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Tag: Trend Watch (1-10 of 92)

YouTube launches 'YouTube Space Los Angeles' for all the burgeoning Felicia Days out there

As part of its new effort to focus on content creation — as opposed to merely providing a spot to curate the vast majority of filmed things in the universe — YouTube has officially opened YouTube Space Los Angeles, a massive new studio complex in Playa Vista, California. As explained in a blog post, the space is available for free, as long as you qualify after an application process. The space includes a green screen, a recording studio, and even a motion-capture studio for all the embryonic Andy Serkis (Serkii?) in Hollywood. What’s Trending talked to Internet demi-goddess Felicia Day and the musical duo Paul & Storm at the opening about what the new space could mean for content creators: Check out the video below! READ FULL STORY

'Sex and the City' and 'Teen Mom' among the TV shows that inspired top baby names in 2010

If you’ve noticed a bunch of little Aidens (or Aidans…or Aydans…or Aadens) cropping up out there, it’s no fluke. In fact, it’s thanks largely in part to John Corbett and his turn as the too-good-to-be-true Aidan Shaw on Sex and the City.

In a report released by The Today Show, Aiden currently ranks as the ninth most popular male baby name in the United States. The name, and its wide range of spellings, have only continued to grow over the past few years with SATC‘s Aidan winning moms-to-be over in syndication and in his appearance in last summer’s Sex and the City 2. I mean, really, who wouldn’t want a boy as sweet as Aidan?

It also likely got an added little boost thanks the adorable, spectacled Gosselin sextuplet of Kate Plus 8, who goes by the name, too (though, he’s of the Aaden variety.)  READ FULL STORY

The Aflac Duck gets new voice. A nation exhales sigh of relief, while simultaneously covering ears

Gilbert Gottfried may have been silenced for his insensitive jokes about the tsunami that ravaged Japan, but the Aflac duck will quack once more.

After an extensive nationwide search, Aflac has found a replacement for their loud, insurance-shilling duck to startle you once again when your television gets inexplicably loud during commercial breaks. With over 12,000 submissions (we sincerely hope there was some sort of raise/incentive for whoever had to listen to all of those), Daniel McKeague, a 36-year-old radio sales manager from Hugo, Minn., bested them all. READ FULL STORY

2011: The year mermaids swim into movies, books, fashion, and maybe your local swimming pool

New_Pirates_4_Mermaid_Poster

With the interest surrounding killer mermaids in the upcoming Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, mermaids are having a bit of a pop culture moment. As far as fantasy creatures go, it’s safe to say that vampires dominated entertainment from 2008 to 2010 (although zombies also made a big impact), but looking forward, there are plenty of fishy-tailed women on the horizon in the next couple years: A live-action Little Mermaid is in the works; a spate of mermaid novels are coming out this year (even Stephenie Meyer is writing about mermaids now!); Mermaids of Hollywood, an app-turned book, will feature celebrities like Ginnifer Goodwin, Anna Faris, and the Kardashians photographed as mermaids by Mark Anderson; and rumors have popped up of a TV show based on the YouTube series The 3 Tails (errr, not sure about this one … maybe TLC could give it a season).

To understand this unusual trend on the rise, I talked to author and expert on all things mermaids Carolyn Turgeon, who released the aptly titled novel Mermaid earlier this month. READ FULL STORY

Julia Roberts as an evil queen. Famke Janssen as a hunted witch. Fairy tales are going grim(m).

Disney; Kimberly French

Once upon a time, there was a studio executive. And on one bright, sunny, beautiful day, that studio executive put on his magical thinking cap and came up with the grandest of ideas: “I’ve got it!” the handsome man said to his loyal assistant steed. “Let us tap into moviegoers’ hearts via nostalgia. Let’s bring to life the mystical, wonderful tales they heard as wee ones ready for respite in bed! And where, I say, is my coffee?” And so it began: The fairy tale movie trend.

So, after awhile, a Stardust came and went. Then an Enchanted, a conglomerate of every fairy tale of our youth, captured our hearts. Then an Alice in Wonderland collected more gold than a leprechaun could ever hope to see. And today, we see the casting of Julia Roberts in one of two Snow White projects, and Famke Janssen in Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters (which Paramount confirmed to EW). So you know what this means: This trend will carry on until the fat lady sings. You know, Strega Nona. READ FULL STORY

Whose 15 minutes of fame should be up in 2011?

old-spice-man-Isaiah--MustafaIn addition to crowning Facebook CEO (…bitch) Mark Zuckerberg as 2010’s Person of the Year, TIME has released a list of 15 notables whose 15 minutes of fame have just about expired. Among these over-saturated (and questionable) “celebrities”: the infamous JetBlue flight attendant Steven Slater, who taught us all the best way to quit a job is by stealing two beers and sliding down an emergency exit chute on your way out. (He really didn’t need to release a rap song. Like, really, really didn’t.) My 2011 will be just fine imagining Slater has taken up yoga, continues to rock Madras shorts, and has a lifetime membership on TSA’s “No-Fly” list. I’ll make room on my calendar, though, for Isaiah Mustafa, or “The Old Spice Guy,” whose ridiculous marketing campaigns deserve at least another 30 minutes in the spotlight. The man loves being shirtless, and can bake you a cake in the kitchen that he made you. Plus, he has a talent deal with NBC, so the possibilities for his new antics are endless. Swan dive!

The rest of this list just makes me sad. Poor Jim Joyce will always be known as the umpire who blew Armando Galarraga’s perfect game, and Gray Powell has probably been shunned from any and all Silicon Valley happy hours after he left his iPhone 4 prototype in a California bar. Let’s do these guys a favor and let their acquired infamy fizzle out rather than perpetuate it by tormenting them with constant attention, shall we? (See how I didn’t even bring up Oksana Grigorieva? May the year 2011 follow that lead…)

Who do you want to see more from in ’11, PopWatchers? And who’s about as worn out as those World Cup vuvuzelas piled up in your closet?

Read more:
Mark Zuckerberg named TIME’s Person of the Year
Ex-flight attendant Steven Slater has a bad rap (in more ways than one)

The Old Spice guy answers EW’s question — and will be answering yours… but not on a horse.

Are movie theaters on the endangered species list?

Glen Wilson; Trinette Reed/Corbis

How much would you pay to see Universal’s upcoming big screen comedy Little Fockers at home, on your own TV screen, the same day it’s released in theaters? Would you pay $20? $50? Try $500. And that’s not counting the additional one-time fee of $20,000 that Prima Cinema, the California-based company that’s just announced this new, obscenely expensive super-premium on-demand home video service, will charge you for the hook-up.

Actually, as crazy as the price tag sounds, Prima Cinema, which has backing from Universal Pictures, as well as Best Buy, is probably the future. For a decade now, Hollywood has been inching closer and closer to simultaneous release of movies in theaters and home video, what’s called day-and-date. Some cable on-demand providers already offer limited day-and-date movies: Time Warner Cable charges about $7 to see indie flicks like I’m Still Here while they’re still playing at your local art house theater. Even for bigger pictures, the window between theatrical release and DVD release has been shrinking, and looks like it’ll be shrinking even more next year, when the major studios will supposedly be unveiling a new VOD window, between theatrical and DVD release, with a premium charge of around $20 to $30.

The Prima Cinema pricing model is obviously nuts — only a handful of households will be able to afford the $20,000 installation service, let alone the $500 per film charge. But remember, once upon a time, fax machines and digital watches cost thousands of dollars; now they practically come as prizes in cereal boxes. READ FULL STORY

Tom Hardy and Shia LaBeouf team for 'The Wettest County in the World': Hooray for bootlegging!

tom-hardyImage Credit: Steve Granitz/WireImage.comBoardwalk Empire just polished off its first luscious season of illegal boozin’, and it looks like the HBO series might be kickstarting a legit pop culture trend. According to the L.A. Times, embryonic megastar Tom Hardy will be co-starring with Shia LaBeouf in The Wettest County in the World, based on Matt Bondurant’s novel about a family of bootleggers in Prohibition-era Virginia. The film will be directed by John Hillcoat from a screenplay by musician Nick Cave, the same team who gave us the blood-soaked Aussie western The Proposition. (Hillcoat also directed The Road.) The movie is currently slated to start shooting in the spring. Does this indicate a new alcohol-as-contraband trend in Hollywood? Are  bootleggers the new vampires?

Short answer: Probably not. But given the ratings success of Boardwalk Empire, I do wonder if we’re going to see more films and TV shows set around the go-go Roaring ’20s and their depressing sequel, the Murmuring ’30s. A story like Wettest County feels surprisingly topical – we’re in the midst of another financial crisis, and the country is currently struggling with the legality of a different leisure substance. PopWatchers, would you like to see more bootlegging-based entertainment? And who do you think will wear old-timey clothes better: Hardy or LaBeouf?

Read More:
Book Review: The Wettest Country in the World

Boardwalk Empire
season finale: Ending with love and loyalty betrayed

Most popular baby names of 2010: 'Lost,' 'Twilight,' and more pop culture inspirations

swift-twilight-lostBaby Center has released their list of most popular baby names for 2010, compiled from the thousands of names eager parents shared over the last 12 months. For boys, Aiden tops the list for the sixth year in a row (which, according to Editor-in-chief Linda Murray, is due to the fact that you can “spell that name in 46 different ways.” Sure, just ask Phaedra). Jacob, as in the mysterious man we spent six years of our lives trying to figure out (not that I’m bitter or anything), or a certain hunky werewolf, and Jackson (comma Michael) round out the top three, while Sophia, Isabella, and Olivia (Wilde, Munn, Palermo?) topped the list for girls. Despite early reports, trendy names like Sookie and Castiel (also known as Anna Paquin’s character on True Blood and Misha Collins on Supernatural) lost some steam by year’s end, falling out of the Top 100. But the pop culture connections continue. Other notable names include Taylor (our Entertainer of the Year), Bella (long live the Twihards), Grayson (pass Big Joe; red wine all around!), and Levi (stop the madness).

Of course, these names could all be the result of the personal preferences of the children’s parents… but we don’t like to think of it that way here at PopWatch. There is always a higher power at hand, be it The Wire, Christopher Nolan, Kanye West, or Andy Cohen. Given my pop culture obsessions, sometimes I wish my name was referential, connected to a larger shared experience or feeling. My friend is named after Hall & Oates’ “Sara Smile” which makes me all warm and fuzzy inside, and Bill and Hill notably named daughter Chelsea after Judy Collins’ take on “Chelsea Morning.”

Would you name your child after a pop culture reference, or do you save those for your pets? And if you are the victim of your parents’ obsessive fandom, speak up!

Read more:
Parents naming their kids after fictional characters

Trend Watch: Is ballet suddenly the new 'Twilight'?

ballerinasImage Credit: Tatiana Beller/PR Photos; Niko TaverniseOkay, I know, I know. But bear with me here: Both surround beautiful things that can cause bodily harm (Twilight: vampires; ballet: pointe shoes), both involve glitter (Twilight: sparkly vampires!; ballet: sparkly costumes!), both involve forbidden love (Twilight: between vampires and humans; ballet: between ballerinas and Hostess products), and both are enjoying their moment in the spotlight. That’s right: Ballet is so hot right now. Or, I should say, the dark underbelly of the ballet world is so hot right now.

Let’s run it down: For months now, chatter has surrounded Darren Aronofsky’s Black Swan, a ballet thriller about the art form’s dangerously competitive nature that has ignited Oscar talk for star Natalie Portman. Then a pack of black leotard-clad ballerinas toasted the a-hole that is Kanye West in his “Runaway” video. Furthermore, New York City Ballet principal Jenifer Ringer made headlines yesterday after The New York Times‘ Alastair Macaulay said the dancer “looked as if she’d eaten one sugar plum too many” in his review of the company’s Nutcracker. (Dude, as a writer, I love me my puns, but that was way harsh, Tai.) And finally, news broke today that Chloë Moretz, Jackie Earle Haley, and Bailee Madison have joined Kristen Bell in Dance of the Mirlitons, a film about a curvy ballerina with a stage mom (Bell) who attempts to make it in the tough business. (Producer Daniel Dubiecki’s rep confirms The Hollywood Reporter‘s report with EW; Madison will play the ballerina, Moretz will play the class’ ace pupil, and Haley will play a sadistic Russian ballet teacher in the film, which will be helmed by Evan Greenberg.)

And yet, I’m conflicted about ballet’s trendy, dark turn in pop-culture: READ FULL STORY

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