Zooey Deschanel

‘New Girl’ Season 4 Episode 17 Recap: “Spiderhunt”

With Ryan out of the picture, this week’s episode of New Girl was bound to go one of two ways: Jess continues to wallow and the gang cheers her up in more elaborate ways, or the episode is a silly, silly diversion from the breakup in which Ryan’s name becomes as unsaid as Voldemort’s. Thankfully it’s the latter, in the form of a bottle episode that revolves around a Ridiculous Schmidt Quirk Everyone Humors (RSQEH). … Read More

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‘New Girl’ Season 4 Episode 15 Recap: “The Crawl”

Not since Parks and Rec‘s “Galentine’s Day” have I seen a Valentine’s Day-themed episode of anything that successfully plays the friendship card — until last night. “The Crawl” was an unfettered look at what it’s like when Nick Miller, anti-planner extraordinaire, calls the shots. And it was as glorious as a slightly contrived holiday-themed sitcom episode gets. … Read More

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‘New Girl’ Season 4 Episode 13 Recap: “Coming Out”

Like most other single-camera, niche-audience TV comedies in this age of the serialized drama, New Girl‘s challenge is to make every episode laugh-out-loud funny while also advancing the multiple season-long storylines that ensure the growth of its characters and the progression of their relationships. Whereas Seinfeld and Friends could thread two dozen self-contained 22-minute stories together with little more than a few in-jokes or one on-again-off-again romance (you know which one I mean), now we expect every major player to have his or her own compelling trajectory. (Imagine if we’d demanded that of Kramer!) And while New Girl often does a great job seamlessly integrating character development and big laughs, last night’s episode was almost entirely devoted to the former — and forgot to give us almost any of the latter. … Read More

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Flavorwire’s 2014 Holiday Gift Guide: 50 Gifts for 50 Cultural Icons

It’s that time of year again: the season of the holiday gift guide. And in keeping with tradition, if you’re looking for a present for that special cultural icon of yours (or just someone who reminds you of a certain famous face), Flavorwire has you covered. Here are our gift recommendations for some of the year’s biggest names in culture, whether they be naughty, nice, or lurking somewhere in… Read More

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‘New Girl’ Season 4 Episode 8 Recap: “Teachers”

First things first: If, prior to watching this episode, someone said that “Teachers” would feature a roommate who doesn’t know how to do laundry and doesn’t know how to use a ruler, who would you guess? Nick, right? Right! Instead, it’s Schmidt and Winston, respectively, and it’s two character decisions that throw me off but… Read More

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‘New Girl’ Season 4 Episode 7 Recap: “Goldmine”

By rearing back on the Nick/Jess drama that took over much of Season 3 of New Girl, Season 4 has mostly returned to form — it’s been weird as hell, sure, but it’s been goofy, funny, and emotional as well. It has also, definitely, been helped by this season’s commitment to focusing on all of the roommates instead of just our two main characters. This latter development is in play in “Goldmine” as Winston, Coach, Cece, and Schmidt all get fun little storylines but the former has taken a step back with a A-plot that’s a little too focused on Nick and Jess. … Read More

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50 Great Pre-Fame Performances by Famous Actors

This week, the Criterion Collection is releasing a double bill of the mid-‘60s Westerns The Shooting and Ride the Whirlwind, a treat not only for fans of revisionist Westerns and director Monte Hellman, but also for those who admire Jack Nicholson, here seen in two terrific performances that predate his breakthrough in Easy Rider. There’s a specific kind of pleasure in revisiting the early work of actors who would later become famous — not the roles that made them stars, but their earlier, quieter gigs, in which we glimpse an actor just trying to do good work, yet already exhibiting the spark that would mark them for fame. Here are a few of our… Read More

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“Adorkable” Is Officially a Word: Links You Need to See

In today’s links, I seem to have inadvertently compiled a collection of stories (or fragments, or something smaller, perhaps, even) about people who tend to polarize. The name Courtney Love, for example, seems to exist along a virtual tectonic plate that shudders every time it’s uttered (oh look, a rhyme!), creating a fissure that you can count on to divide the internet. … Read More

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She & Him Made a Standards Album

Some say She & Him borrow from the past with a heavy hand. Now they will do it with attribution.… Read More

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The Manic Pixie Dream Girl May Be Dead, But Film’s Shallow Female Characters Live On

Is it a big deal when the person who coined a term disowns it? In Salon, culture journalist Nathan Rabin has penned a piece called “I’m Sorry For Coining the Phrase ‘Manic Pixie Dream Girl,'” where he apologizes for naming the archetype in an 2007 A.V. Club review that dissected Kirsten Dunst’s insufferable character in Elizabethtown. Rabin’s moment of insight eventually yielded a million think-pieces, Zooey Deschanel’s Emmy-nominated mainstream brand, John Green’s writing career, and a wave of cultural criticism that took to task — in manners both dismissive and frustrating — the phenomenon of female characters, often young, feeling like shallow, one-dimensional girls there to prop up a male protagonist. … Read More

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