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Entertainment: Discussions and News about Entertainment

'This Is 40' Bluray Review: Self-Indulgent, Dirty, and Dull

Mar 11, 2013 8:42 AM PT

In writer/director Judd Apatow's "This Is 40," Paul Rudd's Pete is in the entertainment business, married to Apatow's real-life wife, Leslie Mann, and father to their real-life daughters, Maude and Iris. So Apatow casts his own wife and young daughters in an autobiographical look at family-life, and opens with Rudd and Mann naked in the shower having sex. Afterwards, they engage in a vulgar argument over erections.

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20th Century-Fox Archive Releases 'Wife, Husband, and Friend' (1939)

Mar 7, 2013 12:25 PM PT

The plot is ridiculously and intentionally screwball, but the delivery is sublime.

The impossibly beautiful Doris (Loretta Young) is a society gal married to Leonard (Warner Baxter), a humble contractor facing hard times and a wife suddenly demanding a shot at becoming a professional singer. Because she's not very good, Leonard is reluctant to go along, but he's also devoted to her so he arranges it. Before we fade to black, she's a flop and he's the singing star. 

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Inept heroism vs. omni-competent villainy

Mar 6, 2013 7:26 AM PT

In response to Laziest Writing: Walking Dead vs. The Following:

I've watched The Following for much the same reason: Kevin Bacon, with a side order of Natalie Zea.  Actually, when I first heard the show described, I thought it was a documentary about the Liberals for Chris Dorner fan club, but was pleasantly surprised to find it was a horror-cop drama... at least, until it went completely off the rails, which arguably happened before the episode you described, but holy cow did you ever nail it.

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I'll Chalk It Up to Zombie Habit-Viewing

Mar 5, 2013 2:14 PM PT

In response to The mysterious appeal of "The Walking Dead":

I was talking about this with a friend.  The concept of "habit-viewing" seems pretty widespread.  People freely admit they take no more pleasure in certain shows, but merely watch them out of ingrained habit.  The Office has been habit-viewing for a while, and 30 Rock for four seasons.  People still cite and link Saturday Night Live as if it's both compass and lodestar of public opinion, when in fact it hasn't really been any sort of genuine tastemaking influence since the Bush-Gore election.  And of course it's not funny.

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The mysterious appeal of "The Walking Dead"

Mar 5, 2013 1:42 PM PT

I see that Christian Toto offers a well-deserved salute to Daryl, the redneck messiah of The Walking Dead, on the Big Hollywood front page.  The runaway success of this show will give culture critics plenty to chew on for another few seasons.  (How successful is it?  The Walking Dead is so huge that it's followed by a talk show designed to discuss the episode aired moments ago... and that show is beating network offerings in the ratings.)

The interesting thing about The Walking Dead is that many of its fans also hate it.  It's picked apart mercilessly on forums, especially when the characters behave incomprehensibly, which occurs at least once per episode.  But maybe that's also part of the appeal - the fascination of the flawed gem.  Fans of a few top-shelf programs like The Wire or Breaking Bad are known to claim those shows are nearly perfect in every respect, but most of recent television's monster hits and cult obsessions have included comical absurdities or predictable repetition, all the way back to the cult show that flopped, rose from the dead, and became a billion-dollar empire, Star Trek.  We rib these shows even though we love them, but maybe we also love them because they're so ribbable, and that make them entertaining.

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