Jenny Slate

The 10 Best Movies of 2014 So Far

The film calendar is so awards-driven, so targeted specifically towards the fall festivals and (heavy sigh) Oscar season, that it’s easy to presume little of note hits theaters in the first half of the year; it’s for Liam Neeson action movies and flicks that got bumped from their holiday slots because they weren’t good enough (hey there, Jack Ryan reboot). But rounding up the best titles from the year’s first six months actually yields a more eclectic and unpredictable selection, with genre titles, documentaries, indies, and oddities making up a rich and varied half-year at the… Read More

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Censoring Abortion Doesn’t Make It Go Away, NBC

Being an anonymously sourced item on Page Six, I knew to take “NBC refuses to air Obvious Child ad with word ‘abortion’ in it” with a pound’s worth of salt. Still, the report that a major network found a procedure one in three women undergo in their lifetime “inappropriate for viewers” is depressingly believable — even more so given that the same network bleeped out the word “aborted” during the Last Comic Standing semifinals on Thursday.* Abortion’s supposed inappropriate nature is part of the reason, in fact, why Obvious Child is so remarkable: abortion is disconcertingly absent from American pop culture, mostly thanks to a speak-no-evil conservatism operating under the unstated assumption that if we just don’t talk about abortion, it’ll disappear forever. … Read More

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“Comedy Comes From My Nature, Not My Gender!”: 15 Things We Learned from Jenny Slate’s Reddit AMA

Our favorite googly-eyed seashell, Jenny Slate, treated her vast sea of fans to a Reddit AMA today. She was online to promote her new abortion-themed romantic comedy, Obvious Child, which Gillian Robespierre wrote for her. For the most part, Slate kept her answers light — joking about her stint on Drunk History, talking about Marcel the Shell, and answering questions about SNL and the body odors of various co-stars. But there were a couple moments where the comedian got serious, acting a bit defensive when asked about making abortion jokes, and giving a brief but excellent response to a question about “women in comedy.” Read on for the 15 things we learned about the delightful actress, writer, and popsicle offspring (yeah, just keep reading). … Read More

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Will ‘Obvious Child’ Change Anyone’s Mind About Abortion?

Arguments about what constitutes propaganda, as I know from experience, can go on forever. Does any piece of art with a clear political point of view qualify as propaganda, or does a work only earn that pejorative if its sole purpose is to persuade? Director and co-writer Gillian Robespierre’s Obvious Child fits the former definition but not the latter. The movie certainly lives up to the two-word “abortion rom-com” description that has become attached to it in the press. But it’s also a credible and funny depiction of life as a single, late-20s, soon-to-be-unemployed woman in New York ca. 2014. Other writers have already praised these aspects of Obvious Child, and either celebrated or belittled its openly pro-choice agenda. My question is: as propaganda, as a political tool, will it work? Does it deserve New Yorker critic Richard Brody’s accusation, that it’s just an exercise in “blue-state high-fiving”? Or does it have the capacity to change minds? … Read More

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Flavorwire’s Guide to Indie Flicks to See in June

Temperatures are up, sandals are out, and multiplexes are crowded — though variety’s not really the name of the game, since the aim seems to be getting this week’s Designated Blockbuster onto as many screens as possible. But occasionally, tucked away on the smallest screen, or across town in the art house, you’ll find a release from the relentless commerce of the summer movie parade, and this June finds several fine independent pictures providing an alternative to the guns, bombs, and superheroes of the season. … Read More

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‘Bob’s Burgers’ Season 4 Episode 20 Recap: “Gene It On”

Yo Gene, I’m really happy for you, I’ma let you finish, but Tina and Jimmy Jr. had one of the greatest kisses of all time. Well, maybe not as good as the first time (episode 106, “Sheesh! Cab, Bob?”) because this time wasn’t an ode to Sixteen Candles, but damnit there was pie. And vomit. It… Read More

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‘Bob’s Burgers’ Season 4 Episode 13 Recap: “Mazel-Tina”

I can’t decide if it says something about the talents of Bob’s Burgers writers or the typical portrayal of females on TV, but every grown woman I know who watches the show (myself included) relates to Tina Belcher on an intimate level. She doesn’t just capture the dreaded Awkward Years of early teendom/late tweendom, she gives voice to the onslaught of :/ moments that continue well into womanhood. So it comes with great pleasure to see that Tina is now officially in the club. Well, at least in the Jewish sense of the word. … Read More

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25 Female Comedians Everyone Should Know

This month marked the latest dust-up in the long-running struggle for greater diversity in comedy, when Jerry “Too Rich and Famous to Give a Crap About How Awful He Sounds” Seinfeld dismissed concerns about the abundance of white men on his web series at “PC nonsense.” What Seinfeld didn’t seem to realize was that statements like, “If you’re funny, I’m interested. If you’re not funny, I’m not interested” imply that women and people of color are, um… fundamentally less hilarious than Caucasian dudes. Here’s a sampling of 25 ladies who blow that misconception out of the… Read More

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The Morning’s Top 5 Pop Culture Stories

1. io9 is reporting (and the AP has confirmed) the sad news that legendary science fiction author Ray Bradbury — whose prolific output included Fahrenheit 451, The Martian Chronicles, Something Wicked This Way Comes, and one of our all-time favorite short stories, “Dandelion Wine” — died this morning in Los Angeles at… Read More

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