TV Land Picks Up 12 More Episodes for Second Season of ?Happily Divorced? Starring Fran Drescher New York, NY ? May 1, 2012 ? TV Land has extended the second season of its original sitcom, ?Happily...
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Jason Sudeikis and Kenan Thompson judge, quiz and try to take down the NFL quarterback in a new teaser for the NBC sketch show.
Created by Jason Oda, the video game lets users play as Balki as you chase the dream of your choice. Set to the now-iconic theme song -- "Nothing's Gonna Stop Me Now," performed by David Pomeranz -- players collect stars as they race through dreamscapes. The more stars you collect, the closer you get to your dream. It's that simple.
Head on over to NothingsGonnaStopMeNow.com to chase your dreams and recall the days when Balki and Cousin Larry ruled the airwaves.
What to watch this week:
Charlotte Ross, who also played Quinn's mom on Fox's "Glee," will co-star in the hourlong pilot.
This month's Vanity Fair includes an oral history of everyone's favorite ten-season sitcom, "Friends," an excerpt from former NBC president's upcoming book "Inside the Rise and Fall of Must See TV." And according to the piece, Monica Geller's sex life became something of an issue for the network -- specifically Don Ohlmeyer, NBC's West Coast president at the time.
Marta Kauffman, one of the show's co-creators, discusses testing out the 1994 pilot of "Friends" in front of an audience:
One subplot in the pilot has Monica going on a first date with "Paul the wine guy." She brings him home for the night after he confesses that he hasn't been able to sleep with anyone for two years, since his wife left him. The next day, Monica learns this was just a line.
MARTA KAUFFMAN: We were doing the network run-through with an audience, and Don said that when Monica slept with Paul the wine guy she got what she deserved -- that's how he rationalized it. Fire began to come out of my nose.
They handed out a questionnaire to the audience: Do you think Monica sleeping with wine guy makes her (a) a slut, (b) a whore, (c) a trollop. And even with the deck stacked that way, the audience didn't care [about the sex].
Slut, whore, trollop? Since these aren't words that I'd use to describe any woman -- and since no one has used the word "trollop" since approximately 1907 -- it's easy to understand why Kauffman and her team were furious. That "Friends" made such an effort to put its female characters on comedic par with their female counterparts had to have made that poll even more frustrating. Phoebe, Rachel and Monica had just as many hilarious gaffes, one-liners and slapstick scenes as Joey, Chandler and Ross did.
For Kauffman, who'd faced many hurdles building her career as a funny woman writing funny female characters, Ohlmeyer's attitude probably hit especially close to home. "It's a boys club," she told the New York Times in December 1997. "I think it has been harder for women to identify themselves as funny. I feel like I'm alone at times, fighting against a wall."
Luckily, it seems like the "Should women be having casual sex?" debate has become a moot issue in the TV industry, the way the "Are women funny?" conversation hopefully has as well. In the years since "Friends" debuted (and in the years before it premiered -- hello, "Beverly Hills 90210"), we've seen dozens of other comedies featuring funny women who had casual sex and didn't feel guilty -- or get guilt-tripped -- about it. "Sex and the City" may be the most iconic, and "Girls" the most recent, but let's not forget "How I Met Your Mother," "Desperate Housewives," "Weeds," "Will & Grace," "The L Word," "The Good Wife," "Bones," "Grey's Anatomy," "Ally McBeal" ... and on and on.
Fortunately for viewers, Ohlmeyer's sentiments didn't win out. And we got to watch Monica Geller's (often hilarious) sexcapades for ten great years.
Also, in case you're curious, here's the "wine guy" in question:
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The following is an excerpt from "Mud, Sweat and Tears: The Autobiography," [HarperCollins, $26.99] a book in which television survival man Bear Grylls divulges just how he earned such stellar mountaineering chops. But before he could lecture Discovery Channel viewers on dehydration and shark attacks on his show "Man Vs. Wild," he had to overcome predators of his own: school bullies. In this chapter of his memoir, Bear explains how learning karate gave him confidence.
I signed up as soon as I could for the karate and aikido clubs, and found that I loved the martial arts way?the focus, the camaraderie, and above all the acquiring of an art that requires the use of guile over power, technique over force.
And I stuck with it. That was the real key to getting good at martial arts: time and motivation?and I certainly had the motivation, thanks to the foghorn.
A few of my friends also signed up with me, and came along to the early classes. In actual fact they were invariably much better than me when we started?often stronger, fitter, and more flexible?but after a few weeks they all began to drop out.
It was hard sometimes on a Sunday evening, when everyone else was messing around playing table tennis or watching TV, to drag yourself out into the winter's darkness and head off to get battered for two hours in the gym by some maniacal martial arts teacher.
But I kept going and kept going, and I guess I did a bit of a Forrest Gump on it: I just stuck at it?and I am so pleased I did.
One summer I got the chance to tour as part of the Karate Union of Great Britain (KUGB) team to Japan. It was a dream come true.
I remember being dropped off at the bus station in London by my mother, and nervously waving her good-bye. I was neatly dressed in a blazer and tie, with my karate team badge neatly sewn in place on my lapel.
The bus was filled with the rest of the karate squad, gathered from all over the UK?none of whom I had met before.
I could instantly see that they were all bigger, tougher, and louder than me?and I was pretty scared. Japan felt a frighteningly long way away.
I took a deep breath and sat down in the bus, feeling very small and insignificant.
The team was an eclectic mix of karate experts?from London taxi drivers to full-time professional fighters. (The only other Etonian who had been selected as part of the team was Rory Stewart, the MP who went on to become known for his epic walk through Afghanistan, as well as governing a province of occupied Iraq age only thirty.) This is going to be an interesting trip, I thought.
But I had nothing to fear.
The squad completely took me under their wing as their most junior member, and arriving in Tokyo as a fresh-faced teenager, away from home, was eye-opening for me.
We headed up to the mountains outside of Tokyo and settled into the training camp.
Here we began to study and train under Sensei Yahara, one of the most revered karate grandmasters in the world. Each night we slept on the floor in small wooden Japanese huts, and by day we learned how to fight?real and hard.
The training was more exacting and demanding than anything I had previously encountered. If our positions or stances weren't pinpoint accurate, we would receive a firm crack from the bamboo ?jo? cane.
We quickly learned not to be lazy in our stances, even when tired.
In the early evenings when we finished training I would walk the two miles down the mountain to a small roadside hut and buy milk bread, a form of sweet milk cake, and I would slowly eat it on my way back to the camp
Then I would bathe in the natural hot volcanic springs and soak my tired muscles. And I loved it all.
On our return to Tokyo, en route back to the UK, we got to witness a private training session of the top twenty karate fighters in the world. It was intense to watch. Fast, brutal at times, yet like poetry in motion.
I was even more hooked than I had been before.
One day I would be that good, I vowed.
I will never forget the day I finally got awarded my black belt, and the pride I felt.
The day of the grading had taken three years to arrive, and for those three years I had given it my all: training at least four or five times a week, religiously.
The final examination came and my mother came down to watch it. She hated watching me fight. (Unlike my school friends, who took a weird pleasure in the fights?and more and more so as I got better.)
But Mum had a bad habit.
Instead of standing on the balcony overlooking the gymnasium where the martial arts grading and fights took place, she would lie down on the ground?among everyone else vying to get a good view.
Now don't ask me why. She will say it is because she couldn't bear to watch me get hurt. But I could never figure out why she just couldn't stay outside if that was her reasoning.
I have, though, learned that there is never much logic to my wonderful mother, but at heart there is great love and concern, and that has always shone through with Mum.
Anyway, it was the big day. I had performed all the routines and katas and it was now time for the kumite, or fighting part of the black-belt grading.
The European grandmaster Sensei Enoeda had come down to adjudicate. I was both excited and terrified?again.
The fight started.
My opponent (a rugby ace from a nearby college), and I traded punches, blocks, and kicks, but there was no real breakthrough.
Suddenly I found myself being backed into a corner, and out of instinct (or desperation), I dropped low, spun around, and caught my opponent square round the head with a spinning back fist.
Down he went.
Now this was not good news for me.
It was bad form and showed a lack of control.
On top of that, you simply weren't meant to deck your opponent.
The idea was to win with the use of semicontact strikes, delivered with speed and technique that hit but didn't injure your opponent.
So I winced, apologized, and then helped the guy up.
I then looked over to Sensei Enoeda, expecting a disapproving scowl, but instead was met with a look of delight. The sort of look that a kid gives when handed an unexpected present.
I guess that the fighter in him loved it, and on that note I passed and was given my black belt.
I had never felt so proud as I did finally wearing that belt after having crawled my way up the rungs of yellow, green, orange, purple, brown?you name it?colored belts.
I had done this on my own and the hard way; you can't buy your way to a black belt.
I remember being told by our instructor that martial arts is not about the belts, it is about the spirit; and I agree . . . but I still couldn't help sleeping with my black belt on that first night.
Oh, and the bullying stopped.
The foregoing is excerpted from Mud, Sweat and Tears: The Autobiography by Bear Grylls. All rights reserved. No part of this book may be used or reproduced without written permission from HarperCollins Publishers, 10 East 53rd Street, New York, NY 10022.
Note: Do not read on if you have not seen Season 3, Episode 18 of FOX's "Glee," titled, "Choke."
I initially thought I would write this blog post thinking I would hate the latest episode of Glee. However, while I didn't find it completely detestable, it is still wrought full of inconsistencies that make the show incredibly hard to love. At least for me. And I'm pretty easy to please.
The problem with Glee most of the time is that it juggles way too many storylines, often dropping them along the way. And then later, they pick them, tie them with a little bow, and toss them away just as fast. This is the same with the characters, which is why I think The Glee Project brings the main show down, filling it with unnecessary, one-dimensional, and plot-less add-ins. We already have little time devoted to the main cast, so why add more people that, frankly, no one really cares about? How is it possible that Rory (Damien McGinty) got screen time while Quinn (Diana Argon) got none? What is Rory still doing on the show? Oh, that's right. Filling out his contractual episode obligation.
"Choke" focused on three separate and unrelated plots. The main storyline was (debatably) the one surrounding Beiste's encounter with spousal abuse, which came completely out of left field. Don't get me wrong, I think Dot-Marie Jones did a wonderful job, but there was no build-up to this story. It was just... there, which makes the writers seem careless and like they're just grabbing PSA ideas from a jar. And this is where Glee fails. Their attempts to focus on real problems suffer because they just touch and go, like when Karofsky attempted suicide in "On My Way." That scene matched with Darren Criss singing Young The Giant's "Cough Syrup" was one of the best Glee has ever done, but it's like they put all their energy into that one moving scene and then decide, "Okay, we knocked those seven minutes out of the park. Now let's move on to other, less important things."
Which brings me to another topic of discussion: character continuity. A lot of the characters have changed since the beginning of the series, and I don't mean naturally growing as people. I mean that they do things that are completely out of character. Let's take a look at Sue (Jane Lynch). She started off as the villain, a evil, psychotic, politically-incorrect tyrant. Now she's doing nothing but being a nice person, which is obviously not what Lynch won the Emmy for. "Choke" saw the return of the original Rachel Berry, someone who would kill (probably literally) for fame and stardom. I liked this Rachel before she turned all melodramatic and "I want to get married ASAP!" on us. When she messed up her NYATA audition and broke down, I was completely for that. It was heartbreaking actually, because she wanted it so much and within that one minute, it all just slipped away. And can we please stop dumbing down Brittany? It was funny for the first season and garnered a few chuckles the second, but now she's just a one-trick pony that can dance and sometimes sing.
That doesn't mean the episode was a complete mess by any means. It was actually one of the stronger of the less-than-pristine season. The musical numbers (sans the ones sung by Puck) were really quite good. "Cell Block Tango," "Not The Boy Next Door," and "Shake It Out" all had wonderful renditions, so I commend Chris Colfer and the girls that aren't Lea Michele or Diana Argon. The first time Lea sang "Don't Rain On My Parade" I was blown away, so I was excited for her to sing it again, but alas, it was short-lived. When she sang "Cry," it was pretty good but borderline manic depressive. As for the other numbers, I could have lived without them (and the entire Puck storyline, to be honest). Sometimes the way episodes are set up, it makes me feel like the first order of business for the writers is to find songs and then write the plots, which would explain the lack of consistency throughout the season. That's probably not the case, but I like to think it is, so just let me wallow in it.
I'm hoping this slight increase in episode quality and plot development means that the remainder of the season will only get better from here, but I'm not going to hold my breath. And don't forget we have to go through Prom. "Again?" Again.
Random Thoughts on "Choke"
Puck's dad shows up out of no where and asks for money. Puck gives it to him. Puck is inspired to graduate, but too bad Father Puckerman never passed down the intelligence gene.
I am surprisingly enjoying NeNe Leakes' guest appearances.
I rolled my eyes so hard at the entire "Glee Guys Working Out" scene.
An episode called "Choke" that features a good deal of spousal abuse. Swift!
Editing Error! When Rachel is about to perform with Kurt, her hair is curly/wavy, but when she sits down in the audience, it's straight! Messup or just lightning-fast straightening?
Glee reminds me every week how unappealing it is to be sung to.
So, readers, how do you feel about the latest episode? Or did it miss it because you quit the show when I technically should have as well? Do you think NeNe Leakes' teeth are really made of Ivory? Important questions!
"No, we did not shoot an alternate ending," showrunner J.H. Wyman told reporters on a conference call.
Fans of Courtney Love will know that she's had a distinctly incoherent online presence for years -- from the Kitty Radio message board, to her mess of a blog on MySpace, plus an Etsy account and not one, but two, Twitter accounts that tend to get her into trouble.
Paper magazine caught up with the 47-year-old rock star to discuss how she deals with her online presence and Internet persona.
"I'm not a social network genius, as evidenced by being the first and only person ever to have a Twitter lawsuit" says Love when asked about her public and private Twitter accounts (her private account had been deleted at the time of publication). "At the time that lawsuit happened, I didn't even really fully get what Twitter was for or how it worked."
Love ended up having to shell out $430,000 in 2011, settling a lawsuit filed by designer Dawn Simorangkir, who sued the singer, accusing Love of making false statements about her in a series of tweets and posts on Love's MySpace blog.
If it seems as if Love is online 24/7, it's because she has help. "I have a girl who helps me with it. I can't do that by myself," she told the magazine.
But having help means sacrificing her own very distinct voice. "Sometimes she does dumb things, though. Like, if I want to work with Cobra Starship, I'll ask them. I sent her an email about what I wanted her to write back to them, but she still put something dumb like, 'Hopefully we can work together some day!' If I want to kiss some ass, I'll kiss some ass. Don't go kissing ass for me. I'm snarky -- that's part of who I am. I was like, 'Look, dude. Just pay attention. It's nuanced.'"
And although Love admitted she Googles herself at a recent talk at the Guggenheim, she backtracked, telling the magazine she doesn't do it that often.
"I make other people do it. That stuff is just so dark. My online persona is a disaster -- that's not me," she explained, adding that the top photos that show up in Google image search really bother her: "Another top photo, I swear to God, is doctored. I'm not even on drugs in that picture."
Though she refuses to shell out the cash to have her Internet persona cleaned up, she does care what certain people think of her. "Hey, listen, we all care what the New York Times does. That's the truth," she confessed. "Everyone cares what the New York Times says. The TMZ stuff, though. That isn't the media. You don't count that. Everyone has to be somewhat savvy and my friends in New York are far, far too sophisticated to care about that stuff."
For more, click over to PAPERMAG.
Check out Courtney Love's recent talk at the Guggenheim:
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We've been building up to the release of The Avengers for a while, but now the big moment is almost here! There are quite a few smokin-hot superheroes to keep track of in this movie, most of who have already appeared on the big screen before. If you haven't had the chance to see all the prequel movies, never fear - I've put together this guide to catch you up on what you need to know. And even if you've already seen 'em, allow me to refresh your memory.View Slideshow ?