We all have those moments late at night when the Netflix queue is just “meh,” everything in the freezer has been microwaved and eaten, and all there’s left to do in this world is to tweet. It seems that Larry King had that kind of night as he tweeted with the stamina of a thousand youths late last night (or more like early this morning). It all began with a critical appraisal of Dane Cook’s Showtime special (as it usually does) and devolved into an appreciation of Derek Jeter, Oreo cookies with milk, and a hatred of people with perfect teeth. Let’s try to figure out what the hell is actually going on.
The Walking Dead is a cable-TV show about the zombie apocalypse and the brave band of survivors who are barely clinging to hope and their humanity. It airs on Sunday nights at 9 p.m. on AMC, and millions watch—season 4 averaged 13.3 million viewers per live episode and last week’s season 5 premiere set a record with 17.3 million. By definition, it’s a gruesome show that doesn’t flinch from grotesque violence, and always has been—in the very first scene of the series’ very first episode, a shaken Rick Grimes, still wearing his crisp police-officer duds, shoots a little-girl walker in the head.
That was four years ago, and Rick is now a completely different man. The Walking Dead‘s audience has changed along with him, and it’s become harder and harder to shock them. But that’s a challenge the show’s creatives have gleefully accepted. Last season, a marauding gang of villainous predators threatened Rick’s teenage son, Carl, Deliverance-style while Rick was forced to watch, and his “Hail, Mary” response was to rip out his captor’s throat—with his teeth. READ FULL STORY
So, there’s an Annie movie. And if the trailers are any indication, it’s probably going to be hilarious. Not “ha-ha, isn’t this whimsical?” hilarious, but “Pierce Brosnan is giving his all in Mamma Mia!” hilarious.
But the one thing that isn’t funny is the movie’s social media campaign. Annie‘s marketing team seems to actually understand its target demographic: tween girls and reluctant adults whose fingers are glued to their phones. The latest proof of that awareness is a goofy lyric video accompanying the first full track release of “It’s the Hard-Knock Life,” the show’s orphan ensemble opener (calm down, “Maybe”). The song introduces us to the film’s sassy stars (now foster kids), cursed to live out their days scrubbing floors and singing backup harmony.
The song is fine—and reflective of Annie‘s contemporary setting update—but the emoji are just wrong. SO wrong, in fact, that they’re almost indecipherable to those of us who don’t study emoji lore. That’s why I decided to translate it for you.
First, you must play the actual version of the song: READ FULL STORY
Taylor Swift is not taking Jamie Oliver’s crap in a new parody of “Shake It Off,” aptly titled “Bake It Off.” READ FULL STORY
For Breaking Bad fans, an action figure of Heisenberg carrying a gun might sound pretty cool. But when said action figure is sold on the same shelf as a Barbie at Toys “R” Us, well—odds are Skyler White wouldn’t be too happy about it.
Susan Myers, who started a petition on Change.org, is campaigning to get the Breaking Bad action figures removed from shelves. As Myers wrote, “Their decision to sell a Breaking Bad doll, complete with a detachable sack of cash and a bag of meth, alongside children’s toys is a dangerous deviation from their family friendly values.” READ FULL STORY
Marcel the Shell with Shoes On has a song to share in the latest video from Jenny Slate and Dean Fleischer-Camp. It’s “A Perfect Day” and Marcel learned it at camp. “I sing it because my best friend lives far away,” Marcel explains. READ FULL STORY
Marvel published an ongoing Star Wars comic book for nearly a decade. The first issue went on sale in April 1977, and the series lasted until 1986, a time when it totally made sense for Lando Calrissian to wear whatever he’s wearing in this picture. In 2015, the Star Wars universe returns to Marvel, with the company launching a new ongoing Star Wars series in January 2015. Written by Jason Aaron and drawn by John Cassaday, the series focuses on the original-trilogy gang of Han, Luke, and Leia. READ FULL STORY
While he won’t be going by The Teacher anytime soon, Doctor Who‘s 12th Doctor will now be helping children to learn how to code.
On Monday, the BBC announced a new game based on world of Doctor Who titled The Doctor and the Dalek. The game will be written by one of the show’s writers, Phil Ford, and it will tell the story of the Doctor as he teams up with one of his mortal enemies, a Dalek, to save all of creation.
As watchdog citizens of this great nation well know, the Supreme Court is camera-shy. Since 1946, the Court has maintained that televising—or even photographing—the Justices at work might, as Chief Justice John Roberts reiterated in 2006, “have an adverse impact” on the proceedings. So, to C-SPAN’s undying frustration, the hallowed institution refuses to have television cameras inside the nation’s highest court, forcing Americans to rely on audio recordings, transcripts, and the media’s sketch artists to understand how some of our country’s most important issues are being decided.
Sunday night on HBO, John Oliver conceded that hypothetical television coverage of the Court would likely veer towards 15-second snippets that wouldn’t necessarily reflect the complex issues at stake, a concern expressed by Justice Antonin Scalia. But Oliver has an idea that would spice up the Supreme Court; make it even go viral, perhaps.
No more Ken Burns Effected courtroom artists’ sketchings. Instead, Oliver and his team provided raw footage of the nine Supreme Court justices—with an adorable dog playing each justice, that is. Suddenly Holt v. Hobbs—whatever that is—got a lot more interesting. READ FULL STORY
On Sunday night, Jay Leno received the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor at the Kennedy Center, and the event wasn’t without its share of cracks at the former Tonight Show host. According to the Associated Press, Jimmy Fallon, Jerry Seinfeld, Wanda Sykes, Garth Brooks, Kevin Eubanks, and Chelsea Handler were on hand to pay tribute to Leno, and they did not hold back on lobbing zingers about Leno.
“When I first heard that Jay was getting this Mark Twain Prize tonight, which is a huge honor, I found out it was for humor, and I was a little bit confused,” Handler said, according to the Associated Press. “I wasn’t sure what the connection was.”
Seinfeld also shared some faux bitterness against Leno, saying, “There’s no one more deserving to get this wonderful award obviously than Jay. No one—except and I really don’t want to sound bitter here—except maybe me? I mean, come on.”
As he accepted the award, Leno said he “didn’t leave (The Tonight Show) dead broke like Bill and Hillary.”
Leno will be returning to his NBC roots soon with a new show, Jay Leno’s Garage, which is inspired by his love of cars and is expected to premiere in 2015 on CNBC.
The ceremony for the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor will be televised on PBS on Nov. 23.
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