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Kanye West is a blowfish, and other ridiculous things from his 'GQ' interview

Kanye West is a blowfish—not a shark, a blowfish. At least, that’s how he describes himself in a new interview with GQ that, predictably, features many other gems from the candid star.

Sure, some of the interview is actually pretty sweet—he talks about wanting to make sure his daughter’s life is better than his own, how much he loves his wife, Kim Kardashian, how special it is to have someone to call “Mom” once again. (He also basically confirms that every insane rumor you heard about the Kimye wedding was 100 percent true.) But when we look to Kanye West, we’re hoping to get some more of his signature out-there statements—and luckily, there’s no shortage of them in this latest interview. The best examples, totally out of context:

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What 'The Leftovers' could learn from 'Battlestar Galactica' about grief

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It’s always a challenge when a television show kills off a sizable portion of humanity in its first episodes. I don’t mean to be flip about that proposition—it’s just there’s a certain series format, seen most recently in The Leftovers, in which the action begins after a near-apocalyptic event has run its course and then the substance of the show deals with whatever follows.

Some do it better than others. In HBO’s case, that calamity comes through a rapture of sorts: Two percent of the world’s population disappears into thin air. What follows is grief—the sudden evaporation of bodies leaves everyone in the town of Mapleton, New York, gasping for spiritual air.  The Leftovers hits hard, but so far it has struggled to weave its intersecting set of individual traumas into cohesive web of collective grief. Perhaps the feeling of empty randomness, even in the plot, is part of the point, but it also misses one if the great advantages of serialized television: the ability to build memorials, and to return to manifestations of loss. There’s one series that’s made use of this better than most others: Battlestar Galactica.

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Celebrities remember James Garner on Twitter

On Saturday, Hollywood leading man James Garner died of natural causes in Los Angeles. He was 86.

When the news broke, celebrities immediately took to Twitter to remember the man behind Maverick, The Rockford Files, and so much more. Here are just a few of those tributes: READ FULL STORY

PopWatch planner: The summer heats up with 'Lucy,' 'Manhattan,' and more

After a relatively chill couple of weeks, brace yourself for the return of some more action-pumped summer fare. Lucy, premiering this Friday, promises to inject theaters with some Scarlett Johansson-action prowess, while Manhattan, with a pilot airing on Sunday, will place a bomb right in the middle of family drama. It’s tense stuff, so maybe don’t jump into the action all at once. Take some time to cool down with Woody Allen, or maybe Richard Linklater.

Here’s this week’s pop culture schedule:

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What it's like to attend a gaming competition that's as big as a rock show

One of the biggest events in competitive gaming is underway this weekend, and unless you knew where to look, you’d miss it entirely.

Organized by acclaimed game developer Valve for four years running, The International is the annual championship tournament for the wildly popular multiplayer game Dota 2. Abbreviated from Defense of the Ancients, Dota 2 organizes players into two teams of five tasked with defending their home base (the titular “Ancients”) whilst simultaneously trying to take down their opponent’s base on the other side of the in-game arena.

It’s a fast-paced genre mashup that reads like a greatest hits of video game favorites—equal parts Diablo, Warcraft, and any one of a dozen tower defense games—yet the result is something entirely new. What results is called a MOBA—short for Multiplayer Online Battle Arena. It’s arguably the most widely-played genre of video game, and tournaments like The International are a big reason why. READ FULL STORY

I'm Still Not Over... the happy ending of the 'Justice League Unlimited' cartoon

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July 23rd is Batman Day, and I can think of no better way to celebrate 75 years of Batman stories than by looking at Justice League Unlimited‘s second season finale “Epilogue”—a Batman-centric episode that honors the character’s legacy, and one that I’m still not over.

Cartoon Network had yet to renew Justice League Unlimited for a third season when “Epilogue” was written, suggesting it was intended to bring the entire DC Animated Universe—which began in 1992 with the premiere of Batman: The Animated Series—to a close. The writers decided to end the DCAU where it all started. “Epilogue” finds a way to give the Batman character an ending that feels earned, and it reminds us of what made Batman so formidable and focuses on a side of him that often goes unnoticed.

Set 65 years in the future in the Gotham City of Batman Beyond, “Epilogue” drops a huge story bombshell: Terry McGinnis (Will Friedle)—the Batman of the future now that Bruce Wayne (Kevin Conroy) has retired—discovers he is Bruce Wayne’s biological son, the result of a genetic experiment that involved overwriting his father’s DNA with Bruce’s DNA. The sole purpose of this experiment: to create a new Batman. When Terry finds out, he assumes that Bruce has masterminded the plan out of his arrogant belief that the world couldn’t go on without him. Having witnessed Bruce’s life in his old age, Terry becomes afraid at the the new revelation; he fears being as alone, cold, and miserable as Bruce is.  READ FULL STORY

'Rush' might be USA's darkest -- and most interesting -- show

At first glance, USA’s new show Rush looks like it takes Royal Pains‘ “doctor-for-hire” theme, adds Tom Ellis to the mix, and throws on a bad-boy label just for fun. But after last night’s premiere, it turns out that what you think you see with Rush is not at all what you get.

In the series’ pilot, viewers meet Dr. Will Rush in a less-than-flattering scenario. In other words, he’s doing cocaine with a young woman when she has a heart attack and he’s forced to shock her back to life and then take her to the nearest “club,” which looks a lot like an emergency room. Still high himself, Rush drops the woman off with his best friend, an ER doc, and then heads back to his life of doctoring on the run. Basically, Rush makes house calls for a living. He’s one of the best doctors around, but his skill isn’t his only draw. Rather, it’s his ability to be discreet that puts him in such high demand.

Rush is the guy you want to call if you’re a famous athlete and your girlfriend needs stitches after you’ve physically abused her, for instance. Or he’s the guy you want to call if you’re a famous movie producer who just broke his penis and you don’t want the paparazzi to catch you on the way to the hospital. Rush makes up his own fees on the spot—and they’re high—and asks for cash payments upfront.

But between Rush’s own drug addiction and some of the situations his “discreet” job gets him in, Rush is a much more sinister character than the charming bad boy the show originally portrayed him as. In the pilot alone, he agrees to help his drug dealer, which results in him having to operate on a gunshot victim in a warehouse with a gun to his own head. And as for Rush’s personal life, the woman he loves refuses to get back together with him because his work and his addiction make him someone she can’t count on. Rush might be successful, but the way he lives his life causes him to struggle with right and wrong on a daily basis. By the end of the pilot, he has to make a house call to once again help out one of his best clients, a famous athlete, after said athlete nearly beats his girlfriend to death. In that moment, Rush reaches a breaking point and takes a bat to the athlete, breaking his legs, hand, and more.

So do Rush’s actions make this show darker than typical USA programming? Not necessarily. USA is no stranger to violence (Graceland) or the rebel-type (Burn Notice). However, the darker side of USA shows tends to be just that—one side. For example, Royal Pains‘ Hank once had a problem with pill addiction, but it was a storyline that didn’t stick. Or there’s USA’s Suits, where the definition of “dark” typically involves Harvey and Mike playing dirty by getting personal in the work world. What sets Rush apart from other USA shows is that it is fundamentally dark—and that darkness is not simply one element of the show but intertwined into every element of the show.

For example, going into the rest of the season, Rush is without the woman he loves, he’s still dealing with his addictions, and he’s fallen into an accidental relationship with a group of gangsters. Although he might not look it on the posters, he’s an incredibly troubled character, not just a charming guy with a dark side. Sure, he still has a lighter side and a sense of humor that makes him fun to watch. But at his core, Rush is profoundly unhappy—a fact that makes him 10 times more fascinating than the guy viewers got a glimpse of in the trailer.

All in all, Rush’s chaotic and morally ambiguous lifestyle makes USA a more interesting place to be. Although Rush can’t quite be called an antihero, this show could be seen as USA’s attempt to join into the Walter White bandwagon. Rush is certainly not that extreme, but as the golden age of TV has shown us, people enjoy a complex (if not downright evil) protagonist, and if there’s one thing Rush is not, it’s a perfect hero.

Andrew Rannells gets glittery in 'Hedwig and the Angry Inch' poster

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In comes Andrew, out goes Neil, but the glitter will always remain the same.

A new poster has been released for Andrew Rannells’ stage return in the Broadway rock musical Hedwig and the Angry Inch. He replaces Tony winner Neil Patrick Harris as the German transvestite rocker intent on putting on a concert across the street from his ex-lover’s rival show.

With the announcement of Rannells’ casting in June, the Tony-winning revival of Hedwig also announced its extension beyond Harris’ originally scheduled end date of August 17. Rannells will step into the role for a limited eight-week engagement beginning August 20.

Hint: Click the photo above for full-size Rannells.

The best of Colleen Donaghy: A video tribute to Elaine Stritch

By the time she died yesterday at the age of 89, Elaine Stritch had made a name for herself in many ways—for her one-woman shows, for her indomitable will, and for her unique, often pants-less fashion sense—but perhaps the most indelible recent addition to her resume was the role of Colleen Donaghy on 30 Rock.

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Video: Jon Stewart, Stephen Colbert fight over who's the bigger Star Wars fan

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Stephen Colbert has long made it known that he’s a master of Tolkien trivia. But now he and fellow comedy news host Jon Stewart are duking it out over factoids from a galaxy far, far away.

Much like the Ewoks and Rebel Alliance midway through Return of the Jedi, Stewart and Colbert join forces for a greater cause: a promotional video for Star Wars: Force for Change, a fundraiser to benefit UNICEF in which fans can earn a part in J.J. Abrams’s upcoming film. Stewart proclaims to Colbert that he’s the biggest Star Wars fan, which prompts a competitive retort from Colbert. Then, determining that a knife fight probably isn’t the best plan, Colbert and Stewart decided to settle the matter through a trivia contest.

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