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The best Black Friday deals for videogames, movies, more

Thanksgiving weekend is a time for being with family, eating a ton of great food, watching your favorite TV shows and… spending a lot of money.

With a number of outlets starting Black Friday earlier than ever, here are some of the biggest discounts that should make any pop culture fanatic’s wallet feel just a bit lighter when they return to work next week.

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Celebrate Thanksgiving weekend with these TV marathons

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Thanksgiving weekend is a marathon of excess—excessive eating, excessive amounts of awkward family members, and excessive amounts of your favorite movies and television shows.

While streaming services have made it easier than ever to create your own marathons of beloved films and shows, plenty of TV networks are continuing the long tradition of programming long stretches of classic TV shows and film franchises throughout the Thanksgiving weekend.

Here are some of the best excuses to keep the TV tuned to a single channel throughout the holiday weekend.

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This Week's Cover: The Bellas are back in 'Pitch Perfect 2'

SPOILER ALERT:  The Barden Bellas have split up.

But before you scream “A ca-scuse me?!” it’s just a temporary separation. On this muggy June day in Baton Rouge, La., the cast of Pitch Perfect 2, the sequel to Universal’s sleeper about a college a cappella group, is pulling double duty. Rebel Wilson (returning as blunt bombshell Fat Amy) and Brittany Snow (back as dim bulb Chloe) are cloistered in the production offices, recording and preparing for dance rehearsal.

Meanwhile, a few miles away, Anna Kendrick and Skylar Astin, reprising their roles as vocal power couple Beca and Jesse, are shooting Beca’s first day of work as an intern at a recording company. “Any first-day jitters?” Jesse asks. “No,” Beca responds. “I’m just going to be moody and distant—artists love that, right?” If anyone has slight jitters, it’s the woman behind the camera: actress Elizabeth Banks (the Hunger Games franchise), who produced the original and appeared in a small role as sassy judge Gail. She’s now making her feature-directing debut. “This is the stupidest idea I’ve ever had,” she jokes during a break in shooting. “My first movie is this huge studio movie that a lot of people care about that also happens to be a musical with massive dance numbers. I don’t know what I was thinking.” READ FULL STORY

'Big Hero 6' meets 'The Departed' in totally unnecessary censored trailer

Baymax’s low-battery sequence is one of the funniest sequences in Disney’s latest animated hit, Big Hero 6. Scott Adsit essentially plays the lovable robot as a drunken android, and now fans can see how the scene would play out if Baymax were actually inebriated.

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'Mockingjay': Why the worst 'Hunger Games' book should make the best film

Mockingjay is the most polarizing novel in the Hunger Games saga. Although most agree that it’s Suzanne Collins’ weakest book, some defend it; others claim it’s actually the series’ best. However, all three camps agree that, in Mockingjay, Suzanne Collins takes things to extremes, tackling traitors, murder, war, and one of the most haunting, realistic portrayals of violence in YA literature.

That being said, Mockingjay is also a study of post-traumatic stress. After two books of children both killing and being killed, Collins uses Mockingjay to finally give her characters time to be damaged. That divide—one half of the book focuses on extreme emotion, while the other half focuses on extreme action—keeps Mockingjay from flowing as smoothly as the rest of the series. But it’s also why Mockingjay—Part 1, if done correctly, should make for the best film in the Hunger Games franchise thus far. READ FULL STORY

All of Freddy Krueger's most terrifying kills, in one twisted video

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As Freddy Krueger turns 30, take a stroll back down Elm Street and revisit some of the dream weaver’s most memorable kills.

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About that Mama June cameo in 'Dumb and Dumber To'...

If you happen to see Dumb and Dumber To this weekend–and I’m not at all advising that you do–you will, indeed, see that Bill Murray cameo that’s got the town buzzing. But you’ll also see another cameo by someone slightly less beloved these days: Here Comes Honey Boo Boo madre June Shannon, a.k.a. Mama June. The final film features a fantasy sequence in which Lloyd (Jim Carrey) imagines rescuing Harry’s (Jeff Daniels) gorgeous adult daughter from a trailer park in which Harry is hitched to none other than McIntyre, Georgia’s most controversial current export.

Shannon recently came under fire after the confirmation that she was allegedly dating a convicted sex offender, according to the state of Georgia’s sex offender registry. Shannon then revealed Thursday in an exclusive interview to Entertainment Tonight that she is also involved with a second sex offender—who happens to be the father of two of her children—and was featured on a 2005 episode of NBC’s Dateline-serial To Catch a Predator. (In related news, TLC canceled the Here Comes Honey Boo Boo after four seasons last month in the wake of the original controversy.) So it begs the question: Should a madcap comedy contain all that unsavory baggage for an unsuspecting public seeking easy laughs?

Universal Pictures, the film’s distributor, had no comment for EW on the matter, but in truth, Shannon’s appearance (fully billed in the end credits) is little more than a single line of dialogue and a few grimaces from her oft-GIF’d and meme’d mug. But the trailer-park milieu for the scene is kind of troubling, not to mention that Carrey’s character is essentially lusting for a girl half his age even in the non-fantasy scenes. (A personal observation: Nobody groused at or even seemed to notice Mama June when she appeared in the all-media screening I attended.) But given that D&D To is already struggling to garner critical plaudits (though early weekend gross projections seems encouraging), it’s very possible that Jennifer Lawrence had the right idea all along by jumping out of the movie’s cameo pool.

Monty Python reunion: Eric Idle on his late friend Robin Williams

While Monty Python member Eric Idle was directing last summer’s reunion shows, he made sure to include a small role in the Michael Palin-fronted “Blackmail” sketch that could be played by a different famous Python fan each night. That roll call of guest talent would ultimately include both Simon Pegg and Mike Myers, who was also the guest performer during the Pythons’ last performance at London’s massive O2 arena. That the Austin Powers star would agree to appear in such a tiny part speaks to the huge and enduring influence of Monty Python’s Flying Circus and the subsequent films created by Idle, Palin, John Cleese, Terry Jones, Terry Gilliam, and the late Graham Chapman.

But Myers’ presence in what is likely to be the troupe’s last-ever live performance came with a note of sadness for Idle, one that would become outright tragic over time. Why? Because Idle had originally planned that final night’s guest to be Robin Williams.

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Go behind the scenes of EW's reunions with Ghostbusters, Sports Night, more

Are the Ghostbusters still taking calls 30 years later? Are the Baker Boys still fabulous? And are Dan Rydell and Casey McCall still behind the desk at Sports Night? They were for Entertainment Weekly‘s Reunions Issue.

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Monty Python reunion: And now for something completely insulting

For this year’s annual reunions issue, Entertainment Weekly spoke with all five surviving members of Monty Python about their Eric Idle-directed shows last summer at London’s massive O2 arena, the legendary comedy team’s first live performances in more than three decades. In the hope of provoking some of the semi-friendly badinage for which they are famous, we also asked the quintet—Idle, John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Michael Palin, and Terry Jones—which other Python member irritated them most in the course of rehearsing and performing Monty Python Live (mostly) One Down Five To Go. You can read the troupe’s answers below.

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