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Recent Entertainment articles from Daily Dot

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    While we’re sad to see content leaveNetflix each month, we’ll always have even more movies and shows to obsess over.

    October 

    Oct. 1

    A Christmas Carol

    About Alex

    Alexander: Theatrical Cut

    American Pie

    Barefoot Contessa: Back to Basics Collection: Collection 1

    Batman Begins

    Boogie Nights

    Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

    Curse of Chucky

    Dark Was the Night

    Design on a Dime Collection: Collection 1

    El Tiempo Entre Costuras

    Extreme Homes Collection: Collection 1

    Genevieve's Renovation: Season 1

    Glass Chin

    House Hunters Renovation Collection: Collection 1

    Million Dollar Baby

    Million Dollar Rooms Collection: Collection 1

    Monkey Thieves: Seasons 1-3

    On the Town

    Pal Joey

    Pepe

    Pressure

    Property Virgins Collection: Collection 1

    Reasonable Doubt

    Richard Pryor: Icon

    Robin Williams Remembered - A Pioneers of Television Special

    Some Came Running

    Take Me Out to the Ball Game

    The Bourne Supremacy

    The Devil at 4 O'Clock

    The Great Food Truck Race Collection: Collection 1

    The Navy SEALs: Their Untold Story

    The Nightmare

    Throwdown with Bobby Flay Collection: Collection 1

    Uncle Grandpa: Season 1 (more episodes)

    Vanilla Ice Project: Seasons 1-4

    Wakfu: Season 1

    White Rabbit

    Wild Horses

    Worst Cooks in America Collection: Collection 1

    Oct. 2

    Anjelah Johnson: Not Fancy*

    La Leyenda de la Nahuala

    Reign: Season 2

    The Vampire Diaries: Season 6

    Oct. 3

    Alpha and Omega 5: Family Vacation

    Oct. 5

    Team Hot Wheels: Build the Epic Race

    Oct. 6

    American Horror Story: Freak Show

    iZombie: Season 1

    Last Man Standing: Season 4

    The Flash: Season 1

    The Originals: Season 2

    Tremors 5: Bloodline

    Oct. 7

    Arrow: Season 3

    Flor Salvaje: Season 1

    Legends: Season 1

    Supernatural: Season 10

    Oct. 8

    American Heist

    Strangerland

    Oct. 9

    Mighty Med: Season 2

    The Mr. Peabody and Sherman Show: Season 1*

    Winter on Fire*

    Oct. 10

    Lalaloopsy: Band Together

    Oct. 11

    Glen Campbell: I'll Be Me

    Jake and the Never Land Pirates: Season 3

    Oct. 12

    Jane the Virgin: Season 1

    Oct. 14

    Lazarus

    Oct. 15

    Finding Jesus: Faith. Fact. Forgery: Season 1

    Isabella Rossellini's Green Porno Live!

    The Five People You Meet in Heaven: Part 1/Part 2

    Oct. 16

    All Hail King Julien: Season 2*

    Anthony Jeselnik: Thoughts and Prayers*

    Beasts of No Nation*

    Circle - NETFLIX EXCLUSIVE

    Some Assembly Required: Season 2*

    The Principal: Season 1

    Oct. 18

    Ain't Them Bodies Saints

    Oct. 20

    Lego DC Comics: Batman Be-Leaguered

    Marvel's Avengers Assemble: Season 2

    Oct. 22

    Results

    Oct. 23

    Hemlock Grove: Season 3*

    Oct. 24

    Jack Strong

    Oct. 25

    Walt Disney Animation Studios Short Films Collection

    Oct. 27

    August: Osage County

    Manson Family Vacation - NETFLIX EXCLUSIVE

    Oct. 28

    Chasing Life: Season 2

    The Gunman

    Oct. 29

    Return to Sender

    Oct. 30

    Popples: Season 1*

    September

    In addition to its usual round of film favorites, Netflix is adding a full slate of TV favorites in September, including new seasons of The Walking Dead, Parenthood, Portlandia, Gotham, and more.

    Sept. 1

    72 Dangerous Animals: Australia: Season 1

    Arthur: Season 17

    Avengers Confidential: Black Widow & Punisher (2014)

    Battle Creek: Season 1

    Blackbird (2014)

    Capital C (2014)

    Combustion (2013)

    Da Jammies: Season 1

    Divorce Corp. (2014)

    Giggle and Hoot's Best Ever! (2014)

    Hamlet (1990)

    Hardball (2001)

    Heather McDonald: I Don't Mean to Brag (2014)

    Lawrence of Arabia: Restored Version (1962)

    Los hombres también lloran: Season 1

    Masters of the Universe (1987)

    Mississippi Damned (2009)

    Mister Rogers' Neighborhood: Volume 1

    Mouk: Season 1

    Our Man in Tehran (2013)

    Pandas: The Journey Home (2014)

    Person of Interest: Seasons 1-3

    Puffin Rock: Season 1 *

    Rambo: First Blood (1982)

    Rambo: First Blood Part II (1985)

    Rambo III: Ultimate Edition (1988)

    Shake the Dust (2014)

    Sleepy Hollow (1999)

    Such Good People (2014)

    The Adventures of Sharkboy & Lavagirl (2005)

    The League: Season 6

    The Monster Squad (1987)

    Up in the Air (2009)

    Zathura (2005)

    Zoo Clues: Season 1

    Sept. 2

    Black or White (2014)

    Miss Julie (2014)

    Sept. 3

    Drumline: A New Beat (2014)

    Sept. 4

    Baby Daddy: Season 4 (new episodes)

    Bad Night (2015)

    Madame Secretary: Season 1

    Melissa & Joey: Season 4 (new episodes)

    Sept. 7

    Space Dandy: Season 2

    Sept. 8

    6 Years (2015) 

    Love at First Fight (2014)

    Sept. 9

    Teen Beach Movie 2 (2015)

    Sept. 10

    Fugitivos: Season 1

    Longmire: Season 4 *

    Sept. 11

    About Elly (2009)

    God Bless the Child (2015)

    Madame Bovary (2014)

    Sept. 12

    It Happened Here (2015)

    Portlandia: Season 5

    The Roughnecks (2014)

    Why Did I Get Married? (2007)

    Sept. 13

    Comedy Bang! Bang!: Season 4 (part 2)

    Pixies (2014)

    Sept. 14

    Call the Midwife: Series 4

    Sept. 15

    Closer to the Moon (2015)

    Cowspiracy: The Sustainability Secret (2014)

    Kambu: Season 1

    Rubble Kings (2015)

    Sin Senos no Hay Paraiso: Season 1

    The Bank Job (2008)

    The Road Within (2015)

    Zoobabu: Season 1

    Sept. 16

    Moonrise Kingdom (2012)

    Reservation Road (2007)

    The Blacklist: Season 2

    The Fosters: Season 3

    Sept. 17

    The Mysteries of Laura: Season 1

    Sept. 18

    Keith Richards: Under the Influence (2015) *

    Sept. 21

    Gotham: Season 1

    The Following: Season 3

    Sept. 22

    Person of Interest: Season 4

    Philomena (2013)

    SMOSH: The Movie (2015)

    Sept. 23

    The Loft (2015)

    Sept. 24

    Iris (2014)

    Sept. 25

    Blue Bloods: Season 5

    Hawaii Five-0: Season 5

    Parenthood: Season 6

    VeggieTales in the House: Season 1 (new episodes) *

    Sept. 26

    The Canyons (2013)

    Sept. 27

    The Walking Dead: Season 5

    Sept. 29

    Bones: Season 10

    Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom (2013)

    Monster High: Boo York (2015)

    RL Stine's Monsterville: Cabinet of Souls (2015)

    Sept. 30

    Agatha Christie's Poirot: Series 12

    Leafie: A Hen into the Wild (2011)

    Midnight’s Children (2012)

    Murdoch Mysteries: Season 4-7

    Ned Rifle (2014)

    August

    With the newest season of Doctor Who, childhood favorite Reading Rainbow, even more Inspector Gadget, and the premiere of Narcos—which stars Game of Thrones fan favorite Pedro Pascal—there’s something for everyone in August.

    Aug. 1

    Alvin and the Chipmunks Meet Frankenstein

    Asylum

    Back in Time / Cong Cong Na Nian

    Beneath the Helmet

    Breakup Buddies / Xin Hua Lau Fang

    Bride and Prejudice

    Casting By

    Dancing on the Edge: Season 1

    Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood: Season 2

    Dear Frankie

    Dogs on the Inside

    Electric Slide

    Enemy at the Gates

    Flex is Kings

    Lost and Love / Shi Gu

    Masha and the Bear: Season 1

    November Rule

    Odd Squad: Season 1

    Outcast

    Pants on Fire

    Reading Rainbow: Volume 1

    Russell Brand: End the Drugs War

    Somewhere Only We Know / You yi ge di fang zhi you wo men zhi dao

    Sorority Row

    The Code: Season 1

    The Golden Era / Huang Jin Shi Dai

    The Hurt Locker

    The Living

    The Mind of a Chef: Season 3

    Tyler Perry’s Meet the Browns

    Utopia: Season 1

    Vexed: Seasons 1-2

    War

    Wing Commander

    Aug. 3

    Chronic-Con, Episode 420: A New Dope

    Aug. 4

    Wyrmwood: Road of the Dead

    Aug. 5

    Yellowbird

    Aug. 6

    Kill Me Three Times

    My Amityville Horror

    The Look of Love

    Welcome to Me

    Aug. 7

    Club de Cuervos: Season 1

    HitRECord on TV: Season 1

    Motivation 2: The Chris Cole Story

    Project Mc2

    Transporter: The Series: Season 2

    Aug. 8

    Doctor Who: Season 8

    Aug. 11

    Fred: The Movie

    Fred 2: Night of the Living Fred

    Fred 3: Camp Fred

    Two Days, One Night

    Aug. 12

    For a Good Time, Call...

    Leap Year

    The Woman in Black 2: Angel of Death

    Aug. 14

    Demetri Martin: Live (At The Time)

    DinoTrux

    Ever After High Way too Wonderland: Season 3

    Ship of Theseus

    Aug. 15

    Alex of Venice

    Aug. 16

    Being Flynn

    Pariah

    Seeking a Friend for the End of the World

    Aug. 17

    Lord of War

    Aug. 19

    Jerk Theory

    Real Husbands of Hollywood: Season 3

    Aug. 20

    30 for 30: Angry Sky

    As Cool As I Am

    Strange Empire: Season 1

    Aug. 21

    Grantham & Rose

    Transcend

    Aug. 23

    Girl Meets World: Season 1

    Aug. 27

    Byzantium

    White God

    Aug. 28

    Inspector Gadget: Season 2

    Narcos

    Once Upon a Time: Season 4

    Revenge: Season 4

    Aug. 29

    Ride

    Aug. 30

    Muffin Top: A Love Story

    * denotes Netflix Original

    Photo via Rob Bertholf/Flickr (CC BY 2.0) | Remix by Max Fleishman


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    Trevor Noah paid homage to what made The Daily Show great while trying to forge a new path as he finally took up the mantle in a semi-awkward first episode that felt more like the old Daily Show than we had expected.

    It’s been nearly two months since Jon Stewarttook his final bow, and Noah has quite the seat to fill. Unlike Stephen Colbert, who only had to introduce us to “the real him,” Noah had an arguably harder task of not only introducing us to himself but also easing us into this Stewart-less era. Stewart may not have been the first host of The Daily Show, but for many of its fans, he was the face of it.

    Noah quickly took on a self-deprecating tone as he praised Stewart and acknowledged the elephant in the room.

    “Jon Stewart was more than just a late-night host,” Noah said. “He was often our voice, our refuge, and in many ways our political dad, and it’s weird because Dad has left. And now it feels like the family has a new stepdad—and he’s black.”

    But it wasn’t just the Stewart elephant he addressed. It was also the question of why a woman wasn't hosting The Daily Show—or even an American. The answer: They didn’t want it.

    From there, Noah dove right into Pope-mania and House Speaker John Boehner’s resignation, offering jokes that landed more often than not, including his first dick joke in the first five minutes of the show. The fact that the live audience was onboard had to have been reassuring for him.

    The Boehner report brought in correspondent Jordan Klepper, a familiar face to Stewart’s audience, who went on an impassioned rant about how Boehner was irreplaceable that doubled as an ode to Stewart.

    Noah, as part of his new hosting job, has already begun to diversify the staff, and it showed within his first episode. Roy Wood, Jr., one of the new Daily Show correspondents, came out to talk about the discovery of liquid water on Mars. Wood is already coming into his own, expertly demonstrating how, while humans might end up on Mars one day, it’ll be even longer before people like him and Noah get there.

    Noah’s first guest was Kevin Hart, who gave him ties as a gift in an otherwise unremarkable interview; remember, interviews weren’t always Stewart’s strong point, either.

    It will take some time for Noah to grow into the role and step out of Stewart’s shadow. He’s got some of Stewart’s writers, so the show will have a similar style. His first show wasn’t a home run, but as he has time to experiment with the format and the comedy and politics involved, he may create something just as excellent as the old show we remember.

    Screengrab via Comedy Central/YouTube


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    Hollywood has been engaged in a love affair with cult science-fiction writer Philip K. Dick for over three decades now, beginning with Ridley Scott’s groundbreaking Blade Runner in 1982. It hasn’t always been pretty—there have been some serious clunkers, as you’ll see—but it’s also given us some genuine cinematic classics. And Hollywood’s obsession with Dick shows no signs of slowing down.

    Fox’s Minority Report TV spinoff just debuted, and Amazon Prime has a series based on Dick’s classic alternate history tale The Man in the High Castle arriving in November. There’s even a Blade Runner sequel in the works, for good or ill. With all that Dick on the horizon, and no doubt many more Dick-related puns to be made, we here at the Dot will be your guide through the history of Dick on the big and small screens, and where you can feast your eyes upon it. (OK, I’ll stop. Maybe.)

    1) Blade Runner (1982)

    When Dick finally made the leap to the silver screen, he did so with a bang, with his 1968 novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? serving as the basis for Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner. While the flick was a critical and box-office flop at the time, it’s pretty much the definition of a film that ages well, having become a beloved cult hit that’s influenced countless filmmakers in the decades since. Harrison Ford stars as Rick Deckard, a retired android hunter—or “blade runner”—in a bleak, stylish future where so-called “replicants” are illegal on Earth but used offworld for everything from slave labor to combat to prostitution. When a group of replicants sneak planetside, led by the charismatic but deadly Roy Batty (Rutger Hauer), Deckard is called out of retirement to put them down; replicants don’t get trials. But the deeper he gets into the investigation, the more troubling it becomes, all the more so when he meets Rachael (Sean Young), a replicant who doesn’t realize she’s a replicant. That previously unimagined possibility throws everything Deckard took for granted into question.

    Thirty-plus years later, Blade Runner remains one of the best science-fiction films ever made, and it holds up marvelously, especially if you get the chance to see it on the big screen. Director Ridley Scott has released several versions of the film over the years, but we recommend checking out his Final Cut, which is available on Amazon and iTunes.

    2) Total Recall (1990)

    While Blade Runner is a serious exploration of the nature of humanity, identity, and free will, Total Recall… isn’t. Serious, at least. Loosely based on Dick’s 1966 short story “We Can Remember It for You Wholesale,” Total Recall stars Arnold Schwarzenegger as Doug Quaid, an average Joe construction worker in a future where average Joe construction workers sometimes look like Austrian bodybuilders and are married to women who look like Sharon Stone. Doug is obsessed with taking a vacation to Mars, but he can’t afford it on his rockbreaker’s salary. So he decides to do the next best thing: have the false memories of an epic Mars trip implanted in his brain by a virtual travel service called Rekall. He gets more than he bargained for when the procedure goes wrong, either awakening previously buried memories of Quaid’s real life as a Martian secret agent or sending him into a fantastic mental adventure while his body languishes in a coma, depending on which interpretation you prefer. There are crosses, double-crosses, mutants, ancient alien terraforming machines, three-breasted hookers, eyeballs protruding comically on stalks, and a scene where Arnold pulls a tracking device the size of a golf ball out of his sinus cavity. It’s batshit insane in a way that only a Paul Verhoeven movie can be, but it’s hugely watchable, gleefully embracing all the fun and ridiculousness the 2012 remake abandoned, to its detriment.

    Total Recall is available on Amazon and iTunes.

    3) Screamers (1996)

    They can’t all be gems, can they? The 1996 sci-fi thriller Screamers is most memorable for the fact that the screenplay was written by Dan O’Bannon, who also penned both the original Total Recall and a little flick called Alien. Sadly, that pedigree couldn’t save Screamers from being screamingly mediocre, earning only $7 million in worldwide box office. Still, the movie has earned a cult following over the years, and it spawned a sequel called Screamers: The Hunting, in 2009. Based on Dick’s short story “Second Variety” (first published in Space Science Fiction in 1953), Screamers is set on a distant world known as Sirius 6B. At one point it was a thriving mining colony, but a long conflict between the workers and the corporation in power has left both sides undersupplied and desperate. Worse, the fight unleashed the so-called “screamers”: intelligent, self-replicating killing machines that track targets by their heartbeat before carving them to ribbons. And here’s the really bad news: The screamers are evolving...

    Screamers is available on Amazon and iTunes.

    4) Impostor (2002)

    Impostor had the bad luck to release six months before the vastly superior Minority Report, but it’s not actually a terrible movie: It’s got a solid lead performance by Gary Sinise, and a decent twist, albeit one most people will probably see coming a country mile away. Impostor is based on Dick’s 1953 short story of the same name and is set nearly 50 years after humanity came under attack by an alien civilization from Alpha Centauri. The weird thing: Even after all these years, no one has actually seen a Centaurian. Needless to say, paranoia is rampant, with Earth cities hiding beneath force shields and a totalitarian government wielding power. To make matters worse, now the aliens have unleashed a plot to send human-looking replicants armed with powerful internal “u-bombs” to infiltrate the government and assassinate key players. Spencer Olham (Sinise) is a weapons designer, in theory one of the people working hardest to keep Earth safe from their enemies. Unfortunately, an intercepted Centaurian transmission leads the Earth Security Agency to become convinced Olham is actually one of the replicants… and its team is perfectly willing to dissect him to prove it. Quite an experience to live in fear, isn’t it?

    Impostor is available on-demand from Showtime Anytime for subscribers, or you can grab a DVD off Amazon.

    5) Minority Report (2002)

    What if you could predict murders before they happened? Based on Dick’s 1956 short story of the same name, Minority Report is set in Washington, D.C., in 2054, where Captain John Anderton (Tom Cruise) heads up the PreCrime department, which uses the visions of three semi-catatonic psychics to track down and arrest potential murderers before they can do the deed. Needless to say, PreCrime is a controversial initiative, but the murder rate is way down, and PreCrime is on the cusp of going nationwide. Then Anderton finds himself on the pointy end of PreCrime when the precogs predict that he’s going to commit cold-blooded murder in 36 hours. Anderton goes on the run, desperate to prove his innocence even if that means tearing down the system he helped build.

    Minority Report is easily my pick for the second-best Dick flick on this list, right behind Blade Runner. Director Steven Spielberg serves up a twisty, propulsive sci-fi thriller with a compelling mystery at its core, a well-realized and surprisingly prescient future world, and dynamite performances by Cruise and Samantha Morton, who plays the precog Agatha. The only major problem with Minority Report is the ending, which could have leaned more heavily on the moral ambiguity the rest of the film traffics in. Still, it’s a great way to kill two hours and packed to the gills with cool visuals and interesting ideas.

    Minority Report is available on Amazon and iTunes.

    6) Paycheck (2003)

    Hollywood next served up yet another forgettable interpretation with Paycheck, based on Dick’s eponymous short story from 1952. Ben Affleck stars as Michael Jennings, an expert at reverse-engineering technology. It’s the sort of work that involves secrets powerful corporations would like to keep to themselves, so he undergoes a memory wipe after every job. When Allcom CEO James Rethrick (Aaron Eckhart) approaches him about a top-secret new gig, Jennings is intrigued enough to sign on for a multiyear contract. Three years later, the job is complete, but things are not as he expected. Apparently he signed away his $92 million payday before having his memory wiped, and all his personal possessions are gone, replaced by an envelope filled with random items. Before he can figure out what’s going on, he’s being pursued by the FBI, wanted for murder, with only a sympathetic scientist named Rachel Porter (Uma Thurman) as an ally. What the hell happened during those three years?Paycheck has a pretty great premise, but in execution it’s forgettable (no mind wipe required), currently sitting at 27 percent Fresh on Rotten Tomatoes.

    Paycheck is available streaming on Netflix Instant.

    7) A Scanner Darkly (2006)

    Philip K. Dick published his novel A Scanner Darkly in 1977, only five years before his death at the all-too-young age of 53. By that point in his life, Dick was struggling with mental health issues and vivid hallucinations that he interpreted as paranormal/transcendental experiences. Needless to say, his writing became even trippier than it traditionally had been, and A Scanner Darkly is no exception.

    A Scanner Darkly is set in a dystopian not-too-distant future where a powerful drug called Substance D has overrun the United States and the totalitarian government makes use of constant and intrusive surveillance throughout daily life. Bob Arctor (Keanu Reeves) is an undercover narcotics agent—one who’s gotten himself thoroughly hooked on the substance he’s supposed to be helping destroy. Worse, his constant use of the drug is slowly splintering Arctor’s personality and very sense of identity… possibly beyond repair. Indie legend Richard Linklater (Dazed and Confused, School of Rock) adapted and directed Dick’s A Scanner Darkly, bringing it to life with rotoscoped animation that well suits the brain-bending nature of the source material. In addition to Reeves, Linklater’s cast includes Robert Downey Jr., Woody Harrelson, and Winona Ryder.

    A Scanner Darkly is available on Amazon and iTunes.

    8) Next (2007)

    After the indie cool of A Scanner Darkly, Hollywood’s Wheel o’ Dick swung back to the forgettable end of the spectrum with Next. Loosely based on Dick’s 1953 short story “The Golden Man,” Next cast Nic Cage as Cris Johnson, a small-time Vegas magician with the ability to see into the future… but only two minutes ahead. Normally that sort of weak-sauce superpower might exile him to membership in, say, the Great Lakes Avengers, but in this case he can also see different ways that two-minute window might play out. So he can see which paths will result in success and which will wind up with him getting splattered by a semi or whatever. Sadly, those abilities weren’t able to direct him to a better screenplay. Remember that awesome sequence in Minority Report when Agatha helps Anderton elude the pursuing police by repeatedly guiding him out of their line of sight? Next is like that but for 96 minutes and not nearly as good and with Jessica Biel instead of Samantha Morton. Next…

    Next is available for streaming on Netflix Instant.

    9) Radio Free Albemuth (2010)

    Originally written in 1976 but not published until three years after Dick’s death, Radio Free Albemuth pulls numerous elements from the author’s own life, including the visions/hallucinations that so defined his final years. In fact, Dick himself is a major character in both the semi-autobiographical book and the film. Set in an alternate version of 1985 America, Radio Free Albemuth finds our country under the thumb of the ruthless, paranoid President Fremont, a dictator who crushes all resistance against his regime. Nick Brady (Jonathan Scarfe) is just an ordinary guy, a Berkeley record store clerk who happens to be good friends with science fiction writer Philip K. Dick (Shea Whigham). When Nick begins experiencing strange dreams and visions, he becomes convinced they’re more than just tricks of the brain; he believes he’s been contacted by an alien intelligence. Soon he meets another woman (Alanis Morissette) who also claims to be in contact with the intelligence—which Nick calls VALIS—and he becomes entangled in a conspiracy working to counter the oppressive forces that have overwhelmed the nation. And it only gets weirder from there.

    Radio Free Ablemuth is available to stream on Netflix Instant.

    10) The Adjustment Bureau (2011)

    Based on Dick’s 1954 short story “Adjustment Team,” The Adjustment Bureau stars Matt Damon as David Norris, a U.S. congressman who meets a beautiful, beguiling woman named Elise (Emily Blunt) with whom he feels an instant connection, but he fails to get her number. A few weeks later, he meets her again, and this time he gets her information. It must be fate, right? Well, “fate” has a few things to say about that, in the form of mysterious men who infiltrate David’s life and explain that they represent “the Adjustment Bureau,” a secret organization working outside of time and behind the scenes to orchestrate “the Plan.” It seems David and Elise aren’t meant to be together, and they’re mucking that Plan up by re-entering each other’s lives. David refuses to accept that, but how the hell are you supposed to fight the powers that have been pulling the strings behind most of human history and which can follow you pretty much anywhere? The Adjustment Bureau unfolds as a clash between free will and predestination, with David demanding the right to make his own choices, even if those choices take him down a bad path. It’s smart, funny, thrilling, and makes the best use of magic doors since Monsters, Inc.

    The Adjustment Bureau is available on Amazon and iTunes. Syfy was developing a TV series based on the property back in 2011, but apparently it just wasn’t meant to be.

    11) Minority Report (2015)

    Oh, Minority Report. I had such hopes for you. The whole concept of being able to predict and prevent crimes before they happen is ripe for even deeper exploration than the movie was able to give it, and the notion of catching up with older versions of the precogs could also be intriguing. Unfortunately, based on the pilot, Fox’s sequel series manages to fumble damn near every opportunity. Every element of this show is a crappier version of what was done in the films, from the precogs themselves, to the at-the-time brilliantly prescient technology, even down to those creepy spider-droids, which here are replaced by much goofier flying models. Neither of the leads are particularly charismatic or compelling, and they even make a goddamn Tinder joke. Hopefully the show will find its footing, but if it doesn’t happen in the next episode or two, I won’t be sticking around to find out. Honestly, there are just so many shows that deal with this sort of material better. If you want a badass near-future police procedural that deals with emergent tech and features a pair of likable leads, go watch Fox’s canceled one-season wonder Almost Human, which you can snag on Amazon. If you want a significantly smarter and more mature exploration of precrime, watch Person of Interest, which just hit Netflix. As for this show, avoid it like a redball.

    If you must, you can watch Minority Report the series on Hulu.

    12) The Man in the High Castle (2015)

    Last but not least, Amazon is set to release a high-profile series adaptation of Dick’s alternate-history “what if the Nazis won World War II?” classic The Man in the High Castle in November. It began life as a potential miniseries for Syfy, with Ridley Scott and X-Files veteran Frank Spotnitz producing, but eventually landed on Amazon as part of that company’s aggressive push into original content. Set in 1962 in a United States divided between the Nazis and the Japanese, The Man in the High Castle follows several different characters from among the ruling class, the oppressed American masses, and the simmering resistance movement. With only the pilot to judge it by, The Man in the High Castle has already made a solid first impression, earning excellent reviews and currently sitting at a 94 percent Fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes. (You can watch the acclaimed pilot if you’re an Amazon Prime customer; the full first season will premiere on Amazon on Nov. 20.)

    Screengrab via Movieclips Trailer Vault/YouTube


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    After a month of hosting The Late Show, Stephen Colbert is finally drilling down to the one question his critics have been asking since before he took David Letterman’s seat: who is he, really?

    Colbert already knows which late-night TV talk show host he is—he’s a Kimmel—but when it comes to his personality, he’s a bit clueless. Does he even have a personality? he wonders at one point.

    Instead of doing some soul-searching or embarking on a midlife crisis, Colbert took the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator test to identify his personality—with a camera crew on-hand to record it all.

    The whole bit, in which he’s joking left and right with Julie Gross, Master Practitioner of the Myers-Briggs personality assessment, feels a bit like classic Colbert Report material. He doesn’t take any of it seriously, but he’ll totally own up to it when he finds out what his newfound personality type means.

    At least now he’ll be able to relate even better to all of those fandom-themed Myers-Briggs Tumblr posts.

    Screengrab via The Late Show with Stephen Colbert/YouTube


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    Snapchat’s puking rainbows lens may no longer be with us in the app itself, but this makeup tutorial can help you recreate the look IRL.

    Just in time for Halloween inspo season, beauty vlogger Brittany over at GettingPretty put together a straightforward step-by-step that makes the look achievable whether you have a ton of makeup lying around the house or not. She outlines a bunch of professional beauty products she used in the video’s description, but she’s also quick to point out that you can recreate the rainbow aesthetic with the face paints you’d pick up at any Halloween costume store.

    So if you’re in the market for a super easy and identifiable costume idea this year, look no further.

    H/T Cosmopolitan | Screengrab via GettingPretty/YouTube


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    Jimmy Kimmel and Matt Damon’s tireless and longstanding late-night TV feud finally came to a head in a breakthrough therapy session Monday night. No, really.

    For 12 years now, Damon has been slated as a guest on Jimmy Kimmel Live, and almost every night Kimmel had to bump Damon because he ran out of time. (There was the one time that Damon took over the show, but those rewards are few and far in-between.) Their rivalry has been long-documented, but never like this. Kimmel taped their therapy session and aired it after Damon dressed up like Dr. Phil just to get onto the show.

    What did it reveal? Damon’s upset about being discarded every night while Kimmel doesn’t feel like Damon has the face or the body of a movie star. There’s plenty of verbal abuse and callbacks to years of bits—and it’s not pretty for them. For us, though, it’s great.

    And while they manage to hug it out, don’t expect their truce to last very long.

    If only they would’ve also addressed Damon’s otherproblematic comments.

    Screengrab via Jimmy Kimmel Live/YouTube


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    Verizon is dipping its toe in the mobile video pool with a new mobile-only content service called Go90.

    Verizon promoted the service with a bash last week that included a performance from Kanye West, and a star-studded carpet with guests like John Legend, Emmy Rossum, and Joe Manganiello. For now, though, the app remains in beta, populated by Verizon users, as content announcements roll out and more productions join the Go90 platform. Here’s what we know so far.

    What does Go90 mean?

    The name Go90 derives from the idea that to go from standard phone usage to media usage, you need to “go 90” degrees to view in landscape mode. While this sort of content formatting has been challenged by apps like Snapchat, it’s still the overwhelming mode of media consumption on smartphones.

    What if I don’t have Verizon?

    Though Verizon intended to debut Go90 as a subscription service, it settled on a streamlined advertising-based model instead. It’s also going to be open to everybody—not limited to Verizon subscribers only. Avoiding the name Verizon in the new service was a conscious choice to emphasize that it’s available to all consumers.

    What can I watch on Go90?

    AOL will make up a large chunk of the programming efforts, thanks to Verizon's $4.4 billion deal to buy the company, so look for outlets like Huffington Post and TechCrunch in the content stream. But Go90 is decidedly marketed to the millennial set and younger, with poppy visuals and neon themes, and the direction of its programming follows suit. In addition to including content from mainstream networks like Comedy Central and Food Network, the platform has also tapped digital influencers to provide content for the app. AwesomenessTV is producing a daily live show, Top Five Live, which features Hunter March recapping the most buzzworthy moments of online culture in front of a live studio audience. It’s Total Request Live for the millennial set, with guest appearances from stars both digital and mainstream.

    In addition, Michelle Phan’s Icon Network is joining forces with the app to deliver original programming, as well as other Endemol Beyond content. Be Transformed, a health and fitness show from YouTuber Cassey Ho of Blogilates, will premiere first on Sept. 29.

    Is the content any good?

    Well, it’s still not viewable in most cases, but several of the digital content providers have strong track records. New Form Digital is releasing content on the platform, and its incubator program produced some standout YouTube short film content in the past year, including work from Joe Penna and a wizard-rock rom-com. It already branched out into longer series on Vimeo, with Sawyer Hartman’s The Parallax Theory, and PJ Liguori's fantastical Oscar’s Hotel, which features creature work from the Jim Henson studios.

    New Form Digital will produce six scripted series exclusively for Go90. Each series has a 12-episode order and will premiere over the next year. They include a show about a woman living a Groundhog Day-style repeat of her 25th birthday and Miss Earth, which follows a pageant queen who ends up in an intergalactic competition with much higher stakes. Helmed by Anna Akana, Miss Earth originally incubated as part of New Form Digital’s first round of YouTuber partnerships.

    How can I share my finds with my friends?

    Go90 will also offer social integrations, according to TechCrunch. Users will be able to share short segments of longer video clips to sites like Facebook and Instagram, as well as follow friends’ pages or celebrity and show pages. There will also be a feature for “crews,” which are special interest groups users can join inside the app.

    When can I get my hands on Go90?

    Not yet, but soon—unless you’re one of the lucky Verizon subscribers with early access. Since the app is still just in beta, the content promises are all tell and no show for the general population. Once the gates are open, we’ll report back with more hands-on information about just how sleek the design and programming are for Go90. Until then, we’re keeping our phones vertical.  

    Photo via Go90/Twitter


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    In a pretty brilliant ploy to stop you from fast forwarding through ads, the sixth season of The Walking Dead is going to feature brand new, minute-long mini episodes of a webseries for its spinoff, Fear the Walking Dead, that will air during commercial breaks.

    According to Entertainment Weekly, the webseries, Fear the Walking Dead: Flight 462, will focus on the commercial airline flight that has patient zero of the zombie outbreak onboard. What makes the webseries special, though, is that one of the surviving characters will carry over to season 2 of Fear the Walking Dead when it’s back in 2016.

    The Walking Dead is no stranger to standalone webseries, but this is the show’s first time introducing a new character to the audience this way. From the sounds of it, these Flight 462 clips will serve as a Lost-style flashback that help inform what’s to come in Fear the Walking Dead’s 15-episode second season.

    The webseries premieres on AMC.com Oct. 4 (the day of Fear the Walking Dead’s season finale), and will roll out during commercial breaks throughout The Walking Dead’s fall season (beginning Oct. 11). Plus, all episodes will be available to watch online afterward.

    H/T Entertainment Weekly | Screengrab via AMC/YouTube


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    Saturday Night Live alums Horatio Sanz and Fred Armisen have signed on with Lorne Michaels’ production company Broadway Video to help develop a digital content studio focused on Latino comedy: Más Mejor (More Better). The goal? To give Latino millennials a destination for sketch, standup, and comedy in general.

    “There is no real hub for high-quality Latino comedy,” Sanz said to AdWeek. “This is going to be a place where people can go to and know that it's going to be good stuff.”

    Broadway Video previously tried and failed to break into the Hispanic market with an SNL spinoff TV show, but Sanz seems to understand that, with over a quarter of millennials in the U.S. being Hispanic, streaming video will have a lot more impact with a younger audience.

    "The millennials in Mexico and here in the U.S., they're not really in touch with comedy on TV as it’s being presented,” he said.

    This won’t be Broadway Video’s first dip into streaming video. In addition to Michaels’ TV shows (SNL, The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, Late Night with Seth Meyers), Broadway Video produces his Above Average Network of comedy series. With the added support of NBCUniversal Telemundo, which reaches 90 percent of the U.S.’s Hispanic viewership every month, the channel shouldn’t struggle to reach its targeted audience.

    Más Mejor’s programming schedule will be released in January 2016, with weekly shortform comedy series in both Spanish and in English set to be featured. New York-based sketch group Room 28, standup comic Gina Brillon (Late Night With Seth Meyers), Vine star David Lopez, and comedian Frank Garcia Hejl have already been announced as collaborators, and Mexico City production studios What a Bear and Lemon Films have reportedly partnered with the network to help produce videos.  

    H/T AdWeek | Screengrab via Late Night with Seth Meyers/YouTube


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    Nicki Minaj is wondering “who the F I is” in mini me form.

    Minutes after ABC Family announced the network would be starting work on a sitcom based off Nicki Minaj’s life Tuesday, the rapper declared via Instagram that she’ll be “launching a nation wide search to find #YoungNicki.” She followed up with a matching tweet, and while no other details on the search have been released yet, the hashtag already has hundreds of photo submissions ready and waiting.

    As for the show itself, it’s set to start shooting in Minaj’s hometown of Queens, New York, this winter, and will be based off the star’s childhood, according to ABC Family.

    From the release:

    The half-hour comedy is based on Minaj and her family’s immigration from Trinidad in the early 1990’s. It will focus on her growing up in Queens with her vibrant family and the personal and musical evolution that led to her eventual rise to stardom.

    Minaj’s announcement comes just a day after FOX announced it’s developing a sitcom based off the life of rapper Heems (formerly of Das Racist) with Sanjay Shah, a co-executive producer from ABC’s Fresh Off the Boat (based on the memoir of chef Eddie Huang), so a new dawn of ’90s-era hip-hop sitcoms may be upon us.

    H/T Jezebel | Photo via Eva Rinaldi/Flickr (CC BY SA 2.0)


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    At last the trailer for Fox's revival of The X-Files is here, and it's time to relive your most delicious '90s nightmares because it looks like the whole crew is back—and things are weirder than ever.

    Mulder, Scully, Skinner, and even a certain Morley-smoking mystery man are all back for the new series, and no one's aged a day. Mulder looks typically haggard, but we have faith Scully will whip him into shape soon enough—if she can keep the breathlessness out of her voice, that is. 

    The best part of this trailer is that it feels totally contemporary without ever losing sight of what makes the X-Files great. From the "fire sale" prediction voiced by a member of Anonymous to references to the National Security Agency and government surveillance, to a stalwart military officer with echoes of Chelsea Manning and Edward Snowden, this trailer rapidly and easily makes clear that we're all finally living in Mulder's reality.

    Along with the aliens, of course.

    Are we excited for January, or are we terrified? We don't know, but we'll be tuned in to find out.

    Screengrab via Fox/YouTube


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    Donald Trump finally released his tax plan this week. Experts have criticized it, with some even calling it a “fantasy.” But would normal people take it seriously if they thought it came from a more serious candidate?

    That notion, paired with the idea that people never really pay attention to political details, is the basis of Jimmy Kimmel’s latest prank. He sent a staff member and a camera crew out to Hollywood Boulevard to find Hillary Clinton supporters (who definitely hate Trump) and present them with Clinton’s tax plan. Only, it’s actually Trump’s plan.

    So what do they think of her, but actually his, ideas?

    Unlike similar segments, Kimmel's crew tells people that they've been duped. They’re about as annoyed with it as you’d expect. But given how often these segments come out, you’d think it’d be impossible for Kimmel to find enough people willing to talk on-camera.

    Screengrab via Jimmy Kimmel Live/YouTube


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    My most popular YouTube video is 20 seconds long.

    It was filmed in Portland, Oregon, toward the end of Panic! At the Disco’s second headlining tour in 2006. Lead singer Brendon Urie had been teasing in a bit of banter about a “perfect passionate kiss” right before the song “Lying Is the Most Fun a Girl Can Have Without Taking Her Clothes Off” by approaching guitarist and lyricist Ryan Ross, stroking his face, and leaning in, only to pull back at the very last second, the whole audience rapt and gasping.

    This time, he didn’t really pull back.

    They just touch foreheads, though. It’s pretty much nothing, but to this day it gets comments from Panic fans, many new to loving the band—or loving the imagined relationship between Ross, who left the band in an incredibly dramatic and wrenching divide in 2009, and Urie, who is the only original member left in the band today. But in 2006 the band intact, just a year into its career, mirroring another newcomer onto the pop media scene: YouTube.

    In 2005 YouTube began streaming videos for the first time, and, just a few short months later, the band Panic! At the Disco released its first studio album, A Fever You Can’t Sweat Out. I didn’t realize that a decade later, the intersection of the two would influence my life so profoundly.


    It’s hard to imagine a time when you couldn’t find the latest Beyoncé performance within moments of it happening with just a few clicks. Or even watch live, thanks to streaming apps. Before every phone was also a powerful camera, videos online were few and far between, even in the early days of YouTube.

    The proliferation of social media and online video streaming opened up a whole new world for fans. For N*SYNC fans looking to see clips from arena tours, whole underground systems of file trading existed, with CDs full of MP4s available on order for affordable prices, mailed to you from a collector who created sets. TV clips from international stations and obscure live performances traded like precious gold. YouTube clicked on, and, once fans had their own super-powered recording devices in the palms of their hands, clips flooded the ecosystem.

    In the early days, of course, the quality of those recordings was suspect at best.

    In the early days, of course, the quality of those recordings was suspect at best. Even now, someone’s non-zoomed shot from the back of Madison Square Garden isn’t going to replace the live experience, or even get any attention from even the most diehard fans of an artist. But the closer you sat, and the better your angle and camera, the better the chance that your video might become “the video” that captured a moment.

    The year of YouTube’s launch coincided with my first Panic! At the Disco concerts. Just a few months after my first taste of the band’s baroque, pop-punk style, I bought a fistful of early-entry tickets to their second headlining tour and camped out in the front row with my Sony digital camera in tow. From the back of the room, the quality would have been decent, but I was hips-flush to the barrier at every show I attended in fall of 2006, and I tallied more Panic! At the Disco shows than I’d seen of any other artists combined in the 23 years of my life prior. I’m the kind of person who goes all-or-nothing, and my headfirst fall into Panic fandom is a testament to that.


    For those unfamiliar, Panic! At the Disco were a quartet of barely adults who were among the first musicians born on the Internet. As origin story goes, they pestered Fall Out Boy’s Pete Wentz through LiveJournal until he listened to a track, loved it, flew to see them practice in their hometown of Las Vegas, and signed them on the spot. They jumped in the studio and on the road with a handful of small shows under their belts and churned out what would become a Platinum-selling album and a music video that won 2006’s VMA for Video of the Year. They were the type to jump in headfirst too—possibly why they spoke to me so—and their first headlining tour included a giant windmill, acrobats, and elaborate face makeup and costumes.  They also knew their audience of screaming girls screamed even louder when lead Urie flirted with Ross, and so they played a very long game of gay chicken, especially across their first two tours and subsequent one-off gigs from 2006 to 2008.

    My YouTube channel is a deep catalog of this time for them. In my first forays, I never even posted full song clips. I was more interested in documenting the banter they were performing between numbers, cover songs they only played on occasion, or specific aspects of songs where they played out their homosexual flirtations that drove fans wild. I was one of those fans, desperate for queer representation in my media that explained my subsequent Glee infatuation, and diehard support of Adam Lambert’s run on American Idol in later years. Big poppy spectacle with a queer bent is my thing, and Panic had that in spades.

    I had the benefit a front-row view, a quick turnaround for uploading my videos from each evening, and multiple stops on each tour to document. My standout 20-second non-kiss clip is far from my only well-trafficked one of the band. In fact, just behind it in views is a clip from eight days later, the final night of the tour, where Urie did kiss Ross before singing their mega-hit “I Write Sins, Not Tragedies.” It’s a smacking peck on the cheek, but it racked up 148,000 views.

    Several of my clips topped 50,000 views at a time when today’s biggest YouTube sensations hadn’t even picked up a camera. (If they had, they were speaking to audiences of 20,000 viewers, maybe 100,000 at best. For scale, consider that PewDiePie, one of YouTube’s most-subscribed channels today, just notched his 10 billionth view. With a B.) I documented Panic religiously during my three years of solid devotion to the band, perfecting a method that balanced my camera up against my sternum so I could still watch and mouth along lyrics from the front row. After tours their team would ask me if I had captured a certain moment, telling me they watched my videos after shows when they knew I was there. It was like game tape, since I had such close vantage points.

    I ended up in the right place at the right time: Press passes let me watch and film a whole show from inside the photo pit; a friend working for another band on the bill got me sidestage. Eventually I worked for their label, and it was that closeness to the belly of the beast (and the divide of the band into two factions) that actually broke down my fandom for Panic, and willingness to either document or attend their shows. My presence in the fandom had become a known entity, and I realized I didn’t want to be known, at least not for that. In 2009 I filmed my last clip of them (appropriately with my new iPhone) and then stopped filming them for good.


    I barely touched YouTube in the years since, dropping off from the platform right around the time when it began to birth the homegrown celebrities I’ve gone on to cover for the Daily Dot. Luckily, YouTube kept a record of my fandom life, and the 77 individual concert videos I took during my YouTube heydey live on on my YouTube channel. It’s given me 1.2 million lifetime views, but none of them have even been monetized, by me or by any of the the bands I featured. They’re also far from perfect, and they decidedly pale in comparison to modern concert videos. The loud rock music blew out my microphones often, and I swung back and forth to capture all the action, keeping it just jerky enough to discount me as a serious videographer.

    Now 13, she’s using my videos to build her own understanding of a fandom.

    My passion wasn’t about professionalism, though. There was no real inkling of being “YouTube famous” in 2006 or 2007, as shocking as that is to present-day me, who spends her days covering the vast YouTube entertainer set. Monetization wasn’t a part of the early YouTube platform, so all those first clips were just free fandom property, skirting the line of legality. For me, that was the goal: to make accessible the somewhat inaccessible. Not every fan was privileged or determined like I was to see multiple shows, and commit to front row viewing (once, I stood front row with my foot in a boot following a minor car accident, earning shock and, I can only hope, respect from fans and the band alike.) I could help preserve a narrative, to keep a public record of a moment in time.

    One of the most recent comments on a video from 2008 was from a girl who, in all caps, exclaimed that she was so sad that Panic had played Atlanta when she lived there, although she was only 6 at the time of the video’s filming. Now 13, she’s using my videos to build her own understanding of a fandom, to go through its history and canon and fuel her own obsession.

    I may have moved on, but I’m happy my dedication almost a decade ago can help keep a fandom connected long after my time.

    Photo via Rae Votta/Flickr (C, used with permission) | Remix by Jason Reed


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    BY BREE BROUWER

    Netflix is no longer constrained to land-based devices. The streaming video-on-demand service partnered with Virgin America to bring free in-flight streaming to Netflix subscribers on select aircraft.

    Starting Sept. 29, both new and existing Netflix subscribers flying on Virgin America planes equipped with ViaSat WiFi will get free Internet access to stream their favorite Netflix content. Subscribers can access streaming titles through their mobile devices. Virgin will have 10 ViaSat-equipped planes entering service in the next few months, and the #NetflixOnboard partnership lasts through March 2, 2016.

    “Netflix and Virgin America are both known for their focus on innovation and for shaking up their respective industries—so we’re thrilled to team up to bring the best in technology and entertainment to the skies,” said Abby Lunardini, Virgin America Vice President of Brand Marketing and Communications, in a release. “We hope our guests enjoy the offering and know that even President Frank Underwood [of House of Cards] can’t get entertainment this good onboard Air Force One.”

    “As WiFi becomes more ubiquitous, it’s going to be increasingly possible for members to enjoy Netflix wherever they want,” added Bill Holmes, Netflix’s global head of business development. “We’re delighted to partner with Virgin America to extend the joy of Netflix to our members at 35,000 feet.”

    Netflix is not the first streaming service to take to the skies. And Virgin America certainly isn’t the first airline to pay attention to digital video selections for travellers, either. Back in May 2015, Amazon partnered with JetBlue to bring its Instant Video collection to JetBlue passengers. Additionally, airlines like SouthwestAlaska Airlines, and Delta boast their own in-flight streaming video services (most of these offer a limited but free viewing selection accessible through mobile devices or in-plane screens).

    You can learn more about the Netflix-Virgin America deal on Virgin’s site.

    Illustration by Max Fleishman


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    The Daily Dot is celebrating Woman Crush Wednesday, better known as #WCW on Twitter and Instagram, by highlighting female creators on YouTube whose work we admire.

    There are some YouTube stars so uniquely YouTube that all you can do is sit back and think just how lucky you are to be an observer of this once in a lifetime moment. For me (and I assume you, in a few short minutes), gaming grandma Shirley is one of those lunar eclipses in our YouTube solar system.

    The 79-year-old Virginia native originally started her YouTube channel in 2011 in order to better follow the channels she loved, including Vsauce, Good Mythical Morning, and Jacksepticeye. From there, it was only a matter of time before she decided to broadcast her love of Skyrim to the world, and just last week, she uploaded her first “let’s play” video to YouTube. In a matter of days, the video hit nearly 800,000 views and tallied 3,400 comments from fans of all ages charmed by her outrageous commentary. With four more gaming uploads in the past seven days, Shirley’s subscriber count has skyrocketed to 34,000 followers. There is something just so charming about a grandma yelling in the midst of a fight with a dead army, “Yeah, down at the knees!

    YouTube isn’t the only platform Shirley is now dabbling in. She’s currently on Instagram, Twitch, Twitter, Facebook, and even Snapchat! Seriously, this woman is more in touch with social media than I am, and I watch YouTube videos for a living. Should you decide to follow her on Twitter , here is a preview of the gems that await.

    Yes, this woman is real, and it’s in your best interest to love her as hard as you can.

    She is a crucial addition to the YouTube ecosystem because she’s creating content for seniors, an incredibly underrepresented demographic on YouTube. Her videos not only show other 50-plus individuals that YouTube can be accessible but hopefully inspire them to share their passions online as well.

    So until our next gaming adventure, thank you, Grandma Shirley, for proving to the world that age is just a number. 

    Photo via Erica Carson/Flickr (PD) | Shirley Curry/Instagram | Remix by Jason Reed


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    BY SAM GUTELLE

    YouTube is making easier for its shopaholic viewers to fulfill their cravings and for its creators and marketers to sell their feature dproducts. The world’s largest video-sharing site announced on September 29, 2015 that its “shoppable” video format is being tested now and through the fall and will be available for advertisers sitewide via Google’s Adwords in the coming months.

    The shoppable videos make use of in-video menus dubbed Shopping ads that are reminiscent of YouTube current annotations feature, except slicker and seemingly automagic. As products are presented on screen, viewers can click a small icon in the upper-right corner of the player to see which items appear in that particular video. Viewers can then click on those items to travel to external webpages, where they can obtain more information and purchase the featured products. Here’s how that interaction works, in gif form:

    For YouTube, the shoppable videos are the culmination of several changes it has rolled out over the past few months. The shoppable video platform is built with the new “card”-based annotation system YouTube launched in March, and it extends the existing TrueView for Shopping format that arrived two months after that feature became available to creators.

    Here’s how advertisers will initially utilize YouTube’s Shopping ads, straight from Google:

    • To use Shopping ads, retailers simply connect their Merchant Feed and product ads will be eligible to show as one of the shopping ads alongside the video. Shopping ads on YouTube enter an auction similar to Shopping ads on Google search and are selected based on a variety of signals including contextual and audience relevancy.
    • Similar to Shopping ads on Google, advertisers only pay when a user clicks on the ad.
    • Shopping ads on YouTube provide a new revenue stream for creators, providing another way to monetize product-focused videos.

    Shoppable videos are obviously of the most use to brands and advertisers, but if expanded, the feature could be incredibly relevant for a certain brand of creators. For “haul girls” and “unboxers” who highlight specific products–sometimes with support from brands–shoppable annotations provide a new revenue stream. The new cards could also make it easier for creators to cite “cite their sources” so to speak. For example, a YouTube beauty guru giving a smokey eyes tutorial can use a Shopping ad to credit the exact kind of mascara highlighted in the video, as well as potentially financially benefit from anyone who uses the Shoppable ad to purchase the product. Also, by extending the capabilities of its shoppable videos, YouTube could keep up with other companies, like Amazon, that have already worked with online video stars to create a product recommendation engine.

    Regardless of what features may or may not be added to Shopping ads on YouTube, however, creators still stand to benefit. If the format is successful, that means brands and marketers will devote more advertising dollars to YouTube, which means more revenue and an increased ad rate for the site’s channel partners.

    For more information on the Shopping ad format and regular updates about Google’s marketing innovations, keep an eye on the tech giant’s Adwords blog.

    Illustration by Max Fleishman


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    Is there anything Tyler Oakley can’t do?

    The YouTube superstar will make his next move on the screen, with a documentary following his international Slumber Party Tour. Oakley filmed during his most recent set of tour dates, including during his stop in Atlanta, where he jokingly winked at the audience about the omnipresent, large cameras during his show.

    Oakley has given his 7.2 million fans a taste of tour life before on his channel, but the forthcoming Snervous Tyler Oakley (“snervous,” according to Oakley, is a combination of scared and nervous) will go more in depth in the life of the 26-year-old.

    The documentary is being made by Awesomeness Films and under the direction of Amy Rice (By the People: The Election of Barack Obama). The film will get a limited theatrical release in December 2015, along with a global digital release.

    Correction: The documentary is being made by Awesomeness Films.

    H/T EW | Screengrab via Tyler Oakley/YouTube


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    Greg Giraldo died almost exactly five  years ago after accidentally overdosing on prescription pills, but comedians continue to keep his memory alive by occasionally referencing him and his work on various modern-day podcasts.

    But one author wants to do more than that. Matt Balaker wants to write a biography on Giraldo, the man Balaker calls a “stand-up legend,” and he's asking for help on Kickstarter.

    Here’s the pitch for the project that, as of 1pm ET on Wednesday, had accumulated just shy of a third of its $3,000 goal.

    Many know Greg Giraldo's work from Comedy Central roasts, late night television, and comedy clubs. However, few comedy fans have heard the story of his days after Harvard Law school, ascension to cult comic icon, and premature demise at the hands of his demons.

    So far I've interviewed more than 22 people who will help tell his story. From managers to his ex-wife and several comedians, friends, producers, and members of the entertainment press. Those who knew Greg Giraldo well uncover what motivated this stand-up legend and how his work impacted them.

    Among those Balaker has interviewed include comedians Colin Quinn, Nick DiPaolo, and Natasha Leggero, who remarked, "I said to [comedy-roasting legend] Jeff Ross, 'I remember the exact moment you became the best roaster in the room. It was when Greg Giraldo died.'"

    Here’s a sampling of Giraldo’s work.

    Though Giraldo made his name primarily on the Comedy Central Roasts specials, he also could prevail in a two-man battle of comedic wits, as seen here vs. Denis Leary.

    Meanwhile, the potential of this book has inspired fellow comedians to give it a social-media push.

    Photo via Ben Walker/Kickstarter 


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    There's plenty to suggest that Dream: The Urban Musical should not work. Before you even see it the fact that it's apparently the "Empire of the Internet" is forced upon you in the same desperate way that B-movies are offered up as likable for being "in the spirit of Bring It On!" or from the people—who exactly?—who brought you Saw III

    Added to this you've got the problem of the budget. With rare exceptions musicals are almost entirely surface. Cats introduces a list of different characters without any narrative, one of whom, after being briefly interrupted by tap-dancing cockroaches, gets launched into space on an old tire. It ran on Broadway for 18 years.

    The disconnect of song to reality, coupled with the necessary simplicity of lyrics means that characters in musicals tend to be neither as nuanced or as prominent as in dialogue plays. You could not imagine Hamlet having the same complexity in a musical, for example; not least because there is something slightly hammy about repeating a chorus. 

    And so greater attention is inevitably paid to the other components of the performance. Expensive components: the set, costumes, and in the case of a webseries, the audio mix. "Lavish" is a word seemingly reserved for buffets and musicals.

    So you’d think with a smaller budget, Dream would struggle. That it may look cheap and sound horrible. But from the off we’re in for a surprise—it’s damn enjoyable.

    The first episode of Theshay West's series looks sumptuous at times. It has a clean, persistent sound palette, and showcases the considerable vocal talents of Atlanta natives Siergio, Brave Jaxon, and Ayanna across a bunch of surely composed tracks. In short, it's everything you'd want from an online "urban" musical.

    Sure, its narrative is either convoluted or, it's hard to tell, barely existent—but that's unimportant if you're to be distracted by the tunes. And given my views on the overuse of the struggling artist trope, it would seem contradictory of me to demand a greater prominence of those themes in Dream.

    So what emerges is probably less of a traditional musical structure and more something closer to a succession of music videos. Which sounds like a criticism but when emerging in a forum like YouTube fits. Since Thriller, artists have been creating extended music videos, so why not take it a step further, featuring more than one voice?

    And it's this aspirational spirit that really appeals. Producing a musical of this scope on a limited budget is almost shoot-the-moon stuff. You get a real feeling that West could have taken on less risk and gone smaller with something more domestic and personal. But Dream is his chance to make a grand splash. And on the evidence of the first episode he's just about done it.

    Photo via Dream: The Urban Musical


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    Fans of Trevor Moran are getting mixed messages from the YouTube star’s new music video.

    In the clip for Moran’s latest single, “I Wanna Fly,” the 17-year-old YouTuber is abducted and brought to a strange room. He sees a man and a woman in a pod together, and two pod options for him. He runs to the one with another boy, and is able to lock hands with him before being pulled away and forced into the pod opposite a girl. He eventually breaks free and saves everyone but himself.

    Moran made a name for himself as part of Our 2nd Life, the now disbanded collaborative channel with fellow YouTubers Kian Lawley, Jc Caylen, Connor Franta, and Sam Pottorff. Moran was the youngest in the group and never explicitly confirmed his sexuality. He’d previously told People that the song was about his mother, but the music video speaks differently. Fans and friends have taken the video in different ways, with some celebrating it as a coming out while others debate if he’s just acting.

    His former collab-mates also lent their support to the video release, which was timed to Moran’s 17th birthday.
    His costar Jacob Reinhard congratulated Moran with a series of emojis that implied men, rainbows, and kissing.

    YouTuber Lindsay Demeola, who celebrated Moran’s birthday with him, was more explicit in her tweets.

    Earlier this year fellow YouTuber Joey Graceffa used a music video as a coming out, before further discussing his sexuality in a vlog and in his book. Moran has yet to make such statements.

    Update 8:32pm CT, Sept. 30: Moran appears to have come out via Twitter:

    Screengrab via TrevorMoranVEVO/YouTube


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