Your Weekly TV News Roundup: Maya Rudolph’s Variety Show, Kobe Bryant’s Documentary

The television world moves so fast that by the time you learn of a show’s premiere, it could already be canceled. It’s hard to keep track of the constant stream of television news, so Flavorwire is here to provide a weekly roundup of the most exciting — and baffling — casting and development updates. This week, The Maya Rudolph Show gets a premiere date, Enlisted brothers become cousins, and another show attempts a Kickstarter campaign. … Read More

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Get Off Instagram, James Franco: The Photo Sharing App Is No Place To Diss Your Critics

James Franco can do anything. He can act well enough to get an Academy Award nomination or to be in the summer’s biggest movie, write books, novels, short stories, and poetry, enroll in 17 masters and doctorate programs, make three not-that-watchable movies about poets you should read while you’re sleeping like a real human, and then he’s making four more meta pieces of film and art by the time you go to bed the next night. He can make spoofs of Kanye West and spoofs of Cindy Sherman. (Sherman on the latter: “I don’t know if I can say that it’s art… “ ) He can be plastered all over the New York subway system since he’s starring on Broadway in Of Mice and Men. But maybe, just maybe — he shouldn’t be on Instagram. … Read More

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Keeping Up with the Carters: Ranking Beyoncé and Jay Z’s Collaborations

Yesterday, Page Six reported that Beyoncé and Jay Z will be bringing their Mr. and Mrs. Carter Tour to arenas this summer. The LA Times followed up the report last night, citing its own inside sources, which claim that the tour will run from June to August. Reps from both Carters have neither confirmed nor denied. So it’s likely there’s at least a little something in the way of a live show brewing between music’s most famous couple. … Read More

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How ‘Community’ Season 5 Won Back a Frustrated Fan

Community became my favorite TV comedy almost immediately. The 2009 series premiere, which I distinctly remember watching on my computer via a Facebook preview link, wasn’t perfect, but it was strong for a sitcom pilot. I watched it twice. It managed to be expositional without sacrificing quality, full of hints of what the show would eventually become — a clever subversion of sitcom tropes, deep pop culture references, a heavy dose of self-awareness, and a perfect balance of humor and emotion. And did I mention it was funny? It was! Extremely funny. … Read More

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Hilarious Photos of ‘Pizza in the Wild’

Los Angeles-based photographer Jonpaul Douglass has a large following on Instagram, and rightly so: his photos are a nice blend of majesty and quirk, particularly as most of them document pizzas in the wild. The ongoing series, appropriately titled Pizza in the Wild (spotted via BOOOOOOOM), shows a delicious meal in a variety of settings. Some of these look too hilarious to be true (and it only makes me think of Douglass driving around with a freshly baked pie in order to put it on an outdoor object), but it’s a fun series that might give you a few chuckles — or, at the very least, a hankering for a slice of pepperoni and extra cheese.  … Read More

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‘Time Is Illmatic’: Why Nas’ Classic Album Is More Relevant Than Ever

There’s a moment in One9 and Erik Parker’s excellent documentary Time is Illmatic, which opened the Tribeca Film Festival last night, that sticks in the memory. Nas and his brother Jabari are discussing a photo that was taken in 1994, not long before the album release. It was snapped outside the building in the Queensbridge projects where the brothers grew up, and eventually appeared in the CD booklet. It captures a moment when friends and foes alike united behind a local boy who’d made them proud. There are maybe 20 people in the photo, some in their late teens, some little more than boys. Jabari points at face after face: “He’s doing life. He’s doing 20 years. He got shot. He just got out after doing a long time.” Nas is silent, although his eyes betray his horror. Eventually, he sighs, and speaks to the camera. “That’s fucked up.” … Read More

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5 ‘Scandal’ Characters We’d Like to See Blown Up in the Season 3 Finale

The world Shonda Rhimes has created on Scandal is one that, when you’re immersed in it, seems glamorous, thrilling, and important. But if you snap out of its clutches for but a moment, like breaking cross-eyed contact with the hidden image in a Magic Eye, you see it for what it truly is: a fantasy Washington, DC snow globe with a bunch of whiny people making lofty and emotional Grey’s Anatomy speeches when they’re not covertly making out with each other and/or crying. Some characters in particular have become so insufferable over the course of these three seasons that I emit involuntary groans of disgust when they disgrace the screen with their presence. … Read More

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50 Incredible Novels Under 200 Pages

Springtime can make even the most devoted of readers a little bit antsy. After all, there are flowers to smell, puddles to jump in, fresh love to kindle. You still want to have a novel in your pocket — just maybe one that doesn’t require quite so epic an attention span. Never fear: after the jump, you will find 50 incredible novels under 200 pages (editions vary, of course, so there’s a little leeway) that are suitable for this or any… Read More

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Everyone On the Internet Needs to Read ‘The People’s Platform’: An Interview With Astra Taylor

Do you use the Internet? Then you have to read Astra Taylor’s The People’s Platform: Taking Back Power and Culture in the Digital Age, one of the most important books of the year. In it, Taylor (a writer, activist, and documentarian whose films include Zizek! and Examined Life) argues that the promised utopia of online culture is built upon a lie; in reality, the amorphous mass that we call the Internet is actually a place of great inequality, where the people’s interests are in hock to corporations and billionaires who just go by different names these days, whether it’s Google, Apple, or other Silicon Valley monoliths. Taylor is a clear-eyed writer and a provocative thinker, covering the shifting grounds of how the Internet changes and affects today’s culture, from journalism to music. It makes you very wary about having a Facebook page. I had the chance to talk to her about what we can do to create a sustainable Internet culture, and whether institutions like the library can survive. … Read More

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13 Great New-to-Netflix Movies to Stream This Holiday Weekend

Well, friends, spring is in the air (occasional lingering thundersnow aside), and Easter weekend is upon us, which could mean several things for you: participation in some sort of egg hunt, consumption of massive quantities of chocolate and sugar, a biannual visit to some sort of house of worship. Or it might just mean hanging out on the couch/in bed all weekend like it’s any other weekend. Your Flavorwire can’t help much with the first batch of items, but if you’re vegging out this holiday weekend, we’ve got a handful of noteworthy titles that have arrived (either for the first time, or for a return stint) over the past couple of weeks over at Netflix. Click through, fill your queue, and clear a day or two. … Read More

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