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Tag: Burning Questions (11-20 of 84)

'Smash': Are you hate-watching it? Or do you still have hope for an improved Season 2?


If there’s one thing critics enjoy more than rhapsodizing about something they love, it’s gleefully picking apart something they despise. And this season, the hottest punching bag on TV is Smash — a backstage drama that went from NBC’s Great White Hope to a total mess in about four episodes flat.

The same writers who once praised Smash‘s pilot are still watching the show — but instead of extolling its virtues, they’re writing with relish about how fascinatingly awful it’s become. And even though I haven’t been as hard on the series as some of my ink-soaked colleagues, my weekly Smash recaps include their share of snarky, frustrated jabs. The clunky dialogue, the nonsensical plot twists, the infuriating romantic entanglements, the slow but steady deification of Karen “Iowa” Cartwright — all of it combined makes the devoted Smash viewer feel like an Ivy-style masochist.


Toby and Kelly (and Dwight?) clock out: Where does 'The Office' go from here?

The Office is about to get a serious renovation. In March, fans learned that Paul Lieberstein — who plays Toby Flenderson and is also the series’ showrunner —  will depart at the end of Season 8 so he can concentrate on launching an Office spin-off about Schrute Farms. If that show gets off the ground, Rainn Wilson’s Dwight will also leave Dunder Mifflin.

And today, Fox officially picked up It’s Messy, a sitcom created by and starring Mindy Kaling — meaning that motor-mouthed Kelly Kapoor is also on her way out the Office door. Since Kaling’s an executive producer and the writer of some of the sitcom’s most memorable episodes (“The Injury,” “Take Your Daughter to Work Day,” and “Diwali,” among others) as well as one of The Office‘s stars, losing her will be especially tough on the series.

It was hard enough to watch Steve Carell’s Michael Scott depart for Colorado — and a movie career — in Season 7. But what will happen to NBC’s most-watched sitcom if three of its biggest names leave for less fluorescent pastures? Can this Thursday-night staple overcome an uneven year to finish strong in its (presumably last) season? Would a reboot revitalize the show — or make matters worse? And who will bother sticking around to watch?


The movie biz gives Mel Gibson another chance -- do you?

Like Rasputin or Robin Swallows, Mel Gibson’s film career just won’t die. One minute, he’s (again) being called “a serial offender, a serial hater, and a serial bigot” by the Anti-Defamation League; the next, it’s reported that he’s in serious talks to appear in an upcoming Robert Rodriguez movie.

A celeb who generates financial success can find it easier to overcome accusations of domestic abuse, anti-Semitism, and misogyny — see Chris Brown, for example. But it’s been some time since Mel Gibson delivered box-office gold. Since his first publicized anti-Semitic tirade in 2006, the few films Gibson’s made have underperformed. Edge of Darkness barely broke even, and that’s not counting marketing costs. His involvement hindered the release of The Beaver, which made less than $1 million on only a handful of screens. And Gibson’s upcoming film, Get the Gringo, isn’t even being released in theaters. (The exception: Apocalypto, his starless, foreign language action film that was released about five months after his infamous DUI arrest.) 

What, then, can explain Gibson’s un-shunning?


The 'Harry Potter' encyclopedia is finally in the works! Which burning questions should it answer?

Where do Hogwarts professors go during their summer vacations? What are the 12 uses of dragon’s blood? What’s behind that locked door in the Department of Mysteries? And why in the world did Hermione and Ron name one of their kids Hugo?

I’ve been yearning for answers to these questions since 2007, when Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows marked the end of J.K. Rowling’s book series as we knew it. (Well, technically, The Tales of Beedle the Bard marked the series’ real conclusion — but since it’s a supplementary storybook, I don’t know if it should really count.) Rowling responded to a few pressing fan inquiries soon after the book was released; she revealed, for example, that Harry himself became the head of the Ministry of Magic’s Auror Department and occasionally moonlights as a guest Defense Against the Dark Arts speaker. But there are still plenty of mysteries about the wizarding world that remain unsolved.

Luckily, they won’t stay that way for too long. READ FULL STORY

Behind Facebook's billion-dollar bet: Seven burning questions about Instagram

Something is always buzzing in the social media world, but this week Facebook’s $1 billion purchase of Instagram is the queen bee.

The deal between the social network giant and the quirky photo-sharing app has journalists, bloggers and the general mobile population (including 30 million Instagram users) overflowing with energetic opinions and questions about how Facebook plans to use its latest product, and what it means for the future of the little camera app that could did.

Why did Facebook purchase Instagram?
Any media savant will tell you that one of Facebook’s biggest struggles is with its mobile technology — notably on iOS — due to the massive amount of content offered and the clunky, inconvenient platform currently being employed to display it. “They realized that their mobile experience was just too cluttered,” said Nick Bilton, lead columnist for The New York Timestech blog. “Facebook has so many different services within the company that it takes 11 steps to take a photo and share it. With Instagram, it’s almost an instant process.”

One approach the company has started to take to rectify their mobile woes involves building out smaller apps — like the recently launched Messenger — which offer standalone doses of specific Facebook features. In the case of Instagram, and considering that photo sharing is the start-up bubble du jour — Facebook looks to have finally found a photo-sharing property that, coupled with other acquisitions, may be the missing puzzle piece of their mobile strategy. Tech pundit Om Malik’s opinion suggests far less amiability: “Facebook was scared s–tless… Facebook is essentially about photos, and Instagram had found and attacked Facebook’s Achilles’ heel — mobile photo sharing.”

NEXT: “The number to watch is really going to be Instagram’s audience”

'Game Change' poll: Was the movie fair to Sarah Palin? -- VOTE

Back in 2008, actor and activist Matt Damon likened Sarah Palin’s transformation from Alaskan governor to vice-presidential candidate to “a bad Disney movie.” And while “President Hockey Mom: Don’t Puck With The Commander-in-Chief” hasn’t been made (yet), HBO did tell a portion of Palin’s meteoric and controversial rise to fame, both political and otherwise, with the adaptation of John Heilemann and Mark Halperin’s shocking and detailed account of the 2008 presidential campaign, Game Change.

So how did the film, which premiered over the weekend, portray Palin? It likely depends on who you ask. Some will argue that Julianne Moore‘s performance and Danny Strong’s screenplay showed Palin as nothing more than an erratic, emotional, and downright ill-informed hockey mom thrust into a world of politics far beyond her grasp. Others will argue that Game Change actually went easy on Palin and showed her in a positive light as a determined wife and mother who simply took matters into her own hands.

Jamie Lee Curtis makes her 'NCIS' debut: Where do you want to see her pop up next?

Jamie Lee Curtis made her debut on NCIS last night, reuniting with her Freaky Friday co-star Mark Harmon as his potential new love interest on the CBS drama. Check out a moment from her appearance on the show — including her slick come-on to Agent Gibbs (“I need breakfast”) — here. READ FULL STORY

'Kourtney and Kim' divorce finale extravaganza: Was the marriage real? Fake? Why...WHY?!

Now that we’ve had a few hours to absorb the horrific found footage finale of Kourtney and Kim Take New York, it’s time to decide once and for all, was Kim Kardashian’s marriage to NBA star and giant man-child Kris Humphries true love gone awry, thanks to the pressures of self-induced fame? Or a terrible hoax (sorry, hoaks) perpetrated by E! overlords and the Kardashian family to make even more money off a group of people whose one discernible talent seems to be making scads of money by doing so little?  On the bright side, it’s over! (No, not just their marriage, but the entire soul-crushing season of Kourtney and Kim.)


'RuPaul's Drag Race' season 4 premiere party pink carpet: EW hosts the livestream at 7 p.m. PT!

Drag Racers, start your engines: Tonight’s the night! I warned you yesterday that I’d be the EW representative hosting Logo’s livestream from the pink — yes, pink! — carpet of tonight’s premiere party for season 4 of RuPaul’s Drag Race at Eleven Nightclub in West Hollywood. All the pink carpet madness begins at 7 p.m. PT — or the late-late hour of 10 p.m. ET for those of you on the east coast. You can catch it all here, below, in this blog post once the livestream goes, well, live.

In the meantime, if you have questions you’d like me to ask RuPaul, permanent judges Santino Rice and Michelle Visage, or other confirmed talent walking the carpet — including all the season 4 queens, various guest judges, and other sundry folks like possibly Jenna Jameson and Jai Rodriguez — feel free to leave questions in the comments section below or Tweet them liberally to #DragRaceEWParty. We’ll pick them up and be sure to ask them. (Check out the season 4 trailer and the contestant bios for question fodder.) May the best question…win!

Check back here at 7 p.m. PT for the livestream below:


'Haywire' gets a D+ CinemaScore grade: What gives?

Well, this is a kick in the pants. (And the face… and pretty much anywhere else Gina Carano could knock you on your butt clear into next week.) In addition to a less-than-impressive opening weekend at the box office, Steven Soderbergh’s well-reviewed action caper Haywire earned a dreadful, if not entirely baffling, D+ grade from CinemaScore.

The film, which has already earned plenty of comparisons to being a female version of the Bourne series, is complete with a knock-out leading lady who knocks out all of her leading men (see left: poor Ewan McGregor), Michael Fassbender (in a towel: A+!), Bill Paxton (with a mustache!), stunning action sequences (the hotel room, the snowy car chase), and a killer last line. So what gives?

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