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THE 2015 POPFILTER TV CHALLENGE: MARCH MADNESS

THE 2015 POPFILTER TV CHALLENGE:

MARCH MADNESS

 

We’re back, bitches! Last fall, PopFilter took the world by storm by instituting the very first Fall TV Tournament of Champions, in which we pitted all 35 new fall shows against each other, in attempt to find the one new show that you should be watching. And we decided that Transparent was the winner…much like the rest of the TV watching world. So maybe that tournament was a little unnecessary, but what are the odds that pop culture is going to collectively pick a winner out of all of the shows that come out in March? I mean…it’s March. I bet you didn’t even know that television shows premiered in March. Well, they do, and before you decide to watch none of them, we’re going to help you pick one single show.

Follow the tournament here!

BATTLE CREEK

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SECRETS AND LIES

 

Building an ensemble, and choosing your stars, is a big reason your show will sink or swim. Unless you’re talking about The Mindy Project, which mixes up its cast every six episodes or so. You want some stars to make people trust your product. You want some chemistry – which isn’t just a thing needed in buddy cop movies and romantic comedies, but needed for every genre. You need actors who are on the same page as the showrunner and the tone of the show. And you need people capable of doing the things they are asked to do. Are Josh Duhamel and Dean Winters objectively better actors than Ryan Phillippe and Juliette Lewis? Maybe, but that’s not the point. The point is that Duhamel and Winter landed in a project that is perfect for them, or they are perfect for it, and Lewis and Phillippe most certainly did not.

 

Maybe the producers of Secrets and Lies pulled out their Big Book of Celebrities in Order of How Famous They Are, started at the top of the list, and eventually fell all the way to Ryan Phillippe and Juliette Lewis. Maybe the showrunners had those two actors in mind the second they decided to adapt this story for American television, and tailored the project for them. Either way, the two do a pretty good job of reminding us why they haven’t been around for a decade or so. Phillippe plays a suburban dad who discovers the dead body of a ten year old neighborhood kid (fulfilling that television quota for March), and Lewis plays the detective who somehow knows for a fact that he did it. The two actors spend the first hour of Secrets and Lies (great title by the way – was Mystery! taken?) flailing and screaming and crying and proving themselves totally incapable of what they’re being asked to do. By the time the pilot’s final twist is revealed – a twist that is telegraphed from minute six – Lewis and Phillippe have talked you out of coming back next week, even from a hatewatch stance.

 

Josh Duhamel and Dean Winter might not be future Hall of Famers, but they’ve always been likable actors who rise above the crap that they are in, or keep the good stuff floating. Winter plays a small town detective who is pissed when Duhamel’s FBI agent moves in to help clean up the town. Capitalizing on the tension between the police and the FBI may seem unnecessary, seeing as how we had every action movie and television show of the 1980’s, but it’s the type of plot point that pilots revolve around, and then gets forgotten as episodes and seasons go on. Much like Secrets and Lies, the details don’t matter – it all relies on the chemistry of the two stars. Even in something like True Detective the details don’t matter. You might think you kept watching just to get every ounce of information about the Yellow King, but the thing that hooked you initially was Rust and Marty, Matthew and Woody. Battle Creek knows this, and forces it at times. It knows it needs to have its heroes have the same conversations we’ve seen in Rush Hour, Lethal Weapon, and 48HRS. We need to know immediately which one is the Paula Abdul, and which one is the M.C. Skat Kat. But for every forced “I don’t know who you are or what you’re saying,” there’s another conversation or line of dialogue that is legitimately funny, or at least refreshing.

 

I’ve purposefully kept myself from talking about the fact that Battle Creek is created by Vince Gilligan. This is not CBS’ Breaking Bad. This is CBS’ attempt at putting the procedural aspect of their shows, not to mention the dark, humorless tone of their shows, in the background and deliver a more balanced hour of television. Battle Creek easily moves on to round two.

– Ryan Haley

 

NEXT: THE LAST MAN ON EARTH vs. CSI: CYBER

PopFilter Podcast Episode 186

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The taste buds are back! And with 2014 now a thing of the past, they can finally move on a take a long look back at Parks and Recreation! They build it a mountain, talk about it a lot and then, when the Hall of Fame comes calling, maybe something happens with that. Who knows?!

Answer: You know. Or you will. Once you listen.

TRAILER TRASH

TRAILER TRASH

In which we review the films opening this weekend, just based on the trailer, to 100 percent accuracy.

FOCUS


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REJECTED TAGLINE: What if a Boy Kissed a Girl, But the Boy Was Black, and the Girl Was Blonde?

REVIEW: Will Smith returns to form, or at least as much of it as he can remember. The movie moves quick, as directors Glenn Ficarra and John Requa create their best impression of what Will Smith thinks a movie should be. Margot Robbie does an admirable job, proving that she will be allowed to star in one movie a year for the next six years or so, until she gets to join that long list of legendary ladies who are just slightly too old for studios to put them in their movies. Focus is a departure for the directors of I Love You, Phillip Morris and Crazy Stupid Love, but the whole movie makes you wonder why it isn’t a superhero movie. The nerve of these guys.

SPOILER: If you’ve watched that trailer, you know there’s nothing left to spoil.

RATING: **1/2 (out of ****)

 

THE LAZARUS EFFECT


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REJECTED TAGLINE: From Some Producers Who Saw Pet Semetary When They Were Kids And Love It Today As Much As They Did Then

REVIEW: Thanks to pulling names out of a Casting Hat, The Lazarus Effect brings together Olivia Wilde, Mark Duplass, Troy from Community, and Quicksilver and makes them run from one room to the next. The Grey People who haunt every horror movie do some of their best work, but the Black Liquid that haunts every horror movie has definitely had better performances.

SPOILER: Each character fits the sentence “This is why you left Community” to Donald Glover’s character at some point during the movie. It’s never subtle or contextualized.

RATING: ** (out of ****)

 

MAPS TO THE STARS


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REJECTED TAGLINE: Sometimes, People Call it Hollyweird. 

REVIEW: David Cronenberg is back, and in one of the craziest decisions ever, has decided he needs his own Leonardo DiCaprio, and has selected Robert Pattinson. Pattinson continues his tour of making everyone believe he isn’t the worst, while Cronenberg continues to let everyone know that he can still be weird. Cronenberg keeps his Cronenberg-iness in check for the most part, but the normal parts make you wish they were weird, and the weird parts make you wish they were normal.

SPOILER: Julianne Moore sings the theme song over the credits, called Raps to the Stars (feat. DMX).

RATING: **1/2 (out of ****)

Super Hero Hour Hour 2/27

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On this episode of the Super Hero Hour Hour, Mike and Ryan both discuss Agent Carter’s wrap up, along with Arrow, Gotham and The Walking Dead. It’s awesome!!!!

PopFilter Podcast 185 pt. 2

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You thought it’d never happen but here it is! BOTYFILMSPART2!!! What does that mean? As if you have to ask- it’s the best films of the year, counting down 5-1. The friends have a laugh, have a love, have a life. Maybe not the last one, but 2014 is done Filterinos!!!

THESE CELEBRITIES LOST WEIGHT WITH THIS ONE EASY STEP!

THESE CELEBRITIES LOST WEIGHT WITH

THIS ONE EASY STEP!

 

We all know that celebrities have it much easier than we do. We don’t have the time to lose weight by eating better or exercising, so when possible, why don’t we steal their secrets. This is the one secret that the celebrities don’t want you to know.

BEYONCE

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Oh my goodness! What happened to Beyonce!?! The once gorgeous pop princess now has a beer gut. And although she has never been seen drinking beer while at this weight, what other reason could there be. Let’s see her after the celebrity secret weight loss tip.

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Wow! The secret works! But Beyonce might just be a one-off. Let’s take a look at some other celebrities to see if it works for anyone else.

 

JEWEL

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Her hands are small, I know, but that tummy is HUGE! What the hell, Jewel? Maybe you write more poetry and fewer grocery lists…grocery lists that probably have junk food on them. I doubt the celebrity secret will work on her.

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Look at that! Her cowboy boyfriend left her alone for this picture, but that’s probably because he’s only into fatties. Don’t worry, Jewel! You’ll find a different cowboy who likes women who aren’t fat!

 

JESSICA ALBA

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Jessica Alba? More like Jessica Allbutter! This once gorgeous actress is now a cow. Look at that gut! I think these Idle Hands are no longer idle, but instead cramming food in her mouth. There’s no way the secret is going to work on her.

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Look at Jessica Alba – more like Jessica Albacore…because it looks like she did exercises on her core! That was a close one. Better not let that happen again, Jess!

 

KIM KARDASHIAN

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It turns out that Kim Kardashian actually broke the internet by sitting on it. I know that most of you think that this is a picture of Kim with her head spun half way around, and that load you’re looking at is her legendary fat ass (and fat shoulder blades), but that’s the front of her! What a fatty!

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Now in her new form, Kim is left to break the internet without relying on shocking people with her big ol’ body parts. Good job, Kim!

 

ANGELINA JOLIE

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Ever since we saw her in Cyborg 2: Cyborgs on Vacation, we knew Angelina Jolie would stay beautiful forever. Or at least until she got old. Or at least until she got fat. Based on this picture, fat beat old by a good ten years.

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And just like that, Angelina Jolly is back to Angelina Jolie. I bet Brad Pitt is happy with this turnaround, because that’s her husband I think!

 

JESSICA SIMPSON

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We all thought that Jessica Simpson’s fame lasted as long as her talent would allow, but it was actually because she got super fat. That “Best of 2013″ mark in the corner of the picture denotes that Jessica Simpson is one of the best people that weighs at least 2,013 pounds. There’s no way that the secret can work for this ton-of-fun.

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Now that she’s thin again, will Jessica go back to being famous? Probably not, but that’s OK…she’s not fat anymore!

THE SECRET?: BECOME A CELEBRITY. PEOPLE WILL JUST HELP YOU GET THINNER. I ASSUME. I DON’T KNOW. HOW THE HELL WOULD I KNOW WHAT THE SECRET IS?






TOP FIVE COMICS YOU SHOULD BE EXCITED ABOUT THIS WEEK

TODAY’S PANEL

In which we preview the biggest books in stores today!

1. BATMAN #39

BATMAN 39

PANELIST #1: The Joker

One of the few cool things about the New 52 so far is how they (Scott Snyder) has dealt with The Joker. In just a few short years, he’s been established and re-established as the scariest part of this universe, and every time he leaves and comes back, it feels like a big deal. This is the second-to-last issue of this particular Joker story, so make sure you get the last couple of issues, beginning with Batman facing off against a Joker-crazed Justice League.

2. ALL-NEW X-MEN #38

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PANELIST #2: Brian Michael Bendis

When Bendis left the Avengers titles, he was handed the keys not only to the X-Men franchise, but also Guardians of the Galaxy. That might seem like an odd combo, but Bendis has so far done a pretty good job of coming up with ways to get these two wacky teams involved with each other every once in awhile. He even got Peter Quill to settle down a little and hook up with Kitty Pride. Bendis is leaving the X-Men books soon (probably to put him on a Marvel Studios-owned character or franchise), so get in on ANXM as soon as possible. It’s been one of Marvel’s most consistent series, despite starting with the premise of bringing the original 60’s X-Men to the modern day.

3. AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #15

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PANELIST #3: Peter Parker

We haven’t spent a lot of quality time with Pete over the last couple of years. Otto Octavious was in control of his body for a long time, and by the time we finally got Peter back, he was followed by 1,000 other Spider-Men. Writer Dan Slott clearly enjoys the big crossovers, but I think he excels more at the issues where not a ton happens. It’ll be interesting to see what Slott has planned when he doesn’t have a ton planned.

4. THE FLASH #39

THE FLASH 39

PANELIST #4: FUTURE FLASH

For awhile now, Barry Allen has been stuck inside his powers, while some dickhead imposter runs around being a dickhead. Future Flash might seem like a breath of fresh evil air, but his most important quality seems to be highlighting how boring Barry is, and showing that boring might be more interesting than consistently inconsistent.

5. CHEW #46

Chew_46PANELIST #5: ROB GUILLORY

I don’t know if it’s official how many more issues Chew has (most say it’ll end at issue 60), but in case you’ve been waiting to read it, this is a starting point that will probably take you quite nicely to the end, or at least as nice as anything can be in this book. Artist Rob Guillory is routinely the MVP here, drawing in a style that not only adds to Chew’s absurdity, but it also somehow makes the dark and violent stuff that much more dark and violent. He’s also able to jam pack every panel with little gifts, so if this is your first issue of Chew, make sure to scour every panel.

 – Ryan Haley

WHAT TYPE OF FANBOY ARE YOU?

WHAT TYPE OF FANBOY ARE YOU?

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In which PopFilter helps you out in trying to decide which one single route of pop culture consumer is best for you.

What types of books do you like?

A) Harry Potter

B) Game of Thrones

C) Marvel Comics

D) Doctor Who

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What type of movies of television shows do you like?

A) The Harry Potter movies

B) The Game of Thrones television show

C) Movies like Iron Man and Marvel’s The Avengers

D) The Doctor Who television show

If you were to dress up as a character you like, who would it be?

A) Harry Potter

B) Someone from Game of Thrones

C) Iron Man

D) Doctor Who

RESULTS!!!

 

If you answered mostly A’s, you enjoy…

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HARRY POTTER

It seems like you like Harry Potter. You might like other stuff, and that’s OK. People might like Harry Potter more than you, and that’s OK too.

If you answered mostly B’s, you enjoy…

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GAME OF THRONES

You might like Harry Potter as much as you like Game of Thrones. If you think that might be the case, take the quiz again.

If you answered mostly C’s, you enjoy…

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MARVEL COMICS

That doesn’t mean you like comics. You just like the characters owned by Marvel. If you enjoy the movies and television shows, but have never tried reading the comics, continue that trend. You’re not a fucking nerd.

If you answered mostly D’s, you enjoy…

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DOCTOR WHO

It’s just science, man. It’s not the end of the world. 




WHICH CHARACTER MADE COMPLETELY OF SHIT ARE YOU?

WHICH CHARACTER MADE COMPLETELY OF SHIT ARE YOU?

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What is your favorite holiday?

A) Christmas

B) Easter

C) Mark Millar’s birthday

D) Nudey Magazine Day

 

What is the best way to destroy you?

A) Lack of Christmas Spirit

B) An Aerosol Can

C) Bleach

D) A Pair of Boots

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What is your dream career?

A) Bringing cheer.

B) Killing Angels.

C) Being a Right-Hand Man

D) Sitting on a Door Step

 

Who do you want to be your boss?

A) A Little Jewish Boy

B) The Demon Azrael.

C) Mr. Rictus

D) No one, because you don’t like to be told your business, Devil Woman.

 

 

RESULTS

 

If you answered mostly A’s, you’re…

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MR. HANKY THE CHRISTMAS POO (SOUTH PARK)\

You’re a fun loving, happy piece of shit that smears joy everywhere you go. Much like heavenly creatures and Michigan J. Frog, you’re one of those assholes that never shows up when you’re asked, but you’re always there when needed. Regardless, you’re entirely made of shit.

If you answered mostly B’s, you’re…

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THE GOLGOTHAN (DOGMA)

You might not be the most Alpha personalty, and need a strong guiding force in your life, but when called for, you’re there. It’s hard for you to tell right or wrong, but your friends are your friends, and you’re loyal to a fault. Regardless, you’re entirely made of shit.

If you answered mostly C’s, you’re…

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SHITHEAD (WANTED)

Just because you were created from the minds (and butts) of the 666 most evil people ever, that doesn’t keep you from making your own evil name. When people tell you what to do, you might put up a stink, but when it comes to partying, you’re a gas. Farts poops. Regardless, you’re entirely made of shit.

If you answered mostly D’s, you’re…

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BAG OF DOG POOP (BILLY MADISON)

Never one to be sad that you were abandoned, you’re the kind of person to let the past be the past and just light the future on fire. You make scores of young boys laugh just by watching you, and old men throw on their boots and dance around. Just be careful: even though you’re shit, you might be called poop. Regardless, you’re entirely made of shit. 





TOP FIVE BLU RAYS OF THE WEEK

THE TUESDAY BLUES

In which we count down the Top Five Blu-Rays coming out today!

5. BEYOND THE LIGHTS

BEYOND THE LIGHTS

One of the surprise hits of late-2014, Beyond the Lights came out of nowhere to make almost $15 million in the box office, despite not being a sequel to a comic book movie. Most critics agreed that it’s a great example of how to take a tired story everyone has seen a million times and breathe new life into it. Hopefully it catapults actress Gugu Mbathe-Raw into stardom, so we can hear people butcher that name for the next two years.

4. SONS OF ANARCHY: SEASON SEVEN

SONS OF ANARCHY SEASON 7

Most Sons fans know that the show jumped the shark when Jax’s baby got kidnapped and taken to Ireland. That was the beginning of season two. By the end of season seven, the show was barely hanging on, forcing their characters to dance around like morons until FX would finally let them go. If you’ve seen everything but this, then I’m not going to talk you out of watching it, but if you quit a long time ago, pick this up anyway, if only for the last scene of the last episode. For a show that tiptoed in the Cheese Ocean for the back half of its run, it’s great to finally watch dive all the way in.

3. WATERSHIP DOWN

WATERSHIIP DOWNI’ve been successfully able to avoid this movie my entire life because A) no teacher ever demanded I read it, thereby demanding I watch the movie during class time, and B) why would I watch it when everyone else I know who has seen it still wakes up in puddles of urine thanks to the nightmares this movie has induced their entire lives. Knowing nothing about the story, I assume that the movie is basically a Gaspar Noe film, but with bunnies, and I don’t want a saccharine dose of 1978 truth to take that image out of my head.

2. WHIPLASH

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Whiplash is the dream Blu Ray release for most people/outlets, and was hard to keep off the number one spot. It’s ideal because just enough people have seen it to keep it constantly in the conversation, but it’s not like it was a blockbuster. That leaves a whole swath of people dying of curiosity, but who heard about it too late before the movie left their area’s theaters. They won’t be disappointed, as Whiplash offers moments of true complexity and greatness, but enough suspense to keep people going. I’ve heard it referred to as a monster-less horror movie, which is true, but it wasn’t marketed that way, so for most people that will come as a pleasant surprise. It’s not the best movie of the year, but it’s the official candidate for “Movie Both Nerdy Cinephiles and Their Lame Mothers” can get a lot out of. This of course precludes Boyhood, much like every conversation about 2014 movies.

1. BIG HERO 6

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So Disney buys Marvel, and picks something super obscure for their first adaptation. It’s something that no one has ever heard of, and it’s not even connected to the MCU, presumably the main reason Disney bought Marvel in the first place. And then Big Hero 6 comes out and is a monster hit, earning an Oscar nomination for Best Animated Feature, something that The Lego Movie couldn’t even do. And then every other studio in Hollywood floods their pants with shit, because this Disney/Marvel (Star Wars/Pixar) machine is liable to turn all of them into little Asylum Entertainments, praying that the SyFy Channel is interested in their projects. I get that is was technically based on something, but I think it still counts as a win for all of the people scared to death that soon every movie will be a part of an already established franchise. Big Hero 7, however, is another story. This movie is released in 42 different versions today, so do your research.

PopFilter Podcast, Episode 185, pt. 1

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This week, the taste buds drop their top ten films straight into your ear faces. Get ready for part one, where they finally divulge their 10 through 6! It’s going to make you tingle in all the right places. Primarily the groinal regions.

WHERE ARE THEY NOW: THE CAST OF MIKE AND MOLLY

WHERE ARE THEY NOW:

The Cast of Mike & Molly

 

MELISSA MCCARTHY

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Comedy superstar Melissa McCarthy was just recently cast in the new Ghostbusters reboot. She can also be seen in the CBS hit Mike & Molly, currently airing on CBS.

 

BILLY GARDELL

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Television funnyman Billy Gardell can currently be seen in the comedy hit Mike & Molly, currently airing on CBS.

 

RENO WILSON

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Television funny-man Reno Wilson can currently be seen in the comedy hit Mike & Molly, currently airing on CBS.

KATY MIXON
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Television funny-woman Katy Mixon can currently be seen in the comedy hit Mike & Molly, currently airing on CBS.

 

SWOOSIE KURTZ

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Television funny-woman Swoosie Kurtz can currently be seen in the comedy hit Mike & Molly, currently airing on CBS.

 

– Ryan Haley

TOP FIVE SHOWS DEBUTING THIS WEEK

PREMIERE WEEK

The top five biggest, newest, hottest, soon-to-be-canceled, probably garbage television shows of the week!

1. THE LAST MAN ON EARTH

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WHY YOU SHOULD WATCH IT: Because it’s Lord/Miller (The Lego Movie, 22 Jump Street), the official owners of the world, the kings of all media, the lords of millers. Plus, come on…Will Forte. You know he played both John McGruber and John Nebraska?

WHY YOU WON’T: So far, FOX’s “ANIMATION DOMINATION BUT IT’S HALF LIVE-ACTION” hasn’t really dominated. You know people, there was a recent time when we all accepted live-action shows and animated shows existing on the same night. But apparently after just a few years of ANIMATION DOMINATION, it’s no longer appropriate. But Will Forte!!!

HOW LONG WILL IT TAKE TO GET CANCELED: It looks like it could be good, but the thing this is going to really come down to is budget. Did the showrunners figure out a way to cheaply convey the post-apocalypse? Then it’ll be OK for awhile. Otherwise, it’ll go the way of the (Terra Nova) dinosaurs.

2. BATTLE CREEK

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WHY YOU SHOULD WATCH IT: When it was first announced, we thought that this would be the only show on television with the name Vince Gilligan attached. Now that we have Better Call Saul, and it’s pretty great, then I’m not sure we need this anymore. Who am I kidding? Even CBS-watered down Vince is still Vince, right?

WHY YOU WON’T: Because it’s a drama on CBS. What are you, my great-great-great grandmother? What are you, a mummified pilgrim on a dinosaur? Giligan vs. CBS will be interesting, though. Will CBS let something interesting exist on their network, or will they just beat Gilligan’s voice to death, leaving him to die alone on…I don’t know…let’s call it Vince’s Island.

HOW LONG WILL IT TAKE TO GET CANCELED: Almost everything on CBS lasts a minimum of 12 years, so it might take awhile. Most of it depends on A) whether or not it’s good, and B) how interested is CBS on airing one quality drama.

3. SECRETS AND LIES


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WHY YOU SHOULD WATCH IT: Because all signs are pointing towards 2015 being the Year of Phillipe, and you don’t want to miss the boat.

WHY YOU WON’T: Because it’s a serialized mini-series, and if you miss the first one, you want tune in for the rest. And you want watch the first one, because why would you? It’s another “dead kid” story, but this time with Ryan Phillipe.

HOW LONG WILL IT TAKE TO GET CANCELED: You’d think that, because it’s a mini-series, it will definitely be allowed to at least finish its initial run. You’d think that…

4. THE GOOD WITCH

WHY YOU SHOULD WATCH IT: Because your remote control was repoed, and it would cost you $1.4 billion to get it back.

WHY YOU WON’T: It’s a show you’ve never heard of, on a channel you don’t watch, based on a series of movies you’ve never seen. But it does have Catherine Bell, so you never know.

HOW LONG WILL IT TAKE TO GET CANCELED: However long it takes the fucking Hallmark Channel to do things.

5. SEX BOX

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WHY YOU WILL WATCH IT: People have sex in a box, while other people wait until they can talk to them afterwards.

WHY YOU SHOULDN’T: People have sex in a box, while other people wait until they can talk to them afterwards.

HOW LONG WILL IT TAKE TO GET CANCELED: Probably never, the way society is today. Thanks, Obama.

 – Ryan Haley

The Super Hero Hour Hour 2/20

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Constantine is over!!! Maybe!!! We don’t know yet. But we’re pretty sure this is the Constantine retrospective. Mike and Ryan dive into into the latest episode, and what’s right and what’s wrong with it. Also, there’s updates on Arrow, Agent Carter, Gotham, and The Flash!!!

I MISS MY MTV

I MISS MY MTV

MTVLOGO

In which we pretend music videos never went out of style. 


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“Style” is a classic MTV video for a a few reasons. Let’s talk order: TSwift has already released a couple of music videos from her last album, 1989, but they were mostly about having fun and saying fuck off to the haters. This video is about reminding fans she can get emotional too. It’s time for the ballad, and Swift knows how to bring it. The song is a little more upbeat than a normal pop-ballad, since nostalgia isn’t the same as heartbreak and why not make it easier for a dance remix to be made? The video itself uses all of the old MTV ballad tricks. It’s a little writer than the previous videos, but not in a way that would exclude anyone. It uses imagery and effects you’ve seen before to keep you comfortably interested flashing between a loose narrative to keep you hooked. There’s no doubt if this came out in the early 90s it’d be on heavy, heavy rotation. But it wouldn’t be anyone’s favorite. It’ll take a little more than mirror-mouth to knock down how much fucking fun “Shake it Off” is.

PopFilter Podcast Episode 184, pt. 2

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Here it is!! The moment some of you have been waiting for! Join the taste buds as they let you in on their top 5 television shows of 2014!! Are they right? Of course. Does it matter? Of course! Is it awesome? Yes. Of course it is.

Kanye is a Puppet master, and We’re all Puppets

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Unless you just crash landed your spaceship you’ve no doubt heard what happened at the Grammy’s with Kanye West and Beck. Kanye stormed the stage after Beck picked up Album of the Year, presumably in protest of Beck’s win. Beck was up against Kanye’s friend (and woman he is obviously secretly in love with) Beyonce, who Kanye believed should win every award ever. It was six years ago that Kanye showed the world the depths of his douchebaggery when he did this very same thing to Taylor Swift at the 2009 Music Video Awards. Just as she was about to give her acceptance speech, Kanye grabbed the mike and spouted off about how Beyonce’s video was way better. A dick move that generated so much outrage even the president called him a jackass. Kanye believed so strongly Beyonce should have won; it was a grave injustice that she didn’t. He wanted the world to know the mistake it was making. Beck’s only mistaken, in this case, was being in the same category as his girl, Beyonce.

When Kanye first jumped on stage at the Grammys, people hoped he was making fun of himself. People wanted to believe Kanye West was capable of the humility it takes to poke fun at one’s self. Soon enough, he set the record straight in an interview with Ryan Seacrest that Beck’s win was “disrespectful to inspiration.” He failed to mention that he is secretly in love with Beyonce and is trying to impress her with assbackward attempts at chivalry.

I can't be the only one who sees this.

I can’t be the only one who sees this.

Was what Kanye did the absolutely height of asshole-edness? Yes. Is he mistaken about the world wanting his opinion on the choices of the herpes-sore riddled, crusty billionaires that make up the Grammy’s Academy of voters? Dramatically so. Did Kanye bring awareness to a very talented and deserving artist? Yes, he absolutely did.

What has two-thumbs and just received a huge bump in awareness? This guy.

What has two-thumbs and just received a huge bump in awareness? This guy.

First of all, Beck is awesome. Sea Change is one of the best albums of all time. Morning Phase is intricate and complex and yet incredibly, wonderfully listenable. As soon as I saw that doofus rush the stage, I became excited for Beck.  The hashtag #whoisbeck immediately blew up and people became interested in this skinny, wide-eyed, pasty, Scientologist (he absolutely is, look it up.) There is this saying in the biz that there is no such thing as bad publicity. And it’s true, if people are talking about you, even to say something negative, it’s net value is positive because it means you are relevant. That doesn’t mean all publicity is created equally. There is some decidedly choice publicity; being the victim of an self-obsessed rapper stepping on your big moment because of his own megalomania is Grade-A, grass fed, free-range publicity. Just ask Taylor Swift.

Admits to having nothing in her brain. That's what they all say.

Admits to having nothing in her brain. That’s what they all say.

Since the 2009 VMAs, there has been an atmospheric shift in Taylor Swift’s image. Initially, Taylor Swift seemed like a spacy teenager with negligible talent who would not only sleep with, but give her heart away to, anyone famous enough. She annoyed people. Recently, Swift has emerged as America’s Sweetheart. What happened? Well, a lot of it has to do with her latest album, 1989, which has been pretty widely regarded as really a very good record. It’s catchy, fun, and a departure from her usual M.O of whining about whoever broke her heart that week. Swift’s song writing in 1989 is a mixture of a demonstrative maturity with moments of such painful self-awareness that its hard to not find impressive, even if you don’t like it. So while giving credit where credit is due, I find it hard to believe that this album would enjoy the success it has had Kanye not tipped the scales in favor of Swift all those years ago. After Kanye stepped on her moment and left her stunned and heartbroken on stage, it created a narrative of an injustice being done against a pretty white woman, complete with a villain. Let’s be real, America can’t get enough of that kind of thing. The public felt sorry for Swift: the wronged, the victimized. That incident did something that Swift was unable to do with her music: illicit wide-scale public empathy. You cannot buy publicity like that. If this had not happened mainstream audiences might not have been as receptive to the sea-change in Swift’s image. By the way, she’s all good with Kanye now.

The 2015 Grammys

The 2015 Grammys

Here’s the thing no one is admitting: Kanye acts out methodically and on purpose. While he gains nothing helping the careers of others, he does gain something when people talk about his behavior. And for the past week and a half it’s been impossible to avoid discussion of what Kanye did at the Grammys. What happened to Swift, and what’s happening to Beck, are side effects of more self-serving behaviors. That’s how polarizing and monumental Kanye’s influence is. Kanye does things that are in direct compliance with the kind of attention he wants. Kanye, if you are reading this, I am on to you-and I call shenanigans.

If you want definitive proof that that Kanye’s behavior is part of an act, check him out at the Saturday Night Live’s 40’s Anniversary Special where he participates in a Wayne’s World sketch. Hulu is a bunch of jerks who won’t let us embed this clip, so you’ll have to follow the link here.

Look at Kanye. He is smiling. Smiling at the joke about himself. He’s totally able to make fun of himself. Egomaniacs typically think everything they do is utterly necessary and highly important so they have no sense of humor about themselves. There have even been times where West dropped the act completely and was honest about his image. Here’s a quote from Kanye responding to South Park’s portrayal of him (which slammed and ridiculed him.) “South Park murdered me last night, and it’s pretty funny. It hurts my feelings, but what can you expect from South Park? I just wanna be a doper person, which starts with me not always telling people how dope I think I am…

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…I need to just get past myself. Drop the bravado and just make dope product….As long as I act like a bitch, this type of shit will happen to me. … I’m not actually a huge douche. I’m sure the writers at South Park are really nice people in real life. Thanks for taking the time to draw my crew. That was pretty funny also.” He said that the creators of South Park were probably REALLY NICE PEOPLE even know they hurt his feelings. That doesn’t sound like the words of an true egomaniac. Here’s the issue: have you ever heard that quote? Or anything like it? Chances are no or rarely, and it’s because it’s not interesting to talk about. People don’t care when someone is decent or real.We, as a society, have taught this man how to be. We have conditioned him to respond to situations like a complete asshat because he gets rewarded with relevance and attention. He’s simply a businessman who knows his business.

Perhaps Kanye’s true genius is marketing, not rapping.

-Stephanie Rose

PopFilter Podcast Episode 184 pt. 1

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Play

Thanks to a series of unfortunate events, we lost the recording of the first half of episode 184, which is the Top Ten Television Shows of 2014. So, if you’d like, here is PFPanelist Ryan stumbling through what all three of the Taste Buds said. You can listen and get pumped for Thursday’s Top Five Shows of the Year, or just read this right here:

Ryan:

10. True Detective

9. Bob’s Burgers

8. Hannibal

7. Louie

6. Broad City

Jason:

10. Brooklyn 99

9. The Missing

8. Bob’s Burgers (That’s twice mentioned!)

7. True Detective (That’s twice mentioned!)

6. Orange is the New Black

Mike:

10. Last Week Tonight

9. True Detective (HALL OF FAME!)

8. Bob’s Burgers (HALL OF FAME!)

7. Brooklyn 99 (That’s twice mentioned!)

6. Orange is the New Black (That’s twice mentioned!)

 

Tune in on Thursday to see all of the shows included in the Top Five TV Shows of the Year.

The Super Hero Hour Hour 2/13

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Play

On this episode of the Super Hero Hour Hour, Ryan and Mike discuss how much they didn’t like how much they liked The Walking Dead! They also take the time to deal with all the other comic book based bologna the world has thrown their way.

 

PopFilter Podcast Episode 183 pt. 2

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It’s the second half to the best albums of 2014!! That’s right, all of the numbers that matter. In this episode the Taste Buds countdown the top 5 albums of last year. They also may induct an item or so into the 2014 PopFilter Hall of Fame! Check it out!