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Tag: Religion (21-30 of 48)

Ted Williams on 'Today': 'This is a dream come true'

Golden-voiced Ted Williamswas on the Today show this morning, explaining more of his backstory and being warned about instant fame, courtesy of an overly earnest Matt Lauer. “[Meredith and I] both worry a little that a lot is happening very quickly, and some people might find that hard to deal with,” Lauer told Williams. Yep, let’s really slow down the not-being-homeless process. Williams says his “new sense of spirituality” will keep him sober and thoughtful through the strange fame rollercoaster. READ FULL STORY

Bye-bye, 'Big Love'

big-loveImage Credit: Lacey Terrell/HBOBig Love‘s upcoming fifth season will also be its final one, and while I’ll miss the Henricksons, this is definitely the right time to bring the series to a close. While its high points are still some of the best moments I’ve ever seen on television, its low points were more and more frequent, and the stories were getting repetitive. Plus I’ll miss Sarah.

Big Love sometimes struggled to figure out which story it was telling. It started as sort of an allegory for gay marriage, then pushed towards a family drama, but then flailed while searching for its true sustaining narrative. The store? The casino? Politics? The compound? Roman? Ana? Fundamentalism? READ FULL STORY

John Goodman cast in Kevin Smith horror movie

John-GoodmanImage Credit: Albert L. Ortega/PR PhotosKevin Smith’s Red State, which has been in the works for ages, finally started shooting this week, and it landed its biggest star, too: John Goodman. Red State is a relatively low-budget horror movie about a crazed fundamentalist preacher, based on Fred Phelps. The cast also includes Michael Angarano, Kyle Gallner, Melissa Leo, Nick Braun, and Anna Gunn.

As someone who saw King Ralph in the theater, twice, I suppose I qualify as a Goodman fangirl, and I like Kevin Smith’s low-budget movies more than his big-budget ones (give me Chasing Amy over Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back any day). Throw in horror fundamentalism, and consider my ticket pre-ordered. What about you, PopWatchers? Are you also Goodman completists?

Michael Lohan follows God's will, and Pat O'Brien writes a letter. These are related how?!

Michael-Lohan-Pat-ObrienImage Credit: Jakes Van Der Watt/PR Photos; Anthony G. Moore/PR PhotosPrepare to roll your eyes. US Weekly reports that Lindsay Lohan’s estranged father, Michael, plans to open his own rehabilitation center in California. Seeing that Lindsay was just released early from her stint in jail/rehab, I can only channel Alanis at this moment and say, “isn’t it ironic?” (Regardless of her sometimes incorrect usage of the word.)

Anyway, Michael has had his own issues, but apparently after seeing the widely publicized struggles of Lindsay, he realized opening the rehab facility was his “calling and purpose in life.” Additionally, he knows “this is what God wants me to do first and foremost.” Glad we got that cleared up. Michael also told US Weekly that his center will focus only “on mind, body, and soul.” (Cue: aforementioned eyeroll) And perhaps my favorite gem from this report, Michael wants his rehab center to be a refuge for everyone, not just the VIPs like his daughter: “You don’t have to be Lindsay Lohan or Nicole Richie or Robert Downey Jr. or a celebrity to get rehab.” Thank goodness!

While Michael is busy making plans to help everyone who needs spiritual rehabilitation, Fox Sports Radio’s Pat O’Brien is making a personal plea to Lindsay. READ FULL STORY

'Saving Grace' finale: Calling all angels

Saving-GraceImage Credit: Erik Heinila/TNTLast night’s two-hour Saving Grace finale tried to bring the series to a satisfying end, but it played out a bit rushed, ungraceful, and overly final. Still, there are things I loved about the show and will absolutely miss, namely Holly Hunter — and especially Hunter and Laura San Giacomo together.

Grace sometimes struggled with larger arcs — wait, how was Earl involved in Grace’s sister’s death? — but it always seemed to get relationships just right, particularly Grace and Rhetta. The wine-swilling childhood BFFs gave the show its central love story, and even Grace’s supernatural quest for spiritual redemption (or at least identity) couldn’t hold a candle to the vitality of that relationship. I would have watched Saving Grace if it were just a cop show, totally absent any kind of religious storytelling.

Are you mourning Saving Grace, PopWatchers? In the great guardian angels of all time, does Earl rank above, say, Clarence?

'The Simpsons' gingerly supports 'South Park'

Ha, Ginger-ly. Anyone catch The Simpsons‘ subtle chalkboard shout-out to South Park last night? “Simpsons did it!” So did Jon Stewart. Which show will come out in support of last week’s heavily censored South Park next? It’s gotta be House. A Danish wind turbine will huff and puff and blow the words right onto that white board in between “Lupus?” and a rough sketch of Cuddy’s ass.

More ‘South Park’:
‘South Park’ creators address bleeping: ‘It wasn’t some meta-joke’
Ken Tucker’s TV: Jon Stewart defends ‘South Park’ colleagues
Ken Tucker’s TV: ‘South Park’ recap for last week’s ‘201’
‘South Park’ creators ‘warned’ by radical Muslim website

Annie on Twitter: @EWAnnieBarrett

'South Park' creators address bleeping: 'It wasn't some meta-joke on our part'

In a statement posted at South Park Studios, Trey Parker and Matt Stone clarified some confusion about its heavily censored episode, “201,” which made fun of the Prophet Muhammed and the icons of several other religions. After the episode, viewers naturally wondered if the bleeping throughout Kyle’s entire “I learned something today…” speech was a satiric nod to the whole idea of censorship by Parker and Stone or if it was enforced by the network. “It wasn’t some meta-joke on our part,” said Parker and Stone. “Comedy Central added the bleeps. In fact, Kyle’s customary final speech was about intimidation and fear. It didn’t mention Muhammad at all but it got bleeped too. We’ll be back next week with a whole new show about something completely different and we’ll see what happens to it.”

Meanwhile, Newsweek reports that the NYPD has stepped up security at Comedy Central following violent threats made by an Islamic extremist group called Revolution Muslim. The group’s website has since been taken down.

More ‘South Park':
Ken Tucker’s TV: ‘South Park’ recap
‘South Park’ creators ‘warned’ by radical Muslim website

'South Park' creators 'warned' by radical Muslim website: Um, holy [bleep]!

south-park-censoredSouth Park has been tackling so many sacred cows and hot potatoes for so long now — from Scientology to Steven Spielberg, NAMBLA to the N-word — that when I watched last week’s episode, I barely winced when creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone decided to celebrate South Park‘s 200th episode by taking on the depiction of the Muslim prophet Muhammad, for the second time.

Then, on Sunday, Revolutionmuslim.com, a radical Islamic website, reportedly posted an item about the South Park episode referencing Theo van Gogh, the Dutch filmmaker who was killed by a Muslim extremist for his 2004 short documentary Submission, about women, violence, and Islam. “We have to warn Matt and Trey that what they are doing is stupid and they will probably wind up like Theo van Gogh for airing this show,” said the post. “This is not a threat, but a warning of the reality of what will likely happen to them.” The site then featured a graphic photo of the mutilated filmmaker, and published the addresses of Comedy Central New York offices and the South Park production company in Los Angeles. Finally, it embedded a video of a radical Muslim preacher calling for the assassination of anyone who has “defamed” Muhammad which included photos of Parker, Stone, and van Gogh.

As the characters on South Park would say: Holy [bleeping] [bleep]! READ FULL STORY

'South Park' creators' 'Book of Mormon' to open on Broadway in 2011

stone-parkerImage Credit: Ethan Miller/Getty ImagesThe long-rumored Broadway writing debut of South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone finally has a date: The Book of Mormon, described as a traditional musical comedy with untraditional subject matter, will open in March 2011. Parker and Stone, who earned an Oscar nomination for the musical genius they displayed in the big-screen South Park: Bigger, Longer, & Uncut, are penning the book, music, and lyrics with Robert Lopez, a Tony winner for Avenue Q. (Lopez has said the South Park movie was one of his major influences writing the gloriously perverse puppet show.) Parker will direct with Jason Moore, who earned a Tony nomination for Avenue Q and most recently staged the irreverent Shrek the Musical. The show will be produced by Scott Rudin and Anne Garefino. The cast will be announced at a later date.

What do you think? I couldn’t be more excited. We know Parker and Stone are familiar with the subject matter — both from their 1998 film Orgazmo (about a Mormon with martial arts skills who enters the world of adult films to pay for his wedding) and the 2003 South Park episode “All About Mormons.” We also know Broadway truly has always been a dream of theirs. Music has been a part of everything they’ve ever done — from their very first film together, 1996’s Cannibal! The Musical (which is now available in its entirety on Hulu!), through 14 seasons of South Park (their 200th episode airs tonight at 10 p.m. ET on Comedy Central). What’s your favorite musical Parker and Stone moment? After the jump, just a few of mine… READ FULL STORY

The Vatican suddenly forgives the Beatles. Rejoice!

Someone just received a digitally remastered “Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds” for Easter! The Vatican has finally made peace with the Beatles, 40 years after the band’s breakup. A tribute in Vatican newspaper L’Osservatore Romano cited drug use, “dissolute and uninhibited lives,” and John Lennon’s 1966 comment that the group was more famous than Jesus as things which had previously offended the Vatican.

beatlesImage Credit: Popperfoto/Getty ImagesBut now! “Listening to their songs, all of this seems distant and meaningless,” L’Osservatore said. “Their beautiful melodies, which changed forever pop music and still give us emotions, live on like precious jewels.” Oh, like hidden gems? I’m familiar with those. Still, the Abbey Road cover had a crosswalk on it.

I can’t believe the Vatican relented. God.

Annie on Twitter: @EWAnnieBarrett

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