In a move of synergy that suggests Jack Donaghy is still hanging around 30 Rockefeller Plaza, The Today Show anchors dressed in their Saturday Night Live best for this year’s Halloween episode. The results were eerily accurate at times, but that may have something to do with the crew probably having access to Studio 8H’s wardrobe department.
History reduces the 2009 Video Music Awards to the big moment when Kanye West interrupted Taylor Swift to talk about Beyoncé. This is one of the most important things that ever happened to Kanye West and Taylor Swift; for Beyoncé, it was something that happened on a Sunday.
I remember much more about the 2009 Video Music Awards. I remember that the show ended with Jay Z taking all the time in the world to get to the stage so he could duet with Alicia Keys on “Empire State of Mind,” a track that already felt destined to become a Hall of Fame New York anthem, insofar as it already felt like Jay Z would be performing some variation of “Empire State of Mind” for the rest of the 21st century. READ FULL STORY
A long time ago, Thursdays were known for Must-See TV. But this October, Thursdays have become a can’t-miss pop-cultural date for a completely different reason: an audio podcast.
Ira Glass and the folks behind This American Life radio recently launched a new podcast, titled “Serial,” an addictive podcast about a gruesome murder and the curious court case that convicted a 17-year-old kid. And it’s better than the best episode of Law & Order because it features the actual people who lived through the tragedy—plus, you have no clue how it’s going to end. It’s narrated by former Baltimore Sun reporter Sarah Koenig, who accepted the challenge to re-investigate the 1999 strangling of a Baltimore teenager named Hae Min Lee. Her ex-boyfriend, a son of Muslim immigrants named Adnan Syed, was convicted and sentenced to life in prison, but he’s always maintained his innocence.
In the podcast’s first six episodes, listeners have been riveted by the details of the case; Koenig has tracked down old witnesses, old associates of Hae and Adnan, and old police recordings and court transcripts. The case against Adnan appears flimsy: There was no substantial physical evidence linking him to the crime, and the prosecution relied heavily on cell-phone records and the testimony of a slightly sketchy witness named Jay. A friend of Adnan’s, Jay claimed to police that he’d helped his pal dig the shallow grave in which they dumped Hae’s body after Adnan had killed her.
But there are so many loose threads in the conflicting stories, loose threads that may lead to something—or nothing. The truth seems just inches beyond Koenig’s reach, as she tries to reconstruct the events and the relationships that led to tragedy, but with every episode, it almost feels like the truth is further away. Some listeners have compared it to True Detective, but I think a better cinematic comparison is David Fincher’s Zodiac, because like Jake Gyllenhaal’s obsessive detective, Koenig has fallen through the rabbit hole where every answer inevitably leads to two more questions. Why did Adnan’s friend, Asia, sign an affidavit stating she spoke with him at the library at about the time of the murder—and then back away from that statement when it could’ve made a difference? Why didn’t Adnan’s attorney push harder against the damning cell-phone data that proved to be very convincing, but on closer examination, is revealed to be shredded with holes and inconsistencies? But what about The Nisha Call, the phone call that likely only could’ve been made by Adnan at a time when he claims he didn’t have his cell phone? READ FULL STORY
There’s always been a strange dichotomy to horror as a genre. There’s the real, hard-edged, genuinely scary stuff, but also the cheesy and hilarious, where we delight in the misfortune of the characters we watch instead of fearing for them. But where things get really interesting is when those lines get blurred, intentionally or not. That’s when you get scary things coming from places you wouldn’t expect, or the unintentional comedy that comes from something trying really hard to be scary.
With October being the designated month for all things spooky, and Halloween just hours away, now’s the perfect time to consider two of the most interesting horror comic books that debuted this month: Archie’s Chilling Adventures of Sabrina #1 and Boom! Studios Memetic #1.
Another Call of Duty, another live-action trailer to accompany its debut. Every year, publisher Activision puts together a star-studded trailer to promote one of its biggest franchises, and this year, they’ve enlisted a Dillon Panther to help.
Recently, a striking video circulated around the Internet showing the street harassment one woman endured during 10 hours of walking around NYC. Funny or Die has responded with a video showing what it’s like to walk around the city as a white man. It’s, well, different. READ FULL STORY
Sometimes, one actor rolls along who just invites parody—these days, that actor is Matthew McConaughey.
Marvel has put out another one of its mysterious Summer 2015 teaser posters, and it’s a doozy for Spider-Man fans. Illustrated by Adam Kubert, the teaser is titled Amazing Spider-Man: Renew Your Vows and despite being a simple image, it’s absolutely loaded with callouts to some of the most controversial moments in Spidey history.
- 'Sons of Anarchy' wraps; see pics from set
- 'Colbert Report' to end Dec. 18
- Reality TV: A genre running out of steam?
- Jack Kirby credit added to Marvel Comics
- Bob Dylan to release covers album in 2015
- Paul Reubens says Pee-wee movie is on
- Tom Hiddleston, Hugh Laurie series to AMC
- 'Arrested Development': A season 4 remix?
- Netflix: See what's new for November
- 'Game of Thrones' actors sign on for season 7