Linkage: Taylor Swift and Harry Styles Are Dunzo, Woody Allen’s New Flick Gets a Title

Taylor Swift and One Direction’s Harry Styles have broken up. I, for one, haven’t been this devastated since Taylor Swift broke up with that Kennedy kid. Alas, at least this means Swift will have enough material for at least three songs on her next album. (I’m guessing she’s been drafting some lyrics on that boat.) I’m hoping at least one of them is about Styles’s second set of nipples. (It’d be a good dig in a song called “I Could Never Love You (As Much As You Love Yourself)”) [NY Daily News, Gawker]

Woody Allen’s latest project has a name: Blue Jasmine. It also has a million people in it, including Alec Baldwin, Cate Blanchett, Bobby Cannavale, Louis C.K., Andrew Dice Clay, Sally Hawkins, and Peter Sarsgaard. Here’s hoping Andrew Dice Clay plays the regular Woody Allen doppelganger. [Splitsider]

Rapper / weed enthusiast The Game took a break from scarfing down peanut butter-covered Fritos and DiGiorno pizzas to make some comments following Justin Bieber’s alleged marijuana use: “Let’s keep it real. There’s a lot of people in high positions…who smoke a little weed sometimes. I’m not saying it’s okay…but [Bieber] made a mistake.” I’m totally surprised that his statement wasn’t more to the point. [SOHH]

Last year, New York pizza joint L’Asso sent me a calendar featuring pizzas in sexy poses. (One included a pizza wearing assless chaps. I know it’s hard to picture, but just go with it.) It looks like someone else has figured out exactly what I’d like to put on my wall in 2013: a calendar featuring women covered in manure. [The Gloss]

“I chose Ellen as Jesus because of the incredibly positive impact she’s had on the masses. When she came out as gay on television her career took an unjust beating, and she rose form the ashes to become more powerful and well-liked than ever. Portia de Rossi was the easy choice as Mary Magdalene. The only other character I wanted to match up historically was Judas. Despite her status as a fictional character, I absolutely had to choose Shane McCutcheon from ‘The L Word’ as Judas because of her notoriously bad behavior in relationships.” Art, you guys. [HuffPo]

James Franco. Justin Bieber. This link placed here solely for SEO purposes. [Observer]

Bones is returning for a ninth season, which only makes me wonder if anyone can bother to explain to me what the hell Bones is about. [EW]

Brad Pitt has been banned from China, and Paris Hilton has been banned from Japan. Too bad I can’t ban them from my brain HA HA HA AM I RIGHT? [Flavorwire]

Apparently we should all be friends with Lars Von Trier’s Melancholia on Facebook. [Creeper Status]

Here’s a video of a dude falling off a skateboard. You know you need it today. [Hypervocal]

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We’re Breaking Up With ‘The Voice’

You watch too much TV. No, you do. So do I. We all follow too many series and overload our DVRs to the point where we have to spend Sunday afternoons clearing them out like they’re our junk drawer. And there are new shows premiering all the time! Some of them worth a look—okay, most of them aren’t, but SOME. But we can’t just keep piling on like this. We’ve gotta start weeding shows out. On the plus side, if you’re a wonky sort, a good TV purge is often a great way to examine what you’re looking for in your entertainment. What you value. So each week here at BlackBook, we’re going to tell you what show you should be giving up on. It won’t be easy, but it has to be done. This week, we’re letting go of The Voice.

Getting Dumped: The Voice

What’d They Do This Time? Look, we all know why we started watching The Voice. We’d just gotten out of a grueling relationship with American Idol that left us disillusioned and with nightmares about LeeDWyze. At the time, The Voice was as good a rebound choice as anything else. A leopard never changes its spots, after all—we’re always going to need some kind of music-based talent show to rally around. And The Voice had a lot of great elements. For one thing, they seemed to value exactly what their title said they would, preferring impressive vocals over gimmicky, freakshow auditions. And the focus on mentorship, rather than throwing contestants out to the wolves not knowing anything, was a cool twist. But let’s be honest: we had one thing on our minds when we were falling for The Voice: those chairs. They were a brilliant innovation, bringing all the spontaneous excitement of a Whack-a-Mole game to the traditional singing competition. Watching the power shift from the judges one minute (will they hit that button??) to the contestant the next minute (which mentor will they choose??) is legitimately exciting TV.

This is the problem, though: everything that’s great about the show is swiveling around in those chairs, and after the audition rounds are over, there are still weeks—MONTHS, even—to go before the show settles on a winner. Which, also, not for nothing, but can you name one winner of The Voice off the top of your head? Do you even know how many there have been? The simple truth is that the contestants have never been more compelling than the judges, and the later weeks really suffer for that. After multiple seasons of trying to make the middle and later rounds as compelling as those wonderful chair-turning rounds, isn’t it time to admit that this is all the show is capable of offering, thank it for some hot rebound action, and start looking for something more stable?

Anything Else? Carson Daly. Why? Why is Carson Daly? Why is he constantly introducing himself to the families? Do the other judges even know he’s there? We should be fine with not knowing the answers to any of these questions, by the way.

What We’ll Miss: The judges, of course. Their competitive camaraderie is a lot of fun to watch. But that’s actually another reason to call it quits now, with Christina Aguilera and Cee-Lo Green leaving after this season. If the sad last few years of American Idol have taught us anything, it’s that the desperate search for random celebrities to plug into judges’ chairs is a sad spectacle indeed. We’ll be able to get our fill of Adam Levine on American Horror Story, and THAT show will get him naked, so we’re fine with the tradeoff.

What We’ll Have More Time For: The Voice is on two nights a week, for three hours total, so it’s like breaking up with THREE shows at once! Mondays are kind of a wasteland if you’re not into Dancing with the Stars or Bones, though we’ve heard good things about Switched at Birth on ABC Family (seriously!). But on Tuesdays, you’ll have more time for the promising Ben & Kate on FOX. No singing on that one, but Lucy Punch kiiind of looks like Christina Aguilera?

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