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Recent Entertainment articles from Daily Dot

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    In the 17 years since HBO’s Mr. Showhelmed by David Cross and Bob Odenkirk—went off the air, its fandom has endured more than most sketch shows. Mr. Show has survived online, mainly as YouTube clips, but it always worked better in episode form. It had a structureevery sketch was impressively linked. Fans talked about episodes in shorthand: "Wyckyd Sceptre," "America blows up the moon," "24 is the highest number."

    Netflix was smart to pursue W/ Bob and David, the new sketch show from Cross and Odenkirk; younger fans have come to know them from their TV shows: Arrested Development (which Netflix swooped in to save) and Breaking Bad/Better Call Saul, respectively. W/ Bob and David is coming back at a time when sketch comedy has populated and defined TV—Key & Peele, Portlandia, Kroll ShowInside Amy Schumer—and it now thrives online on platforms like Funny or Die. Mr. Show’s influence can be found in those shows, but W/ Bob and David is not Mr. Show part two.

    First of all, it’s only four episodes (plus a behind-the-scenes special), so it’s not necessarily binge-watch territory. You can drop in and out as you please. Not everything hits: The first episode’s sketch about changing the word slave to “helper” and a slaveowner insisting on thanking his “helpers” every day is cringeworthy, and the opening “time travel” bit gets tiresome quickly. 

    But it picks up after that. The “extra Beatle” sketch in episode 2 throws back to Mr. Show’s “Fad 3” sketch, and feels a little more true to form, as does episode 3’s skewering of AOL’s “digital prophet” Shingy and tech-bro culture. Episode 4’s “Salesman” sketch is actually somewhat touching, if a little dark. There's also social commentary the Internet can latch onto: a sketch in which Cross films police, a bit about drawing the prophet Mohammed, a dive into reclaiming the "C-word" from "feminazis" that unravels unexpectedly. 

    Some critics might say this return is too brief, but it was actually kind of refreshing to blaze through four episodes and not feel depleted by a binge. Netflix is hitting the revival path hard (Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp, Full House, Gilmore Girls), but W/ Bob and David feels more like a little present. Wisely, it doesn't attempt to recreate the show that defined them 20 years ago. It doesn't have to. 

    Photo by Saeed Adyani/Netflix  


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    Greg Hardy can't stay out of the news, and for the Dallas Cowboys defensive end, it's for all the wrong reasons. He was convicted during a bench trial last year of assaulting his then-girlfriend in North Carolina, leading to a 10-game NFL suspension that was eventually reduced to four games. Last week, Deadspin released dozens of photos of the aftermath of the alleged assault. (His conviction was overturned on appeal and eventually expunged from the record.)

    On top of that, Hardy recently released a misogynistic rap video, made weird comments about Tom Brady's wife, and slapped the clipboard out of the hands of a Cowboys coach before nearly getting into a physical altercation with him on the sidelines during a game.

    And the Hardy news didn't get any less vitriolic this week when he changed his Twitter bio to read "innocent until proven guilty," and Deadspin released transcripts from a closed-door NFL meeting in which Hardy lays the blame of his physical altercation with his ex-girlfriend solely on her.

    Dallas coach Jason Garrett talked to Hardy about re-tweaking his bio—at this point, this is about the only part of Hardy the Cowboys can and/or  have the desire to control—but a few different words don't change Hardy's presence on the social-media site.

    Hardy is an NFL defensive star, in part because he's strong and fearless on the field. But what makes him exceptional at football doesn't make him a good Twitter follow (or, you know, a good guy in general). But we're willing to do our own research, and we took a deep dive into Hardy's Twitter habits to see how he handles himself online—and if we could learn something about him in the process.

    Of course, sometimes he tells us exactly who he might be.

    1) He appears to think of himself as some kind of superhero cartoon character, and he retweets everybody else who does as well. 

    His Twitter handle is @OverlordKraken, and the Kraken is the self-appointed nickname he's given to his on-field persona—an NFL version of Dr. Jeckyll and Mr. Hyde. In an interview with KESN in March, former Carolina Panthers teammate Ben Hartsock said, "before the whole domestic violence thing came down on him, he was more of just kind of viewed as kind of a cartoon figure in our locker room... He refers to himself as the Kraken. I asked him one day about it... is this your character? How did this Kraken character come to be? He said some guy on Twitter gave him the nickname and he liked it, so he ran with it. It's become one of these things where he's almost losing touch with who Greg Hardy is at times. And the Kraken has taken over a little bit."

    And man oh man, the Kraken likes to use that RT button.

    At one point, Hardy even said goodbye on Twitter, perhaps so he could feel the love of his fans who never want to let him go.

    The retirement from Twitter, by the way, lasted 12 days before he started retweeting again and painting himself as a superhero.   

    2) He keeps up his role as Mr. Hyde—a Mr. Hyde, mind you, who will apologize when he perceives he's in trouble and guide you through this technological world. 

    These kinds of tweets, though, are rare.

    That last tweet referenced that Twin Towers joke from above.

    3) Some of his vaguer tweets hint that he maybe perceives himself as a wise man.

    But upon closer look, you have to ask yourself—is he really just subtweeting somebody else?

    4) IT'S THE MEDIA'S FAULT 

    (At least that's assuming his RTs = endorsements.)

    So, what have we learned here? Well, for one, we know that if fans think a star player can help their team win games, they're going to support that player and dress up their kids as such, no matter the charges against him. And that might just play into Hardy's persecution complex.

    Which contrasts with something his former girlfriend told police after the alleged assault: "His pupils were tiny," she said. "I mean, he looked crazy... His face, it was just blank... I've never seen him look at me like that."

    But the strangest part of this whole experiment might be the sense that Hardy thinks and is quite willing to reveal that he's the real victim. Which might mean that the Kracken is flatly disinterested in changing his ways. 

    H/T Deadspin | Photo via Dallas Cowboys 


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  • 11/13/15--11:00: 'Malaysian Drake' is here
  • Drake is not one man. Drake contains multitudes. 

    First the Internet created #DominicanDrake, and we now have Malaysian Drake, who is a man first, and a meme second. In early November, a man allegedly named Munis was "caught" recreating Drake's awkward dance moves from the "Hotline Bling" video. 

    Seems like Munis and @Haiikalbenot are just two friends having fun at work, but Munis has since gone viral, being incorporated into the requisite GIFs and memes. This Unilad upload of the video has more than 14 million views. His buddy claims the video was never about fame, though. It's about Munis and his fans (Munies?) and the bond between them, which has given way to a Facebookfan page

    Don't let the fame change you, Munis. 

    H/T NY Mag | Screengrab via DrakeVEVO/YouTube 


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    Watch out, Kardashians. The world’s first reality webseries has arrived and it takes place in the ever-gentrifying neighborhood of Williamsburg, Brooklyn.

    While The Bedford Stop hasn’t garnered the numbers to rival Kim’s 51 million Instagram followers just yet, it has made a huge splash. With a scathing writeup in The Muse, a short feature in the Style section of the New York Times, and countless pointed comments from their Internet audience, the series is poised to keep ruffling feathers.


    But for all the criticism the show has received, the actual episodes go down smoothly. The sweeping camera work, upbeat soundtrack, and banal dialogue combine to make a saccharine cocktail. Life on The Bedford Stop seems a little too sweet, but it is strangely entertaining.

    Like the girls of reality-show archetype The Hills, the stars of The Bedford Stop—Alex Sosner and Olena Yatsyuk—are pretty, young, and want to have fun. “We moved to Williamsburg to pursue our dreams and avoid reality,” Alex says in the pilot.

    Alex and Olena always appear generally happy and vaguely discontent. Forever nonplussed by their options, whether on Tinder or in line for brunch, the duo offers, for better or worse, a very real portrait of the “new” Williamsburg.

    “I don’t really watch reality TV regularly, but what I do like about it is it gives you a window into different worlds, cultures, and groups of peoples," creator and producer Mikey Ortiz told the Daily Dot. "I’ve always been fascinated with the world and all its different people and cultures, and if someone can effectively bring that to your living room via a TV or laptop or smartphone, I think that’s awesome.”

    The culture of The Bedford Stop, while easy to critique, is certainly specific. In the pilot, “Tinder Me Softly,” Olena visits a photographer friend to have her headshot taken for Tinder.

    “I think I want to use it as like a hybrid Tinder-LinkedIn profile picture,” she says. When the photographer suggests her goals are more career-driven, Olena responds that she's looking for a husband. "So I just have to be classier, you know?”

    Moments like this are scattered throughout the episodes, and it's hard to watch without pausing to wonder if this is actually brilliant satire. 

    Ortiz says he intended to capture his friends as they really are, and both Alex and Olena's Instagram accounts point to their "real" selves, but he's fully aware that their antics might read as absurd or comical.  

    "We don’t take ourselves too seriously and I like looking at everything as a  joke," said Ortiz. "I definitely expected a polarizing reaction." 

    And while the Internet may be responding with a surplus of thumbs-downs on YouTube, the stars of the show aren't letting the haters get them down.

    "When we shot this, we didn't think about other people," Sosner explained. "This was solely based on having fun with our friends and shooting a glimpse into our lives... a small part of just the surface of our lives. We expected the reactions, but are so excited people are seeing it!"

    Like any reality star in training, Yatsyuk noted that her greatest pleasure has been watching the show's rise from relative obscurity to Internet fame: "Last week the pilot had maybe 100 views and 99 of them were probably me," she said. "Now the world is watching and the best part is making all of you laugh, even if it’s at my expense."

    Screengrab via The Bedford Stop/YouTube


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    Every few months, Netflix hosts Hack Day: A full work day the company dedicates for its development staff to "get away from everyday work, to have fun, experiment, collaborate, and be creative."

    The Fall 2015 Hack Day yielded five projects, the cutest of which was an old 1950s Philco Predicta TV set that can stream Netflix in black and white. Bogdan Ciuca, Evan Browning, Sam Horner, and Corey Grunewald collaborated to bring it to life. 

    The team even figured out a way to make the knobs on the side of the TV function as navigation tools for the Netflix menu. 

    Practical? Maybe not. But, cool? Definitely. 

    H/T Business Insider | Screengrab via Netflix/YouTube

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    Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson is probably best known for having unpopular opinions about popular science

    Whether it's the movie Gravityor the globe in The Daily Show's opening credits, America's favorite science communicator has no qualms about speaking up when the media does science wrong. But many Twitter users would rather remain in the dark.

    For the latest edition of Mean Tweets, a segment he does for National Geographic's YouTube channel to promote his StarTalk show, Tyson reads through some of the comments he's received from people who are less-than-thankful for his constructive criticism. 

    Luckily, Tyson has a great sense of humor about all of it.

    "So, among all those who are inventing tomorrow? I do not expect to see JoshFromSchool among them." Owned.

    H/T Vulture | Screengrab via National Geographic/YouTube


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    Aziz Ansari’s Master of None has received plenty of glowing reviews since debuting Nov. 6, but what sets it apart from other Netflix originals is its soundtrack. 

    Last weekend, Ansari tweeted out a 77-song Spotifyplaylist of tracks from the show, after fans flooded the Internet with questions about the song choices. It’s a killer mixtape: Jacques Dutronc, Brian Eno, the Equatics, Aphex Twin, Mac Demarco, Suzanne Kraft, Toto, Ananda Shankar, Julee Cruise, X-Ray Spex, Sparks, Johnny Cash, and John Carpenter’s Halloween theme all figure in.


    Music supervisor Zach Cowie—a DJ who formerly worked at music labels like Sub Pop and Drag City—was responsible for crafting the soundtrack alongside Ansari and co-creator Alan Yang. The three met in L.A. and bonded over music, so when Ansari and Yang needed someone to to score the show, they hit up Cowie.

    We spoke to him about making a soundtrack that felt real, musical discovery, and embracing the Netflix model.

    What were some of your first conversations about what you wanted the soundtrack to be?

    They started sending me scripts right when I agreed to check it out, and along with the scripts they sent some general inspiration, a lot of it being ‘70s American independent films like Hal Ashby stuff and [Robert] Altman stuff and Woody Allen’s New York movies. And I’m a huge film nerd so they were speaking my language. And something that I think is true of all those things is that they’re so of the moment but also very timeless, and that was my main inspiration for all the music. To get things that work for now but may also hold up in X amount of years. So I kind of tried to stay away from new cool kid stuff and go with something that just has a bit more permanence to it. And we had a bunch of touchstones musically, the biggest two of which were Arthur Russell and Serge Gainsbourg. So those were very early building blocks, and got prominent placement in the show as well. 

    What is it about those two artists, besides the fact that they’re timeless? Was it more the emotional resonance?

    What I think is so special about both those people is that they created their own worlds, but within their worlds, there was a lot of flexibility. It was always distinctly them. And I think that’s super special, people that just carve something out. I think that was something we were all thinking about when making this show, to make our own little zone. For Arthur Russell, that’s the most New York thing in the world to me. He’s just one of my all-time favorites. Every once in a while you stop yourself and you’re like, “Oh my god, I’m talking about Arthur Russell for work.”

    There’s never been a better time to research music.

    So you were working off of scripts, or did you have actual visual scenes to go by?

    They sent me scripts first and me, Alan, and Aziz started to just share a folder on our computers and we’d just be throwing music in there, not even based off scripts, just stuff we wanted each other to hear, as we’re kind of refining the sound. And then when we were able to get dailies and rough cuts, then we just went crazy. Aziz, he played a huge role in this. We really were just going one-for-one [on the songs], and we’d go through hundreds of songs per episode to try and fine-tune exactly what we were looking for.

    Was it the idea early on to not have a theme song and have a different song open each episode?

    That was definitely Alan and Aziz, and I think it’s brilliant. It’s just such a great way to capitalize on the Netflix formula, which is that most people will watch many in one sitting, so you kind of don’t need a theme song. I love the title cards. This guy Jay Shaw did them, who’s one of my favorite illustrators. He’s… one of the creative directors for [Austin design company] Mondo. ...It’s just taking advantage of the freedom of the Netflix format. You also don’t have to have 30-minute episodes. Some of them are long and some are short. It’s really an amazing space to work in.

    Was there also a goal to turn people on to new music and make them discover something?

    Definitely. Well, that’s my goal with everything I do—to encourage people to take it a step further. My whole life is music and I’m very happy about the places it’s taken me to, and I think it’s all due to that research. I’m always looking for what’s next, what came before. I like to encourage people with the work that I do to spend some time and find your favorite stuff, rather than take what’s being put in front of you. There’s never been a better time to research music; it’s so easy now. I used to have to drive around America looking through crates in the ‘90s, you know?

    "I kind of imagine that I’m the DJ in that scene, and I put some Suzanne Kraft and Todd Terje."

    Was a lot of the music on the soundtrack already in your collection?

    Oh yeah. I have like… I don’t want to be that guy, but I kind of have to be. I’ve worked in the music business since I was a teenager... and I’m always researching, and at this point I’m going around the world to research. I take a lot of pride in having found most of the good music I can find. I’m not really into genres, which allows me to kind of look everywhere. I’m a record collector too, so when I’m working on stuff, it’s with records. I have terabytes of digital music that I don’t care [about]. ...If I can’t hold it, I don’t think it’s real.

    That Spotify playlist is just a really good background mix. Did you approach it like a mixtape, or like something you would play if you were deejaying a space?

    Definitely. Aziz, I feel like he was even a DJ a while ago. But he’s a super music dude, so it’s really important to all of us. Beyond the title cards and the montages, those are all spaces in that show that I’m really familiar with, because I DJ all over New York. ...So if you’re in Baby’s All Right, like, I know what to play there. So I kind of imagine that I’m the DJ in that scene, and I put some Suzanne Kraft and Todd Terje; I go to that place and it’s the music that’s on in there. ... So we tried to make it as real to that New York as we could.

    Can you tell me about the episode “Ladies and Gentlemen,” and the opening scene with the Halloween theme?

    That’s Aziz’s idea. I was joking in another interview that that idea is so good I should just start taking credit for it. He was just looking at the scene [in which a woman walks home alone at night to the Halloween score, and Aziz and his male friend walk home to “Don’t Worry Be Happy”] and just thinking of the ultimate musical juxtaposition for the two points of view, and he was like, “Halloween theme and ‘Don’t Worry Be Happy,’” and I dread getting messages like that sometimes, because it’s not the easiest thing to clear. And it was Mo [Shafeek] who runs Mondo that saved our ass… We were having the hardest time figuring out who owned that music, and on like a last-ditch idea, my friend reminded me that Mondo did the vinyl for Halloween, so I called Mondo and Mo put us in touch with the actual dudes who own the Halloween music, and we got it licensed in an afternoon. We all loved it so much that it got really scary to think about what else could be that funny if we couldn’t get the license.

    Photo by K.C. Bailey/Netflix 


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    BY EVAN DESIMONE 

    ABC is joining the wave of major networks creating programming specifically targeted to digital platforms, and it’s tapped comedian Iliza Shlesinger for the task.

    Shlesinger will headline a short-form scripted comedy that will be available exclusively on the WatchABC app, according to a report by Variety. The show, which doesn’t yet have a title, will be the first in a new slate of digital series created by ABC to expand its digital offerings, drawing more consumers to the WatchABC app, which the network hopes to turn into a destination that can compete with digital programmers like Netflix.

    ABC’s new digital slate is expected to serve as a farm team for its linear platforms, enabling it to explore new concepts and develop emerging talent that might one day graduate to its prime time network lineup. It’s an approach that is currently being explored by a number of networks, including ABC’s historical rivals NBC and CBS.

    CBS recently launched CBS All Access, a standalone streaming service that mirrors the network’s current lineup and offers selections from the CBS catalog. Original programming is already in the works, most notably a new Star Trek series set to live exclusively on CBS All Access starting in 2017. NBC has also gone the standalone route with SeeSo, a streaming service that will spin off the network’s popular comedy brand and add a slate of new shows from rising comics and established talents.

    It’s not yet clear if the new digital slate will be available only to pay-TV subscribers or if the series will be widely available to all digital consumers. The WatchABC app is currently widely available but that may change. ABC parent company Disney has expressed an interest in spinning off some of its popular brands such as ESPN, Marvel, and Star Wars into standalone OTT products. ABC could be set for a similar transition with a new slate of original content leading the way.

    Photo via Lisa Higginbotham/Netflix 


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    On Friday evening, as news of the Paris terror attacks rippled through social media, Stephen Colbert was in the middle of tapingThe Late Show. His audience members apparently learned of the attacks during the taping. 

    Chack related via Twitter that Colbert re-recorded the intro after learning of the horrific events, which were still developing at that point. 

    Colbert then ended the show by saying that while not much was known about the attacks, they offered their thoughts and prayers to the people of Paris. 

    "We'll see you on Monday," a visibly distraught Colbert said. "Goodnight." 

    H/T Esquire | Screengrab via Phil crow/YouTube


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    A series of attacks in Paris, including one inside the Bataclan concert hall, left at least 128 people dead on Friday evening, and in the hours since, many have struggled with how to cope.  

    Outside the Bataclan on Saturday morning, people left flowers and tributes to those who lost their lives, and bystanders were treated to an impromptu performance of John Lennon's "Imagine." The unnamed musician—who arrived pulling his piano behind a bike—began playing the song just feet away from the venue, as a crowd gathered around him. 

    After the Charlie Hebdo attacks in January, a crowd also embraced "Imagine" and sung along at a rally the weekend after. 

    H/T The Guardian | Screengrab via Ron Buser/YouTube 


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    Nov. 12 marked Charles Manson's 81st birthday, an event America may well have missed if it weren't for an Instagram photo Lindsay Lohan posted Thursday afternoon.  

    Lohan is apparently a fan of actress Sharon Tate, who was eight-and-a-half months pregnant when she was murdered by Manson's followers in August 1969. Lohan posted this photo of herself decked out in a Tate-esque look, apparently as an homage:  

    As you might expect, the comment section is full of hundreds of people alternately criticizing and defending the photo. One commenter writes: "Yeah, way to show your love for someone. This is very disrespectful. Murdered while pregnant and you think it's cute to dress as her on Manson's Birthday." 

    Another responds: "She's paying tribute to a woman who was murdered. Its better to remember the victim than remember the murders. But keep trying to bash someone who literally does not care about any of you, youre all basically trash cans. Lindsay is a beautiful little fucking trainwreck, love her to bits."

    Manson is currently serving nine consecutive life sentences for murder and conspiracy in a California prison, so whatever the thinking behind the pic might have been, it's safe to say he probably won't see it. 

    H/T Complex | Screengrab via Lindsay Lohan/Instagram

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    Saturday Night Live's cold open usually tackles a topical issue, but last night they ditched the jokes in favor of a very simple tribute. 

    Cast member Cecily Strong addressed the audience in English and French, saying, "Paris is the city of light, and here in New York City, we know that light will never go out," before announcing, "Live from New York, it's Saturday night." 

    On Friday, Stephen Colbert also addressed Paris, offering words of support at the end of The Late Show

    Screengrab via Saturday Night Live/YouTube  


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    Dear Mr. Donald Trump,

    We have to start accepting that, emotions aside, smart gamblers should be putting their chips on your name right about now. Your presidency feels imminent—a critical brand extension that America happens to desperately crave.

    To help illustrate your cultural prevalence, we've made a playlist for you on Spotify. Just about all of these songs are called "Donald Trump," and were written mostly as metaphors for top-shelf lifestyles. Some are political. Most are recent. One is 25 years old. 

    And now our humble tribute:

    1) The Time - "Donald Trump (Black Version)"

    This is about how women wish their boyfriends were more like Trump. Great for relaxing lovemaking. Confirms that songs have referred to Trump as a symbol of wealth for more than 25 years.

    2) Mac Miller - "Donald Trump"

    It might sound like "while I'm on my Donald Trump shit" is a metaphor for great great cocaine, but here Miller actually thinks he's you. He appears elated.

    3)  Eskit - "Donald Trump"

    The first 45 seconds are worthy of your profile, set to happy piano music. After that... well, skip after 45 seconds. It's just a really long piano solo—you don't need to hear that. 

    4) Papa Razzi and the Photogs - "Donald Trump's Sons, Don't Kill Nice Animals!"

    A hilarious satire about how killing animals is wrong, and how your kids shouldn't do it. White people with pianos all love you, Mr. Trump.

    5) Marco Beltrami - "It's Hard To Kill a McClane"

    We like to think of you as a John McClane-type character, Mr. Trump. You're a straight-shooting maverick who knows that collateral damage isn't only necessary—it's also what the people want to see. We play this whenever daydreaming of your inauguration.

    6) Cool Guy Willy - "Donald Trump"

    There's a reason you've become a common refrain in hip-hop music: You're a hero. You're a role model. This song doesn't even mention you're name—it nails the embodiment of your essence to such an extent that it's content to just make your name its title. "I does me/ Fuck the guidelines." It's all the reasons your term(s) will go down in history.

    7) Jerry James -  "Donald Trump Walk"

    What is the term for a gait that exudes confidence, and is the heartbeat of any bottle-popping party? That's called a "Donald Trump Walk." This song may have given it a name, but it's been a walk for at least 30 years. 

    8) Young Scooter, Zaytoven, Ms. Go Ham - "Donald Trump"

    It's about being rich and awesome. Of course it has your name all over it, you skyscraper-building stud. 

    9) Young Game - "Donald Trump"

    When you get to the top, you'll find a lot of bodies in your wake. Some of those bodies will be those of your friends. Such is the life of the greatest, and those who know that math must be understood when they have an abundance of money. Such is the life of you.

    10) Queda Vegas, K Fifth, Baby Bugsy, Ghetto the Plug - "Donald Trump"

    Just another song that equates your name with having the net worth of somebody who should run the United States.

    11) Gabby Cashmere - "Donald Trump (feat. Tankhead Wreckin)" 

    Same as the last few, really. "Ass fatter than Donald Trump's wallet," may not be the best parallel to draw, though—a collection of platinum cards won't make a wallet too fat.

    12) Rae Sremmurd - "Up Like Trump"

    See No. 8-11.

    13) Youngy904  - "Get Money Like Donald Trump"

    See No. 12.

    14) Billy Dha Kidd - "Fuck Donald Trump"

    If you look at the song title, it's not like the others. It seems as if you've been viewed as a tad bit "racist" by its creators following choice comments on illegal immigrants.

    15) King K & Gian - "Donald Trump"

    Back to another good, catchy tune that works: It uses your name as an adjective for "best" and "super rich." Sir, of the 16 tracks on this list, this is one of the 14 that you won't need to hit "skip" on after an initial, strictly informational listen. This a song of celebration. 

    16) Mr. Mobley - "Message to Donald Trump"

    Ah, see: When you toss one race under the bus, it makes people ask questions like "wait, is Trump a racist?" The election is still a year away—stick to talking about how rich and awesome you are. Throw money into crowds. Speak only of dollar signs and expensive things. Wear a suit made of solid gold. Your poll numbers aren't solid because of your thoughts on immigration—they're solid because you were on a reality show and have a tower named after you, like a real-life Tony Stark. The spectacle, Trump. The spectacle. The journalists and voters will beg to kiss your ring.

    Illustration by Jason Reed


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    John Oliver addressed the Paris terrorist attacks on Sunday's Last Week Tonight in an empowered and profanity-laced rant that only an HBO host could deliver.

    While Stephen Colbert opted for an emotional message on The Late Show and Saturday Night Live ditched its cold open for a bilingual message of solidarity, Oliver gave into his anger before offering his thoughts and condolences to the victims.

    We’re still learning what happened during Friday's attacks, although the Islamic State has claimed responsibility. But Oliver, perhaps not wanting to spread misinformation, kept it vague and to the point.

    “Here is where things stand: As of now we know this attack was carried out by gigantic fucking assholes,” Oliver said. “Unconscionable flaming assholes. Possibly, possibly working with other fucking assholes. Definitely working in service of an ideology of pure assholery. Second, and this goes almost without saying: Fuck these assholes. Fuck them, if I may say, sideways. And third, it is important to remember, nothing about what these assholes are trying to do is going to work.”

    Using his trademark method of breaking down tough topics for his audience, Oliver then explained just why, no matter how hard these assholes try to fight a “war of culture and lifestyle with France,” it’s never going to work.

    H/T Uproxx | Screengrab via HBO Go


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    CBS is swapping out Monday’s previously scheduled episodes of Supergirl and NCIS: Los Angeles after the Friday night Paris attacks  because of plotlines that dealt with terrorism.

    Supergirl’s next episode, “How Does She Do It?”, centered around Kara's efforts to stop a series of bombings in National City. Instead, tonight the series will air its Thanksgiving episode, “Livewire,” which was originally scheduled for Nov. 23. That episode will explore the relationship between Kara and her foster mother.

    NCIS: Los Angeles's Monday episode was focused on a girl who was recruited by a terrorist organization, which The Hollywood Reporter said was identified as ISIS in the show. That group, which calls itself the Islamic State, claimed responsibility for the Paris attacks. Instead, NCIS will also air its Nov. 23 episode, “Defectors,” which has the team trying to find a woman who LL Cool J's character helped secure political asylum.

    It’s unclear when the original Nov. 16 episodes of Supergirl and NCIS: Los Angeles will air.

    TNT also postponed an episode of its show Legends that takes place in Paris.

    This isn't the first time a TV network has delayed an episode of television because its plot mirrored tragic real-life events. Hannibal creator Bryan Fuller pulled the fourth episode of his show, which involved children killing other children, after in 2013 events of Sandy Hook and the Boston bombing. USA delayed the season finale of Mr. Robot in August following the deaths of WDBJ reporters Alison Parker and Adam Ward “out of respect to the victims, their families and colleagues, and our viewers,” because the episode featured a scene similar to the shooting in Roanoke, Virginia.

    In the wake of the Paris attacks, which killed at least 128 people, other concerts, premieres, and shows have been canceled or delayed out of respect to the victims. Undateable, which airs live episodes every week, canceled its live broadcast Friday night and later defended the decision after accusations of the move being a PR stunt. U2 canceled its concert Saturday night, which would have aired on HBO, and instead paid homage to the victims at the memorial site at the Bataclan. The Foo Fighterscanceled its tour, which included stops in Paris, while Coldplaycanceled a Tidal livestream concert and plans to reschedule it in the future.

    The French premieres of Bridge of Spies and Legend have also been canceled, while the Los Angeles premiere of The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2 will be scaled back. The event will still take place, but red carpet interviews will no longer take place.

    Update 11:20am CT, Nov. 16: Added information about Legends episode.

    H/T The Hollywood Reporter | Screengrab via Supergirl/YouTube


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    Netflix is heading West with its latest drama. 

    The company announced today that Frontier, a Western set in the 18th century, will be its latest new drama series. Frontier is set to star Game of ThronesJason Momoa, and is described as an “action-packed adventure drama following the chaotic and violent struggle to control wealth and power in the North American fur trade in the late 18th century.”

    Told from multiple perspectives, the series takes place in a world where business negotiations might be resolved with close-quarter hatchet fights, and where delicate relations between Native tribes and Europeans can spark bloody conflicts.

    Netflix has already come under fire for Adam Sandler’s upcoming Western series The Ridiculous Six, after Native American actors and cultural advisors walked off the set in April, in response to insensitive depictions of Native culture. It will be interesting to see how this cast—which is set to include Hemlock Grove’s Landon Liboiron and Downton Abbey’s Zoe Boyle—develops. 

    San Andreas director Brad Peyton will direct the drama, which has been commissioned by Discovery Canada. A premiere date has not yet been set. 

    H/T EW | Photo via Gage Skidmore/Flickr (CC BY SA 2.0)


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    Coldplay canceled a scheduled Tidal livestream concert in Los Angeles Friday night in the wake of the Paris attacks, but they performed a touching cover of “Imagine” for the crowd who still showed up.

    “I don’t know how to put a day like today into perspective,” Chris Martin said. “I’m sure you all know what’s happened and why we’ve postponed the big show that we were gonna do for you all.”

    Because the cancellation came so close to the concert, Coldplay decided to play a few mellow songs anyway. They had a few moments of silence before launching right into “Imagine.” 

    Coldplay is far from the first band to cover “Imagine” following a tragedy. A crowd in Paris performed it following the attacks on Charlie Hebdo back in January, and just a day after Coldplay’s performance a musician brought his piano outside the Bataclan to play “Imagine” for the crowd in mourning.

    But the song, which has been covered by more than 160 artists ever since John Lennon first released it in 1971, has long been a source of comfort to those coping with tragedy or troubling times.

    1) Queen, 1980

    Queen played the track in Wembley Stadium just one day after John Lennon’s murder on Dec. 9, 1980 as a tribute to Lennon.

    2) Patti LaBelle, 1985

    Patti LaBelle was part of Live Aid, a dual-venue show on July 13, 1985 that aimed to raise awareness for the Ethiopia famine. She covered “Imagine” in her iconic voice during her six-song set in Wembley Stadium.

    3) Stevie Wonder, 1996

    A bomb was set off in Centennial Olympic Park during the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta, which killed two and injured more than 100. That event, as well as the International Olympic Committee acknowledging for the first time the deaths of 11 Israeli athletes during the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich, preceded Stevie Wonder’s performance during the Closing Ceremonies.

    4) Neil Young, 2001

    The four major American broadcast networks (ABC, CBS, NBC, and Fox) came together to put on America: A Tribute to Heroes, a benefit concert and telethon that aired 10 days after 9/11 and featured dozens of musicians and celebrities on hand to perform and man the phones. Neil Young was one of them, taking on the classic Lennon hit.

    5) Madonna, 2005

    “Imagine” made another appearance at a benefit concert, this time courtesy of Madonna at Tsunami Aid: A Concert of Hope on Jan. 15, 2005.

    Madonna performed in in Stockholm, Sweden one day after the Paris attacks, acknowledging how difficult it was for her to get through the show before she sang an acoustic version of “Like a Prayer.”

    “It’s been really hard, actually to get through the show because in many ways, I feel, I feel torn,” she told the crowd. “Like, why am I up here dancing and having fun when people are crying over the loss of their loved ones? However, that is exactly what these people want to do. They want to shut us up. They want to silence us. And we won't let them.”

    H/T Billboard | Screengrab via KEY-YUHN! ¨̮/Twitter


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    BY EVAN DESIMONE

    NBC Universal is sweetening the deal for its upcoming comedy streaming channel SeeSo. Today, NBCU announced it will offer a monthlong, Web-only free trial period for interested consumers to scope out its full range of content.

    The free trial launches Dec. 3, along with the first of SeeSo’s originals. A second wave of original series will go live Dec. 17, which is still within the trial period.

    Announced last month by NBC Universal Digital Enterprises, SeeSo is being touted as a subscription-based streaming channel that will isolate and expand on the broadcaster’s popular comedy brand. The service will offer programming from NBC’s archive of iconic shows, including 30 Rock, Parks and Recreation, The Office, and Saturday Night Live, as well as feature licensed comedy classics from outside the NBC family, such as Monty Python’s Flying Circus and Fawlty Towers

    The free trial is a chance to get subscribers hooked on an impressive back catalog of comedy before the service’s $3.99 paywall goes up. It’s also a chance to introduce the world to SeeSo’s lineup of original programming targeted at cord-cutting comedy fans. The channel's originals will feature comedy nerd darlings such as Community creator Dan Harmon and the founders of improv troupe the Upright Citizens Brigade, along with emerging digital and standup stars including Cameron Esposito.

    Screengrab via Seeso/YouTube 


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    A deal quietly negotiated for several months has now been closed, and announced to the public: Rdio will close its curtains, and hand its assets—both intellectual and technical—to Pandora for a cool $75 million. In short:

    Though it never gained the name recognition of Pandora in the U.S., Rdio's streaming music service operates in more than 100 countries, and was valued at $500 million in 2013. Like Spotify, Amazon Music, and the recently launched Apple Music, Rdio offers on-demand streaming in addition to an online radio option. Unlike those other companies, Rdio's profits have slumped over the past couple years, as it's been unable to build a competitive subscriber base.

    While Pandora has remained a dedicated Internet radio service since its 2005 launch (after many years of developing the Music Genome Project algorithm that powers the service), the company is now aiming to grow—and it isn't wasting time in doing so. In early October, the company purchased Ticketfy—looking to streamline the process of hearing a band and seeing them perform—and announced a deal with Sony's music division last week. 

    Pandora hopes the assets acquired from Rdio will aid in its international expansion. (Pandora is available in three countries—a small number next to Rdio's.)

    Brian McAndrews, Pandora's CEO, described the state of the company as being "step one" during an investor call that followed the acquisition announcement, made moments after the market's close on Monday. McAndrews aims to make Pandora a one-stop shop for online music, offering a full-on subscription service that covers "radio, on-demand, and live music" by late 2016.

    The company's fiercer, more aggressive focus on expansion is likely tied to the nearly 50-percent drop in stock value that occurred immediately after a subpar earnings report was released. While Pandora is a household name, it's looking like its name alone won't keep it afloat among services that are miles ahead in terms of offered features. 

    Pandora's name recognition, when added to the features offered by the privately owned Rdio service, might be enough to keep the company in the same league as its competitors. 

    Unfortunately for Pandora, the individual contracts between Rdio and the music labels that provided the on-demand songs for the service will not transfer with the acquisition. Pandora still relies on interactive music licenses.

    Rdio appears to be downplaying the news.

    While Rdio's CEO will not be joining Pandora, Variety reports that Pandora is offering jobs to a great deal of Rdio's soon-to-be defunct team. 

    H/T Variety | Photo via Joshua Blount/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)


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    During a visit to Stephen Colbert's show, Bill Maher got to discuss one of his favorite topics: religion. 

    Colbert is a practicing Catholic, while Maher—who was raised Catholic, but is now an atheist—is known for his vocal distaste for organized religion. When Colbert jokingly invited Maher to rejoin the faith, Maher responded by referring to the Bible as "intellectually embarrassing myths from the bronze age."

    It's good to see that Bill Maher, as always, is staying on brand.

    Screengrab via The Late Show with Stephen Colbert/YouTube


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