Monday, February 27, 2012

ConDRAGulations: 2012 Oscars Wrap-Up

For as much time as we spend building up to it, the 84th Annual Academy Awards are now quickly done and in the books. Let's do a quick wrap-up of the ceremony and wish all of last night's winners a hearty conDRAGulations!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

2012 Oscars: My Dream Winners

Over the past week, I've laid out in great detail the reasoning and rationale behind my predictions for tonight's 84th Annual Academy Awards. I've been following the race pretty much since turning off the TV after last year's ceremony, which means there's been a lot of pattern analyzing and guild watching and pundit reading. Don't get me wrong, I absolutely love the Oscar race and all of the insanity surrounding it, but sometimes it's fun to just go with your gut and dream big. Sure, the Academy will do what the Academy will do, but when it comes down to sitting on my couch tonight and watching it all go down, it's not the statistical favorites I'll be cheering for, it's the ones I truly love.

So although I stand behind the predictions I've meticulously worked on over the past few months, I figured I'd share some of my dream Oscar winners. The dark horses and upsets I would be more than happy to sacrifice a good Oscar pool score for. Because sometimes being wrong can feel so right...

Saturday, February 25, 2012

"And The Oscar Goes To..." 2012 Academy Award Predictions

Are you getting excited?

Well, gosh darn it, you should be! It a little over 24 hours, the red carpet outside the Kodak Theatre Hollywood & Highland Center will be full of celebrities in their gorgeous tuxes and gowns before everyone rushes inside to watch Billy Crystal usher in the 84th Annual Academy Awards!

I've already broken down my predictions in the nine "major" categories at great length, but there are 24 awards going out tomorrow night, so I might as well throw in my two cents for all of them. Some are well-informed and researched predictions, others—ahem, Best Documentary Short Subject—are just shots in the dark. But what fun is Oscar night if you don't try, amirite?! With any luck, this list will skyrocket me to the top of my Oscar pool tomorrow night, and perhaps help you out, too, dear readers.

So, without further ado, my predictions for the Oscars are...

Friday, February 24, 2012

2012 Oscar Predictions: Directing and Picture

And so it's come to this. We've talked about the animation, the writing and the acting (both lead and supporting), but at the end of the day, it all boils down to these two Oscars: Best Directing and Best Picture.

Among the Oscar's 24 categories, there are several correlations that can be made. More often than not, the Best Editing award goes to the Best Picture winner. More often than not, Art Direction and Visual Effects are awarded to the same film. But no two categories are so famously linked than Directing and Picture. In the 83 ceremonies leading up to this year, there has only been a picture/director split nine times. Granted, three of those occasions were in the past decade or so (2000, 2002, 2005), but predicting a split usually just leads to disappointment (i.e. last year, when I foolishly believed David Fincher would be rewarded for The Social Network even if The King's Speech took top prize).

So have I learned my lesson, or am I going to predict another split?! Take a look at my predictions for Best Directing and Best Picture...

Project Runway All Stars, Episode 8: You're a Grand Old Flag

It was "Offend an Entire Culture by Highlighting All of Their Stereotypes" Week on Project Runway All Stars, or at least that's what it felt like while watching the runway show.

So slap on your sari, scream "opa!" and keep on reading for my review of last night's episode...

2012 Oscar Predictions: Acting in a Leading Role

Today is going to be jam packed around these parts, with Oscar predictions coming up in what are arguably the four biggest categories. And, luckily, they are the four categories that have the most exciting races. Isn't it nice when that happens? But let's not waste any time patting the Academy on the back, let's get right to the predicting!

Keep reading after the jump to see my predictions in Best Actor and Actress in a Leading Role...

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Happy Family Jules: Spring Smackdown

I know I sound like a broken record, but I just really, really love that Modern Family, Happy Endings and Cougar Town are all on the air right now. Considering the ever fickle nature of television scheduling, I don't think it's ridiculous to rejoice this fact as often as possible.

Reviews and the best lines from each of this week's episodes coming after the jump, and if any of you are like Jules Cobb... SPOILERS!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

2012 Oscar Predictions: Acting in a Supporting Role

With Oscar predictions in writing and animation done, it's time to move on to the actors! Let's start with the supporting categories, where there are two clear frontrunners, a few potential dark horses and some serious nomination snubs...

'Community' Returns to NBC on March 15th

Good news, Community fans: the darkest timeline is almost over! After being left off the midseason lineup last month, NBC has announced the Greendale study group's return to NBC Thursdays will be on March 15 back in its old 8/7c time slot.

Keep reading to find out more about Community's return and how it effects the rest of the Thursday night comedies...

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

2012 Oscar Predictions: Writing

Oscar Week is chugging along quite nicely, though it's still hard to believe the Academy Awards are this weekend. I've already laid out my predictions for Best Animated Feature Film and opened up the 2012 Oscar Contest. Now it's time to move on to two categories that could actually produce some excitement come Oscar night. Keep reading for my predictions in Best Writing (Adapted Screenplay) and Best Writing (Original Screenplay)...

Monday, February 20, 2012

2012 Oscar Predictions: Animation

As we countdown to the 84th Annual Academy Awards, I'll be breaking down my predictions in the nine "major" categories. Who will win, who should win, who could win and who deserved to nominated—it's all here.

Since some of the categories ahead have serious neck-and-neck races, let's start the week off with an easy one. Keep reading for my predictions for Best Animated Feature Film...

2012 Oscar Contest: Enter Now!

Ladies and gentlemen, it's about to get a little crazy around here. Welcome to Oscar Week!

In just six short days, the curtain will raise at the (soon-to-be former) Kodak Theater in Los Angeles and Billy Crystal will glide on stage to usher us into the 84th Annual Academy Awards. Of course, before that happens there is a lot of work to get done: the predictions, the red carpet rundowns and the endless assessing of everyone's chances (or lack thereof) of getting a golden statue.

To celebrate Sunday's big event, I will be breaking down my predictions in the nine "major" categories all week long here on the blog and then revealing my complete ballot of predictions on Saturday. But it wouldn't be fun if I was the only one throwing out my opinions, now would it? Nope... it's time for you to weigh in.

Introducing the 2012 Please Welcome Your Judges Oscar Contest! This is the second year I've run this contest, which now makes it an annual event (hooray!). The steps are simple, and the prize is great, so keep reading after the jump and find out how you can win...

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Project Runway All Stars, E7: There's No Business Like Show Business

This week on Project Runway All Stars, the designers dove into the magical business of show. So put on your tap shoes, grab your Playbill and let's talk about how it all went down on Broadway...

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Happy Family Jules: Operation Revengeance

Ladies and gentlemen, it's finally arrived. After 15 posts that didn't quite live up to their title, Happy Family Jules is finally complete. The trifecta is together and my dreams have come true: Cougar Town, Modern Family and Happy Endings, at long last, all aired during the same week! God bless you, ABC.

I hope you're ready for this, dear readers, because this is now quite the rundown. So before I force you to kiss me when my mouthguard's in, let's take a look at this week's episodes...

RuPaul's Drag Race, Season 4 Episode 3: Group Sales

Darlings, there is no better way to ramp up some drama on RuPaul's Drag Race than a group challenge. And if you're RuPaul, there's no better way to fill an episode than with some blatant (and awesome) product placement. When the two combine? It's a pretty fun hour of television.

So before I nominated myself co-captain, let's hand out some superlatives for this week's episode...

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Stay Home and Watch the 'Cougar Town' Premiere!

At long last, after nine months of waiting, Cougar Town is finally returning to television tonight with its Season 3 premiere at 8:30/7:30c on ABC.

Yes, I know. It's Valentine's Day. But what is more romantic than staying at home with your sweetheart, cuddling up on the couch with a giant bottle of wine and laugh hysterically while watching the Cul De Sac Crew?! The answer is nothing. Nothing is better than that. Plus, having already seen tonight's premiere at the viewing party last week I can assure you that there is enough romance involved in the episode to keep Cupid satisfied.

And in case you are still on the fence, here's a preview of tonight's season premiere...

Adele Makes a Stunning Return at the Grammys

Today is Valentine's Day, a day for love, chocolate, the premiere of Cougar Town (more on that later), romance and sweethearts. Unless, of course, you are celebrating Anna Howard Shaw Day or just protesting the holiday altogether. If you fall in that last category, then I have just the video for you.

Two days ago at the 54th Grammy Awards, Adele made her first public appearance since having her throat surgery. And not only did she sweep every category in which she was nominating—hauling a total of six awards—but she also gave one of the most stunning performances of the night, singing her hit "Rolling in the Deep." And if you are looking to speak out against the evils of love, you may want to give this one a look...

Monday, February 13, 2012

Project Runway All Stars, E6: 'Tis the Season

Quite belated, I know, so I won't waste any time with an introduction. Let's get right to reviewing the latest episode of Project Runway All Stars...

Sunday, February 12, 2012

'The Walking Dead' Season 2 Returns Tonight

Though this season started off with more of a whimper than a scream, it's still worth mentioning the midseason return of The Walking Dead tonight on AMC.

The first half of Season 2 spent an awful lot of time searching for Sophia and chit-chatting on Hershel's farm, but if the preview below is any indication, we are in for a lot more zombie attacks and action for the second half...

Friday, February 10, 2012

Pounding Grape with Bill Lawrence at the Cougar Town Viewing Party

When Cougar Town premieres its third season next week on ABC, it will have been nine months since the last new episode. That's an enormous amount of time to go without airing and, unless you're a network darling like Mad Men, it means you have to work extra hard to remind people of your return. Add on the challenge of having a new time slot—the show will now air Tuesdays at 8:30pm—and a network that seems more focused on launching shows like Last Man Standing and Work It, and all of a sudden one of the funniest shows on television is up against some serious obstacles.

But as we've seen in the past, Bill Lawrence, Kevin Biegel and the rest of the team over at Cougar Town are not ones to sit around waiting for ABC to do all the dirty work. Last season, they produced a web series Cougar Town: Writers vs. Actors. This time around, though, they really kicked it into high gear. Starting in late December, the creators, writers and cast of the show have been visiting cities across the country to host Cougar Town Viewing Parties, VIP events at which fans of the show could play Penny Can, watch screeners of Season 3 episodes, pound grape courtesy of an open bar, and mix and mingle with the celebrity guests. The point? Keep Cougar Town in people's minds, thank the loyal fans and encourage new viewers to watch a show they might otherwise still assume is about Courteney Cox having sex with young men (it is not). And if you think ABC or Disney were shelling out for this tour, then guess again: this was all done out the pockets of Lawrence and company. Guerrilla marketing at its best.

I was fortunate enough to get in to the festivities in Stamford, CT, last night and schmooze with the likes of cast members Josh Hopkins, Dan Byrd and Bob Clendenin and, yes, even Lawrence himself. Continue on after the jump to learn more about my crazy night with the Cul De Sac Crew...

Happy Family Jules: More Than Words

After three long weeks, we have two reasons to celebrate: 1) Modern Family and Happy Endings were finally new this week; and 2) this is the last week in which Happy Family Jules is Jules-less because COUGAR TOWN PREMIERES NEXT WEEK! Things are about to get crazy around these parts, and that's exactly the way I like them.

So before I go rearranging your kitchen for you (and, yes, it needs fixing), let's talk about this week's new episodes...

Thursday, February 9, 2012

RuPaul's Drag Race, Season 4 Episode 2: Laying the Smack Down

From the RuPocalypse to the wrestling ring, Season 4 of RuPaul's Drag Race is off to a roaring start. And though only two queens have sashayed away, it's already become clear who is taking the lead and who is on a crash course to elimination.

So before Madame LaQueer gets let off her leash, let's hand out some superlatives for this week's episode...

Best TV Moments of 2012: Max and Grant Celebrate Valentine's Day

Happy Endings has quickly made a name for itself as one of the funniest new shows on television. Now in its sophomore season, word has spread quickly that the cast is one of the best ensembles out there and their fantastic improv style is not to be missed. And while I will always love the show for its insane brand of comedy, it sure knows how to pull at my heartstrings, too.

Last night's episode, "The St. Valentine's Day Massacre," serendipitously reunited Max with his ex-boyfriend Grant (played by hunky Lone Star alum James Wolk), who dumped him on Valentine's Day of last year because of Max's typical selfish and unromantic personality. After seeing the error of his ways and getting encouragement from St. Valentine expert Alex, Max picked up the pieces of everyone else's failed Valentine's Day plans to try and win Grant back. The result? A new entry in the Best TV Moments of 2012 category.

So before I double-book Valentine's with a man and a pizza, here's Max and Grant's super sweet Valentine's Day...

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Ellen DeGeneres vs. One Million Moms

If you took a poll of "Most Likable Celebrity," I'd bet good money that comedienne/talk show host Ellen DeGeneres would be right up there toward the top. She's been making us laugh for almost two decades, and she has been an inspiration to many after she came out publicly in 1997.

Unfortunately, it seems not everyone is a huge Ellen fan. An organization called One Million Moms recently began protesting JC Penney's hiring of Ellen as their new spokesperson.

"Funny that JC Penney thinks hiring an open homosexual spokesperson will help their business when most of their customers are traditional families," reads a recent statement from the organization. "More sales will be lost than gained unless they replace their spokesperson quickly. Unless JC Penney decides to be neutral in the culture war then their brand transformation will be unsuccessful."

Obviously, this is all nonsense. And if One Million Moms really feels like protesting JC Penney, they are more than welcome to. Who needs 'em, right? I wonder if they'll stop showing their kids Finding Nemo since Ellen voiced Dory. Plus, Nemo is in a single-parent household... the horror!

And if you needed any more proof that Ellen is deserving of that "Most Likable Celebrity" title, watch her response to her critics on today's episode of Ellen...

Monday, February 6, 2012

Super Bowl XLVI: Amazing Performances by Kelly Clarkson and Madonna

Super Bowl entertainment has a history of being rather hit or miss. Take last year for example: after Christina Aguilera botched the lyrics to the national anthem, we all suffered through a halftime show by the Black Eyed Peas that made ears bleed worldwide. Fortunately for all of us, this year's offerings were far superior. And, honestly, is there any doubt? After all, we're talking about Kelly Clarkson and Madonna!

Take a look at the pre-game and halftime performances by two of our reigning divas from last night's Super Bowl XLVI...

Super Bowl XLVI: Best Commercials of the Night

As someone who grew up in a New York Giants household, last night's Super Bowl was truly an exciting one. I went to school in Boston and work for a Boston company, so there's an added joy in watching the Giants defeat the New England Patriots for the second time in four years. But while my focus for much of the night was on the likes of Eli Manning and Mario Manningham, I still made sure to stay on the couch when it was time for the commercials.

Overall, I wasn't nearly as impressed by the ad agency offerings this year than I have in years past. Heck, it was just one year ago that we all fell in love with that adorable little guy dressed as Darth Vader. The commercials this year seemed either forced, lame, pushed too far or, in the consistent case of, just plain terrible. Still, to every rule there are exceptions, and last night offered up a few glittering gems of magical advertising moments, from determined dogs and fearless cars to yogurt fights and talking babies.

So without further ado, here are the best commercials from Super Bowl XLVI...

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Project Runway All Stars, Episode 5: A-muse-ing Anthony

After last week's infuriating soiree of gelato foolishness, what better way for Project Runway All Stars to get back in our good graces than by letting Anthony out of his cage and let him run free for an hour of fabulous fun?!  And while it wasn't perfect, it was certainly a step in the right direction.

So now that we're all in a better mood, let's take a look at this week's episode...

Friday, February 3, 2012

'Cougar Town' Cast Brainstorms a New Show Title

Here's a little gem to get your weekend started on the right note.

Cougar Town—which thankfully returns in 11 days!!!—is not changing its horrendous title anytime soon, despite any rumors you have heard. But that didn't stop them from filming the cast brainstorming new potential titles. And though they are almost all ridiculous—Seinfeld and Cox, for example—they are all pretty much better than the current one.

Pour yourself a glass of red wine and enjoy, after the jump...

RuPaul's Drag Race, Season 4 E1: Zombie RuPocalypse

It's hard to believe that we are already in Season 4 of RuPaul's Drag Race, and I also can't believe it's taken me this long to finally decide to man up and do weekly reviews of this dragtastic, Emmy-worth show. Of course, part of the problem is trying to critique these ladyboys with anywhere near the wit and poise of RuPaul herself, but, dammit, I'm going to try!

So before Shangela comes out of a box again, let's review this week's post-apocalyptic-themed episode and dole out some awards for good (and bad) behavior...

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