Documentary Reveals “Fecal Matter,” “Drugs For Sale” and “Bliss” as Rejected Names for Nirvana

In anticipation of the May 4th premiere of the authorized documentary Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck, HBO has just… Read More

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What We — and the Church of Scientology — Learned From the ‘Going Clear’ Controversy

After two-plus months of sponsored tweets, film-critic pushback, Google ad buys, and an often desperate attempt at spin control that ultimately did nothing to disprove characterizations of utter control freakery, the Church of Scientology’s worst nightmare came true last night: Alex Gibney’s incendiary and excellent adaptation of Lawrence Wright’s scorching CoS exposé, Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief, aired on HBO. It proved, true to prediction, a bit of a bombshell, with viewers taking to social media to express shock over the film’s allegations of physical abuse, blackmail, kidnapping, wiretapping, celebrity control and more. … Read More

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There’s Nothing Casual About the Trailer for J.K. Rowling’s ‘The Casual Vacancy’

A while back, we shared the teaser for HBO/BBC’s three-part miniseries based on J.K. Rowling’s “first adult novel,” The Casual Vacancy;… Read More

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A Eulogy for ‘Looking,’ the First TV Show About Gay Boredom

It can take a while for the right chemicals (dopamine, oxytocin, and vasopressin) to commingle to make you feel attached to someone — or to the creepily convincing simulacral someones that are today’s naturalistic television characters. One of the reasons why realistically portraying flawed — often annoying — characters in the serial format has been so successful is because of the slow-burning nature of falling in love with people who may kind of irk you. If you’re stuck with somewhat sucky TV characters long enough, they, like a stable, if mismatched and unpleasant, partner, become an indelible part of your being — especially if the show they exist in features them bearing their souls. And butts. That is, until HBO kills that show, as they’ve done with Andrew Haigh’s Looking. … Read More

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HBO Cancels ‘Looking’

The HBO giveth and the HBO taketh away with an extended “special.” Just as Looking, with its increasingly excellent second season,… Read More

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‘It’s Me, Hilary': Lena Dunham Introduces the Man Behind Children’s Book Icon Eloise

Eloise, the classic fictional picture-book heroine, is “a city child” who causes havoc throughout her indoor backyard, the hallways and public rooms of New York’s ultra-posh Plaza Hotel (“Oooo, I absolutely love the Plaza!” she says). The Plaza prank that always caught my brother’s and my attention, as city children ourselves, was her decision to pour water down the mail chute of the hotel. It prompted us to stand outside our own New York mail chute and ponder doing the same thing, on many a bored afternoon. We never committed, but something tells me that in childhood Lena Dunham, current proud owner of the world’s most well-known Eloise lower back tattoo, would have gone all the way with this endeavor. … Read More

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The Beautiful Story of Snoop Dogg and Willie Nelson’s 4/20 Trip to Amsterdam

AUSTIN, TX: As Snoop Dogg himself admitted this morning, the first thing he thinks about after waking up is smoking weed. So when I heard that he’d be giving the music keynote at SXSW — held at 11 AM in recent years — I wondered what kind of state he’d be in, as he discussed his career and the music industry for an hour. In this regard, the highlight of the conversation was incredibly on-brand: tales of a trip to Amsterdam. With Willie Nelson. On 4/20. To shoot a video for a song called “My Medicine.” … Read More

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‘Late Night with Seth Meyers’’ Writers Room Endures Lena Dunham’s Hannah Horvath

To no one’s surprise but to everyone’s chagrin, Lena Dunham’s Girls character Hannah Horvath has a new job—again—this time,… Read More

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