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Tag: I Remember When It Used To Cost A Nickel (71-80 of 89)

'Retired at 35': Why is traditional sitcommery so irresistible?

retired-at-35-castImage Credit: TVLandTV Land proved one thing with its premiere of Retired at 35 last night: This cable net has got its brand formula down. Like USA before it, with its quirky-light-heroes-solve-cases gambit, the channel — formerly reserved for endless repeats of classic TV (not that I’m complaining about the All in the Family on my DVR) — has nailed what will clearly now become its go-to approach. The hit Hot in Cleveland served up the template checklist: 1. Ridiculous premise that it’s best to accept without too much thinking. (L.A. ladies of a certain age “crash land” in Cleveland on their way to Paris and decide to stay there? Sure, why not!) 2. Make roommates of an unlikely combo of colorful characters sure to clash. (Ladies “must” live with the “caretaker” of their new house, a sassy lady of an even more advanced certain age.) 3. Have absolute comedy pros star in the show, and watch the viewers — and the skilled readings of even the lamest lines — roll in. (That’s you, Betty White; but also you, Wendie Malick, Jane Leeves, and Valerie Bertinelli.) READ FULL STORY

Winona Ryder's 'Reality Bites': PopWatch Rewind tries to figure out if Generation X was sarcastic or sincere

This is the true story of four friends who decided to live together in a house, and have their lives taped by the one who considers herself a “videographer” to find out what happens when people stop being polite…and start getting really, really obnoxious. Reality Bites: It sure does! Okay, full disclaimer: We are two snot-nosed members of Generation Y. The film was not made for us. We have no emotional attachment to it. But even though Reality Bites looks incredibly dated now — let’s be honest, it was dated one year after its initial 1994 release  — we both found the movie fascinating. It’s essentially a time capsule constructed entirely of flannel, denim, Big Gulps and pre-corporate alt-rock. At the center of the film is Winona Ryder, an actress who more or less defined her generation. Ryder has small roles in two current films — she’s a cheating wife in The Dilemma and an extremely Winona-esque dancer in Black Swan — and given Ryder’s difficult career arc in the last decade, you could argue that Reality Bites looks even more melancholy now, a vision of youth in all its naive idiot glory. Or maybe it’s just a film about naive idiots.  READ FULL STORY

Happy 50th birthday Gabrielle Carteris!

gabrielle-carterisImage Credit: Spelling Television/Everett CollectionIf you’re under 25, that headline probably means nothing to you. If you’re over, you may have just broken into a cold sweat. But before you reach for the booze, keep this in mind: Carteris was 29 when she started playing 16-year old Andrea Zuckerman on Beverly Hills, 90210 in 1990. Her youngest costar, Brian Austin Green (a.k.a. David Silver) won’t hit the big five-0 until … 2023! Phew. That’s way in the future. And Shenae Grimes, star of the new 90210, won’t be 50 until 2039! Which, whoops, just made us feel old again. So forget that part. Happy birthday, GC!

Patton Oswalt thinks geek culture must die so that geek culture can live. Paradox!

patton-oswaltImage Credit: Lester Cohen/WireImage.com Comedian, starring-voice-of-Ratatouille, and nerd demi-god Patton Oswalt has written a fascinating piece for Wired about the rise of geek culture from the schoolyard fringes — kids quoting Monty Python and playing Dungeons & Dragons — to its present status as an all-encompassing cultural force. You see geek culture everywhere now, Oswalt notes: The relentless parade of superhero movies, the post-Lost vogue for detail-obsessed TV fandom, “Boba Fett’s helmet emblazoned on sleeveless T-shirts worn by gym douches hefting dumbbells.” As you might guess from that quote, Oswalt’s less than joyful about geekery’s current mainstream dominance. “Everything we have today that’s cool comes from someone wanting more of something they loved in the past,” he notes. “Action figures, videogames, superhero movies, iPods: All are continuations of a love that wanted more.” Oswalt’s piece is hilarious and incredibly thoughtful, but his ultimate point is worth discussing: Has the internet-assisted rise of geek culture had a negative effect on pop culture? Certainly, Oswalt’s vision of the future sounds eerily possible: “One long, unbroken, recut spoof in which everything in Avatar farts while Keyboard Cat plays eerily in the background.”

Oswalt begins with an extended personal riff about his own youth as an otaku with an encyclopedic knowledge of Alan Moore comics, a more leisurely time before the Internet made The Lonely Geek extinct. So you could feasibly dismiss Oswalt’s piece as a typical elder rant: Things were better in the good ol’ days before modern technology has ruined everything, and also what’s the deal with these kids on their cell phones and the Twitter, am I right!?!?! READ FULL STORY

'The Simpsons' takes another jab at Fox News

The Simpsons took another jab at the Fox News last night, completing a trifecta of teasing that started a few weeks ago. On Nov. 21, a slogan on a Fox News helicopter on the show read “Not racist, but #1 with racists,” and a week later, the slogan read “Unsuitable for viewers under 75.” This week’s dig was “Merry Christmas from Fox News… But no other holidays.” Oh, snap!

Except, you know, not really, because when The Simpsons wants to go after Fox News, it does. Like it did on the episode from season 14 where Krusty ran for Congress, and a Fox News host said “Welcome to Fox News, your voice for evil.” That has a little more bite! How about “You Kent Always Say What You Want,” which was basically an entire episode about the conflicting politics of the conservative news source and its often provocative network brethren? That was a bit more aggressive, too. In fact, The Simpsons has a long legacy of going after its parent company, and it’s hardly the only show to do so: How often does David Letterman make fun of CBS? (Often.) Or Jon Stewart make jokes about Comedy Central? Again, a lot. And it’s great, because that is their job, as comedians and commentators.

If you’re going to bite the hand that feeds you, at least make it worth it and really chomp down. Right, PopWatchers?

Read more:
Lampooning Fox News? ‘Simpsons’ did it!
‘Simpsons’ exclusive: David Mamet to guest

You talkin' to me? Where are all the good movie lines?

i-drink-your-milkshakeWe’re definitely not in Kansas anymore, PopWatchers. According to the New York Times, “it’s been a while since the movies had everybody parroting a great line.” Is “the memorable one-liner” really “in danger of becoming a lost art”? Actually, yeah.

I want so badly to disagree with this premise! I’m sure there’s been a widely quoted movie line in the last few years! But here I am, pouring over box-office lists, and I am at a loss. No one quotes Avatar. No one quotes Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland. I don’t think anyone even really quotes The Hangover, although references to the “wolfpack” were pretty pervasive there for a hot minute. Salt? The Expendables? Any of the Twilight movies? Iron Man? Inception? No to everything. Sure, we all hear references to Harry Potter movies (and books), but does anyone really quote them? READ FULL STORY

EW Reunions: The 'Pretty in Pink' cast agrees that Duckie would have come out by now

Andie might have reconciled with Blane at the prom, but we die-hard Pretty in Pink fans know that union wasn’t built to last. Sometime after graduation, Molly Ringwald’s Andie would have packed her bags for F.I.T. with her best bud Duckie (Jon Cryer) and left that “major appliance” Blane (Andrew McCarthy) in the uptight-richie dust. Or, as Cryer told us at EW’s Pretty in Pink reunion photo shoot recently, “Molly had a very good theory about that. She said, ‘Andie and Blane probably did not end up together, but Duckie and Andie ended up friends for life.'” That sounds about right. As does another Ringwald theory: “I’m sure that Duckie came out by now.” READ FULL STORY

'Dancing With the Stars': Florence Henderson gets saucy on 'The Tonight Show'

Dancing With the Stars contestant Florence Henderson graced the Tonight Show stage last night to chat with Jay about her show, her fans, and her five-decade Hollywood career. The former Mrs. Brady was charming, witty, and even a little saucy — as when Jay reminded the audience that she was the first woman ever to guest-host the Tonight Show. Check out this banter:

Florence: “It was around 1963. I think I was pregnant at the time.”

Jay: (sarcastic) “Wow. You really did that to get the show? That’s amazing.”

Florence: (with a wink) “Hey, I haven’t been in the business for over 50 years for nothing.” READ FULL STORY

Sk8er girl Avril Lavigne turns 26!

Avril-LavigneImage Credit: Michael Caulfield/WireImage.comChill out, PopWatchers, whatcha yellin’ for? There’s no reason to make life complicated, unless, of course, you’re playing Avril Lavigne’s “Complicated” on repeat in honor of our sk8er girl’s 26th birthday. Yeah, she’s only 26. Who knew? It seems just like yesterday Avril burst onto the scene inspiring girls everywhere to wear men’s ties and heavy eyeliner. (Don’t you remember how many girls in your school dressed up like Avril for Halloween? Let’s bring that back this year! No? Moving on then.)

I’d mostly forgotten about Avril (sad, I know) until the Glee kids sang a version of “Keep Holding Onlast season. After I played that song on repeat for three straight days, I decided to dig deep into my past to see what made Avril so great. And really, her first album Let Go tells the whole story. Avril had a completely different sound than her early 2000 female counterparts (see: Britney or Christina). Along with the aforementioned “Complicated,” “Sk8er Boi“became the anthem for all middle school-aged girls. Rounding out the singles for Let Go were “Losing Grip” and “I’m With You.” (And with that, I think I just found my newest karaoke song.) READ FULL STORY

Children reenact 'Inception' trailer with household items and their dog

Remember how awesome the Inception trailer was? Then remember when everyone decided they needed to make their own spoof version? (Dora’s Incepcion, anyone?) Everyone wanted in on summer’s blockbuster hit. The people over at MakerBaker (they make and bake things, hence the name) are a little late to the game, but I think it was well worth the wait.

They decided to reenact the trailer using things they found around the house. I have to say they do a pretty good job. For a refresher, take a look at the original Inception trailer here. Then, watch the MakerBaker’s version after the jump. READ FULL STORY

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