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Recent Entertainment articles from Daily Dot

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    OK Go has outdone itself. This gets said every time these guys release a video, but that's because all they do is raise the bar in terms of stomach-flipping choreography. 

    The band released a video for new single, "Upside Down & Inside Out" Thursday, and it starts with a warning. "What you are about to see is real. We shot this in zero gravity, in an actual plane, in the sky. There are no wires or green screen."

    It's a little like a club that SNL's Stefan would go to, because this video has it all: flight attendant acrobats, disco balls, balloons full of paint. Don't take our word for it, though. You can watch the full thing here: 


    The band also shared behind-the-scenes footage on Instagram:



     S7 Airlines partnered with the band for the shoot, and something tells us it took a while to clean up. 

    Screengrab via OK Go/Facebook


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    Celebrity Twitter antics may seem random and ill-advised (read: Kanye West), but E! Online's new show imagines the world of behind-the-scenes social media handlers who are making all the craziest social media moments a reality.

    Hashtaggers follows a group of hapless Twitter managers employed to generate social media buzz for their clients. This includes faking a Twitter feud between Olympians Johnny Weir and Brock Weselcouch that's just a substitute for two employees' unresolved sexual tension.

    The show is part of the channel's content push to relaunch the E! NewsYouTube channel, and its attempt to be part of the digital video space. The network's track record isn't great in terms of interfacing with the digitally native stars. While it did give Grace Helbig her talk show, it also mocked the YouTuber set with a Teen Choice Awards post that generated ire from stars like Connor Franta and Tyler Oakley. 

    For this show, E! played up its connection to mainstream celebs, featuring a different one in each episode. The full series is available on YouTube and includes additional cameos from Kevin Smith, Heidi Montag, and Snooki.

    H/T Tubefilter | Screengrab via E News/YouTube


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    Not long ago, as Kanye West prepped his seventh solo album, the pop-eating producer bragged about recording multiple songs with Paul McCartney. Last month, it was Barack Obama’s favorite rapper Kendrick Lamar who was inspiring collaborative bro downs.

    None of those sessions made the lean, final tracklisting for The Life of Pablo—a title announced just north of 24 hours ago, after two previous attempts that didn’t stick. And as West, sporting a red shirt and black Yeezus cap, stood before his sold-out Madison Square Garden audience Thursday in New York, he once again switched gears: “Hold up, [rapper Young Thug] wants to play some new shit.”

    Thankfully, in the 40-plus minutes prior, the public had finally listened to the damn thing.

    At least, some had: Swarms of music fans tragically registered for a Tidal free trial just to watch the music streaming service’s feed buffer and struggle. But in movie theaters the world over, a higher-quality simulcast came through loud and clear. And in Austin, Texas’s Arbor Theater, a Fathom Events representative told the Daily Dot that “about 200” West fans paid $25 each for a seat. 

    Indeed, the scene was a cozy screening littered with college students of all shades, working in a listening session during business hours. 

    Despite the global choreography, the MSG show itself consisted of West—surrounded by cohort artists like Pusha T—walking his laptop to the soundboard and asking for the aux cord. (The event was billed as a combination album premiere and fashion line debut; stoic models stood still onstage as The Life of Pablo’s tracks played through.)

    And as he’s done since 2004, the 38-year-old grumpy dad prone to Twitter word vomit played the most competitive and pace-setting hip-hop in the genre. Even if that meant taking a backseat on his own stuff.

    Like 2013’s Yeezus, Pablo runs on outsourced catharsis almost more than West’s voice. The Weeknd-assisted “FML”—searingly delivered over industrial clanks and culminating with a pyschedelic entryway that piped in Auto-Tune—gets to its domestic horror story mostly on production and guest vocals.

    The first performance to inspire cheers and gasps in the Arbor was from Chicago newcomer Chance the Rapper, who eviscerated a double-timed verse on album-opening “Ultra Light Beams.” R&B royalty Mary J. Blige and The Dream help flesh that one out, and it’s what West meant when claimed to be working on gospel music—church choir melodrama, children, spoken word. It’s such a genius glob of compressed ideas that West rapping about prayers for Paris (presumably following the terrorist attacks of Nov. 13) barely registers.

    The vibes move along, and soon West raps in road warning signs with blaring observations like “I just fucked a model, and she just bleached her asshole.” But again, the game’s all-time best rap editor folds in Kanye-pioneered drum loops, soul samples, and wholesome optimism. The best working rapper, Atlanta’s Future, shows up and blows minds.

    West is a hometown hero, and he uses that influence to pen on-demand streaming anthems about the self, call himself the “ghetto Oprah,” and make “hands up, we just doing what the cops taught us” into calculated phrases of empowerment. And then a few tracks later—after giving dap to Rihanna and Swizz Beatz and joking about hooking up with Taylor Swift—an impervious-to-criticism thought about putting a GoPro camera on his dick.

    “Did I deliver on my promise of the album?” West asked upon completion. To paraphrase a scrapped single from the record: all day. 

    Illustration by Max Fleishman


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    After 27 seasons, this week The Amazing Race returns with a new twist: All the contestants are social media personalities of varying degrees, from Viner brothers to YouTube creators to Instagram models. For a group accustomed to controlling their own narrative through social media, they each gave up all control—and social media—for a month to compete on the show, which premieres Feb. 12 on CBS. Now they’re keeping the secret of who won from their millions of fans as old media merges with new on a global stage.

    As a dedicated Amazing Race fan who’s seen every episode of every season and ranked some of the best teams of all time, and as someone whose job it is to cover the digital entertainer world, I happen to be uniquely qualified to judge this season. I took a close look at the contestants, their pre-Race questionnaires, and their known personalities to place odds on their chances of winning the $1 million prize.

    Tyler Oakley & Korey Kuhl

    Tyler Oakley is one of the public faces of YouTube, a best-selling author, and even Daily Dot’s most influential YouTuber of 2015, but his Amazing Race partner Korey Kuhl is less well known. The pair have been best friends since college, before Oakley climbed to the top of the YouTube elite with 7.9 million subscribers. Kuhl now works as Oakley’s right-hand man, and the pair co-host Pyschobabble, a pop culture podcast.

    Odds: 9 to 1. No matter how far they go, the pair will be entertaining since that’s very much their brand as podcast hosts and vloggers. They’ve also traveled together before as part of Oakley’s world tours, so they’re used to navigating new cities. Gay contestants have also done historically well on the race, so they have that going for them.

    Burnie Burns & Ashley Jenkins

    Burnie Burns is one of the minds behind Rooster Teeth, one YouTube’s most longstanding content studios, and Ashley Jenkins is the producer behind RT show The Know. The pair are also dating in addition to being co-workers, so they have definitely had to learn to communication on a lot of levels, a key element of the race.

    Odds: 7 to 1. Couples do well on the race historically, and Burns and Jenkins have the advantage of working together as well as dating.

    Erin White Robinson & Joslyn Davis

    Erin White Robinson and Joslyn Davis describe themselves as “work wives.” They’re both hosts for Defy Media’s ClevverTV. Strong and driven all-female teams have placed higher and higher—and even won—in past seasons of the race, although it’s been a mixed bag for media professional women. Apparently Joslyn is extremely positive, while Erin is described as a crier, so it’s a toss-up on if they’ll make it far.

    Odds: 10 to 1. We’re all about girl power, but there are several sportier teams in the race that could make for tough competition.

    Sheri & Cole LaBrant

    Cole LaBrant is the season's youngest contestant, at just 19, but he’s got 7.5 million fans on Vine cheering him on. Even his partner, and mother, Sheri, has 27,000 fans of her own. In their pre-race survey, they gave some of the most blunt and perhaps unintentionally funny answers, which indicates they’ll make good TV at the very least.

    What scares you most about traveling?

    Sheri: “My plane crashing.”

    Cole: “ISIS.”

    Odds: 20 to 1. Mother/son teams are not usually the big winners, although they can often have a strong showing. In this case, Cole’s age will probably work against them.

    Zach & Rachel King

    If you’ve seen a mind-blowing Vine that seems like magic, it was probably made by Zach King, also known as FinalCutKing. He now runs a production company with his Race partner and life partner, Rachel. The duo have already expressed nerves about getting lost on the race and language barriers, two very common pitfalls for racers, so hopefully their fears go unfounded.

    Odds: 6 to 1. Couples are strong, and married status gives them a slight edge over the just-dating crowd, although they’re still defined as newlyweds.

    Dana Borriello & Matt Steffanina

    Dance is one of YouTube’s biggest categories, so it’s no surprise a pair of YouTube dancers are joining the race. Engaged couple Dana Borriello and Matt Steffanina command 8.4 million fans collectively, but they’ve got some red flags in their questionnaire, including Matt’s description of Dana as having a temper, and Dana calling the duo stubborn.

    Odds: 18 to 1. Couples are great, but couples with tempers often flare up and flame out too early. That said, dance skills are often a great weapon on the race, with at least one choreography-related challenge around the world. The trick will be to make it far enough to put their skills into use.

    Jessica Versteeg & Brittany Oldehoff

    Best friends and Instagram models Jessica Versteeg and Brittany Oldehoff are this season’s resident “ditz” stereotypes. They’re a pair of pageant queens, their social media presence isn’t as robust as most of the other contestants, and their pre-race worries include “getting ‘Taken’” and “losing my passport,” the actual kiss of death on Amazing Race. (No passport equals disqualification when you have to cross a border.)

    Odds: 30 to 1. They just feel like fodder. Ditzy contestants have surprised in the past and made it far, but never to the end.

    Marty Cobb & Hagan Parkman

    Marty Cobb is both one of the least-known contestants and possibly the most-viewed. A video of the Southwest flight attendant giving a humorous safety speech went hyper-viral, landing her the coveted visit to Ellen DeGeneres’ couch. She’s been featured in a Southwest advertisement, but her social media presence hasn’t blossomed much. Her daughter is an Instagram model of about equal social footprint.

    Odds:30 to 1. Mother/daughter pairs taking the title are less likely than a mother/son pairing; in fact it’s rarely been done across the race. Maybe that’s the secret sauce, but these two are too unknown to bank on for the big win.

    Scott & Blair Fowler

    Blair Fowler built her presence as a beauty vlogger along with her sister Elle, and she’s keeping it in the family for her Amazing Race run, partnering with her father, Scott. Beauty vlogger skills might not come in handy, but Scott is a CEO, so making pacts and alliances with the other teams might be on his side.

    Odds: 15 to 1. Father/daughter duos are generally likeable on the race, but not the usual big winners. Scott is one of the older contestants on this go-around, and often those teams end up with injuries that cripple their chances.

    Kurt Gibson & Brodie Smith

    Brodie Smith is a professional Ultimate Frisbee player and trickshot master, a definition of celebrity that is clearly an Internet invention. He’s brought along friend and Ultimate Frisbee teammate Kurt Gibson (who only has 463 Twitter followers and adorably pleads for more in his questionnaire). They’re already teammates off the race, making them both strong competitors and hopefully good communicators.

    Odds: 7 to 1. Sporty all-male teams often dominate on the race. However, they can also fall into the trap of overconfidence, giving them a bit of a handicap. On non-physical challenges, they can often deflate and lose it all.

    Cameron & Darius Benson

    Siblings are often great on the race, and a pair of brothers also checks off the all-male team box that can spell victory. Vine stars Cameron and Darius Benson made a name for themselves shooting six-second Vines and humorous YouTube videos.

    Odds: 13 to 1. A pair of brothers is a great race team, but often the comedians fall at the middle of the pack to stronger competitors. There’s a chance they’ll rise above, if they don’t get stuck on being the funny guys and instead focus on winning.

    Photo via The Amazing Race/CBS.com | Corey Leopold/Flickr (CC BY 2.0) | Remix by Jason Reed


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    On Wednesday, J.K. Rowling revealed that Harry Potter fans would be getting Harry Potter and the Cursed Child in script form once the play opened in London, but at least one Potter fan isn't excited about the idea of a new story about a middle-aged Harry.

    Because for Stephen Colbert, the entire concept of the play sounds downright depressing. Harry has to balance life at the Ministry of Magic and being a father, and it seemed like he peaked at age 17. There may be magical elements, but otherwise, to Colbert, it sounds like a play covering the struggles of getting older—and that doesn’t sit well with him.

    Screengrab via The Late Show with Stephen Colbert/YouTube


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    Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning was just on The Tonight Show Wednesday night, but he valiantly returned with some help from Kristen Wiig.

    Instead of showing up to promote her own movie, Wiig donned Manning’s uniform and walked out pretending to be him—still wearing the uniform days after the Super Bowl because it kept her warm. She knew next to nothing about Manning, football, or what had happened on Sunday night, but she played along while staying in character. The audience chuckled, while Jimmy Fallon, as usual, completely lost it.

    It all came to a head when “Manning” was asked to show off his skills as a passer. The result might be the most accurate part of the impression.

    Screengrab via The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon/YouTube


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    Felix Kjellberg's new YouTube Red series, Scare PewDiePie, premiered its first and seventh episodes this week—the latter available for free on YouTube—and they are nothing short of hilarious.

    Scare PewDiePie captures the essence of his channel—wherein a loudmouth gamer captivates while at the controls—with the added twist of bring his Let's Plays to life. And as one of the initial offerings from YouTube Red's slate of original programming, it's a captivating success. (ScarePewDiePie debuted this week alongside Dance Camp, Unicorn, and  Lazer Team.)

    At the beginning of episode one, "Level 1 | Let's Play Doctor," Kjellberg announces, "This show takes what I already do—getting scared of horror games—but taking it to the next level. A really fucked up level."

    "Let's Play Doctor" sets up the rest of the series by making Kjellberg vulnerable and putting him on display. For level one, the crew takes Kjellberg to an "American hospital" for a physical check up—to make sure he's healthy enough to be scared out of his mind—and one wing happens to house psychiatric patients. Through a series of unfortunate events, an escaped patient crashes Kjellberg's appointment, pretending to be a doctor and later asking Kjellberg to help him after the YouTuber undergoes a psychological evaluation. 

    Episode seven brings Kjellberg back to the hospital to "discuss the results" of the tests he completed in episode one. And by "discuss results," they mean make Kjellberg navigate through a creepy ward of crazies while escaping demented doctors trying to experiment on him.

    Although exclusive to the first episode, the crew rigs Kjellberg's clip-on mic with a heart monitor, setting a ceiling rate of 145 beats per minute to maintain for safety reasons. Kjellberg consistently reaches critical heart rates in the high 130s and even gets to 145 once during the day.

    Unlike the rest of the episodes, "Let's Play Doctor" doesn't mirror any game in particular. As far as Kjellberg knew, it was only supposed to be a normal day. He spends a majority of the episode confused, but between episodes one and seven, we spend some time confused too. While the premise of the show is fairly clear, there seems to be a theatrical aspect of the show as well—separate from the live Let's Plays. 

    There are still many puzzle pieces to gather before the picture becomes clear, but two are dropped in during episodes one and seven through the characters "Nikki" and "Jeff." Nikki is introduced in episode one as a production assistant and declares herself a big fan of the YouTuber. Throughout the first 10 minutes, she is overly flirty with Kjellberg and has a heated altercation with the producer because of it, getting her fired right off the bat. She appears again in a flashback during episode seven, apparently as a stalker—hence the introduction of Jeff the security guard. Jeff has a quirky personality, and is not good at his job. Kjellberg also doesn't appear to know the story of what happens outside of the show, being forced to move along as it unravels.

    To further immerse the viewer and characterize Kjellberg as the main character in a horror game, the show implements informational pop-ups about mission objectives and new characters.

    Even for a viewer who doesn't follow PewDiePie, Scare PewDiePie dishes out the comedy and makes you fall for Kjellberg. It's funny to follow the YouTuber live his fears, and one can appreciate the new twist Kjellberg brings to his Let's Plays. However, he still maintains his usual personality and plays his IRL game just the same as the virtual ones—screaming, cursing, and all.

    The rest of his episodes are set to release on a weekly schedule, with episode two launching Feb. 17. 

    Screengrab via PewDiePie/YouTube


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    Like many local artists, Detroit rapper Brenton "B-Free" Freeman is just trying to make his music and maybe one day hit it big. And last month, the musician gained instant popularity overnight—though perhaps not how he had ever intended.

    Waking up to a flood of hate mail one morning from seemingly out of the blue, Freeman was lost in confusion. 

    "My phone was just blowing up with all this hate mail," he told the Daily Dot. For someone who averages about 20 likes per tweet, he couldn't understand why he was suddenly receiving hundreds of malicious messages criticizing his music. However, a quick Google search provided the answer: It was his name.

    Coincidentally, there happens to be a Korean rapper who goes by B-Free, and said rapper is in hot water for his controversial and disrespectful comments toward one of Korea's biggest K-pop names, BTS. Cue the confusion.

    Korean B-Free got into a mess with ARMY, BTS's official fan club, when he dug up some old drama last month. About two years ago, the Korean rapper criticized BTS members Rap Monster and Suga for leaving the underground rap scene to become idol rappers, essentially calling them sellouts. Now, in 2016, he issued a belated apology via Twitter toward the K-pop group, as reported by Soompi.

    But making such late reparations left BTS fans puzzled more than anything else, and some felt it was a ruse to ride the coattails of BTS's recent explosion of popularity. Re-opening old wounds inevitably drew comments and criticism from the fans. 

    According to Allkpop, the overwhelming response proved to be too much for Korean B-Free, when he threatened to "bitch slap" BTS just a few days after apologizing. With fans in a frenzy to retaliate, it was easy to type "B-Free" in the Twitter search and accidentally pull up Freeman's handle, @officialbfree, without realizing that @realbfree was the one they were looking for. 


    When Freeman began making music at 13, he chose the stage name "B-Free" since it combines his first and last names together. At 20 years old, the rapper still performs under that name. He recently released three new tracks in January via SoundCloud and continues to grind out results. 

    Aside from making music, Freeman also attends classes at a community college, balancing work and school like many other American college kids. He self-manages his music career, and his brother produces his music. His objective when performing is for he and his fans to have a "hell of a time," even without the influence of drugs or alcohol. "If you end up coming to a Detroit B-Free show, it's to leave all the negativity, all the stress, and all the wrong outside," Freeman said, explaining that he hopes to promote that culture even if he makes it big.


    But despite Freeman's humble personality, angry fans were unable to see past the seemingly innocent stage name.

    "I was waking up to comments like, ‘Yo, you're garbage. Your music is trash,’" Freeman explained. "It caught me so off guard! I'm doing pretty good. I'm talking to managers. People keep telling me to keep doing what you're doing." Freeman regularly performs in the Detroit area and has even opened for big-name artists like Big Sean.

    When Freeman realized who the hate was coming from, he was stunned to learn it was from fellow ARMY. "I'm so familiar with BTS, and for ARMY to [get] me confused with the Korean B-Free... Bro, I fuck with BTS," Freeman said, expressing his own love and respect for the K-pop group. "I had to speak my mind and let them know, ‘Yo I'm not the guy. You got the wrong person.’"

    Freeman released his own set of tweets to help clear up the confusion, sending words of support for BTS in addition to condemning the Korean B-Free's comments. "As for what B-Free said, him saying the shit about the fans and the slap thing or whatever—bro, what? I will smack you myself." Freeman said. "For him to low key just disrespect somebody who's doing what they love to do... was just uncalled for."

    Fans soon realized their mistake, and Freeman said they did end up apologizing, mostly via Instagram

    Ever since making his identity clear, Freeman has received a plethora of tweets. "Right now my Twitter doesn't stop. It's never been like that," he said. People have been commenting on the comedy of the situation, stumping for American B-Free over Korean B-Free, or hoping for a possible collaboration with BTS themselves. (Freeman did tweet at BTS requesting to work together—to no avail thus far.)

    Freeman still listens to and loves them, and even declares himself an ARMY. "Especially considering everything that just happened," he said. "It's like standing up for a little brother."

    Even though the rapper has known BTS and K-pop for awhile, the mix up with B-Free has given him a new goal to add to his list. While the exposure and opportunity to make people laugh at the situation was nice for Freeman, he emphasized that there was something bigger that he wanted from it. "Overall, all I wanna do—all American B-Free rapper wants to do—is bring K-pop to Detroit, really," he said. "If there's any way that K-pop can maneuver its way to Detroit, Michigan, it would just be amazing. It would be crazy, outta this world."

    While K-pop does make its way stateside, it's very rare that concerts are held anywhere beyond New York, Los Angeles, Dallas, and Chicago. 

    "If I ever get a call from them or a call from a company manager or whatever asking me to head over there, I'm droppin’ everything—school, work, I'm headin' over there," Freeman promised.

    In the meantime, we'll be waiting for that collaboration to drop.

    Photo via OfficialBFree/Twitter


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    Netflix announced yesterday that Aziz Ansari comedy Master of None has been renewed for a second season. This was pretty much a no-brainer, as the series received mostly positive reviews. But co-star Eric Wareheim offered some disturbing info about the show’s origins. 

    Wareheim posted a clip for Big Bud Lil Bud to Twitter on Wednesday, inferring that the show was originally supposed to air on CBS, perhaps after Major Dad

    Big Bud Lil Bud is obviously relying on the sight gag of Ansari and Wareheim’s vastly different heights—something played up on Master of None—but also next-levels the traditional ’90s sitcom by incorporating a dead dad trapped in a dog’s body and a pile of bananas. 

    The bigger question, though: Where is creator Pastor Arthurs now? 

    Screengrab via Eric Wareheim/YouTube 


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    Photographer Ezequiel Scagnetti has inadvertently made some powerful enemies: teenage girls.  

    The Brussels-based artist is in hot water with One Direction fans after calling out heartthrob Harry Styles for Instagramming his photograph without giving him proper credit. 

    The saga starts almost a week ago, when Styles posted a captionless photo of a traditional Burmese boxer to almost 16 million followers without realizing that Scagnetti had taken it. Within its first 15 hours, the photo reportedly got over 750,000 likes, and when Scagnetti caught wind of what had happened, he posted a Facebook status out of frustration.

    “750.000 likes - But I don't like it,” the photographer joked. 

    Styles deleted the Instagram, but Directioners (One Direction fans) were a little less understanding. They flooded Scagnetti’s Facebook comments in Styles’ defense and left negative reviews of his business to boot.

    After keeping quiet for a few days, Scagnetti replied to the teens Thursday, hoping to make peace and open some minds:

    Guys, as far I understand most of you are teenagers, this is the only reason I take the time to write you, despite all your extremely aggressive, xenophobic, homophobic and racist insults.

    So, you should be happy and spread your happiness and love just because the fact that you have, outside the necessary calories to live, a telephone and Internet connection, when hundreds of thousands of boys and girls are starving at this right moment. 

    But not, you are spreading hate, unlimited hate, in the honour of#harrystyles.
    He clarified his stance on the importance of honoring copyright, and he encouraged the teens to be less narrow-minded.

    Every streamed song, every CD you buy, every concert ticket you pay, you are paying artist’s copyrights. 

    If you are not paying for it, some sponsor or company is doing it for you. Nothing is free. Neither Harry Styles work's, neither my work.

    He continued:

    Most of you (the ones insulting me) are damned because this: you are not able to understand people who think different than you.

    I’m not talking about the lack of knowledge or simple ignorance in subjects as photography, arts, copyright, etc. You are completely lost on those subjects and that’s fine for me, you are kids. 
    I'm talking about your petty and narrow mind.

    You are so narrow-minded that you think that my centre of interest, at my forties, must be a pop band and a -certainly-, nice guy called Harry Styles.Well... I’m currently following with attention the problem of millions of Syrian refugees living in horrible conditions, dying in the Mediterranean Sea running away from war and terrorism. […]

    But you blame me because I did not know who is #harrystyles. Great.

    Since Scagnetti's post, people have started leaving 5-star reviews in support of his taking a stand, and his business' rating is back up to a 4.9/5 stars. 

    H/T Petapixel | Screengrab via One Direction/YouTube


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    The Life of Pablo wasn't the only thing Kanye West premiered at Madison Square Garden on Thursday. 

    The rapper and designer surprised fans with a trailer for a video game he's working on about his late mother, professor Donda West, ascending to heaven. It's called Only One: The Game

    After the clip played, West shared some thoughts with the crowd: 

    I feel, a lot of times, I get misunderstood just as an artist. Cause y'all see so many artists be controlled by corporations, or public perception, or their current finances, or whatever—and if you're gonna be an artist you just gotta do what's in your heart. Fight for every dream that you may dream, whatever discipline it may be. No one can tell you what field to stay in.

    There's no word yet about whether it's a computer game, a video game, or some combination. Or maybe he's getting into apps, like wife Kim Kardashian

    H/T Jezebel | Screengrab via Tidal

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    Dr. Dre is reportedly going to star in Apple's first original scripted series. 

    According to the Hollywood Reporter, Apple is finally getting into the original TV game, and the Beats co-founder is set to star in a series titled Vital Signs. Sources told the Hollywood Reporter that earlier this week, an "extended orgy scene" was filmed for the series in the Hollywood Hills, and that it's described as "semi-autobiographical" and a "dark drama." Let's hope it's not a retread of True Detective season 2. 

    Paul Hunter, who's directed music videos for Aaliyah, Marilyn Manson, and Ice Cube, is set to direct. It's not clear if there's a studio attached, as reports say this was Dr. Dre's idea and pitch. If this six-episode series is a success, it could potentially clear the way for more original content featuring Apple Music artists. (Maybe a sitcom featuring Drake?) 

    Dr. Dre and Apple have not commented on the project. 

    H/T The Hollywood Reporter | Photo via Jason Persse/Flickr (CC BY SA 2.0)


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    Any questions about Troye Sivan transitioning from YouTube darling to breakout star were answered upon entering the Belasco Theater in downtown Los Angeles on Thursday night.

    Yes, there were the teens—the YouTube fans who’ve supported him since he started posting videos in 2007—but they’re joined by a new demo that knows Sivan as a Billboard-charting musician. It’s the hip crowd, the people who see a band six months before it breaks out on mainstream radio and then brag that they were listening before it was popular. It’s straight boys taking Snapchat selfies with girlfriends, singing along to every number.

    It’s also a gay crowd, which is already a huge part of Sivan’s brand on YouTube. And it's an older audience, but older is, of course, relative. The crowd didn't edge far beyond twentysomethings, unless you count the parents holding shopping bags. This mixture was the show's real achievement: the trend-chasers and die-hard tweens and grinding gay men converging. Shout-outs from Adele and glowing press and TV appearances don't hurt either.

    Production and performance-wise, Sivan is still finding his footing. There were a few audio glitches, and live versions of his more complex songs sometimes struggled with overproduction. His primary set pieces are the light-up houses he brought out on his initial tour, and the default setting on stage was a fog machine. Sivan’s stage presence has improved since his fall tour, both with better pauses for crowd engagement and storytelling and a more confident approach to his own movement. He still has a muppet-like quality, a certain bop to his dancing, but he fully owns it.

    On songs like “Wild” and “Youth,” the crowd erupted into dance, and on slower tracks like “Talk Me Down,” they shouted along. Sivan never had trouble with the crowd filling in lyrics, which is often a foible of a newer artist. He even brought out Betty Who, who collaborated with Sivan on “Heaven,” and ended the duet with a sweet kiss. 

    All this success is not to say his die-hard fans aren’t still there. Sivan called out the long line waiting to enter by soundcheck, noting that he’s met them all 15 times before and was happy to see them again. During "Cool," the crowd was speckled with homemade printed signs explaining they were “Troye-ing” to be cool, but that they were already cool—a message of positivity tied to Sivan’s Web presence.

    By the end of the song, the signs were down and everyone was dancing, new Sivan fans indistinguishable from old.

    Screengrab via TroyeSivanVEVO/YouTube


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    Might B.o.B. and Neil deGrasse Tyson have to take their mixtape beef elsewhere?

    According to the Financial Times, music streaming service SoundCloud could be in trouble unless it raises additional capital in the next 12 months. At the end of 2014, SoundCloud reported a gain of $17.35 million in revenue for the year, yet experienced a loss two-and-a-half times its growth of $44.19 million.

    In the 2014 report, KPMG, SoundCloud’s auditor, said the streaming service’s need for additional funding indicated “a material uncertainty which may cast significant doubt on the company’s ability to continue as a going concern.”

    According to Music Business Worldwide, from 2012 to 2014, the Berlin-based streaming service lost nearly $85 million and only gained $42 million. In addition, SoundCloud’s administrative expenses increased 67.8 percent to $54 million, with the total expenditure on wages and salaries raising 42.5 percent to $20 million.

    The Financial Times wrote that while SoundCloud was valued at $700 million in a funding round in 2014, the company has only recently made strides to generate revenue, and expects to continue to lose money for the next three years.

    Shane Morris, formerly with Sony Music, told the Daily Dot that SoundCloud could make money if its hosting strategy changed to benefit artists. (Disclosure: Morris is a one-time contributor to the Dot.)

    The service requires artists pay tiered-rate subscriptions to host music, a business model that Morris said doesn’t represent how relationships between artists and fans actually function.

    “If SoundCloud was wise, they would allow artists to set the price of streaming costs,” Morris told the Daily Dot. “Either they’ll make it through to the next year or they’re going to [be kept out] because they don’t have a good monetary platform.”

    Morris said restructuring policies on the use of sampled music on tracks uploaded to the site, and on bot user accounts that produce counterfeit plays, could also help the service’s future. But fundamentally, he said, artists don't have enough incentive to pay for the premium service.

    “SoundCloud allows those [bot] accounts to exist for a very long time because if you’re an artist… you want to see your chart go up,” Morris said. “If the artists are paying for the platform, they have to believe that they’re becoming more successful… The only way [for SoundCloud to make that happen] is to show them they’re getting more plays and allow those bots to exist.”

    When reached for comment, SoundCloud spokesperson Shannon O'Flaherty sent the Daily Dot a statement, stating the service secured $77 million of incremental capital, basically additional capital to generate additional output, in 2015 from existing investors and from a credit line with Tennenbaum Capital Partners.

    “SoundCloud users can discover more creators, at all stages of their careers, than anywhere else, and more music and audio: over 18 million creators are using the platform, sharing well over 110 million tracks, and reaching 175 million monthly active listeners,” the statement said. “We’re focussing on enabling creators to get paid for their creativity, and on building a financially sustainable platform that our community can enjoy for years to come.”

    View the full statement from SoundCloud below:


    Photo via mrhayata/Flickr (CC BY SA 2.0) | Remix by Jason Reed


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    Questions of copyright have pitted two popular YouTube channels against each other in an all-out social media war.

    H3H3 Productions, a comedy channel known for its funny but often crude sensibilities, has been on the forefront of this clash. Whenever issues of copyright surface, owner Ethan Klein is usually ready to take on the corporate establishment with his in-your-face style of humor.

    Klein also benefits from a dedicated fanbase, one that is willing to help his message get heard by the widest possible audience. Earlier this month, when the Fine Bros. were out to copyright their popular “react” videos, and take down all react-related content, Klein’s opposing rant went to the front page of Reddit almost immediately.

    This week Klein set his sights on YouTuber SoFloAntonio, known for social experiment and prank videos. Klein finds his videos insufferable, but has a bone to pick with the SoFlo Facebook page. Klein noticed that a lot of video content being uploaded or shared on SoFlo’s Facebook page followed a certain style. It’s one that’s presented in a way to garner the most views: With big, bold letters, something salacious would be written, with a video underneath, and some emojis for good measure. And he recognized a lot of this content, going so far as to accuse SoFlo of theft.

    And so, as Internet freedom fighters do, H3H3 Productions created a parody page titled “Soflobro.” The page garnered 80,000 Likes, and was a way for fans to make fun of and vent their frustrations about SoFlo’s brand of humor. But in a video posted earlier this week, Klein noted that, unsurprisingly, Facebook had taken down his parody page.

    For Klein, this was expected. So he didn’t give it too much thought. Until videos from the actual SoFlo page started to populate his Facebook feed. This surprised him, as he never recalled “Liking” the official SoFlo page. Turns out Facebook moved all the Likes from Soflobro to SoFlo.

    This was corrected a few days later. But there was “no explanation from Facebook in either cases, it was just magically back up, the same way that it was removed,” Klein told the Daily Dot. A Facebook spokesperson cleared this up.

    “We received a user complaint that the soflobro Page is an impersonation of a public figure, which is a violation of our policies,” a Facebook rep told the Daily Dot via email. “After mistakenly designating it as an impersonation, we merged soflobro's followers with the public figure's official Page. After further review, we now recognize that the soflobro Page should have been designated as satire/parody, which is not a violation of our impersonation policy. The soflobro Page and its original fans have now been reinstated to correct this error.”

    Klein also noted that when one of his videos was illegally ripped and uploaded, Facebook’s response was virtually nonexistent. He complained in a video two months ago, and said that things have actually gotten worse.

    “Facebook has not improved their protection, and all evidence so far points to them enabling theft further, as I pointed out in the video, the fact that they chose Soflo to pilot test their system speaks volumes to their intentions,” Klein alleged.

    (Klein is referring to a rumor that Facebook is trying to monetize video content and using SoFlo’s page as a test bed.)

    Klein maintains that SoFlo steals videos. SoFlo could not be reached for comment, but does appear to be tinkering with legal action against Klein’s accusations:

    In an email, Klein said that a lawsuit “remains to be seen,” before adding:

    ...my response would be that soflo is a page built on theft and there is plenty of proof of that, including our previous video entitled "SoFlo's facebook page" in which we interview a girl who was stolen from, not credited, no permission given -- in my opinion, he has no defense.

    To air his side of the story, SoFloAntonio also uploaded a video responding to Klein’s assertions. Antonio wanted to make clear that he doesn’t steal videos, but rather licenses videos. He also felt it was hypocritical to be criticized for stealing content when his critics upload videos with famous footage and hide behind fair use.

    It should be noted that Klein does upload a lot of content making fun of other YouTube videos, and does borrow footage to do so.

    But Klein noticed something else: Videos on SoFlo’s Facebook page were being shared from weird-sounding pages, such as “Gthtjtkt” (a small page with just north of 1,000 Likes.) How would SoFlo be sharing videos from an obscure Facebook page that also completely mimics his format? Klein alleges that SoFlo, in an attempt to avoid copyright takedowns or legal pressure, rips and uploads videos to these dummy Facebook pages, then shares content on the official SoFlo Facebook page.

    The legitimacy of Gthtjtkt has been debated by many on Reddit. Was it a legitimate channel, or was it really a dummy channel made to launder content? In a bizarre blunder from SoFlo, Klein uploaded a video showing us emails he had received. It included admittance to Gthtjtkt working in the SoFlo offices. It was followed up by an email from Gthtjtkt claiming that they were independent content producers, not a part of SoFlo, and that they would love to collaborate.

    Klein replied and let them know that somebody at SoFlo already admitted that Gthtjtkt was under the SoFlo umbrella. Klein has yet to hear back.  

    It does appear that one of SoFlo’s branded YouTube channels, SoFloComedy, has been scrubbed of old videos, perhaps as a preemptive legal measure. At the end of this week’s back and forth, SoFlo released a follow-up video. Instead of trying to fight against H3H3, Antonio stopped debating and opted to simply make fun of Klein.

    For now, at least, SoFlo is content to move forward with his lucrative trade of shareable comedy. 

    Photo via Mandy Goldberg/Flickr (CC BY 2.0) | Remix by Max Fleishman


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    Valentine’s Day is here again, and you have three options:

    Option A) Go out with your significant other, gaze into their eyes, and spend a lot of money to prove your undying love for each other. Option B) Stay home with your significant other, order takeout, and watch some of these classic Valentine’s Day episodes, which you can stream right now on Netflix. And finally, Option C) Stay home and do everything you would do in Option B, but do it alone/with a friend because you’re aggressively single and Netflix is the most important relationship in your life anyway.

    You really can’t go wrong, but remember that on Valentine’s Day (or Galentine’s Day, if that’s more your thing), TV will always love you.   

    1) 30 Rock“Anna Howard Shaw Day”

    30 Rock did several Valentine’s-themed episodes over the course of its seven seasons, but none of them match the sublime comedic madness of “Anna Howard Shaw Day”—a prime example of what 30 Rock could achieve when they really let their freak flag fly. When no one can give Liz a ride after her root canal, she takes a drug-induced walk down memory lane, where she encounters several of her past lovers. Hilarity ensues, leading up to what’s possibly the show’s finest tag ever: "Happy Valentine's Day, No One!"

    2) Arrested Development“Marta Complex”

    Arrested Development is one of the more unsentimental sitcoms ever to touch on Valentine’s Day. Yet this season 1 episode, which shifts the dynamic between protagonist Michael Bluth and his brother Gob’s girlfriend, Marta, has several tender moments. Like most of Michael’s love interests, Marta didn’t last long on the show. Fortunately, the love triangle between the two of them and Gob provided some of the first season’s best moments. The sublot revolving around George-Michael’s relationship with his cousin, Maeby, also really gets going here, and continues to be a thread throughout the rest of the series.

    3) Buffy the Vampire Slayer“Bewitched, Bothered, and Bewildered”

    One of the funniest episodes the show ever aired (and there were a lot of them), “Bewitched” finds Buffy’s lovable loser in residence trying to win back girlfriend Cordelia in time for Valentine’s Day. Enlisting the help of recurring character and Sunnydale witch, Amy, a spell is cast to send Cordy running back into Xander’s arms. Unfortunately for everyone involved, the spell doesn’t work, instead causing all the other women in town to fall madly in love with him instead. It’s an episode that has that perfect Buffy blend of humor, thrills, and sweetness. Xander and Cordelia even end up happily back together in the end (at least for awhile).

    4) Frasier“Three Valentines”

    Three separate stories follow most of Frasier’s main cast of characters on disastrous Valentine’s Day excursions. Each story is good, but it is Niles’s operatic battle with an iron which most people remember. And to be sure, while the episode contains plenty of the witty, romantic observations that Frasier is known for, it is this inspired bit of visual humor that makes “Three Valentines” a must-see. To this day, it still stands among the best pieces of physical comedy ever broadcast on television.

    5) Gilmore Girls“A Vineyard Valentine”

    The Gilmores didn’t always see eye to eye. In fact, if we’re talking about Lorelai and Emily Gilmore, they pretty much never did. But it is the men in Lorelai and Rory’s lives who end up clashing in this Martha’s Vineyard-set episode, which finds working-class Luke and spoiled brat Logan going at it on a Valentine’s Day trip. It’s an episode that not only speaks to the idea of class struggle, which featured prominently throughout the whole series, but that also showed notable cracks in both our heroines’ relationships—hinting at what was to come.

    6) Gossip Girl“Crazy, Cupid, Love”

    Gossip Girl’s formula saw each episode revolve around a party or some other kind of social event, and this season 5 gem is no exception. The particulars involve Queen Bee Blair doing some serious meddling at pretty boy Nate’s Valentine’s Day party, which the always deliciously evil Georgina Sparks (Michelle Trachtenberg, also a Buffy alumnus) has decided to crash. Of course, scandal and drama aplenty abound in peak Gossip Girl fashion.

    7) Mad Men“A Day’s Work”

    Pete is feeling neglected. Peggy mistakes someone else’s flowers for her own. Joan is forced to move Dawn around the office because of how impossibly racist everyone who works there is. Yep, it’s a typically unromantic Valentine’s Day at SC&P. However, “A Day’s Work” also contains one of the most wrenching moments in all of Mad Men history, when Sally simply says to her father, “Happy Valentine’s Day. I love you,” in the final moments of the episode. The look on Don’s face as she walks away contains enough pain and love all wrapped in one to almost justify seven seasons of terrible parenting.

    Men Men did just two Valentine’s Day episodes during the entire series run, and as Vulture pointed out, it’s fascinating to compare how the characters have grown and changed between “For Those Who Think Young” from season 2 and season 7’s “A Day’s Work.”

    8) New Girl“Valentine’s Day”

    This was the 13th episode in New Girl’s first season, when the show was still finding its groove. Fortunately, “Valentine’s Day” hinted and the zany dating stories which New Girl eventually became so good at. Guest-starring True Blood’s Ryan Kwanten as Jess’s one-night stand that wasn’t, this holiday episode is also significant as the first time that Schmidt and CeCe (who are currently engaged) hooked up.

    9) Orange Is the New Black“You Also Have a Pizza”

    “You Also Have a Pizza” is a bright spot in Orange is the New Black’s second season. The clever framing device gives us the opportunity to hear thoughts on love from all of our favorite Litchfield residents, but it also gives us our first glimpse into the backstory of one of season 2’s most memorable players, Poussey, who's portrayed with heapings of grace by Samira Wiley. Poussay’s backstory is at once heartbreaking and beautiful, making this one of the least sappy but most memorable TV episodes about Valentine’s Day you’re ever likely to see.  

    10) The Office“PDA”

    Not the show’s first Valentine’s Day episode but probably its funniest, “PDA” is one of many bright spots from The Office’s criminally underrated seventh season. With Steve Carell set to leave the show at this point, they pulled out all the stops to give Michael Scott the best goodbye they could, filled with funniest moments possible. And as his relentlessly touchy-feely relationship with eventual fiancée Holly makes everyone at Dunder Mifflin Scranton uncomfortable, “PDA” does not disappoint. Also, Pam and Jim have sex somewhere in the office, so there’s that.

    11) Parks and Recreation— “Galentine’s Day” (season 2 and season 6)

    The episode so nice they did it twice. When Parks and Rec first introduced the idea of this holiday in season 2, Leslie Knope was in a much different place than she was when it was reintroduced in season 6. Initially, Leslie’s annual Feb. 13 brunch celebration between girlfriends was merely the jumping-off point for an episode which largely took place on Valentine’s Day. In it, her group of friends is secure, despite the fact that her love life is on the rocks. It stands in nice contrast with the “Galentine’s Day” episode from four seasons later (which is not actually set around Valentine’s Day), when she’s married to Ben but looking for a new best friend after the departure of Ann Perkins.

    LIke the Mad Men installments mentioned above, watching these episodes back to back shows how friends and partners come and go as life changes and brings new challenges. But what’s great about Parks and Rec is how it reminds us that these challenges can often lead to great things. It’s probably the most important, non-political theme in the entire show—and happens to be always worth remembering in real life too.

    Screengrab via New Girl/Netflix


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    It's great to be alive at a time when Arnold Schwarzenegger is using Snapchat. And he recently proved why he's dominated this particular platform. 

    Some devoted soul has uploaded his Snap to YouTube for posterity, and titled it the "single greatest Snapchat of all time." In the eight-second clip, you see Schwarzenegger in selfie mode, offering followers a view of L.A. 

    But then, a helicopter approaches. 

    Arnold's not above quoting lines from Predator on Snapchat, which is why you should be following him. 

    H/T Uproxx | Photo via Zero Emission Resource Organisation/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)


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    On Friday, rapper The Game posted a #ValentinesDayWeekendSpecial to Instagram, and that special included a photo of his dick

    In the inspirational post, The Game can be seen in a hotel room holding his Internet-breaking commodity. He posted a similar photo last fall, when he posed in front of some decorative bathroom towels

    If you can draw your eyes away from his (possibly fake?) dick print, however, you'll notice The Game has crafted a beautiful hashtag poem for the ladies. 

    So, this Valentine's weekend, remember to buy her a $5,000 purse, run her a bath until the water is warm as a Miami morning in the spring, and then lick it front front to back—not back to front, please!

    H/T Jezebel | Photo via losangelesconfidential/Instagram


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    The National Basketball Association's All-Star Weekend has become stale over the years, but one event might revitalize it: a live reading of Space Jam.

    This year, prior to Saturday's three-point shootout and dunk contest in Toronto, fans gathered at the Toronto International Film Festival to witness a reenactment of Space Jam, with comedian Hannibal Buress taking over the lead role of Michael Jordan.

    Buress was joined on stage by YouTube and Vine star Jasmeet Singh, comedian Mark Little, NBA TV reporter Kristen Ledlow, Toronto film commissioner Zaib Shaikh, Vice personality Matt Matheson, and actors Lamar JohnsonKristian BruunEnnis Esmer, Keara Graves, and Tara Spencer-Nairn.

    A trio of Toronto artists brought the show to life by sketching out scenes from the performance. Illustrators Dasha Zolota and Evan Munday gave Space Jam the animated touch it needed via Twitter.

    It's been 20 years since Space Jam debuted in theaters and, despite the lukewarm critical reception at the time, it has lived on as a cult classic for basketball and Looney Tunes fans alike. It's been the subject of tributes and serious critiques, showing its strange staying power in pop culture. 

    Rumors of a reboot, likely focused around LeBron James, have been swirling for some time now. Until then, fans will have to settle for live reads like the one in Toronto or the 2014 performance featuring Los Angeles Clippers star Blake Griffin and a cast of comedians.

    Perhaps in future years, taking part in Space Jam live reads will be added as an official event for All-Star Weekend.

    H/T Torontoist | Photo via Erin Nekervis/Flickr (CC BY SA 2.0)


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    Valentine’s Day is upon us. Couples everywhere are scrambling to put together the most romantic evening they can come up with, to top whatever they did last year. Meanwhile, the suits at Hallmark and Russell Stover are having their calls forwarded so they can spend the week doing the backstroke in their Scrooge McDuck money vaults.

    You could say that I’m not a fan of Valentine’s Day. Partly that’s the cynicism over the manufactured nature of it all, and partly it’s because my partner and I are terrible at the whole romance thing. The closer we get to stereotypical romantic gestures, the more certain one of us is about to make a snarky comment or laugh in the other’s face. Hey, it works for us, and I know we’re not the only ones. So, for anyone else out there whose hearts are buried beneath layers of calcified sarcasm, we present a list of Valentine’s Day movies for people who just want Valentine’s Day to be over already… but still can’t deny the tiny little part of them that still believes in love.

    1) Edward Scissorhands (Amazon with Starz)

    In what may still be Tim Burton’s best film, an old woman tells her granddaughter a bedtime story involving a colorful cookie-cutter suburban neighborhood that rests under the shadow of a creepy old mansion—and of the strange young man who lives there, a sheltered innocent with wicked-looking scissor contraptions where his hands should be. Eventually Edward (Johnny Depp) is discovered by an saleswoman from the neighborhood below and brought out into society. He becomes a local tourist attraction, he falls in love with the beautiful daughter of the woman who found him… and he’s eventually betrayed and turned on by the people he thought were his friends. Sad and sweet and visually stunning, Edward Scissorhands is a timeless romantic fairy tale that will nevertheless shore up your cynical belief that humans are the worst.

    2) Let the Right One In (Netflix Instant)

    Love, if it does arrive, may show up in the most unexpected of ways. Oskar (Kåre Hedebrant) is a shy 12-year-old living in 1981 Stockholm with his mother. The kids at school bully Oskar mercilessly, and he’s admittedly a strange cat: He collects newspaper stories about murders and sleeps with a knife under his bed. When he meets a young girl named Eli (Lina Leandersson), he finds a kindred spirit who seems just as out of place in the world as he does. That’s an understatement, to be sure: She’s actually a vampire. But the monstrous truth about Eli’s real nature doesn’t frighten or dissuade Oskar, not even when Eli reveals that the whole blood-sucking thing is just one of her secrets. Oskar accepts her as she is, blood-soaked rampages and all. And what could be more romantic than someone who truly sees you, even at your worst, and doesn’t flinch?

    3) Chasing Amy (Netflix Instant, Amazon Prime)

    Everybody you might potentially fall in love with comes with baggage. You either deal with it or you let it become an insurmountable obstacle, even if it’s really just your own bullshit that’s standing in the way of your happiness. In Kevin Smith’s Chasing Amy, Holden McNeil (Ben Affleck) falls hard for a girl named Alyssa Jones (Joey Lauren Adams). The only problem? She’s into the ladies and has no interest in “switching teams.” Nevertheless, she can’t deny a certain connection with Holden, and they embark on a relationship for which they have no road map whatsoever, one littered with hazards in the form of Holden’s insecurity and incapability of accepting that, if she’s choosing to be with him, he can’t keep second-guessing that decision. It’s a messy, emotionally complex rom-com that delves into issues more people have to deal with in the dating world as sexual fluidity becomes more commonplace and more openly acknowledged. In the end, it’s all a clusterfuck… but that doesn’t mean the journey wasn’t worth taking.

    4) Adventureland (Netflix Instant)

    Speaking of messy, don’t you hate it when you fall for the cute girl at work but she’s too busy messing around with the married asshole who pretends to have once played a gig with Lou Reed but is transparently lying about it to seriously give your attentions any consideration? That’s the kerfuffle in which young James Brennan (Jesse Eisenberg) finds himself when he takes a summer gig working at a shitty Pennsylvania theme park and meets Emily (Kristen Stewart), who’s hung up on guitar-playing married pretty-boy Mike (Ryan Reynolds). With his parents suffering financial troubles, James is watching the future he had all planned out crumble before him, but he decides it doesn’t matter if he can just convince Em that Mike is stringing her along and win her heart. Part coming-of-age tale, part painfully earnest young adult romance, Adventureland explores the good things that can happen when everything else is falling apart—and the reality that getting to those good things often isn’t easy. It was written and directed by Superbad’s Greg Mottola, and in my estimation it’s a better movie.

    5) Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (Amazon Prime)

    Is it worth trying again for the love of your life? What if you know it probably won’t work out? What if it’s almost certain that the same things that doomed the relationship the first time will sink it again this time around? There’s something very human about chasing love in spite of all the warning signs flashing red, and that’s at the heart of Michel Gondry and Charlie Kaufman’s sci-fi romantic drama Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. Joel (Jim Carrey) and Clementine (Kate Winslet) are coming off a nasty breakup. Anyone who’s been in that position has probably wished they could just flip a switch and forget all about the other person, but in the world of Sunshine, you really can. When Joel learns that Clementine has undergone a procedure to make her forget him, he decides to do the same… but then changes his mind midway through the process. He flees across the landscape of his subconscious, clinging to the last memories of Clementine as darkness pursues them. It’s strange and surreal and beautiful, reminding us that even the most painful memories carry worth, even if it doesn’t always seem like it.

    6) Seeking a Friend for the End of the World (Netflix Instant)

    I think most people have met a potential love interest when the timing just didn’t work. Maybe only one of you is single. Maybe they’re only in town on business and about to fly back home to the other side of the world. Whatever the reason, there are few cases of bad timing worse than the one faced by Dodge (Steve Carell) and Penny (Keira Knightley), who meet each other mere weeks before an asteroid is due to destroy human civilization. Dodge’s wife has left him and Penny has dumped her boyfriend, so the timing would actually be great if not for the whole apocalypse thing. Regardless, they set out on a road trip to find Dodge’s old high school sweetheart and then a way back to England so Penny can see her family one last time. Along the way, their new friendship becomes something more, and they realize that the things they thought were most important in their final days can’t hold a candle to this new thing they’ve discovered with each other, tragically, at the end. The apocalypse, as a subject matter, has been done to death on the big screen, but rarely has it been as sweet and sad and charming as in Seeking a Friend for the End of the World. You can keep your CGI asteroid impacts; I’ll take Dodge and Penny’s cross-country adventure any day of the week.

    7) Heathers (Netflix Instant)

    We’ve covered a lot of cinematic relationships that face major hurdles or are simply doomed from the start, but we all know there’s another breed most of us have encountered at some point: the guy or girl who is just plain bad news. In the cult classic black comedy Heathers, Veronica Sawyer (Winona Ryder) is invited into the most prestigious clique in her school: the so-called “Heathers,” the queen bees of Westerburg High School, each of them terrible. Veronica soon decides she liked life better as an outcast, all the more so when she meets the roguish J.D. (Christian Slater), a troublemaker whose contempt for the whole pretense of high school, and the Heathers in particular, immediately appeals to her. When Veronica suggests giving one of the Heathers some comeuppance, J.D. is immediately on board with the plan—but, unbeknownst to Veronica, he’s decided that the Heathers deserve far worse than a little embarrassment. He has a more final solution in mind, and Veronica soon realizes she’s fallen for a bad boy who’s a lot more bad than she anticipated. Fuck me gently with a chainsaw…

    Screengrabs via Youtube | Remix via Fernando Alfonso III


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