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PopWatch Confessional: What are you thankful for this year?

We’re keeping things simple this Turkey Day. Here are our lists of the pop-culture stuff we’d cite around our holiday tables today; what would you add?

Hillary Busis, staff editor:
—Jerry Riekert, “a simple man from New York who makes lamps”

—The way Ilana Glazer says “mommy and daddy”

Gotham, network TV’s best new comedy

—Every issue of Dad Magazine

—Mail… Kimp? READ FULL STORY

This week on 'Polished': Babes' Sarah Rayne on going from child actor to musician

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Polished concludes this week with Sarah Rayne of the excellent Los Angeles band Babes. (See them in San Francisco on December 11 and their hometown on December 12.) Even if you don’t know Babes, you know Rayne’s voice: She was Sid’s little sister in the original Toy Story. She did a bunch of other acting as a kid/adolescent as well, but has stuck to music lately. Before Babes went out for its first big U.S. tour, Jamie Lee talked to Rayne about her interesting life.

The best Black Friday deals for videogames, movies, more

Thanksgiving weekend is a time for being with family, eating a ton of great food, watching your favorite TV shows and… spending a lot of money.

With a number of outlets starting Black Friday earlier than ever, here are some of the biggest discounts that should make any pop culture fanatic’s wallet feel just a bit lighter when they return to work next week.

READ FULL STORY

Turn up your Thanksgiving with recipes from Gwyneth Paltrow, 2 Chainz, and Ted Nugent

Coolio

For some strange, strange reason, celebrities doing their own cookbooks is a bona fide thing now. (As are feuds between said celebrities and Martha Stewart, apparently.)

In fact, it’s widespread enough that one could easily create an entire Thanksgiving meal based only on recipes from their favorite (and possibly least favorite) actors, rappers, reality TV stars, and politically incorrect rockstars. (Let’s amuse these celebs for a second by pretending we think they actually come up with recipes themselves.) Which is why we went ahead and compiled the best celebrity recipes for three very different Thanksgiving crowds. Here are our picks: READ FULL STORY

Pardcast-A-Thon 2014 preview: Jimmy Pardo on Smile Train goals and celebrity surprises

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Why battle the maddening hordes at your local mall when you could be spending Black Friday laughing for a good cause?

That’s the pitch of Pardcast-a-Thon, the annual post-Thanksgiving extension of the Never Not Funny podcast hosted, as usual, by Jimmy Pardo, Matt Belknap, and Pat Francis. Once again, the team will welcome in a cavalcade of special guests over the course of the 12-hour show, which can be streamed via the official Pardcast website as well as watched via the YouTube channel JASH. READ FULL STORY

Waka Flocka Flame shills throat drops because he's Waka Flocka Flame

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One thing’s probably sure—Waka Flocka Flame isn’t getting a case of cotton mouth anytime soon.

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Idina Menzel sings the holiday classics, including 'Let It Go,' for iHeartRadio concert

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At her holiday concert for iHeartRadio on Thursday night, Idina Menzel claimed she was “schvitzing”—sweating profusely—but that didn’t seem to affect her mien or her commanding performance.

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PopWatch Confessional: What makes you embrace your inner badass?

Let’s face it: If you spend your days voluntarily staring at a variety of glowing rectangles, chances are you’re probably not much of a daredevil. That said, the things you’re seeing and hearing via those rectangles might inspire you to wish you could change your ways—if only for a few minutes after the movie/show/song is over.

So in honor of Mockingjay — Part 1‘s rebelliously action-packed release this weekend, we’ve posed the following question to our staff this week: What’s the movie/TV show/song/book that makes you embrace your inner badass?

Ashley Fetters, EW.com news editor: I’ll never get over my first encounter with Lara Croft. I apologize in advance, purists: The iteration I loved was Angelina Jolie in Tomb Raider, not the video-game character. But either way, I think it was the first time I’d ever seen strength and swagger look so damn cool on a woman. Today there are, like, 20 different badass movie women I routinely pretend to be when I’m at the gym (Run Lola Run‘s Lola when I’m on the treadmill, Demi Moore in G.I. Jane when I’m successfully executing 500 one-arm push-ups, etc.), but whenever I need to summon the guts to handle something that terrifies me, the question is still, WWLCD? READ FULL STORY

'Time' presents the Jaden & Willow Smith poetry generator

Yesterday, words came out of Jaden and Willow Smith’s mouths in an interview with the New York Times‘ T Magazinewords that befuddled some people and enlightened others.

The good people at Time took it upon themselves to celebrate the siblings Smith by creating a Jaden and Willow Smith poetry generator, using words from the interview. Here’s a sampling of what comes up in one randomly-generated poem: “It doesn’t have to be like that/They’re shocked by this harsh world/Olympic-level things/A holographic reality/a higher consciousness.”

Sounds like something out of the mouths of (Smith) babes. Head on over to Time to see what kinds of higher consciousness you can achieve.

That time Jaden and Willow Smith were endearingly normal in a 2010 EW interview

Yes, Monday’s much-discussed New York Times’ T Magazine Q&A with Jaden and Willow Smith was touted as the siblings’ “first-ever joint interview.” But in 2010, EW spoke to the siblings Smith, who were named to that year’s Entertainers of the Year list in the wake of Jaden’s The Karate Kid remake and Willow’s “Whip My Hair.”

Back then, 12-year-old Jaden and 10-year-old Willow were starstruck by other celebrities and just on the cusp of their own respective stardoms. Here are a few nostalgic tidbits, in case you’d forgotten that Jaden and Willow were not always Prana energy-infused holograms spouting diatribes against school and driver’s ed.

Back in 2010…

Jaden Smith was excited to meet Lady Gaga.
When asked which was their most exciting celebrity encounter in 2010, Jaden didn’t spout aphorisms on how celebrities are chambers within the mind, and responded with this simple line: “I met Lady Gaga, and she was covered in, like, steak. I actually gave her a hug.”

Jaden hinted at his future as a teen philosopher.
Then-12-year-old Jaden said his favorite movie was Inception, Christopher Nolan’s mind-bending dreamscape drama, which might have clued into present-day Jaden’s obsession with thinking so hard.

“I’ve seen it, like, four times. I’m still trying to figure it out,” Smith said.

The fans were crazier than Jaden.
Jaden told the Times that he wanted to be “the craziest person of all time,” but there was once a point where his fans seemed to quantify that goal. When asked what the best and worse parts of fame was, Willow recounted the time that a bleeding fan approached Jaden.

WILLOW: Remember that girl who ran up to you with a bloody arm?
JADEN: Yeah. Oh my gosh. She was like, ”I fell and cut myself, but can I have your autograph?” I was like, ”Do you have a pen?”
WILLOW: She was like, ”Sign it with blood.”

Willow Smith got in trouble for eating stuff out of the container. (Celebrity kids—they’re just like us.)
Perhaps what emphasized the “kid-ness” of the interview was this admission by Willow: “I get in trouble for eating whipped cream right out of the container. Bad to the bone!” Sigh. Kids sure do get into existentialism real young these days.

Read the rest of the interview here.

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