July 29, 2014

Programming Alert: The Dumb Starbucks Episode of ‘Nathan for You’ Airs Tonight

Also in the Afternoon Links: ‘Friends’ without the laugh track, new Run the Jewels, and Ron Livingston on AMC.

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Carlton Cuse Can’t Stop Selling Shows

The ‘Lost’ alum has five shows happening right now.

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I’m Real: A Character Study of Mumblecore Nick’s ‘Bachelorette’ Run

It’s time to talk about Nick V’s journey, which is more interesting than either of the winners’, and seems to have ended with a pile of dead roses in a rustic wicker wastebasket and most of America believing he should be slapped with a restraining order.

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Know Your Beef: Freddie Prinze Jr. vs. Kiefer Sutherland, ‘The Most Unprofessional Dude in the World’

Was Freddie out of line? Does Kiefer have something to hide? It’s time to chop up this unexpected new beef.

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Staying Young and Getting Old With Bobby Shmurda

My most recent struggle with age and culture and the convergence of writing about it and living it — and occasionally not living it, because I get tired faster these days — comes from the surprise contender for rap song of the summer.

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The Minor Miracle of John le Carré’s ‘A Most Wanted Man’

My favorite line from any John le Carré novel (at the moment, at least; it changes all the time) is from Little Drummer Girl: “Somewhere in every bomb explosion there is a miracle.” He was writing about an investigation into an explosion at an Israeli diplomat’s home in Germany. It’s one of the few explosions I can recall taking place in his novels, even though most of them are set during the Cold War or the lukewarm-to-radioactive conflicts that followed it. Never mind the lack of explosions, though; his writing is full of miracles.

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Freak Show & Tell: There’s a Reason People Don’t Marry at First Sight

An unflinching look at the past week’s most disturbing moments in reality TV.

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Get to Know Your Drake Crony: An OVO Sound Primer

Everything you need to know about Drake’s label, OVO Sound, which boasts a promising roster of Toronto-bred talent.

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Hollywood Prospectus Podcast: Comic-Con, ‘Avengers 2,’ ‘Batman v. Superman,’ and ‘The Leftovers’

Chris Ryan and Andy Greenwald talk Comic-Con, ‘Avengers 2,’ ‘Batman v. Superman,’ and ‘The Leftovers.’

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Jodie Foster Will Direct George Clooney in ‘Money Monster’

It’s a thriller about a TV show host being taken hostage on-air.

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July 28, 2014

The First Trailer for ‘The Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies’ Is Here

Also in the Afternoon Links: New Spoon and Gaslight Anthem, renewals for two Comedy Central greats, and a new red-band trailer for ‘Sin City: A Dame to Kill For.’

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The Moment Podcast: Brian Koppelman and Tim Ferriss

Tim Ferriss, life hacker and author of ‘The 4-Hour Body,’ shares his expertise and thought process with Brian.

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Countdown 2 ‘Sharknado 2’: Your Two-Day (!!!) Warning Celebrates the Promotional Overkill

Do you remember being surprised about the velocity of the interest spike in last summer’s first Sharknado film? How quickly it went from “thing I am going to watch and tweet about, to the increasing dismay of my family and colleagues,” to “thing everyone, everywhere is suddenly and virulently obsessed with, up to and including my priest, gynecologist, and mailman”? Right, so this summer the preoccupation with the sequel is churning up interest good and early, and has whipped a number of brands into an insane promotional tizzy. We’ve been counting down to this sucker since we had to count it in weeks; now that we can count in hours, we present a salute to its corporate excesses.

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Sim Kardashian: Dopamine, Gork, and More Rewards for Being Consumed by the Most Important Game in the World

My tolerance for Kardashian-related bullshit is pretty much limitless. But I’ve learned from experience after experience that mobile-device games should not and cannot be a part of my life.

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Stillness and Cigarettes: On Ann Dowd’s Subtle, Powerful Performance in ‘The Leftovers’

It’s the rare actor who can make herself heard without making a sound. And yet that’s precisely what Ann Dowd does week after week on ‘The Leftovers.’ As Patti, the (mostly) silent leader of the white-clad Guilty Remnant, Dowd rumbles like a storm cloud into every scene she’s in, filling the screen without ever saying a word.

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Comic-Con Roundup: Wonder Woman Revealed, ‘Avengers’ Footage Screened, New ‘Game of Thrones’ Actors Introduced

Plus updates and trailers from ‘The Walking Dead,’ ‘Mad Max: Fury Road,’ ‘Ant-Man,’ ‘The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1,’ and more.

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Blockbuster Talk: Scarlett Johansson is All-Powerful, But ‘Lucy’ Still Has Some ’Splainin to Do

This summer, two Grantlanders will gather to discuss the weekend’s mega-franchise, counterprogramming comedy, or teen weepie to consider truth, spoilers (!), and the Hollywood way. This week: Wesley Morris and Molly Lambert discuss Luc Besson and Scarlett Johansson’s gonzo brain game, ‘Lucy.’

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Box Office by the Numbers: ‘Lucy’ Is Victorious Over ‘Hercules’

‘Dawn of the Planet of the Apes,’ ‘The Purge: Anarchy,’ and ‘Planes: Fire & Rescue’ stay in the top five.

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