Gossip Girl returns this week after a short hiatus that left fans in the lurch regarding Blair's romantic fate. It seems as if she's getting more serious with Dan, but is Chuck really out of the picture for good? As fans take sides on the matter, BuzzSugar editors Becky Kirsch and Shannon Vestal debate who is better for Blair in this episode of The Buzz.
There are some big changes now when it comes to Alec Baldwin's personal life: the "30 Rock" actor is going to be tying the knot again.According to The Huffington Post, Baldwin proposed to his girlfriend...
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Note: Do not read on if you have not seen Season 2, Episode 1 of HBO's "Game of Thrones," entitled "The North Remembers."
"Power is power," Cersei Lannister.
Open the moon door, guys! "Game of Thrones" (Sundays, 9 p.m. ET on HBO) is finally back, with more boobs, more blood, more dragons and more clandestine machinations behind closed doors. So it's time for our second edition of the "Game of Thrones" Power Ranking; here's our first, chronicling the end of season one, in case you missed it.
Last season, we ended with Ned Stark dead and King Joffrey on the Iron Throne, with mother Cersei at his side and Uncle Tyrion newly named his Hand. Meanwhile, the Stark children are spread across the kingdom: Jon at the Wall, where Winter continues to creep forward, Arya on the back on a truck headed North, Sansa in King's Landing, and young Bran and Rickon still up at Winterfell. Brother Robb, the King of the North, and mother Catelyn, are amassing troops (with hostage Jaime Lannister in tow), while across the Narrow Sea, Daenerys and her reduced khalasar -- now with dragons -- wander without a destination in sight.
A bloody comet streaks across the sky (or has been pasted on using KidPix -- the increased budget clearly failed to cover astronomical phenomena). It might look pretty, but as everyone in Westeros knows, any omen that seems to promise bad times will probably bring the apocalypse. Let's get down to it.
The Power Rankings
Using a complex algorithm that takes into account each player's wealth, military might and dominion over lands, along with a "bonus" factor that adjusts for unquantifiable assets that could influence events, we've surveyed the lay of the land to figure out who's winning the game of thrones going into Season 2.
1. Robb & Catelyn Stark (Up from No. 2)
At the beginning of Season 2, the Starks are on fire. Right now, they have the moral and military advantage in this war. The key idea is expressed in Robb's crackling dialogue with his prisoner Jaime. Jaime rightly noted that, "Three victories don't make you a conqueror" -- and Robb shot right back with, "It's better than three defeats." The momentum, in other words, is on the side of the Starks. Robb knows it; that's why he demands recognition of his total sovereignty in the North when he sends peace terms to the Lannisters in King's Landing. The Northern Rebels are still outnumbered and outgilded by the Lannisters, so no one expects the Lannisters to cave easily. But Robb and Catelyn are planning for the worst by seeking military support from ward Theon's family in the Iron Islands and, via diplomat Catelyn, from King Renly Baratheon.
2. Renly Baratheon (New to the rankings)
We still haven't seen Renly since his coronation, but this episode -- and the preview clips immediately afterwards -- gives us most of the information we need to assess his strength. Charming Renly holds the ancestral Baratheon lands around Storm's End, in the East. And he's gained the support of two major Southern Lords: the warlike Randyll Tarly, father of fat, sweet Night's Watchman Samwell Tarly; and the rich Mace Tyrrell, father of Renly's bride Margaery and his lover Loras. But Renly's biggest advantage is his gargantuan army -- which reportedly totals about 100,000 strong, far more than any other contestant to the throne, including the Lannisters. It's not hard to imagine that, if Renly and Robb really join forces, they'll have their cruel enemies at their heels in no time.
3. Tyrion & Tywin Lannister (Down from No. 1)
Sure, the Lannisters are as rich as ever, and nearly as powerful militarily. But we don't even catch a glimpse of Tywin this episode. And Tyrion's entrance in King's Landing does not go as well as he might have hoped -- it incites nothing but anger from Cersei, who is threatened by having a sibling join her on the Small Council. But the biggest Lannister liability is King Joffrey. They've hitched their solid gold cart to his horse, and the ride seems to get more precarious every day. Their survival will depend on Tyrion's ability to wrest power away from Cersei and Joffrey -- and his and Tywin's ability to parry the thrusts of the other three claimants to the throne.
4. Stannis Baratheon (New to the rankings)
Last season, we didn't meet Stannis, the dour older Baratheon, who probably has the most legitimate claim to the throne following the revelation of Lannister incest. But even if he's not the charmer Robert and Renly seem to be, he does have Melisandre, a lady all in red with some sort of pagan magic in her holster. Down on the beach, flaming effigies of the seven gods light the night as the red priestess anoints Stannis the 'Warrior of Light,' chanting, "Stars will bleed. The dead shall rise in the North. For the night is long, and full of terrors."
We don't know much -- about his plans or hers -- but after watching Stannis pulls a flaming sword from a stone, we know that more bodies will soon litter the ground.
His Maester is reluctant to follow, and tries to poison Melisandre, who kills him with some invisible force.
"The night is long, and full of terrors, old man," she tells him, "But the fire burns them all away."
5. Cersei & Joffrey Lannister (Down from No. 3)
The Shithead King isn't getting any smarter, but he's definitely getting crueler. It's Joffrey's name day, and he's redecorating his throne room to befit the conqueror he thinks he is.
"They're weak," he tells his mother of the Starks. "They put too much value on their women." He's heard a "disgusting lie," he tells her, about her and his Uncle Jaime. But he runs his mouth a little too far and Cersei slaps him -- bringing the room to dead silence, though no one does a thing. Hitting the King is punishable by death, but this little boy still can't stand up to his mama.
Besides, Cersei is one scary sister, though brother Tyrion's new position knocks her down a peg. "You love your children. It's your one redeeming quality," he tells her as she pouts. "That and your cheekbones."
"The throne is mine," Joffrey screams. But for how long? The episode ends with a bloodbath as each of Robert's bastards are murdered (which means, like "Battlestar Galactica," "GoT" has crossed the "killing a baby just to show you how bad these people are" line). It's bad luck to kill a man on your name day, Joffrey -- what you reap, you will sow all year.
Petyr Baelish (Down from No. 4): Poor Littlefinger. Cersei commands Baelish to find Arya Stark before the two indulge in a coded conversation. She mocks his self-made position and his unreciprocated infatuation with Catelyn Stark. He lets her know she's been sleeping with her brother -- and that Joffrey is no Baratheon.
"Knowledge is power," he says. Cersei responds by ordering her guard to slit his throat, then calling them off, telling them to take three paces and turn their backs, while she delivers her own motto: "Power is power," she says.
Jon Snow: Past the wall, Jon meets the wildling Craster, and his harem of young daughter-wives. A friend to the watch, Craster warns the men of Mance Rayder, a wildling with an army and yet another self-titled king. Jon's called out for noticing the ladies, earning him a dressing down from Lord-Commander Mormont.
"You want to lead one day?" Mormont asks Jon. "Learn how to follow."
Sansa Stark: Sansa's always been the best at playing the aristocrat, but her mask is starting to crack, like when she tries to stop Joffrey from funneling wine into man's body until he dies. Still, she manages to recover by manipulating the maniac into keeping the knight (Dontos the Red) as a jester. That's the kind of backbone she'll need to stay alive. "My father was a traitor. And my brother and lady mother are traitors as well. I am loyal to my beloved Joffrey," she tells Tyrion flatly when he expresses his condolences for her father's death.
Arya Stark: Everyone is looking for Arya Stark, but no one is looking for Arry, the filthy peasant boy she's become. She's still traveling the King's Road with Gendry -- the only one of Robert's bastards to survive the massacre.
Bran Stark: More visions for the paralyzed boy-seer -- blood, and snow, and, at last, the reflection of a direwolf in a pool. It's in this dream he first sees the comet. Does it portend Lannister red, blood for his father, or -- as Osha proclaims -- does it mean the dragons are back?
Daenerys Targaryen (Down fom No. 5): Because the dragons are definitely back. Though Dany's messiah-mother moment at the end of Season 1 left her looking like a threat, she's still trudging across the plains with a rag-tag band of Dothraki behind her, and right-hand man Jorah Mormont at her side. After the white horse Drogo gave her keels over and dies, Dany sends her men riding in all directions to find the nearest city.
"You must be their strength," Mormont tells Dany.
"As you are mine," she answers.
As Varys the eunuch has pointed out in nearly every promo trailer for Season 2 so far, "Power is a curious thing." So there's bound to be some disagreement surrounding the rankings. If you think we misjudged the situation, say so in the comments! And look out for our next installment of the "Game of Thrones" Power Rankings every Monday morning through the finale.
Thanks to a slew of high profile premieres (HBO’s GIRLS and VEEP, The CW’s L.A.[...]
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Looks like Elmo and his fellow muppets may be learning more about Latino culture as "Sesame Street" producers reach out to a broader Latino audience.
Jamie Naidoo, an assistant professor at University of Alabama's School of Library and Information Studies, who's research focuses on the representation of minority populations in print and non-print media, assisted in the show's effort to incorporate accurate portrayals of Latino culture.
“My specific role was to describe how Latinos are represented in children’s print materials, both positive and negative portrayals, and suggest ideas for including Latino cultural content into their various outlets to go along with their new initiative,” Naidoo said according to the Tuscaloosa News.
Naidoo directs the National Latino Children’s Literature Conference, which he co-developed in 2007. He runs “Imagínense Libros!”, a blog which reviews children’s and young adult Latino literature.
Part of the professor's work with "Sesame Street" included revisiting old episodes and giving feedback as to how the show has depicted Latino culture.
"Sesame Street" introduced Rosita, a Hispanic character, in 1993. Rosita, who's full name is Rosita la Monstrua de la Cuevas (Rosita the Monster of the Caves) is originally from Mexico and is the second bilingual character to appear on the show. The first one was Osvaldo the Grouch, Oscar the Grouch's Puerto Rican counterpart.
Professor Naidoo commented on the importance of "Sesame Street" working to better represent the Latino culture in the state of Alabama, home to one of the country's harshest immigration laws: HB56.
The law prohibits law enforcement officers from releasing an arrested person before his or her immigration status is determined. It does not allow undocumented immigrants to receive any state benefit, and prohibits them from enrolling in public colleges, applying for work or soliciting work in a public space, among other things.
“The Latino population in the U.S. is rapidly increasing, but our children today, particularly those in Alabama, often encounter negative or stereotypical images of Latinos in media,” Naidoo said to the Tuscaloosa News.
“By working with publishers and TV producers of children’s media to improve their Latino content and appeal to young children, I am providing opportunities for non-Latino children to make intercultural connections with their Latino counterparts,” he said.
This isn't the first time the show has aimed to represent a diverse community.
In early February, Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, the first Hispanic on the high court, appeared on a Sesame Street episode and gave her verdict on Goldilocks vs. Baby Bear.
One of the show's co-producers is African American puppeteer Kevin Clash, who is better known as the man behind Elmo. In the film "Being Elmo", which came out last year, Clash recalls being amazed when he first joined the cast of the show that the characters reflected the diversity of his own neighborhood in Baltimore.
Other Latinos who have appeared on the show are singer Juanes, comedian George Lopez, musician Bruno Mars and "Modern Family" favorites Rico Rodriguez and Sofia Vergara.
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Think tying the knot in front of hundreds of guests is nerve-wracking?
The couple tied the knot in front of more than 12,000 audience members and millions of television viewers, while Martina McBride and Train singer Pat Monahan serenaded the pair with a duet of Train's song "Marry Me."
It was originally McBride's idea to stage a live wedding. She told The Boot.com that it was an idea that popped into her head after she was invited to sing "Marry Me" at the ACM awards. "My manager called and told me and I thought, 'Of course, I'd love to sing on the show. Let's do a live wedding on the show!'" she said.
But while being serenaded by award-winning musicians on your Big Day seems like a romantic idea, some felt that the wedding was far from a fairy-tale affair.
Yahoo! Music blogger Wendy Geller wrote the wedding was "a bit bizarre." Although the vows went off without a hitch, the overall performance was poorly-structured. "What threw things off irreparably was the audio treatment of the event," wrote Geller. "The officiant presiding over the wedding was amped up at various times so the audience could hear him conducting the ceremony, then faded out to allow McBride and Monahan's vocals, resulting in a rather schizophrenic experience overall."
The wedding seemed to confuse audience members and television viewers as well. One viewer, @zachary_bever, tweeted, "This wedding at the ACM'S has to b one of the most awkward things ever #notafan #moreluke."
Another viewer, @LeslieWoodsMeyer, tweeted, " A live wedding on the ACM's?! "Train wreck" lol...is right! Thought it tacky...what are people thinking??!"
And instead of taking off for their honeymoon, the newlyweds fielded questions from reporters in the press room backstage immediately after their "I Do's." Now that's awkward.
The actor tells THR how the affair will impact the Marilyn Monroe musical and addresses criticism about the show's off-Broadway focus.
Over the course of "Game of Thrones" so far, we have seen some pretty shocking things, whether it be animals getting killed to incest to even some sex scenes that make the HBO show feel like Cinemax after...
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Due May 1, the 13-song release will include Ryan Tedder's "Touch Me" among original tracks from Tony and Grammy winners Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman.
Tagg Romney isn't happy with the portrayal of his grandfather, former Michigan Gov. George Romney (R), on "Mad Men."
"Seriously, lib media mocking my dead grandpa?" Tagg Romney, Mitt Romney's son, wrote Monday on Twitter, responding to a line quoted from the show. "George Romney was as good a man I've ever known," Tagg wrote. "Inspirational leader, worked for civil rights, promoted freedom. We need more like him."
Sunday night's episode of "Mad Men" had Henry Francis, a staffer to the New York governor, saying he wouldn't let his boss go to Michigan because, "Romney is a clown and I don't want him standing next to him."
George Romney was Michigan's governor from 1963 to 1969.
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