural hair tutorial expands and evolves our definitions of beauty and gives fans a role model they can relate and see themselves within.

    4) The 4:01 Show

    Started as a “YouTube support group” by U.K. creator Jimmy0100, this channel has spent the past three years interviewing prominent creators about body image, smoking, consent, sex, relationships, drinking, peer pressure, and confidence. By collaborating with such YouTube celebrities as Danisnotonfire, Amazing Phil, Tomska, Jack Howard, and Carrie Hope Fletcher, the channel is showing power in numbers as it continues to spread a message of body positivity to a diverse young adult audience.

    5) The sex education community on YouTube

    Laci Green, Hannah Witton, and Dr. Lindsey Doe are the golden trifecta of sex education. With a collective audience of 1.8 million subscribers, these women are inspiring open conversations around body image, sexuality, gender, and relationships. Their judgement-free education has given men and women the tools to build healthy relationships with their bodies and reinforces the message that “normal” does not have one set definition. Along with speaking out against fat-shaming, each of these creators have used their channel to shut down slut-shaming, homophobia, and victim-blaming.

    Screengrab via Smoothiefreak/YouTube


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    Remember the video for Lionel Richie's "Hello"? It focused heavily on the concept that love is blind, as well as a sculpture of Richie's head. 

    Thirty years later, his head has been revived. 

    Jimmy Fallon sung a duet with Richie on The Tonight Show last night, recreating the classic scene where Richie sees that his blind student (who he's been sort of stalking) has perfectly created a bust in his image. 

    It's also probably just an excuse for Fallon to wear that wig. 

    Screengrab via The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon/YouTube 


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    The Muppets hasn't even premiered yet, but One Million Moms is apparently not happy with the choices these newer, freer Muppets have made. 

    On Friday, a petition was launched by the pro-family group warning parents about the show and its characters' lack of morality: 

    The mature version of "The Muppets" will cover a range of topics from sex to drugs. Miss Piggy came out as a pro-choice feminist during an MSNBC interview. The puppet characters loved by kids in the 1970s and 1980s and beyond are now weighing in on abortion and promiscuity.

    ABC hopes children watch the show and predict they would enjoy some of the humor, but 1MM would disagree. It is not the show it once was. ABC has ruined "The Muppets." How many parents want to explain the punchline of sexually charged jokes to young children?

    Many parents unknowingly will let their children watch an episode only to find out its perverted nature too late, unless they are alerted ahead of time. 1MM and others need to get the word out to families to avoid this program at all costs. Please forward this to everyone you know!

    Meanwhile, parents will have to explain to confused children that the program they once were allowed to watch is no longer a nice show. This would have been completely unnecessary if ABC had made the program follow its original family-friendly design.

    Yes, the promo for this new version of The Muppet Show has been a little weird. Fans have already had a meltdown over the breakup of Kermit and Miss Piggy, and lobbed sexist insults at Kermit's new love interest, Denise. Sure, there's a promo where Miss Piggy comments on Nathan Fillion's butt and makes out with Topher Grace. She's Miss Piggy, and this is 2015. And perhaps this new series is aiming for an older audience. 

    When the show debuts on Sept. 22, the choice to let kids watch will ultimately be up to the parents, and ratings will decide if the show stays on the air. If anything, this outrage will probably make more people want to tune in. 

    But 1MM took credit for getting Sex Boxoff the air, so you never know. 

    H/T Jezebel | Screengrab via ABC Television Network/YouTube 


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