James Franco Being A Dick of the day: If persistently hitting on a girl half his age via social media didn’t sully your opinion of James Franco, then throwing a very public tantrum over a milquetoast Variety review of his performance in a recent revival of Of Mice And Man will probably do the trick. The irony of a noted Ph.D student in Yale’s English department who’s also published author of both poetry and fiction misspelling “embarrassed” in a tirade about someone being a supposed “idiot” is not lost here. Still, on a day when that Bryan Singer news has broken, Franco’s not the biggest celebrity arsehole at the moment.
|—||In case any of you had hopes and dreams of dating Taylor Swift in the near future, here’s the boxes you gotta tick, according what a supposed TSwizz insider told Hollywood Life recently. Best get learning them languages/changing absolutely everything about yourself then…|
Twitter Bio of the day: The real life Tony Stark is finally on Twitter, and his account bio is suitably droll. Now, let’s see if we can get him to follow us on there…
Mass Deaths of the day: We’re around two days from the debut of Game Of Throne’s fourth season, so what better time for a reminder of just how dangerous it is to be a character in Westeros with this video of every on-screen death in the show so far. The total (apparently) comes to an incredible 5179, which at 30 episodes so far, averages out at 172.6 deaths per episode. Lots of spoilers in the video, duh.
Photo of the day: Marlon Brando before and after his Don Corleone makeup for The Godfather in 1973. Is it just us or does he look a little bit like Brad Pitt in the ‘before’ pic? Or, at least, Brad Pitt’s older, unsuccessful brother?
A Song Of Sun And Sand of the day: Celebrities, they’re just like us! And who doesn’t want to see the cast of Game Of Thrones chilling on the beach, being normal, instead of plotting and feuding and killing? Currently storming Reddit via Lena Headey’s Instagram, the photos come from last year’s Season 4 shoot in Croatia. And just so you know who’s who in the top pic: Pedro Pascal (Oberyn Martell), Lena Headey (Cersei Lannister), Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (Jaime Lannister), Gwendoline Christie (Brienne), Indira Varma (Ellaria Sand), Finn Jones (Loras Tyrell), Charles Dance (Tywin Lannister), Conleth Hill (Varys), and Peter Dinklage (Tyrion Lannister).
It’s weird seeing Charles Dance do anything casual, isn’t it?
For almost two decades, Netflix has provided the world with a convenient, cheap way to stream a wide variety of TV shows, movies and documentaries. But over the past two years, the subscription service started integrating original, Netflix-exclusive programming into the mix. Series such as Orange Is The New Black and House of Cards have captivated viewers and left them begging for more. This list of made for Netflix programming is rapidly growing, and I have eight reasons why that’s a good thing.
- No extended waiting times between television airings and Netflix picking up a season
This is great for people who’ve opted out of traditional cable services for Internet subscription services. Original programming also eliminates the need to dodge certain websites and/or social media to avoid spoilers from people who still have cable and can’t wait to discuss the latest episode, ruining for viewers who wait until the entire season is on Netflix. The only negative side of this is just waiting for the new season to air (like the OITNB fandom desperately waiting for June 6). At least the entire season is released all at once.
- Adoption of great series that would have otherwise been canceled
Niche shows like Arrested Development and Trailer Park Boys have Netflix to thank for their continuation after being let go by their respective TV channels. Netflix is often the last vestige of hope for viewing a lot of shows and movies, but only recently have they taken on the task of making new episodes for the enjoyment of the masses.
- You can watch at your own pace
All of the episodes of a season are released at once as opposed to waiting week-to-week, sometimes longer if a show decides to take a break. There’s no anxiously counting down the days between each episode, or tortuous marathons of re-runs because a channel needs filler programming. Aside from the few months wait (as mentioned in reason number one), an entire season is delivered nicely in a convenient package for you to view with all your justified pauses for important text messages, snack runs and bathroom breaks, just as God intended.
- Shows are created without TV censorship in mind
Censorship guidelines vary from country to country, but they still play an important role in what TV producers place in their shows during the writing process. Without TV airings, there’s not as much of a burden on what can and cannot be placed in a show. This enables shows to feature more graphic language and elements as producers see fit. Shows can be as dramatic, bloody, sexual, political or any of the other aspects producers (who are at their core, artists) see fit to convey the message they’re sending to their viewers. Programming can be marketed to wider (or more segmented) audience based on this.
- Character developments are stronger
This reason can arguably be a part of number four, but I decided to make it a reason all its own. Where reason number four heavily emphasises the plot component of a show, character development is an equally important but separate part. But my reasoning behind both four and five is the same — Netflix allows producers of a show to do more since they don’t have to follow the same guidelines that TV broadcasts do. A good example of this is season four of Arrested Development. Although the season didn’t follow the same formula as the previous three, the show focused on each character’s story in a unique way, tying all of their stories together at the end of the season. The plot seemed to drag at first because of this, but once the stories started tying together, I appreciated Netflix’s adaptation even more.
- Suggestions for other great, but similar shows
This is a pretty standard feature after finishing any of the programs on Netflix. An entire queue of programming is generated based off of your viewing patterns, changing with each new show you watch. You don’t get this luxury with cable TV. With TV, you either watch what’s up next after your preferred program, or you search blindly through a guide that doesn’t always give you an accurate description. Netflix helps you stick to your viewing preferences in the nicest, most convenient way possible.
- No commercials
You never have to deal with commercial breaks that leave you dangling precariously on the edge of suspense for a show that you’ve already waited long enough for the next part of the plot arch. Made for Netflix series might as well be virgins to the concept of advertising during actual air time. You’re hour viewing block is realistically cut down to the 42 actual minutes of programming, so you can schedule your life accordingly.
- They’re surprisingly better than you’d expect
I, like many people I’m sure, was shocked when I heard that Arrested Development was being brought back for a fourth season, but as a Netflix exclusive. I didn’t know what to expect when friends and co-workers desperately urged me to watch made for Netflix drama Orange Is the New Black. I was slightly concerned when my boyfriend decided to turn on Hemlock Grove to get us out of our viewing rut. And I was skeptical of all of the hype surrounding House of Cards. But each of these shows surprised me with how well they kept me intrigued, how much I kept laughing and the fact that I didn’t stop watching after the first couple of episodes. Netflix put a lot of time, thought and effort into delivering quality programming to the masses, careful not to squander its reputable in the process. These shows are among a host of original series, specials, films, and miniseries used to further draw people into the glory that is Netflix.
If you spend as much time as the average, Internet obsessed individual scrolling through your Netflix queue trying to find something new to watch, I recommend trying one of the original series. You might get sucked into another 11-hour watching spree that leaves you dazed, lethargic and desperate for more.
Minimalist Posters of the day: Ooh, so who’s ridiculously hyped for the finale of True Detective? The first season of the crazy good, crazy popular HBO crime anthology concludes tonight and has set audience tongues a-wagging, spawning more theories than Lost and Twin Peaks combined, maybe. For the record, we’re pretty sure 2012 Rust & Marty traveled back in time to commit all the murders, just to give their 1995-era selves something to do… or something along those lines. Anyways, here’s some stunning minimalist art by Nigel Evan Dennis to keep you going until the final episode airs later
This year, I was lucky enough to be invited to the Oscars. While every girl I knew squealed and asked what I was wearing I was riddled with anxiety… How did I get invited to the 86th Academy Awards, you ask? Well, my best friend took me as her date. I met her seven years ago at an event where we both didn’t know a single person. We hit it off over a mutual respect for Chandler Bing, and we’ve been eating pizza together ever since.
I think the most interesting thing that they don’t show anyone on TV is the street leading up to the Oscars. Highland (between Sunset and Hollywood) is filled with barricades with different entry points so no crazy person can plow their car through, killing everyone on the red carpet. Guarding each entry point through the barricades are men in head to toe camouflage with gigantic automatic weapons (rifles? I don’t know guns). I try to take a photo of one and I’m stopped immediately. Completely lining the sidewalks of Highland are the Jesus freaks. I am not talking a few—I am talking every inch of the sidewalk is full of God-fearing picket signs and psalms. Some have megaphones and are yelling inaudible sermons and others just shouting at the line of black cars. Right before you get to the red carpet, you get to Westboro Baptists with huge yellow signs of pictures of Phillip Seymour Hoffman and Paul Walker saying “BURNING IN HELL” and other despicable things. It’s so surreal and hate-filled, I feel like I am heading to my own personal Salem Witch Trial. One thing is for sure: They think we’re all going to hell.
We finally arrive at the red carpet and as we exit the car, my date eats shit and uses my freshly done Lauren Conrad up do to break her fall. The crowd goes wild. There are flashbulbs and people circling yet no one asks if I need any help because unless you are famous at the Oscars, you are completely invisible. I have never experienced anything like it. The only time anyone talks to you is if you are in the way of his or her photo. Oh and photographers on the carpet yell “YOU IN THE HUGE DRESS, GET OUT OF THE FUCKING SHOT.” It’s incredible. It is no wonder actors are crazy. The carpet is filled with screaming fans and photographers who only care about you; everyone is salivating to talk to you and telling you how great you look. We finally make it to the end of the carpet and I decide to use the restroom before I sit. Jessica Biel holds the door open for me and compliments my dress—no human being should be allowed to have her face and body. I get inside and Margot Robbie from Wolf of Wall Street shows me her Kardashian-sized diamond ring in line for the toilet and says “I feel like a guy with a gun should be following me—I could be halfway to Mexico with this by now.” The lights begin to flicker and we are told we need to take our seats. I quickly pee and head to my seat.
It’s around this time that you realize you are STARVING and haven’t had any food since breakfast at 9 a.m. It’s hot and you feel like you’re going to pass out. After waiting for my date’s category, her dad and I decide to hit the bar and just watch from the monitor behind the bar and slam a few drinks to make this tolerable. The Academy really needs to spring for more hors d’oeuvres options because now everyone is hammered. My date comes out after her category and we decide to watch the rest of the show in the greenroom where there is pizza. This is where the presenters and winners are hanging out and it’s pretty jarring. Some guy picks up my purse that had fallen off my seat and I say “Thank you… Channing Tatum” and my dress gets caught on Jennifer Garner and we awkwardly laugh and someone tries to separate us. The lovely pregnant Kerry Washington asks me if she could have the Slim Jim in my purse. Glenn Close shows us her Oscar secret, which is a handmade corset and a dress long enough to hide her comfortable shoes. Miss J is sashaying around the room being crazy fabulous and I am one of maybe two non-famous people there. I kind of just sit there and smile creepily when someone catches me staring—shout out to Penelope Cruz.
After the show we go backstage where I meet Brad and Angelina. Brad Pitt smells amazing, like nothing I’ve ever smelled. Eventually we ask what cologne he’s wearing and he tells us, “I don’t wear cologne, it’s just my musk I guess.” I have to choose not to believe him because it would just be unfair to mankind. Angelina is gorgeous and elegant and they are like The Sun and The Moon.
The show ends and we’re ready to party. Everyone goes to Vanity Fair where, much like the Oscars, photographers yell at you and no one gives a shit that you are a human being unless you’re famous. We can’t enjoy ourselves because everyone, whether they know my date or not, has some weird story they just NEED to tell her as they stand in front of me pushing me out of the circle. I get tired of this and decide to follow Bill Murray around the party. At one point he looks in my direction and winks at me while dancing to “If You Want My Body and You Think I’m Sexy” by Rod Stewart—a moment, I now realize, my whole life had been leading up to.
|—||So you might not know her name, but Laura Simpson has been immortalised by the internet as the girl Jennifer Lawrence grabbed onto when she fell over at the Oscars this year. Ms Simpson also happens to be Lawrence’s best friend and was the actress’ date for that evening. Fortunately for those of us without megastar actor friends, Simpson has written an account of her night at the pinnacle of Hollywood over on MySpace (yeah, it seems like that’s back again? Time to fire up those top eights). The best parts? Flirty dancing Bill fuckin’ Murray, and Glenn Close’s covert comfortable shoes.|