Category Archives: Entertainment
The CBS hit show “The Good Wife” waded into political waters on Sunday when it included a character giving a “salute”* to Occupy Wall Street.
The character, Judge Charles Abernathy played by Denis O’Hare, delivered a mini monologue praising the movement.
“Before we begin,” he said during the episode, which takes place in a Chicago court, “I want to take a few minutes to talk about something that is happening a mere one hundred yards from this courthouse: Occupy Wall Street! Yes, these amazing young men and women are braving 36-degree weather, with the grit in their eyes of a shared cause, and all to challenge the system. And I, for one, I salute them.”
Newsbusters has the clip:
Later, the judge also admits to joining the protesters and was seen sniffling because of, as he said, the use of pepper spray.
The episode, called “Live from Damascus,” centers on a lawsuit against a tech company that sold software to Syria that allowed the government to identify, root out, and “get rid of” American protesters there.
O‘Hare’s character seems intentionally quirky, given the facial reaction by main character Julianna Margulies and the way in which the lines were delivered. Still, even regular fans of the show felt the issue was forced. One reviewer explains:
Sometimes, The Good Wife focuses more on being relevant than being engaging – and this felt like one of those times. The Syrian revolution and the role a tech company played in it felt like too obvious of an attempt to mirror real life events from last year and how Facebook shaped them in countries such as Egypt.
This was especially [true] when it came to Judge Abernathy and his Occupy Wall Street references. Those were all just really odd and really forced. We all love the use of big names behind the gavel – and who has ever not loved Denis O’Hare in anything?!? – but it can be distracting and simply unrealistic when these judges dominate a trial due to odd personality quirks.
But this isn’t the first time “The Good Wife” has gone political. Last year, the show featured a controversial representation of the Tea Party, as Newsbusters notes:
Almost exactly a year ago (February 22, 2011), the show gave prime time legitimacy to the presumption the Tea Party is racist as a lawyer in a courtroom tried to discredit an expert witness (Gary Cole as Sarah Palin supporter “Kurt McVeigh”) who testified against a since-exonerated black defendant, by demanding he admit he’s “a member of the Tea Party.” The lawyer asserts “it is our contention that my client’s prosecution was racist,” citing McVeigh’s “membership in a racist organization,” namely the Tea Party.
To see that clip, head over to Newsbusters.
*Author’s note: Yeah, I noticed the odd “salute” move, too.
As part of her ongoing campaign against childhood obesity, Saturday Night Live featured Maya Rudolph as Michelle Obama making an address to the nation to announce “The Obama Show,“ a new ”educational yet laugh-filled” comedy to further encourage fitness and healthy eating.
A take-off on “The Cosby Show,” the sketch included Fred Armisen’s President Obama impersonation trying to emulate Bill Cosby, and Jason Sudeikis as Joe Jamal-Biden — a cross between the vice president and former Cosby star Malcolm Jamal Warner.
Watch Michelle convince Barack to eat a rice cake over a hoagie and Biden essentially blackmail the president into letting him borrow his car below, via NBC:
Fox News‘ Bill O’Reilly made an appearance on Saturday Night Live’s “What Up With That,” a recurring talk show sketch where the host, played by Kenan Thompson, routinely breaks into song and dance.
Thompson billed the segment as the show’s “President’s Day episode,” and O’Reilly was on hand to spread some knowledge about Abraham Lincoln, the subject of his latest book. O‘Reilly couldn’t get more than a few words out, having to contend with the sketch’s regular silliness. Still, he was a good sport, even tapping his feet along with the music.
Watch below, via NBC:
One day following the untimely death of popular recording artist Whitney Houston, the February 12 Grammy Awards attracted a total audience of 39.9 million, up nearly 50% from 26.7 million last year and the largest viewership since 1984. Houston’s death likely drew many viewers who have not watched award shows for some time, or really ever, that may have been taken aback when seeing the applauded performances and Grammy win for Chris Brown. A name many have not heard since 2009, when Brown made national news after pleading guilty to felony assault of then girlfriend, fellow artist Rihanna:
The Staples Center cheers and Grammy award given to Brown came with controversy, as many believe a man with Brown’s criminal record should not be celebrated. Brown has previously lashed out at those who have not forgotten the assault, notably breaking a window at ABC’s Midtown Manhattan office in 2011 after being asked unexpected questions about the incident during a “Good Morning America” interview.
Shockingly, among many tweets condemning acceptance of Brown back into popular culture, several women Tweeted troubling messages during Brown’s performance, indicating that they were still interested in him regardless of his well-known 2009 conviction.
The View’s Sherri Shepherd criticized the Tweets during Tuesday’s broadcast but did not receive an ovation of her own until she defended Brown, arguing that despite his violent behavior he “deserves another chance.” Mediaite reports that Shepherd opined that people were being too hard on the entertainer, saying that he was “reformed,” and going so far as to say he could even be seen as a “role model.”
Other women in the entertainment industry are not brushing off Brown’s prior transgressions so easily.
Country music star Miranda Lambert came out against Brown immediately at the awards ceremony last Sunday, tweeting “I don’t get it. He beat on a girl,” and Entertainment Weekly reports that Lambert took jabs at the convicted felon during her performance at the University of Massachusetts Thursday:
“Lambert produced a poster for audiences reading ‘Take Notes Chris Brown’ just prior to her performance of “Gunpowder and Lead.” The subject of the tune? A woman who decides to kill her abusive husband.
Said Lambert after showing the poster to her fans: ‘Get a good picture now, put it on Twitter … I’ve been in a world of hurt with Chris Brown fans lately … but see, I just have to speak my mind because where I come from, beating up on a woman is never okay.’ She continued: ‘So that’s why my daddy taught me early on in life how to use a shotgun.’”
ABC News reports that Brown responded quickly to Lambert’s criticism, tweeting “HATE ALL U WANT BECUZ I GOT A GRAMMY Now! That’s the ultimate F—OFF!”
ABC News on the growing celebrity feud not on record sales, reality TV drama or artistic competition, but the cheering of a man who may have apologized but still brutally beat a woman:
To make the entire controversy even more unsettling, there are rumors circulating that Chris Brown and Rihanna are getting back together professionally to produce a new single, and were seen together at Rihanna’s birthday party.
(AP) –Clapping hands and swaying to gospel hymns in the church where Whitney Houston’s powerful voice once wowed her congregation, the biggest names in entertainment sang along with the choir to remember the pop superstar at her hometown funeral Saturday.
“We are here today, hearts broken but yet with God’s strength we celebrate the life of Whitney Houston,” the Rev. Joe A. Carter told the packed New Hope Baptist Church after the choir behind him sang “The Lord is My Shepherd.”
Mourners including singer Jennifer Hudson and Houston’s mother, gospel singer Cissy Houston, stood, swayed and clapped along in the aisles as gospel singers BeBe Winans and the Rev. Kim Burrell joined with pop stars like Alicia Keys in paying tribute to the 48-year-old pop superstar who first began singing in the Newark church.
“You wait for a voice like that for a lifetime,” said music mogul Clive Davis, who shepherded Houston’s career for decades.
Others were more mournful; singer Ray J., who spent time with Houston during her last days, broke down crying. His sister, singer Brandy, put her arm around him. Cissy Houston and Houston’s daughter, 18-year-old Bobbi Kristina, clutched each other in the front of the row. Toward the end of the service, Bobbi Kristina and Ray J. embraced at length and spoke. Others gathered near the front of the church and hugged each other.
Actor Kevin Costner, her co-star in “The Bodyguard” that spawned her greatest hit, remembered a movie star who was uncertain of her own fame, who “still wondered, `Am I good enough? Am I pretty enough? Will they like me?’”
“It was the burden that made her great and the part that caused her to stumble in the end,” Costner said.
Filmmaker Tyler Perry praised Houston’s “grace that kept on carrying her all the way through, the same grace led her all the way to the top of the charts. She sang for presidents.”
Stevie Wonder and Oprah Winfrey were among the biggest names gathered to mourn Houston, along with Hudson, Monica, Brandy and Jordin Sparks – representing a generation of big-voiced young singers who grew up emulating her. Houston’s voice, a recording of “I Will Always Love You,” was to close the funeral.
Houston’s cousin Dionne Warwick presided over the funeral, introducing speakers and singers and offering short comments about Houston between them.
Houston’s mother was helped by two people on either side of her as she walked in and sat with her granddaughter and other family to begin the service. Houston’s ex-husband, Bobby Brown, briefly appeared at her funeral, walking to the casket, touching it and walking out. Security guards said Brown was upset that he would have to sit separately from the people he arrived with, and left. A Brown representative didn’t immediately comment.
Mourners fell quiet as three police officers escorted Houston’s casket, draped with white roses and purple lilies. White-robed choir members began to fill the pews on the podium. As the band played softly, the choir sang in a hushed voice, “Whitney, Whitney, Whitney.”
Close family friend Aretha Franklin, whom Houston lovingly called “Aunt Ree,” had been expected to sing at the service, but she was too ill to attend. Franklin said in an email to The Associated Press that she had been up most of the night with leg spasms and sent best wishes to the family. “May God bless and keep them all,” she wrote.
A program featuring a picture of Houston looking skyward read “Celebrating the life of Whitney Elizabeth Houston, a child of God.” Pictures of Houston as a baby, with her mother and daughter filled the program.
“I never told you that when you were born, the Holy Spirit told me that you would not be with me long,” Cissy Houston wrote her daughter in a letter published in the program. “And I thank God for the beautiful flower he allowed me to raise and cherish for 48 years.”
“Rest, my baby girl in peace,” the letter ends, signed “mommie.”
The service marks one week after Houston, one of music’s all-time biggest stars, was found dead in a Beverly Hills hotel in California. A cause of death has yet to be determined.
To the world, Houston was the pop queen with the perfect voice, the dazzling diva with regal beauty, a troubled superstar suffering from addiction and, finally, another victim of the dark side of fame.
To her family and friends, she was just “Nippy.” A nickname given to Houston when she was a child, it stuck with her through adulthood and, later, would become the name of one of her companies. To them, she was a sister, a friend, a daughter, and a mother.
“She always had the edge,” the Rev. Jesse Jackson said outside church Saturday. “You can tell when some kids have what we call a special anointing. Aretha had that when she was 14. … Whitney cultivated that and took it to a very high level.”
A few fans gathered Saturday morning hours before the service as close as they could get to the church, some from as far away as Washington, D.C., and Miami. Bobby Brooks said he came from Washington “just to be among the rest of the fans.”
“Just to celebrate her life, not just her death,” said Brooks, “just to sing and dance with the people that love her.”
Others were more entrepreneurial, setting up card tables to sell silk-screened T-shirts with Houston’s image and her CDs. But only the invited would get close to the church; streets were closed to the public for blocks in every direction. But their presence was felt around the church, with a huge shrine of heart-shaped balloons and personal messages that covered the street corner around the church entrance.
Houston’s death marked the final chapter for the superstar whose fall from grace while shocking was years in the making. Houston had her first No. 1 hit by the time she was 22, followed by a flurry of No. 1 songs and multi-platinum records.
Over her career, she sold more than 50 million records in the United States alone. Her voice, an ideal blend of power, grace and beauty, made classics out of songs like “Saving All My Love For You,” `’I Will Always Love You,” `’The Greatest Love of All“ and ”I’m Every Woman.” Her six Grammys were only a fraction of her many awards.
But amid the fame, a turbulent marriage to Brown and her addiction to drugs tarnished her image. She became a woman falling apart in front of the world.
Her last album, “I Look To You,” debuted on the top of the charts when it was released in 2009 with strong sales, but didn’t have the staying power of her previous records. A tour the next year was doomed by cancellations because of illness and sub-par performances.
Still, a comeback was ahead: She was to star in the remake of the movie “Sparkle” and was working on new music. Her family, friends and hard-core fans were hopeful.
The funeral is for invited guests only. Houston is to be buried next to her father, John Houston, in nearby Westfield, N.J.