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Tag: Guilty Pleasure (81-85 of 85)

It's man vs. machine in new 'Jeopardy!' battle!

Ken-JenningsImage Credit: Jeopardy/Getty ImagesWhat is totally awesome, Alex? The headline wouldn’t lie, PopWatchers. Jeopardy! will take two of its most popular former contestants — Ken Jennings and Brad Rutter — and pit them against Watson, a computer program developed by IBM’s artificial intelligence team.

Watson, named after IBM founder Thomas J. Watson and not this guy, has already been tested in about 50 matches against former Jeopardy! contestants. Unfortunately, no one’s sharing the results. How rude! Jennings and Rutter will play two games against Watson with a $1 million prize at stake. (IBM says they’ll donate the prize money to charity, and Jennings and Rutter plan to give away half of the winnings.) The matches will air Feb. 14-16.

What do you think, PopWatchers? Will you tune in to see another man versus IBM machine competition? Who do you think will walk away with the million dollar prize? And should they battle to the death next? Let me know in the comments below.

Read more:
‘Jeopardy!’ contestant breaks Ken Jennings’ one-day winnings record
‘Jeopardy!’ celebrates its 6,000th episode

Bravo's 'Watch What Happens Live': On the scene with Andy Cohen

Cooper-NeNeBravo’s late night talk show series, Watch What Happens Live, began as an online series that has grown into a wacky, never-know-what’s-going-to-happen hot spot for everyone from Real Housewives cast members to Tina Fey and Sarah Jessica Parker. To celebrate the series’ five consecutive shows airing this week, we visited the set last night to get behind-the-scenes scoop on what goes on in the Bravo clubhouse.

“It’s Wayne’s World-meets-Playboy After Dark-meets-Larry King,” says host Andy Cohen, whom Housewives fans recognize from those epic reunion specials. READ FULL STORY

What actor would you watch in anything, good or bad? Our pick: Victor Garber, star of SyFy's 'Ice Quake'

ice-quakeImage Credit: Ed Araquel/SyfyIs there an actor who can do no wrong in your eyes? An actor who can entice you to watch anything that might be on television, no matter how dubious? Whose mere presence can make even a mediocre if not downright lousy “entertainment experience” seem at least somewhat worthwhile? For me, there is one anwer to all those questions: “No. But Victor Garber comes to close.” Garber is most famous for playing Jack Bristow, super-spy father to super-spy Sydney Bristow (Jennifer Garner) in the J.J. Abrams spy-fi series Alias. His intensely taciturn yet deceptively warm performance–part James Bond, part Ward Cleaver–earned Garber three Emmy nominations and produced some truly memorable pop moments for me, like the time he tortured Joey Slotnick with a vise and a squirt bottle of laundry detergent and then shot him in the head. Ever since Alias ended its run in 2006, if I should be channel surfing and stumble upon Garber in something, I’ll say to myself “Hey, Self! It’s Jack Bristow from Alias! Wasn’t that episode where he shot Joey Slotnick in the head awesome? What’s this new thing he’s in? Let’s watch for a few minutes…

And so it goes that I have watched a few more minutes of a great many things that I wouldn’t have otherwise watched–Eli Stone on the high end; The Last Templar on the low; that barely-there guest-turn in that one episode of Glee somewhere in the middle–simply because of Victor Garber. And then there’s the kick I get out of seeing anew things that Victor Garber did before I became truly Victor Garber-aware thanks to Alias. James Cameron’s Titanic is now that much cooler to me, knowing that the guy who played the guy who designed the ship–and then went down with it–was the same guy who shot Joey Slotnick in the head. And Victor Garber once played Liberace?!?! But of course he did! He’s Victor freakin’ Garber, star of stage and screen! He can do anything–even sing George Michael tunes! Which just makes his achievement as Jack Bristow even more impressive to me.

Tonight, Victor Garber will lend his visage and talent to a unit of programming on SyFy entitled Ice Quake. It’s the latest in the network’s line of schlocky-fun sci-fi/catastrophe flicks, this one tailor made for the holidays. Many people find these cheeky SyFy extravaganzas entertaining because of their fun schlockyness; me, not so much. Yet I found Ice Quake to be amusing for two reasons: the absurdly funny spectacle of the opening sequence, which has a guy in a Santa Claus suit on a snowmobile trying to outrun that catastrophic consequences of an earthquake that shakes an icy mountain (hence, “Ice Quake,” one of many in the film); and Victor Garber. He plays Colonel Hughes, who runs an Army Corps. of Engineers facility near Fairbanks, Alaska. He’s Jack Bristow-lite, a commanding authority figure whose austerity is ameliorated by a palpable paternal quality; I liked to imagine this is how Sydney’s father would have spent his retirement… had he not blown himself up to stop that wretched Arvin Sloan once and for all in the final episode of Alias. Garber offers an exquisitely modulated performance, and by that, I mean he does and gives exactly what is required and necessary to make his character credible, and not one bit more. It’s one of those Ed Harris-in-Apollo 13 parts in which his military character is stuck on a mission control-type set the entire movie. It is a performance that defines the word “solid” when we entertainment journalists use the word “solid” to describe a performance. The moment where he barks orders into a phone: Solid. The other moment where he barks orders into a phone: Solid. The moment where he takes a sip from a Santa Claus mug and takes stock of the growing crisis by declaring “I don’t like how this is heading up” and then sighs huffily: Solid. The moment where he beholds the terror of multiple ice quake tremors on a computer screen and then tells his troops “Lets get to work!”: Solid–and inspiring! And that’s just the first 18 minutes! Can Col. Hughes and his team of Army geeks–working in tandem with the film’s ostensible hero, a geologist who got stuck on Ice Quake Mountain with his family while hunting for a Christmas tree–find the underlying cause of the tremors and neutralize it before global calamity ensues? Such is the story.

But just when you think Garber is glumly phoning in a paycheck job, there comes a sequence when he again sips from that Santa mug and takes another phone call, this time from a “nutjob” science professor, whose nerdy-jerky air and hair-challenged noggin evokes a certain JoeySlotnickness. Jack Bristow–er, I mean, Col. Hughes rips into him with enough smirk and snark to make me think that Garber actually enjoyed himself while making this movie. And if Victor Garber can enjoy Ice Quake, by golly, so can I! It all culminates with a tense final act in which Garber helps save the day–explosively, too, just like Jack Bristow did at the end of Alias!–and gets the movie’s best line: “Well, that’s that. I could really use an eggnog.”

And so it goes that I recommend Ice Quake for its Victor Garber. Long may he work–in anything. (But ideally better things. And how about a new TV series for this actor?) (And in all fairness to Ice Quake, an altogether genial, all-ages entertainment, I would also recommend it to the “family film” crowd. My young, not-yet-jaded kids got a kick out of it.) Your turn, Popwatchers. Is there an actor you’ll watch in anything? What’s the lamest movies/TV show you’ve watched because of that loyalty and affection? The message boards are yours.

More from EW:
50 Actors We’d Watch in Anything

Kathie Lee Gifford and Hoda Kotb discuss their EW feature on-air... and then grope me!

This week’s EW features a behind-the-scenes story on the gloriously goofy fourth hour of the Today Show featuring Kathie Lee Gifford and Hoda Kotb. (The fourth hour is must-watch television for those of you who enjoy a laugh and a nice bottle of pinot grigio.) As I say in the story — yes, I’m both quoting myself and blogging about myself — if the first few hours of Today are programmed for your parents, then the fourth hour is for your wild aunt who gets drunk at weddings and makes out with the best man. And frankly, that’s the kind of gal I wanna hang out with. I had the pleasure of returning to the show to visit Kathie Lee and Hoda this morning — but they were not so thrilled to see they didn’t make the cover. On the plus side, however, I did get to first base with Kathie Lee.

Watch below (and, despite my incessant giggling, I promise I was not drunk)… READ FULL STORY

Katy Perry joins Darren Criss and the Dalton Academy Warblers to sing 'Teenage Dream'

Darren-Criss-Katy-PerryImage Credit: Michael Buckner/Getty ImagesIn the off chance that “Teenage Dream” fatigue has not yet kicked in, last night at the Trevor Project Live benefit in Hollywood, Darren Criss and the Dalton Academy Warblers performed the mega-hit “Teenage Dream” with a very special surprise guest. About halfway through the performance, Katy Perry took the stage, sang some big vocal ad libs, and then joined the group for the rest of the song. Whether you think she added something to Darren and the Warblers’ performance or not, it was great to finally see Katy join Darren and perform the hit at such a special event rather than on a television show. Check out the (very blurry) video for yourself — Perry shows up around the 1:22 mark:  READ FULL STORY

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