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Truth, answers, and other things 'Serial' never promised you

Adnan-Syed

“You want answers?”

“I think I’m entitled!”

“You. Want. ANSWERS?!”

“I want the TRUTH!”

“You can’t handle the truth!”

—A Few Good Men

Since the first week of October, millions of listeners have tuned into a weekly podcast that reinvestigated the 1999 murder of a Baltimore high school student. Adnan Syed was convicted and sentenced to life in prison for strangling his ex-girlfriend, Hae Min Lee, but the Serial podcast, narrated by Sarah Koenig, has tantalized an obsessive audience with the possibility that an innocent man has been in prison for 15 years. If you haven’t become an obsessed listener, there’s a good chance you’ve been annoyed by an obsessed listener. READ FULL STORY

What to expect from the season 5 'Sing-Off' groups: A very careful aca-sessment

The first time I heard that The Sing-Off was going to be limited to a one-night special this year, I went through some pretty serious turmoil. All five stages of grief passed through in a matter of minutes: Denial that the entirety of season 5 could potentially only include one Nick Lachey jewel tone button-down; Anger that NBC was doing this to us; Bargaining that we might somehow lure Ben Folds back in a judge’s chair with a Warby Parker gift basket of sorts; Depression that Home Free would be unceremoniously replaced as the reigning champs in just two short hours; and finally, Acceptance that while we would only be getting six a cappella groups this year, it was possible they’d be the best groups yet. I mean, not better than Pentatonix, but like, probably really good.

But then, I bucked up. We’re still in for a grand ol’ time, I just know it . Because by this point, the best little singing show that could has made a holiday tradition of avoiding cancellation by any air schedule necessary, and if they can handle the frequent changes, then so can we. No, I don’t want to consider a world where Nick Lachey can’t exchange music puns with the now departed Ben Folds (so help me Patrick Stump, if you don’t know what an appoggiatura is…). No, I don’t understand how they’ll roll out multiple rounds of competition in two hours. But what is a cappella if not a stripping away of the musical fat? READ FULL STORY

Nintendinitis is a real, medical thing -- learn the facts

Nintendinitis may sound like what a grandparent might call a Nintendo system when they have no idea what a Wii or 3DS is called. But Nintendinitis is actually a real name for a real trend of medical problems caused by the House of Mario. No, really.

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Jenny Slate sings Fleetwood Mac's 'Landslide' as Marcel the Shell

While Marcel the Shell may have a tiny voice, the little snail has, as Conan calls it,  “big lungs.” READ FULL STORY

Ian McKellen tries to help Cookie Monster resist cookies-it doesn't go too well

Maybe Ian McKellen should have brought his lesson about the word “resist” to Middle-earth before he delivered it to Cookie Monster.

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Entertainment Geekly: What 'Hobbit 3' says about Peter Jackson

hobbit-3

There’s a moment in The Hobbit 3 that I’m going to spoil for you, because nothing else that happens in The Hobbit 3 really matters.

It’s a moment of crisis for Thorin Oakenshield. “Who is Thorin Oakenshield?” is something you might be asking, even if you’ve seen the first two Hobbit movies. It’s hard to keep track of names in these Hobbit movies, even though half the dialogue is just people saying names.

Which is strange. Because when Jackson and co-writers Philippa Boyens and Fran Walsh adapted The Lord of the Rings, they found a way to sharpen J.R.R. Tolkien’s dense prose into thrill-drunk poetry. One thinks of Tolkien in fussy terms. The Oxford don. The professor writing fantasy novels as a faux-linguistics delivery system. The oldest and most British of old British fellows, with a perpetual pipe, who always thought his translation of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight was more important than anything he ever wrote about rings and hobbits and wise wizened wizards.

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Can we stop talking about how great 'The Simpsons' is?

the-simpsons

As someone who writes about both television and comic books, I’m often surprised at how ruthless their fans can be. There’s always a vocal contingent that seems willing to abandon a series at the drop of a hat, making a big show of quitting it—or at least talking about quitting, should it fail to clear some threshold of quality. Whether or not they actually do quit is another question altogether. But if there’s one question that’s bugged me, it’s this: Why does The Simpsons, which celebrates its 25th anniversary today, get a pass?

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Lena Dunham won the red carpet this year (by losing it)

It’s been 13 years since Björk laid an egg at the Academy Awards. And if the Oscars’, Emmys’, and Golden Globes’ red carpets are the Triple Crown of Thoroughbred Gowns, that’s nearly 40 nights of appropriate and borrowed, jewel-toned and fish-tailed, corporate-sponsored parade floats accessorized with diamonds, security guards, and phonetically spelled designer names for E! Entertainment’s “mani cam” (MOH-neek Luh-HOO-lee-ay).

As award show arrivals have morphed into a shameless interstate billboard—stars can earn a cool million for their jewelry choices alone—red carpet fashion has in turn become a bland gated community filled with highly rehearsed Vanna Whites pretending they actually picked out their clothes. Nominees always look so…nice.

Then Lena Dunham arrived at the Emmys. READ FULL STORY

Watch celebrities talk about their favorite holiday movies -- like, you know, 'The Big Lebowski'

Holiday-PCPT

As the holiday season rolls around, EW got around to asking film and television stars about the movies they like to watch around the holidays. We learned many things about stars’ holiday viewing choices, like how depressingly enjoyable Alex Borstein finds the Charlie Brown movies, and how Amber Tamblyn enjoys an annual viewing of The Big Lebowski.

Also, Lisa Edelstein does not like holidays! Girlfriends’ Guide to Divorcing Holiday Movies is more like it, right?

Join in: Robbie Amell of 'The Duff' will answer your questions on EW's Facebook page

Robbie Amell is getting ready for a busy year: In his spare time outside of playing the recurring role of Firestorm on The Flash, he’s appearing alongside Mae Whitman in The Duff. On Wednesday, Amell himself will host a Q&A session at EW’s Facebook page—so come ask him your burning questions. Amell will start answering questions starting at 3:35 p.m. ET.

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