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Michael DeLaney

Game of Thrones: "No end in sight"


Game of Thrones third season wrapped in June, but you’re still missing it, aren’t you? There’s been a lack of nudity, beheadings and betrayal in your life, hasn’t there? And perish the thought that you actually read the Game of Thrones books.

Game of Thrones’ TV turn has no end in sight it would seem. HBO programming chief Michael Lambardo recently told TV critics that Game of Thrones will go on as long as there are stories to tell.

This should come as no surprise; HBO isn’t going to let a cash cow like Game of Thrones go so easily. The season three finale had 5.4 million viewers, just shy of its 5.5 million all-time high. The third season overall averaged around 13.6 million viewers, making it HBO’s second most-watched series next to The Sopranos.

With that in mind, HBO is rumored to be cracking the whip with writer and series creator George R.R. Martin. At the rate that the TV series is going, Game of Thrones runs the risk of surpassing the stories in the book. Lambardo tells the press that HBO’s frequent message to Martin is “Get busy writing.”

Production on Season 4 of Game of Thrones has just begun in Iceland, where most of the scenes featuring “The Wall” are filmed.

Producers of the show announced a handful of new cast members last week, including Roger Ashton-Griffiths as Mace Tyrell, Indira Varma as Ellaria Sand and Joseph Gatt in a role that hasn’t been made completely clear at this time.

The series has been ranking as well with the critics as it is with the fans. Over the weekend Game of Thrones was awarded “Best Drama” by the Television Critics Association at their annual awards show.   

Game of Thrones has also gotten some Emmy recognition with 13 nominations, including Outstanding Drama Series and Peter Dinkleage’s Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series nomination.  

That’s your Game of Thrones fix for the day.

Peter Capaldi is the new Doctor Who

Who is Who?

The sentence “Peter Capaldi is the new Doctor Who” might leave many people asking the question: “who?” for several reasons. One might be “Who is Peter Capaldi?” Perhaps it could mean “Who is Doctor Who?” Another still might be “Who am I?” which of course is a completely different topic all together.

Peter Capaldi was announced as the 12th person to play the titular role of Doctor Who during a live broadcast on Sunday.

“It’s so wonderful not to keep this secret any longer,” he told reporters. “I haven’t played Doctor Who since I was 9 on the playground.”

Peter Capaldi is a 55-year-old Scottish actor who most recently appeared in Brad Pitt’s World War Z this summer. In 1995, Peter Capaldi won an Academy Award for his short film Franz Kafka’s It’s a Wonderful Life.

Peter Capaldi, will take over the role from current Doctor Matt Smith after he ends his run later in 2013. As previously mentioned, Capaldi will be the 12th Doctor since the show debuted in 1963; he will be the fourth version of the character since the series reboot in 2005. Capaldi also has appeared on Doctor Who once previously, as a guest star in 2008.

So now you have a little bit of an idea of who Peter Capaldi is, let us move on to murkier waters shall we? Who/what is Doctor Who?

Doctor Who is probably one of three things for you: A) the greatest thing that has ever happened to you; a science fiction masterpiece. B) A silly piece of nerd culture that you will have nothing to do with. C) a venerable piece of pop culture that you have some respect for but have never watched out of indifference.

For the time being, I fall into the “C” crowd.

Doctor Who (known simply as the Doctor) travels time and space in his sentient ship TARDIS. The role of the Doctor changes hands in the show in a process called “regeneration” which will likely facilitate Peter Capaldi’s entrance into the series.

It’s a heady show for sure. Personally I think I prefer Inspector Spacetime. (Ehhh Community fans??)

Giant KFC bucket arrives on Earth

Despite how it may look, Aleena Headrick is not a cultivator of giant KFC buckets. The Georgia resident discovered the large container in her front yard last Thursday; regrettably, there was no chicken surprise inside.

The giant KFC bucket is seven feet in diameter with red-and-white stripes. It has an illustration of a bearded man on it whom fast food historians refer to as “The Colonel,” no one has found a military record of his service.

The side of the giant KFC bucket reads “Kentucky Fried Chicken,” which inside experts allege to be the same restaurant as KFC.

Headrick’s response was to post pictures of the giant KFC bucket to the Facebook, turning it into a roadside attraction bringing joy to all fried chicken enthusiasts that passed by.

It was later revealed that the giant KFC bucket is a 40-year-old store display that Headrick’s landlord Freddie Taylor had purchased.

It would seem that Taylor is a big fan of large chicken containers, as he plans on permanently displaying it in Headrick’s yard. Headrick seems to be totally fine with this, which is good because it sounds like the giant KFC bucket was going to be there no matter what.

The photos of the giant KFC bucket circulated over the internet and even made their way to KFC’s corporate offices. KFC has offered to throw the Headricks a free fried chicken picnic, because everyone wants their home to be turned into a fast food commercial.

KFC has not commented if they will bring 7-foot containers of dipping sauces.

New Breaking Bad trailer

Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!”

AMC has released a new Breaking Bad trailer for the final episodes that begin on August 11. The trailer doesn’t reveal any new scenes from the second half of the final season, but it feels as if Walter White is headed for a fall (shocking, right?)

The Breaking Bad trailer is a meld of key locations from the series run and a voiceover narration by Walter White himself, Bryan Cranston. Cranston is reciting “Ozymandias,” the sonnet written by Percy Bysshe Shelley.

The trailer opens with the sun rising on the New Mexico desert, a frequent locale of many of the goings-on of Breaking Bad. Time is sped up, as cars are whizzing by and clouds breezing through the sky. We see the top of the old RV, the Octopus carwash, the exterior of the White household and the green and yellow tents of the Vamanos Pest.

Ozymandias is the Greek name of Ramses II, one of the most powerful Egyptian pharaohs. Shelley’s poem details the eventual fall of all rulers, with a statue of Ozymandias, sunken in the sand, reading:  

“My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:
Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!”

It’s at this moment in the Breaking Bad trailer that the camera pulls back on the desert-scape to reveal a dusted and tattered hat, namely the hat that Heisenberg wears. And Walt has made it clear he is in “the empire business,” making him the Ozymandias of the methamphetamine market.

The Breaking Bad trailer is certainly a forecast of gloominess for our former chemistry teacher Walter White. That’s no surprise, really. Did you ever think that Breaking Bad was going to have Jesse, Walt and the Whites riding the RV off into the sunset?

Fat. Chance.

Breaking Bad returns to AMC on Sunday August 11 at 9pm EST.

Check out the trailer here:

Real Houswives star Teresa Giudice and husband accused with 39 counts of fraud

Working hard to keep New Jersey Classy

The Real Housewives of New Jersey “star” Teresa Giudice and her husband, Joe, have been charged with fraud in a 39-count indictment by the federal government. The charbroiled child-bearer and her man are accused of conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud, bank fraud, making false statements on loan applications and bankruptcy fraud.

Teresa Giudice, whose claim to fame is flipping over a dinner table or some such, will face up to 50 years in prison, along with her husband. A wealthy New Jersey Italian-American family accused of breaking federal law? Teresa Giudice and her husband are really working hard to fight nasty stereotypes, I see.

Joe and Teresa Giudice are accused of submitting fraudulent loan applications for seven years leading up to the debut of The Real Housewives of New Jersey on Bravo. Joe Giudice also failed to file tax returns from 2004 through 2008, when he allegedly made almost $1 million.

The indictment claims that when Teresa Giudice filed for a mortgage loan of $121,000 in 2001, she falsely claimed she worked as an executive assistant, submitted fake W-2 forms and fake paystubs along with it. It looks like the “Real Housewife” was working relatively hard at her fake job; so there’s that.

The New Jersey couple appears in court today. Teresa Giudice’s attorney, Henry Klingeman, said that the “Real Housewife” would plead not guilty.

From her Twitter account, Teresa Giudice said “I am committed to my family and intend to maintain our lives in the best way possible, which includes continuing my career.”

Wait, is she referring to her fake job on Bravo or the fake job that she told the government she had? I’m confused.

Bravo has yet to comment on the situation but I can see it now: a lavish “After Hours” chat with Teresa Giudice, the U.S. Attorney running the case and probably Sheri Sheppard for some reason. The satin pillow-stuffed event will of course be hosted by human boutonnière Andy Cohen.  

Fox News interviews Reza Aslan to embarrassing effect

Fox News being very Fox Newsy

Recently religious scholar and author Reza Aslan recently appeared on the Fox News web show Spiritual Debate. Aslan came on the show to promote his new book Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth. But the interview quickly turned into an awkward display of Fox News’ tried-and-true numbskullery. The video and story have since gone viral.

Reza Aslan is a former Evangelical Christian who has converted to Islam; can you guess which part of that sentence Fox News’ Lauren Green focused on? Detractors have stated that Reza Aslan shoudn’t be writing about Jesus Christ since he is a Muslim; a point that Green embarrassingly re-iterated several times.

Reza Aslan himself reassured Green multiple times that along with being a Muslim he is a religious scholar who has been studying Jesus and Christianity for over 20 years. When Green initially questioned Reza Aslan’s right to cover the topic of Jesus and Christianity, the author seemed a little shocked.

“Well, to be clear, I am a scholar of religions with four degrees, including one in the New Testament, and fluency in biblical Greek, who has been studying the origins of Christianity for two decades, who also just happens to be a Muslim,” he said.

Zealout: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth puts Jesus in the historical context of the time and world he lived in. Reza Aslan welcomes open discussion to the content of his book, but constantly finds his own religious beliefs at the center of the argument instead.

“I do think it’s perhaps a little bit strange that rather than debating the arguments of the book we are debating the right of the scholar to actually write it,” Aslan said.

Reza Aslan kept himself pretty well-composed during the interview, trying to delve into the research that he had done in preparation for the book. But leave it to Fox News to glaze over any actual information and instead search for flashy headline sound bites.

Throughout the course of the interview, Green would interrupt Aslan to read another quote of criticism; not really leading up to it, not really following it up, simply to elicit a reaction. Lauren Green’s interview of Reza Aslan was basically the “I’m not touching you game” of journalism.

Besides having to repeat the fact that he has a PHD in religions of all kinds, Aslan also had to address the fact of his “secret religion.” Green proposed that Aslan had been keeping his faith hidden in the press, implying that he was being dishonest. Aslan responded by encouraging Green to find media that didn’t mention his religious beliefs.

This is another laughable example of how Fox News does business. The basis of this interview’s argument is “why should a Muslim be allowed to write about Jesus?” This may fly over the heads of those at Fox News, but that is religious prejudice.

Also, how can Lauren Green ask Reza Aslan if he can write about Jesus? The man’s last name is Aslan, the lion Jesus of The Lion the The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe!

See the video for yourself:

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Dexter insta-recap

I wrote it while you watched it!

Dexter Recap begins…NOW! So we left off last week with Deb trying to off ol’ Dex (and herself) by running the two of them off of the road and into the water. She then went on to save him after she herself she was saved by a bystander.

Dexter’s latest episode opens with a family therapy of sorts with Deb and Dexter under the care of Dr. Vogel. I like the idea of brother/sister therapy for these two.

Oo Vogel is listening to “Make your own kind of music,” a song by Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil featured recently (and awesomely) on Lost. And BAM! She gets kidnapped by former patient A.J. Yates! Luckily Deb needs some shrinky shrink time so she stops by to find the doc gone, and then goes to recruit Dexter. They reconcile at a crime scene, who needs Vogel’s therapy anyway?

Speaking of Vogel, she’s playing the Stockholm card right now with her captor.

Potential sergeant tension between Quinn and lady cop whose name I can’t recall!

Masuka is bonding with his new daughter; aaaaand yep! It looks like she’s squeezing him for money.

Dexter pumps Angel for info on Yates, because the blood spatter guy gets that kind of inside info from the lead Lieutenant.

Deputy Matthews is telling Quinn to get off of the current murder case because he’s friends with the suspected killer’s family; I feel like this show just throws arbitrary characters in the role of dirty cop whenever the plot dictates the need for a dirty cop. Sigh.

Masuka is hiring Deb, Private Eye, to look into his daughter’s past. Deb likes finding out family secrets.

Dexter comes home to find Jamie, Quinn and neighbor Cassie. I smell set up! Why is Jamie the most clueless babysitter ever in regards to what her employer does? She is pretty much raises Harrison… Leave it to Dexter to drop out of a dinner party with a lame-o excuse though.

BTW I kind of like Deb and Dexter working a case together, it’s nice.

Vogel is trying to play some psychiatry voodoo on Yates by playing the role of his mother; it seems to be working…almost. Vogel dials Dexter from Yates’ phone, which is totally unbelievable because no one remembers people’s numbers anymore!

Deb calls on a favor from Boondock Saints guy. Oh Boondock Saints guy, Deb is going to break that douchey heart of yours. (Fun fact: she just called him a saint!)

And in a twisted moment of irony, Yates (who as a child hid under the bed from his abusive mother) is lying in wait for Dexter under the bed. But of course Dexter sees through this and just straight up impales him through the mattress. I dunno, that must’ve taken a lot of force. I’m just saying…

And now Dexter, Deb and Vogel: brother, sister and mother, are on the boat dumping the body together. The only thing missing is little Harrison to truly make it a family affair.

Next week: follow up on Zach Hamilton, the killer-boy. Vogel wants to teach him Harry’s code, eh? Oh and Boondock Saints guy totally needlessly defends Deb’s honor when a dude flirts with her. Poor Boondock Saints guy. Uh oh, Quinn sees Dexter sneaking around on a kill and says “I know what you’re doing.” I bet you my life’s savings that he does not in fact know what Dexter is doing. (It’s quite the life’s savings, mind you.)


Radio personality Kidd Kraddick dies at 53

Dave Kraddick, known by moniker Kidd Kraddick, died yesterday at age 53. He was the host of the Kidd Kraddick in the Morning show, a Texas-based radio program that focuses on pop culture commentary and discussion.

Kidd Kraddick died in the New Orleans suburb of Gretna, where a golf function was being held for the radio and TV host’s non-profit The Kraddick Foundation. YEA Networks, who syndicates Kidd Kraddick in the Morning, released a statement to the press in regards to his death:

“All of us with YEA Networks and the Kidd Kraddick in the Morning crew are heartbroken over the loss of our dear friend and leader,” the network statement said. “Kidd devoted his life to making people smile every morning, and for 21 years his foundation has been dedicated to bringing joy to thousands of chronically and terminally ill children.”

While the exact cause or circumstances of Kidd Kraddick’s death are still a mystery, his publicist Ladd Biro said that the details would be released “at the appropriate time.”

Originally from Napoleon, Ohio, Kidd Kraddick made his radio debut in Tampa, Florida. It wasn’t until he moved to Dallas in 1984 that he really broke into the industry. In the years that followed he built a steady fan base and rose in the radio/TV world, garnering several awards in the process.

According to Biro, Kidd Kraddick in the Morning show is played on “more than 75 Top 40 and Hot AC radio stations and is a leader among most-listened-to contemporary morning programs,” he said. In addition the program is broadcast globally via American Forces Radio Network and the cast of Kidd Kraddick in the Morning are featured on the nationally syndicated TV show Dish Nation.

His charitable works with The Kraddick Foundation set to bring joy to children who have terminal or chronic illnesses or are accident victims. According to the non-profit’s website The Kraddick Foundation’s main event is “Kidd’s Kids,” which flies children (age 5-11) and their families to Walt Disney World for 5 days every November.

YEA Networks has yet to comment on the future of Kidd Kraddick in the Morning without its host and namesake. They did however remark on Kidd Kraddick’s last day, saying:

“He died doing what he loved, and his final day was spent selflessly focused on those special children that meant the world to him.”

NBC calls The Walking Dead "an anomaly"

The TV network gives a state of the union speech to the press

Oh NBC, sometimes you’re like a crazy old uncle who thinks that rotary phones are going to come back in style. NBC has been hurting in the ratings game for almost a decade now and hasn’t addressed the press since January of this year.

NBC execs gave a state of the union-styled speech yesterday during the Television Critics Association press tour in Beverly Hills. During the speech, NBC entertainment executive Bob Greenblatt defended the network’s ratings and cited the uphill battle that network TV has against cable.

Greenblatt seemed to shrug off the success of cable network AMC as a fluke, despite a show like The Walking Dead, which was last fall’s highest rated show on TV, network and cable. The NBC exec referred to cable television as “the bastard child,” saying:

“Our peers in the industry don’t look at the work we do. They just look at the shiny new bulb in the cable world … it’s just a fact of life … I lost count of how many networks do original programming these days … I wish we could get more respect for the good work that we do.”

Greenblatt called out The Walking Dead in particular, labeling it as “an anomaly.” Odds are that Greenblatt was referring to NBC’s Revolution, itself being a knock-off of The Walking Dead and other post-apocalyptic series.

Revolution was the one of the most anticipated shows when it premiered last fall, with an audience of 11.65 million. By the end of the first season however, there was a big drop-off in ratings, with the season finale hitting only 6.17 million viewers. The series has been renewed for a second season however.

Greenblatt wrapped up the anti-cable rant by stating that network TV is held to a stricter standard, saying that if many of the cable shows (clearly not counting The Walking Dead) did the same ratings on network TV, they’d be cancelled.”

“If we could put on one show a year, it would be the best show you ever saw,” he said.

The NBC spokesman related disappointment in the cancellation of comedies The New Normal and Go On. He described the frustration he has with comedy TV and noted that perhaps The New Normal was “ahead of its time.”

Greenblatt also defended the network’s current stance in the ratings, which has more or less stayed the same; not risen or fallen too dramatically.

“At this point in our business, flat is the new up. Network television declined 4 to 7 percent…in that environment I think holding your position is a good thing…the other nets are all down,” Greenblatt stated.

Another highlight of the press conference was the unveiling of some of NBC’s new shows this year, including drama The Blacklist, a Hilary Clinton miniseries and a TV reboot of Rosemary’s Baby. With NBC’s Hannibal and A&E’s Bates Motel, television is really jonesing for rebooting classic Hollywood horror these days I guess.

In a nutshell, the NBC press conference was just the latest example of all the cracks in the NBC television structure, and their odd way of adapting to the changing climate that shows like The Walking Dead and Game of Thrones have made.

Do you still watch NBC shows or are you an AMC zombie who just watches The Walking Dead?

Mysterious hum annoys people like Fran Drescher's laugh

It can’t possibly be as bad…right?

Planet Earth certainly does enjoy their tall tales and urban legends: Bigfoot, the Loch Ness Monster and the Mysterious Hum. Wait, you’ve never heard of the mysterious hum before? Well I assure you that it totally exists and I’m not being paranoid…I’m not crazy!

The eloquently-named mysterious hum has been plaguing people around the world for over 40 years. The mysterious hum is a low-frequency buzz that pesters people in places far and wide including Taos, New Mexico; Bristol, England; and Largs, Scotland.

We don’t have much information on the hum, but like all things in the news media, that doesn’t stop us from speculating. We sure do love speculating!

This absurd phenomenon has garnered so much interest that there have been many scientific investigations into the mysterious hum. In 2003, an acoustical consultant named Geoff Leventhall noted that most people who hear this strange noise are ages 55 to 70.

The mysterious hum is generally only heard indoors and is louder at night than it is during the day. Parts of the world that have noted the hum’s occurrence are typically rural areas that don’t have the loud noises of a larger city. Only a small portion of people in these areas have actually claimed to have heard the mysterious hum, around 2 percent.

Those who have studied the mysterious hum seem fairly confident that its roots are based in science and are not in fact as a byproduct of frequently wearing aluminum foil on your head. Some researchers believe that it is a result of low-frequency electromagnetic radiation, with only certain people being able to hear it.

Though they do not believe the mysterious hum is anything fantastical, scientists have also not disproved that the ability to hear this annoying sound could be the development of the worst super power ever.  

Perhaps the origins of this irritating hum, this Tyler Perry of noises, will stay hidden forever. On the other hand, maybe the small percentage of people who actually hear the hum are sleeper agents who will be activated by their alien warlord masters who have finished their decades-long journey to travel to our planet and have just arrived.

Or maybe some guy just left his radio on the wrong frequency. I don’t know, what do you want from me?