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Recent Entertainment articles from Daily Dot

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    OK, we're the first to admit: We adored Boyhood. Richard Linklater's latest film is an epic which follows stars Ellar Coltrane and Lorelai Linklater throughout the years from 2002 to 2014—in Coltrane's case, from age 6 to 19.  By any standard of filmmaking, it's a tremendous accomplishment.

    Still, we can't help but marvel at the tremendous response the film, which has a wide U.S. release next Friday, has drawn in early reviews from its limited release. It's sitting pretty at a 100 percent rating from critics on Rotten Tomatoes and a 99 on Metacritic—joining (and in some cases, surpassing) the ranks of such widely beloved and acclaimed classics as Citizen Kane, Pan's Labyrinth, and Schindler's List

    Since few things make us more gleeful than watching critics attempt to one-up one another's efforts to deliver the most superlatives for a film they all unabashedly love, we decided to dig through some of the language in those reviews to get a sense of the overwhelming praise behind those numbers. In this case, the fact that we also loved the film just allows us to turn our amusement inward. (To be fair, one Daily Dot staffer did pronounce the film "boring"; we're having a Tree of Life standoff next.) 

    Along its route to innumerable year-end Top 10 lists and an inevitable slot in the 2022 Sight and Sound list, Boyhood has accrued a truly impressive cadre of breathless, over-the-top reviews. Here are our favorites.

    1) "Nothing will ever be this good again." — HitFlix

    Boyhood is more than a movie; it is a vibrant, living thing, and it is beautiful, and it is sad, and it is wise, and it is sprawling, and it is intimate, and it is painful, and it is more than any filmmaker could have intended, and, yes… when it comes to trying to capture truth in a way that cannot be argued or denied or even summarized… I am sure that nothing will ever be this good again.

    2) "It's the weight of existence itself." — Vox

    Mason's journey, the journey that every human being must embark upon, becomes a kind of slow-motion miracle. Film, by its very nature, is meant to capture nuggets of time, but Boyhood is all forward momentum and growth. The weight it attains in its last hour is no accident. It's the weight of existence itself.

    3) "One of the most extraordinary films in decades" — USA Today

    One of the most extraordinary films in decades, this family drama is also one of the most ambitious in scope, having taken more than a decade to shoot. Yet it comes across as effortless and unassuming. Boyhood is an epic masterpiece that seems wholly unconcerned with trying to be one.

    4) "Never has so little meant more." — The Los Angeles Times

    Writer-director Linklater couldn't have known where 12 years of shooting this story would lead, following a boy and his family — and the actors who play them — across time. But we are blessed that he did, because it has resulted in an extraordinarily intimate portrait of a life unfolding and an exceptional, unconventional film in which not much else occurs. Never has so little meant more. … It is a credit to Linklater's facility with long-form storytelling that even after nearly three hours, I didn't want the movie to end. …  I cannot remember when a film has moved me more or captured so well all the colors and shadings of the personal, yet universal process of becoming. 

    5) "As real as magic gets." — The Wall Street Journal

    This quietly gorgeous film—shot on 35 mm film by Lee Daniel and Shane Kelly—lets us feel stuff that many features try to reach, but few celebrate so stirringly: the sweetness and pain of family life, the joy of the now, the evolving wonder of personhood. When Mason is still a tender kid verging perilously on puberty, he asks his dad an urgent question: "There's no, like, real magic in the world, right?" You'll have to see the movie for his father's answer, but I can tell you that "Boyhood" is as real as magic gets.

    6) "It's an unassuming masterpiece." — Rolling Stone

    ... a vital tapestry of growing up like nothing else in cinema. Boyhood makes us feel euphoric about movies, about their mystery, their power, their ability to move us to laughter and tears. It's an unassuming masterpiece.

    7) "It looks like a classic already." — The Standard

    Here’s a film like no other, the best film released so far this year. … It is an astonishing  accomplishment: somehow Linklater has kept his own vision of what film should be, consonant with that of the great masters, intact in mainstream American cinema. Boyhood is not just a genuine epic, not just beautiful and moving, it looks like a classic already.

    8) "[A] gradually unfolding miracle" — Slate

    In order for the gradually unfolding miracle that is Boyhood to come together, a lot of collaborators had to be on the same page over the course of a long and much-interrupted period of time. (Linklater has called it the longest scheduled shoot in film history.) Mason’s epiphany about the ever-renewed “nowness” of the present moment may be hallucinogen-induced, but the audience’s own epiphany has been brought on by something else: the profound, funny, beautiful film we’ve just, to our surprise, spent nearly three hours (or was it 12 years?) inside of. The time just flew by.

    9) "The flower is a man." — The Village Voice

    ​With Boyhood, which will stand among his finest work, [Linklater]'s given us a cinema verité illusion of the endless days and nights of growing up, like a time-lapse movie of a flower opening up. It just so happens that this flower is a man.

    10) "It's the kind of movie you want to swim in." — The Shiznit

    Boyhood is a quite astonishing body of work: an utterly unique and immersive cinematic experience that condenses over a decade of life into three blissful hours. It's the kind of movie you want to swim in. 

    Photo via Boyhood


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    Neko Case recently shot downPlayboy’s assertion that she is a woman in the music industry, with a series of eminently quotable tweets. Now, she’s taking on fanboy culture.

    Her latest song with collaborator Kelly Hogan, “These Aren’t the Droids,” is part of a comedy benefit album 2776: A Millenium of American Asskickery, and the video features Case in a Star Trek uniform and Princess Leia braids, while Hogan sports a Chewbacca costume. The Office’s Ellie Kemper stars as a woman who’s dating an emotionally unavailable Stormtrooper.

    The song envisions a future “designed by teenage guys,” where it’s a “permanent ComicCon,” and the video has sparked a lot of conversation about the song’s message, and whether it minimizes women’s growing involvement in geek culture. One YouTube commenter claimed it just perpetuates stereotypes:

    “I'm....I have very mixed feelings about this song. Yeah, I'm a fairly strong and active feminist, but I am also a huge geek. Female geeks. Who wear their stormtrooper uniforms to the kitchen table. That...that particular breed comes in "female," too. I want to like this song, but it feels so exclusionary that I can't. We have enough of the "female geeks don't exist" from the male section, it kinda really hurts to get it from the female section as well.”

    Annalee Newitz at io9 wrote about her mixed feelings as well:

    “It's hard to tell exactly what Case and Hogan are trying to say here, because a lot of this is just them goofing around. But they are very clear about one thing: they think geek culture is for 13-year-old boys, and that women have no place in it. They sing about a feminist future where geek culture is replaced by girl power and kittens, which is frankly weaksauce.”

    But should the video’s spoofing of comic book obsessives be taken literally? Other commenters on io9’s post saw it differently:

    “I think the message is pretty clear. Its about how Geek culture has been and remains more or less a Boys Club that women can only marginally penetrate on their own terms, and satirizing the juvenile fears most of geek culture thinks of the ways women would change 'their' territory if they were able to engage with it on their own terms.”

    Case seems to be critiquing the culture's gendered tilt, illustrated when she lists off all the superheroes with “man” in their name. (Related: Listen to “Man,” from her latest album.) Yes, the video includes some hackneyed representations of geek and sci-fi culture. However, a closer reading of the lyrics draws a bigger picture of where the power lies in that culture, the harassment and sexism that still exists, and what the future might look like if that continues. Perhaps it's a call to take the power back. 

    Screengrab via LevinsonBrothers/YouTube


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    It’s an election year, and certain news outlets are already attempting to dismiss entire segments of voters. Last week, Fox News host Jesse Watters coined a new term: Beyoncé voters.

    This was in reference to Hillary Clinton’s comment about the “deeply disturbing” Hobby Lobby ruling. Watters claimed if Clinton is going to run for president in 2016, she has to use an issue like that to her advantage. “She needs the single ladies vote, I call them the Beyoncé voters because of ‘Single Ladies,’” Watters said, then added: “They depend on government because they’re not depending on their husbands.” Watters defended the comment earlier this week, but the Internet was already on it.

    The Tumblr Beyoncé Voters was created by Harvard senior Sarah Coughlon, who told the Huffington Post, "I was so annoyed by the comment on Fox: Does nobody realize that young women are voting liberal for non-trivial reasons?”

    The Tumblr pairs Beyoncé lyrics with images of women who rose to power on their own terms, as an inspirational meditation on what it means to be an indepedent woman. 



    This obviously means there will be a Clinton/Knowles-Carter ticket in 2016. 

    Photo via Beyoncé Voters/Tumblr 


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    If the aim of the Boy Scouts of America is to build self-reliance in boys and young men, then Eagle Scout and independent filmmaker Jeffrey Simon is a successful product—he just can't be a part of the organization anymore.

    Not only has he managed to launch his Scout-themed webseries, Camp Abercorn, with an impressive trailer, but he has also managed to rope in Brad Leland (Friday Night Lights’ Buddy Garrity) as the camp’s ranger.

    Ironically, this BSA success story now finds himself unwelcome by the organization; although the BSA now admit openly gay scouts, their ban on openly gay adult scout leaders remains in place

    Despite this current policy, Simon clearly still loves the Scouts, and his passion for this project is visible. His primary focus is on the experiences of working outdoors in nature with a group of guys as they struggle to find themselves. Although the gay issue will be a storyline, it's not the entire show by any means; rather, Simon uses the series as an opportunity to showcase what he loves about the organization, something that recently he says has been overwhelmed by “the prejudice of a few policy makers.”

    Simon hopes to "re-direct the conversation away from executives in fancy offices and bring it back to the values of scouts and importance of camp" and concentrate on the tenets that established the Scouts as a "symbol of the prowess of America." 

    The series, which currently has an Indiegogo campaign, is aiming for a release on YouTube, with an intended run of seven 30-minute episodes. 

    H/T Huffington Post | Screengrab via Grey Oak Productions/YouTube


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    The old guard and new masters got a chance to come together this week on The Tonight Show as Jimmy Fallon hosted Saturday Night Live idol Dana Carvey for a series of hilarious videos making the rounds even days later.

    First up: The duo traded spins on a wheel of impression prompts, with both accidentally having to do their best Al Pacino. (One wasn't able to keep a straight face; you get one guess who.)

    Round two took us to California by way of Austria for a touch of Ahnold, followed by a bonus Matthew McConaughey, because who can resist?

    To cap off the evening, Carvey took to the keys to deliver a rousing performance of "Choppin' Broccoli"—his first SNL song ever, this time accompanied by a full orchestra and delivered in dramatic and increasingly linguistically indecipherable fashion.

    Fallon, take notes: Maybe this tune should be the next one in your lip-synch battle rotation.

    Screengrab via The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon/YouTube


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    Laverne Cox has been everywhere lately: She’s one of the stars of Netflix series Orange Is the New Black, was just nominated for an Emmy, and now she can be seen in John Legend’s new video for “You and I (Nobody in the World).”

    The video is a montage of sorts, a commentary on body image. We see women of different ages and stages of life, including a woman revealing mastectomy scars and a boxer with a bloody nose. Comedian Tig Notaro and Legend’s wife, Chrissy Teigen, are also featured, as Legend gets to the point of the song: You're beautiful just the way you are.

    That sentiment can sometimes get a little muddled when it comes from a man, but it's still better than those Dove commercials

    Screengrab via Vevo


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    We're suckers for anything Bill Murray around here, and we're definitely not alone.

    From his appearances on Reddit to his unsolicited relationship advice, the 63-year-old actor is a much-adored favorite of the Internet, and now one of his lesser-known performances is available for our viewing pleasure. Fans are, unsurprisingly, eating it up.

    Thirty years after it was unceremoniously canned by its studio and three years after originally being uploaded to the platform, Nothing Lasts Forever has found new life on YouTube, thanks in part to a Telegraph article explaining the background of the lost sci-fi comedy from 1984.

    Murray plays a bus conductor on a mission to the moon with Zach Galligan (Gremlins)—nothing in contrast with his Ghostbusters turn the same year, but we'll take whatever we can get.

    So what're you waiting for? "Your Moon-O-Rama Consumer Adventure is about to begin."

    Photo via GabboT/Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)


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    We see you've all played knifey spoony before. Or at least everyone at Cut Dat Commentary has.

    The latest off-the-wall YouTube channel on our radar has a pretty basic premise: Viewers get a closeup of a man, a cutting board, an unsuspecting vegetable or other food item, and a ferocious dismantling of the aforementioned with the least appropriate tool available—usually a spoon. Meanwhile, a soft-spoken narrator guides us through each cutting event in hushed, dulcet tones as if we're witnessing historical moments.

    Think of it as having the dry sense of humor of Pronunciation Manual, the destructive tendencies of Regular Ordinary Swedish Meal Time, and the delivery of the commentators at a golf tournament.

    There are plenty of bizarre channels in the bottomless pit that is YouTube, but this one gives even the strangest a run for their money. Let's just say it's cut its way straight to our hearts.

    H/T Digg | Screengrab via Cut Dat Commentary/YouTube


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    Have you ever been watching an old movie or TV show and suddenly notice a popular actor in a tiny bit part?

    Well, everyone had to start somewhere. For many actors, working their way into the business and paying the rent meant starring in television commercials. There are so many, in fact, that redditors started a thread to round up examples posted to YouTube.

    There’s future Oscar winner Leonardo DiCaprio hawking bubblegum, and Bryan Cranston of Breaking Bad fame selling viewers on the pain and itch relief benefits of Preparation H. Nothing says “a star is born” quite like hemorrhoid cream.

    Here are a few more faces you’ll be sure to recognize:

    H/T Reddit | Screengrab via morrisonAV/YouTube


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    You’ve probably seen “First Kiss,” the video of strangers kissing, which went viral back in March. You probably saw the subsequentspoofs, too. Now the filmmaker behind that clip has asked strangers to undress each other on camera.

    Season 2 of Showtime’s Masters of Sex debuts tonight, and Tatia Pilieva created this new video, “Undress Me,” in collaboration with the show. In the video description, she explains, “I asked strangers to undress each other and get in bed. Nothing else. No rules.” It’s also explained that this clip celebrates the groundbreaking work of William Masters and Virginia Johnson, the sexual response researchers the show is based on.

    After “First Kiss” was revealed to actually be a clothing ad featuring models, many people felt the clip was a bit disingenuous. “Undress Me” is certainly more upfront, though it’s no less awkward. (Don't get your hopes too high: they only get down to their underwear.)

    Still, I thought there’d be at least one person who tripped trying to take of their pants, or got their shirt stuck over their head. I guess having the lights on helps.

    Screengrab via Tatia Pilieva/YouTube


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    During Sunday’s World Cup final, one of the biggest plays wasn’t shown on camera. And it wasn’t actually part of the game.

    During the second half, a fan ran onto the field. The camera cut away to a shot of the Christ the Redeemer statue. However, newly minted journalist LeBron James happened to catch the action in an Instagram video.

    The fan had “natural born prankster” scrawled on his torso, and that statement is somewhat true. The Cup disrupter was none other than YouTube prank star Vitaly Zdorovetskiy, who is perhaps best known for his ill-advised bomb and zombie attack pranks.

    Zdorovetskiy hinted at the stunt last night on Twitter.

    He also attempted to get a smooch from Germany’s Benedikt Howedes before being tackled and hauled off the field, but Howedes gave him the gas face.

    How will he ever top this prank?

     H/T USA Today |Screengrab via CeloTV/YouTube


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    “Are you a cup of tea? Because you're hot.”

    “Get off your period and shave your armpits. And cook me dinner dammit”

    “Does this rag smell like chloroform to you?”

    This is just a sampling of the comments female content creators on YouTubeendure, from the fairly innocuous seeming to ill-informed to  the obviously threatening. So at VidCon’s Sexism on YouTube panel late last month, when moderator Rosianna Halse Rojas asked all the participants to introduce themselves and say whether they thought sexism on YouTube was a problem, everyone there knew it was a rhetorical question.

    With even a cursory glance at the YouTube landscape, it’s easy to see there’s an imbalance of male creators to female creators and that negative comments and threats are more often focused at female voices on the platform. But glancing around the Anaheim Convention Center last month, young women appeared to outnumber the men, crowding signing lines and photobooths, panels and Q&As. So where is the disconnect between female fans and female creators, and what is the community doing to make YouTube more accessible than the old boys' club of film and TV?

    The conference itself made steps to address the specific difficulties of various underrepresented groups on the platform by emphasizing the VidCon Code of Conduct and including it on each badge, as well as including programming focused on women, the LGBTQ community, and ethnic minority groups. Last year, seeking a space to talk about challenges they faced in the community, women gathered outside the convention center for an impromptu session. This year, their voices were spread across three different panels of varying size, addressing longstanding issues and hot-button topics that arose in the past year.

    •••

    In March, abuses of power by men in the YouTube space over their younger, female fans came to lightafter several women spoke out on Tumblr and other platforms about their experiences, causing community-wide outrage and task forces like YouCoalition, which was formed to “combat sexual abuse, emotional manipulation and other forms of violence in the YouTube community,” according to the website. Saturday’s Women on YouTube panel broached this still-raw topic, emphasizing the opinion that, while the start of the conversation about abuse had a lot of flaws, the important thing is that the community doesn’t treat the situation like it’s finished, and still gives the issue the attention that it deserves.

    Rojas, who was one of the women who spoke out against inappropriate behavior, chimed in, “We’ve shown a lot of people that they won’t get away with it.”

    “We are not a community that welcomes abusers,” emphasized Lex Croucher. “The most important thing is to encourage people affected by this to come forward and [to be] supportive of those who do come forward.”

    “This [abuse] is not a YouTube-specific issue,” explained Hayley G. Hoover. “This happens everywhere.”

    The question of how to handle such accusations hit close to home at VidCon, which is organized by Hank Green, founder of DFTBA Records, the label for many of the accused men. DFTBA removed the music of three artists from its site in the wake of the allegations. Another man, Luke Conrad, who’d been called out by women for his behavior, had remained listed as a Special Guest of the convention for some time, but was eventually removed from the convention’s website. Moderator Laci Green asked the panel if they thought YouTubers should be barring people from conventions after such accusations or including and opening up channels of conversation the offenders. Hoover was adamant that VidCon organizers and the community at large were doing the right thing by cutting ties.

    “I think this is the time to cast people out and explain why. Explain over and over again why they’re not at VidCon," she said.

    Croucher added: “I don’t think it’s the job of a community to rehabilitate the person they’ve been abused by.”

    •••

    Young women are the more visible component of the fan segment of VidCon, but not of the special guests. This year VidCon only featured 34 female special guests out of a total of 103. Panels that were not explicitly focused on diversity-based topics (women, LBGTQ, ethnic minorities) often had little to no female representation, with the Industry track faring worse than the Community side.

    Many of the women who did attend and speak at VidCon fell into the category of beauty vloggers, a predominantly female subspace of YouTube. While they face many of the same issues as other women in the space, there’s an understood divide between the beauty vlogger set and the site's comedians and commentators. When an audience member pointed out that Saturday’s Women on YouTube panel featured no beauty vloggers, the women on the panel acknowledged that that divide exists and admitted that they were in error not including voices from that side of the community.

    “I think even though the beauty vloggers have more views, they have less respect,” said Croucher.

    “It’s also a monetary divide. It’s much easier to get sponsorship as a beauty blogger,” continued Akilah Hughes, elaborating on and hearkening back to a point she made earlier in the panel.

    “People who look a certain way will always do better,” she explained. “But why get competitive with that? It’s more important not to tear down other women. I just put my head down and write something funny.”

    Hughes also emphasized that the stigma around beauty vlogging traps women entering the space who have been tricked by society into believing they can only do certain kinds of content.

    “People don’t expect you to be well-rounded,” she said. “I find it’s difficult to make videos when so many people are screaming at you that you’re doing the wrong thing.”

    Beauty vloggers had their own panel on Friday morning, dealing with the hate the beauty and fashion vloggers get online. YouTubers like sisters Blair and Elle Fowler, Jen Chae, and Louise Pentland spoke to a much smaller crowd but focused more on girl-on-girl hate. Kalel Cullen, of Frilly and Fancy, explained that much of the hate comes internally from other women on beauty channels, not from men.

    “On the surface we may seem superficial,” Cullen said. “Sorry, not sorry. I hate the world superficial. Just because I want to spend 30 [dollars] on gold eyeliner, you don’t have to! I think it’s so quick for girls to jump on other girls.”

    The beauty bloggers did address sexually suggestive or hateful comments from men, such as Pentland relating a story of how early in her career one man emailed her asking to film herself slowly putting on pantyhose. She paused for laughs before deadpanning, “I did not do it.”  

    •••

    The tone around that sort of sexually based male harassment was less jovial on Saturday’s panel. 

    “Because I’m threatened on the Internet, I take it seriously in real life," explained Croucher. "When you get threatened a lot, you have to take it seriously.” Rojas added that comments on YouTube had even started to color her disposition offline.

    “You start to associate the in-person harassment with the online,” said Rojas. “‘Is this the type of person who says they’ll rape me on YouTube?’”

    Hoover said one of the most difficult things in a male-dominated space is getting male creators to understand how different negative comments are on female-led channels.

    “I think it’s really hard when talking to male content creators to get across what’s different between troll comments and really pointed, sexual based comments,” according to Hoover.

    Emily Graslie, who runs The Brain Scoop, an education channel, explained her own struggles as a woman in the science space and how that affects her presentation on YouTube.

    “I feel like I can’t take about my image on channel without compromising the value of my educational message,” she explained, going on to detail how people ask her every day about her hairstyle or clothing featured on YouTube instead of the content of her videos. “I have made a conscious decision to never answer those publicly. I’m so afraid that once I start letting in that side of my personality that people will no longer care about the educational message. I think that insecurity is totally a product of the society I grew up in.”

    •••

    Despite positive sentiment from women on both panels, in each room audience questions turned quickly to novice creators who’d fled their channels after negative comments received on their initial posts.

    “I was lucky enough to mature on YouTube and grow thick skin,” said Hughes. “It’s worrisome that there’s girls who are young and still finding out who they are and who are being told these awful things.”

    “There’s an angry community that lives on the Internet,” answered Green. “Only on the Internet. I’ve never met them in real life. The more [feminist] videos there are, the better and safer our community will be.”

    The women also spoke of empowering their own community of commenters to help educate new people who enter their space and start leaving vicious feedback.

    “I love telling my audience how to deal with the new people who come in to watch,” explained Hartbeat, a lesbian YouTuber who said she often gets comments by people demanding to know what’s in her pants before they'll decide if they like her videos or not. “My audience will always have me backed up. They’ll be like, ‘Listen, she’s a woman. She likes watermelon.’ That’s how I’ve been taking care of it, over the years. My people are the compliment gang.” 

    Fellow panelist Croucher chimed in, “You don’t owe anyone the comments section.”

    Is disabling comments or just simply ignoring the vitriol enough to increase participation?  Women aren’t fleeing YouTube completely, and in fact they're the driving force behind making stars out of many of YouTube’s brightest and predominantly male ranks: It was teenage and young adult women, not their male counterparts, who overwhelmingly lined up to meet the men and boys they’re turning into the types of stars that Hollywood and brands take seriously. 

    Unfortunately, VidCon as a whole offered little room for real advice and mentorship for creators of any gender to actually create. Serving the two masters of Industry interest and Community fervor for selfies and autographs from their favorite creators, the convention has little room left for creating meaningful points of entry for aspiring creators. Without a space to encourage them, hopefully the words of current female stars are enough to get more women inspired to lend their voices to the community. Hoover’s advice might serve them best:

    “If you would not tell your male friend not to say something, then you should say it too,” she said. “Oftentimes girls feel like there’s only one or maybe two ways to be a girl. And that you have certain qualities you have to follow. If you want to be a female YouTuber you have to emulate other female YouTubers. Not that that’s necessarily a problem because boys do that all the time. Just think about how in movies and in TV how many few characters there are and how similar they are. You individually are not someone crafted by a horde of male writers at The WB. That’s so valuable.”

    Photo via Elsie esq./Flickr (CC BY 2.0) | Remix by Max Fleishman


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    Netflix isn’t leaving Litchfield anytime soon.

    The streaming service reassured fans that it wasn’t cancelling Orange Is the New Black after a satire website’s article sparked outrage from fans on Twitter.

    Empire News, a satire site similar to The Onion, published an article claiming that Netflix cancelled the show due to a feud between Netflix cofounder and CEO Reed Hastings and OItNB creator Jenji Kohan. According to the story, Netflix was not only cancelling the popular show, but planned to remove it from instant streaming starting on Sept. 1.

    The article claimed that Hastings wanted more male leads in the show about a woman’s prison, which Kohan refused to do.

    “A woman’s place is in the home, in the kitchen, taking care of children,” the article quotes Hastings as saying. “A woman in jail? How does anyone even watch this show in the first place? It’s like we took everything bad about OZ, and make this show with the leftovers.”

    Netflix picked up OItNB for a third season a month before the episodes even debuted, but the satire article was enough to send fans into a panic over the weekend. Fresh off a historic 12 Emmy nominations for the show, Netflix told fans that the rumors simply weren’t true and that OItNB is currently in production for its third season.

    OItNB star Michael Harney even had some choice words for the site.

    Season 3 is on-track to come out sometime next year.

    H/T The Wrap | Photo via Netflix/YouTube


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    BY JOSHUA COHEN

    Yahoo made two major announcements at its 2014 Digital Content NewFronts presentation. The first was a tease of a sci-fi comedy set in space from Freaks and Geeks creator Paul Feig. The second was a partnership with Live Nation Entertainment that promised to produce a year’s worth of live concerts featuring talent with recognizable names streamed to the online video masses exclusively by way of Yahoo. And while Feig’s Other Space still appears to be orbiting production and release dates, Yahoo and Live Nation’s initiative just released concrete information of when it’s set to launch.

    A Very Special Evening with Dave Matthews Band at the Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena on July 15, 2014 will kick off 365 days of live concerts on the Live Nation Channel on Yahoo’s online video destination, Yahoo Screen. More high-profile acts performing live from famous stages and locals to audiences worldwide are set to follow, including KISS, John Legend (who will perform Marvin Gaye’s album “What’s Going On” in its entirety with the Los Angeles Philharmonic), Justin Timberlake, Usher, Gavin DeGraw, Common, The Neighbourhood, MKTO, 311, Everclear, OK GO, Wiz Khalifa, Ziggy Marley, and 300+ others.

    “LiveNation produces more than 23,000 annual shows for 60 million fans globally. With the LiveNation Channel on Yahoo we are bringing these amazing artists with great production to the 800 million monthly Yahoo fans,” said Live Nation Entertainment CEO, Michael Rapino in the release. “This channel will create a powerful new way for artists to continue to grow their global fanbase.”

    The individuals that comprise those global fanbases will be able to live stream the concerts through Yahoo Screen on a number of platforms and devices, including desktop browsers, the mobile web, iOS, Android, AppleTV, Roku, and Xbox 360. And once the live performances are over, the Live Nation channel on Yahoo Screen will be home to insider videos of artist interviews and behind-the-scenes footage, as well as an on-demand catalog of songs for viewers to enjoy.

    Here’s a promo video that will give you a glimpse of what’s in store.

    Photo via josemanuelerre/Flickr (CC BY ND 2.0)


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    Warning: This article contains sexually explicit material that may be NSFW.

    The legacy of one of the U.S.’s most forgettable presidents just got a lot more interesting

    Warren G. Harding died two years into his first term, but the steamy love letters he wrote to his neighbor’s wife before he became president are still alive and well. The letters will be released to the public later this month, and John Oliver revealed that the “smutty f**k notes” were a lot more risqué for their time.

    Saving his longform reporting for a story on the wealth gap, Oliver got straight to the juicy bits by reading parts of Harding’s letters to his mistress to the audience, revealing that the 29th president might have been a more interesting person than anyone could’ve imagined.

    For somebody whose surname is 85 percent of the way to a "that's what she said" joke, what Harding ultimately named his Lyndon B. Johnson is really a downright disappointment.

    Photo via Last Week Tonight with John Oliver/YouTube


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    Filmmaker Marcus Haney already had a strong music video in his back pocket when a campus shooting interrupted his production schedule.

    Haney was in Seattle during a four-day window helping his brother’s friends’ band—modern folk-mongers Bear’s Den—forge a music video for single “Elysium.” His angle was following awkward kids with conservative and religious backgrounds as they come of age, specifically as newcomers to Christian liberal arts school Seattle Pacific University. The kids were smoking cigarettes, crushing beer cans, and reacting to living independently.

    Unfortunately, fellow student Aaron Ybarra had access to eight guns, including semi-automatic rifles, and on June 5, during Haney’s filming, Ybarra fired on three students with a shotgun, killing 19-year-old Paul Lee. Lee had been a friend of Haney’s subjects, and the video’s narrow thematic focus was suddenly tasked with somehow working in a macro, contextual lens that was simultaneously profound and appropriate.

    “I was caught between doing right by a tiny band who didn't have the money to make another music video,” Haney told Noisey,  “and ensuring I made something that was respectful to Paul’s family, and which, of course, also did right by Paul himself.”

    Haney’s work transcends the timeliness and grim opportunity of the moment. It’s alternative, almost ’80s-era punk kids lighting fires in the forest, and there are intercut moments of joy—riding dirt bikes, skateboarding, kissing in hallways. But there’s burdened sadness, too: a skater smashing his board, two kids fighting, freshly branded and home-crafted tattoos, lots of reactionary consoling. 

    “The stuff we were filming kind of turned into an outlet for the kids. It was kind of like they were dealing with the situation on camera, releasing a lot of their anxieties—say like in the plate smashing scene. All the kids’ reactions you see on the video are real,” Haney says.

    As a skilled documentarian, Haney was able to float behind the scenes and capture the news. But he tells Noisey the tragedy caught up with him when he spoke candidly to his brother at the end of the shoot.

    “He tells me that, on the day of the shooting, he was scheduled to be in the lobby of that building at the exact time of the event, selling yearbooks for two hours in precisely the same spot in the room where the event took place. And the only reason he wasn't there, selling yearbooks, is because he’d gotten out of it in advance, knowing that on that day he’d be picking me up from the airport for the shoot.”

    H/T Noisey | Screengrab via BearsDenVEVO/YouTube


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    “Happy” has finally gotten the twisted “Weird Al” Yankovic parody it deserves.

    Last month, Yankovic announced that he would be releasing a music video everyday for eight days for his upcoming 14th album, Mandatory Fun. He teamed up with Nerdist to release the first of those videos on Monday, which takes on Pharrell’s overplayed megahit.

    “Tacky” is a look at all of the tasteless things we wear and do, and it’s full of celebrity cameos from Aisha Tyler, Margaret Cho, and Kristen Schaal, among others. If this is what the next seven days will be like, then we’re in for an excellent week.

    Mandatory Fun comes out on Tuesday, and while there’s no official word on most of the lineup, he is doing a grammar parody of “Blurred Lines.”

    Yankovic, who’s been making music parodies for about 30 years, noted that he wanted to celebrate what is “ostensibly my last album” in a big way.

    “I wanted a video to go viral for an entire day and have people talk about that video, and then the next day they’re talking about a new video,” he told NPR. “I just thought that would be a really fun way to do it, to make a big deal out of release week.”

    He’s already off to a fantastic start.

    H/T Nerdist | Screengrab via Nerdist


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    At this point, plenty of Game of Thrones trivia fans will be aware of that the actor who plays Hodor is a DJ in real life.

    In addition to acting, Kristian Nairn has spent years on the music scene, playing sets with dance and techno acts like the Scissor Sisters and Calvin Harris. He was also a resident DJ at the Belfast gay club Kremlin for a good 10 years. You can check out some of his work over on his Soundcloud page.

    Now it looks like he’s going to make the most of his Game of Thrones-related fame, and is launching a Hodor tour. The title? “Rave of Thrones,” of course.

    Apparently the DJ tour will be “showcasing some of the deepest house from all seven kingdoms.” Although unfortunately for U.S. fans, this will all take place in Australia, including a Game of Thrones-themed visual performance at the Sydney show.

    We can only assume that Kristian Nairn decided to go on tour in Australia because his day job involves spending so much time in the snowy Northern wastes of Westeros, certainly enough to make anyone crave more sunlight.

    Photo via winteriscoming

     

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    David Mitchell, the celebrated British novelist who gave us Cloud Atlas and The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet, has a new book coming out in September: The Bone Clocks. But as highly regarded as he is, even Mitchell is not immune to the literary industry’s demand for social media promotion. In April, he grudgingly opened a Twitter account.

    Still, Mitchell is big-time enough that his publisher manages the feed on his behalf: “I'm not really a social media animal,” he told the BBC in explaining his resistance to the popular platform. “I like my privacy ... I don't want to make public the ante-rooms of my mind. I don't want to add to this ocean of trivia and irrelevance, it's already vast and deep enough.”  

    As a way of avoiding that fate and riling fans up ahead of the The Bone Clocks’ release, Mitchell will forgo the usual half-baked status updates in favor of a serialized short story, “The Right Sort.” The 1978-set fiction, which opened today and will last a week, follows a teenage boy who has discovered the pleasures of Valium, relaying his consciousness in “a sequence of nice little throbs and pulses”—or 280 tweets:

    Mitchell has said that one needn’t read The Bone Clocks to understand “The Right Sort,” or vice versa, but that the two coexist “in the same universe where possibly the clause of mortality that is written into the contract of life is negotiable.” Sounds like exactly the sort of metaphysical stakes we’ve come to expect from this wildly inventive talent. Read on!

    H/T BBC | Photo by Christchurch City Libraries/Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)


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    At this point in reality TV culture, the Real Housewives franchise has become a new kind of soap opera, one removed from the gauzy plotlines of soaps past and focused instead on the instant escalation of drama. But the show is also built on a subtle humor, beyond the physical comedy of table-flipping and weave-pulling. 

    Danielle Schneider and Dannah Phirman watch a lot of Real Housewives. Their new original Hulu series, The Hotwives of Orlando, debuts on July 15, and focuses on women living just outside the Magic Kingdom, as real-world versions of Disney princesses (though they can’t actually say Disney). The show has its roots in the breeding ground of UCB Theatre, and co-star Casey Wilson (Happy Endings) used to hold staged readings of Housewives scenes at the L.A. theatre. However, Hotwives is its own entity. 

    “I’m a huge Housewives fan,” says Schneider, who was also involved in the UCB readings. “I’ve watched it since the OG OC series, and [executive producer] Paul Scheer came to us and said, ‘This would be a really funny show, and you’d be the perfect people to write it,’ and we were like, ‘This is our dream. Thank you for realizing our dream.’” 

    Angela Kinsey (The Office), Kristen Schaal (Flight of the Conchords), Tymberlee Hill (Drunk History), and Andrea Savage (Step Brothers) star as the other Hotwife archetypes, stitched together with character traits from across the franchise. Schneider says the characters quickly become personalized by the actor, though, as witnessed by Schaal’s dead-eyed former child star, Amanda Simmons. Hulu pretty much gave them creative freedom on the set, and the seven episodes were shot in seven days—in a McMansion in Santa Clarita, Calif., naturally. 

    As Julie Klausnerpointed out back in 2010, the characters in the Housewives franchise “all have personalities grounded in character-based comedy,” and stay true to the tradition of the character actress: 

    “The 'Real Housewives' shows represent one of the few remaining places on the increasingly tween-dominated TV landscape where I can still watch women older than the stars of 'Gossip Girl.' What’s more, the rhythm of the dialogue on these shows (whether or not they’re producer-manipulated) reflects an improvisational cadence of conversation that I find, at its best, reminiscent of Nichols and May or the funniest scenes from 'Curb Your Enthusiasm.'” 

    The Housewives franchise has seeped into pop culture and been parodied—30 Rock devoted an entire storyline to the Queen of Jordan spoof, and SNLdid its part—but Hotwives is taking the humor of the show longform. Schneider broke down how an ancient reality TV text helped them prepare.

    “We used Beverly Hills season one, because I think that’s where they really found their ground,” she says. “When they started off in the OC, they were trying to figure out who they were; they weren’t always in full makeup. They were still a little raggedy at the beginning, which I loved. They wouldn’t spend a million on a party; they’d spend $100,000.”

    The show has the same producers as Burning Love, a parody of The Bachelor. So how do you successfully parody reality TV, which is essentially itself a parody of TV dramas and soaps?

    “I think we think of it as homage,” says Schneider. “And I think we try to not just make caricatures; they have their own stories and their own arcs.”

    She adds that one element is faithful to the original series: “I think we all got to live out the fantasy of what we would do if we were fighting another woman.” 

    Just south of Orlando is a city called Celebration, which was established in 1994 and designed to be the ultimate utopian Disney community. It was a deep, dark failure of new urbanism, but its existence mirrors a fantasy about Florida wealth and status, which ties in nicely with the Hotwives aesthetic. (So does the terrifying epidemic of sinkholes in the area.)

    Schneider is actually from Florida, and Phirman explains they thought of the characters as “bizarro Disney princesses,” which sounds like an excellent idea on paper. There’s been a Miami Housewives series, but Florida remains sorely underrepresented in the canon. Schneider explained the draw: 

    “It’s a bunch of new money. You’re not really from there, but you end up there. And everyone’s built up these big houses, and they’re all trying to prove something. … It’s a tropical swamp that people built McMansions on.”

    Hulu’s original programming has been a bit hit or miss, so perhaps this could be their summer breakout. A parody of a reality show that parodies soap operas might have a pretty short half-life, but it certainly starts with all the right elements. We’ll watch what happens. 

    Photo via Hulu


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