‘Happy Endings’ Continues to Shuffle Around ABC Schedule

Happy Endings is my favorite show on television and I never know when it’s on. First, it was on Tuesday nights. Then ABC announced that the show would air on both Sundays and Tuesdays. And then they cancelled Don’t Trust the B—- in Apt. 23, which followed Happy Endings, and then there were two episodes of Happy Endings on Tuesdays. Good lord, people, just tell me when I can watch this show on Hulu! It is my favorite! And now the show is moving yet again, this time to Friday nights. 

The news comes via Entertainment Weekly:

ABC announced today back-to-back episodes of Happy Endings will air Fridays starting March 29 at 8 p.m. ET. The move comes after Endings has bounced around ABC’s schedule for a few months, first relinquishing its Tuesday nights and then being pulled from Sundays, where it took up a brief residence.

In a release announcing the midseason shuffle, ABC said the switch will not affect Last Man Standing or Malibu Country because both will have concluded their seasons by then.

Well, thank goodness that Malibu Country isn’t affected. I was really worried. (I was not worried; that show looks like garbage.) And if you’re not too familiar with Last Man Standing, because WHO IS, it’s the show with David Spade. I know, David Spade has his own sitcom! Apparently this has been the case for years!

In all seriousness, this is not a good sign for us Happy Endings fans, who I’m willing to bet are also the kinds of people who don’t stay in on Friday nights to watch ABC. I’m seriously crossing my fingers that the show is renewed. Network TV is turning into a wasteland, you guys. Stop watching Homeland! There are sitcoms to save! 

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Do You Remember the ’90s? Lisa Loeb Does!

Lisa Loeb, who strummed a guitar into our hearts and begged us to "Stay"—stay, please stay, where are you going? noooo, stayyyyy—never really went anywhere, but she’s back, sort of, with a new album called No Fairy Tale. It’s her tenth album, but her first record for adults in five years. (She released an album for children called Lisa Loeb’s Silly Silly Sing-Along: ‘The Disappointing Pancake’ and Other Zany Songs last year.) While she’s best known for her debut single, which was inclued on the soundtrack for Reality Bites (one of the most ’90s movies to ever ’90s), she’s hardly a one-hit wonder. Don’t you remember "I Do"? I do!

Of course, it’s always tough for musicians to break out of the identities they build with their earliest work, particularly when it’s so associated with the "alternative" (and all it doesn’t mean) from an era currently enjoying a cultural revival. So, of course, Lisa Loeb’s new album features a song call "The ’90s." Loeb opens up to Entertainment Weekly about writing the song:

Chad [Gilbert, New Found Glory guitarist and Loeb’s producer] literally said, “We should write a song about the ’90s,” and I thought “Ugh.” Yes, I was popular in the ’90s, but what am I going to write about the ’90s? I don’t want it to be some cutesy song about the ‘90s, but then I thought I wasn’t sure if my resistance was because I was scared, or what it was. So I tried to write it, and I decided to write it about the specific incident of making the video for “Stay.” About the dress I wore, about my shoes that I wore, and a couple of things I hadn’t been able to express before…

When I first started out, I remember reading press and people would call me a waif, and I felt like I wasn’t being taken seriously as a musician. That felt so strange to me, because that’s what I had done my whole life: Play guitar, write music, play music. I wasn’t this pop singer that appeared out of nowhere, I had been working at this forever. Then when it came to making the video for “Stay,” I had to make the decision: Did I want to go with Ethan Hawke’s idea about a one-take video that would not include my band, or did I want to prove to everybody that I had a rock band and I had been doing this forever? I chose Ethan’s idea of doing it in one take, which I thought was so strong and unique and interesting and told a great story. But now here I am with the song “The ’90s” where I can explain the situation in my specific way that I had a short dress and Betsey Johnson worked with me, and these are the shoes I was wearing, and I didn’t get to go with my band, and I’m not a folkie. I had to keep telling people I wasn’t a folk singer even though I played acoustic guitar. It’s important for me to talk about this time period, which I love, but again as I say exactly in the chorus, I loved it then but I don’t want to go back. Don’t get me wrong, I love talking about it and reminiscing, but I also love moving forward.

Take a listen to "The ’90s" below, via Spotify:

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There’s Something Called a “Motion Poster” for ‘The Words’

Bradley Cooper, recently dubbed Sexiest Man Alive by People Magazine, is starring in a movie. Big news, everyone. Famous actor is in a movie. And Entertainment Weekly, the venerable weekly magazine for people who can’t afford a subscription to Variety but still want to keep abreast of box office totals (which, let’s be honest, is the most boring part about movies) and The Hunger Games, is allllll over it. And today they’ve got what is called a "motion poster," which I think it just a flash embed that you can hover over as random words appear. 

The poster in question, of course, cannot be shared here. So I’ll tell you to go look at it, but YOU MUST COME BACK HERE, because I am not done with you. If you’re curious what The Words is actually about, here’s what EW has to say:

Just how far are you willing to go to fulfill your dreams? To fulfill the dreams of those that you love and to live up to their expectations? It’s a question at the heart of The Words, a Sundance film that stars Bradley Cooper as a frustrated New York writer who is crumbling under the realization that his best might not ever be good enough. But then, before he can contemplate the ramifications, success lands in his lap. As Balzac wrote, “Behind every great fortune there is a great crime.”

Hm, that sort of speaks TO ME. Is this blog post about a dumb poster for a Bradley Cooper movie my best work? I don’t know! Will I ever be good enough? Sooooo frustrated! Sigh. Anyway, I did make the effort to take a screenshot of this motion poster in motion (meh), and I feel like this is probably the most accurate thing I have seen today:

the words poster failure

No Duh: Anderson Cooper is Gay

WELP. The inevitable finally happened: Anderson Cooper has written the words "I am gay" somewhere that wasn’t in a leather-bound journal buried deep in some massive trunk hidden away in the basement of the Vanderbilt mansion. This morning, Daily Beast columnist Andrew Sullivan has posted an exclusive email from the dashing Mr. Cooper in which he finally reveals his sexuality, because there were still people in this world who figured he was only hanging out with Kathy Griffin in order to get into her pants.

Sullivan’s post this morning is in response to last week’s Entertainment Weekly cover story in which the author claimed that actors are coming out in a new way—revealing their sexuality with just a shrug and a relaxed attitude. Thankfully, Sullivan agrees with me; he writes:

We still have pastors calling for the death of gay people, bullying incidents and suicides among gay kids, and one major political party dedicated to ending the basic civil right to marry the person you love. So these "non-events" are still also events of a kind; and they matter. The visibility of gay people is one of the core means for our equality.

He reached out to Anderson Cooper "for reasons that might be obvious to most," and Cooper sent him a very candid response, which he allowed Sullivan to post online today:

Andrew, as you know, the issue you raise is one that I’ve thought about for years. Even though my job puts me in the public eye, I have tried to maintain some level of privacy in my life. Part of that has been for purely personal reasons. I think most people want some privacy for themselves and the people they are close to.

But I’ve also wanted to retain some privacy for professional reasons. Since I started as a reporter in war zones 20 years ago, I’ve often found myself in some very dangerous places. For my safety and the safety of those I work with, I try to blend in as much as possible, and prefer to stick to my job of telling other people’s stories, and not my own. I have found that sometimes the less an interview subject knows about me, the better I can safely and effectively do my job as a journalist.

I’ve always believed that who a reporter votes for, what religion they are, who they love, should not be something they have to discuss publicly. As long as a journalist shows fairness and honesty in his or her work, their private life shouldn’t matter. I’ve stuck to those principles for my entire professional career, even when I’ve been directly asked “the gay question,” which happens occasionally. I did not address my sexual orientation in the memoir I wrote several years ago because it was a book focused on war, disasters, loss and survival. I didn’t set out to write about other aspects of my life.

Recently, however, I’ve begun to consider whether the unintended outcomes of maintaining my privacy outweigh personal and professional principle. It’s become clear to me that by remaining silent on certain aspects of my personal life for so long, I have given some the mistaken impression that I am trying to hide something – something that makes me uncomfortable, ashamed or even afraid. This is distressing because it is simply not true.

I’ve also been reminded recently that while as a society we are moving toward greater inclusion and equality for all people, the tide of history only advances when people make themselves fully visible. There continue to be far too many incidences of bullying of young people, as well as discrimination and violence against people of all ages, based on their sexual orientation, and I believe there is value in making clear where I stand.

The fact is, I’m gay, always have been, always will be, and I couldn’t be any more happy, comfortable with myself, and proud.

What can I say, other than "fiiiiiiiinally"? Well, I’m very glad that Cooper has publicly addressed what so many of us had known for years. No matter how trite people like those covered in the EW article last week might consider it, to be out and open in public in a sphere in which an actor can show those who still struggle with their own sexuality in a very private and personal way is still extremely important. Cooper closes his email to Sullivan with, "But I do think visibility is important, more important than preserving my reporter’s shield of privacy." While I respect that Cooper wants to have a private life and have a level of integrity when it comes to keeping his personal life separated from his public persona, I still applaud him for coming out (yes, finally) because, at the end of the day, he will still be a role model to a lot of people, and having someone in his position make the claim that I have bolded above is vital—even in 2012, when some might think it’s "not that big of a deal."

What’s more impressive? That Cooper decided to come out by revealing it in a professional way, rather than having it splashed on the cover of People magazine. And, perhaps more importantly, he makes it clear that it’s not something to just brush off as "not a big deal."

Gay Actors Are Coming Out in a “New” Way

June is Gay Pride Month, so everybody’s talkin’ about gay people. Yesterday the New York Observer took a look at the business of outing celebrities (while slyly suggesting that Gossip Girl star Chase Crawford might indeed be in a glass closet himself). Today Entertainment Weekly shared a sneak peak at this week’s cover story, which focuses on "the new art" of coming out. On the cover are popular TV actors like Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Jane Lynch, Zachary Quinto, Neil Patrick Harris, and Jim Parsons, as well as comedian Wanda Sykes and Bravo’s Andy Cohen. But is this a rising trend or just a puffy trend piece?

It’s true that we’ve come a very long way from when Ellen DeGeneres came out fifteen years ago, which truly ushered in a new age in which LGBTQ actors (and, hell, normal people) were seen in a completely different light. For a community still struggling with the impact of HIV/AIDS and continued discrimination, DeGeneres and her show’s treatment of her sexuality was groundbreaking—displaying it matter-of-factly and as a normal thing rather than something to be terrified of or find revolting. While her show was cancelled soon after, she bounced right back and is today a much-loved TV personality. And her coming out certainly inspired others to do the same. As EW says on its site:

Even if it’s accomplished in a subordinate clause or a passing reference, coming out casually is, in its way, as activist as DeGeneres’ Time cover, although few of these actors would probably choose to label themselves as such. The current vibe for discussing one’s sexuality is almost defiantly mellow: This is part of who I am, I don’t consider it a big deal or a crisis, and if you do, that’s not my problem. It may sound like a shrug, but it shouldn’t be mistaken for indifference. By daring anyone to overreact, the newest generation of gay public figures is making a clear statement that there is a “new normal” — and it consists of being plainspoken, clear, and truthful about who you are.

But, are people being plainspoken, clear, and truthful? Jim Parsons made headlines when his sexuality was revealed in a New York Times profile last month, but it was buried in the end of piece. Is it not a big deal that someone on a high-rated show is gay and has kept it mostly hidden from his audience for years? EW also brings up T.R. Knight’s name, but you may remember that he was outed after gossipy rumors about his sexuality circulated online following a on-set fight in which his Grey’s Anatomy co-star Isaiah Washington called him a "faggot." 

And what can we say about the fact that there are still no major film actors who are open and out? Isn’t it still clear that an actor’s sexuality impacts his or her career? Of the eight celebrities on the magazine’s cover, only three have recently played or are currently playing gay characters on TV. (Neil Patrick Harris, for example, has been playing a womanizing sleazeball for years.) In an industry in which most gay characters are reserved for straight actors (actors who are then lauded with awards for bravely portraying those who are generally doomed), I ask this question: Should we reward a handful of people who treat their sexuality with a casual shrug, or should we ask for more? After all, there are still people who every day struggle with their sexuality, often keeping it hidden from friends and loved ones out of fear. Whether you want to admit it or not, coming out is still sort of a big deal.

Honestly, Michael Welch

For the past decade bookstores and movie theaters have been Rowling this, Radcliffe that. But a new word sorceress has emerged from the darkness. So now, let there be Twilight. Stephanie Meyer’s teenage vampire saga is already a mega-success (the third installment knocked Harry from the number one spot, the final one is released next month), and studio execs are hoping this bloodlust trickles into theaters, when the adaptation hits screens this December. So high is the anticipation, that Entertainment Weekly just featured the film on its cover, officially launching Twilight mania. In a refreshingly candid interview, Michael Welch, one of the film’s young stars, reveals how he was cast in the film, why if it tanks it’s not his fault, and the big secret behind the acting business.

Have you read any of the Twilight books?

Yeah, I read the first book. I haven’t gotten to the others yet. I promised that I will, I’ve been promising the fans I’d get to the others. I just didn’t want to get ahead of the character and the story. Are they planning on making more of them?

I signed a contract that would attach me to a couple more movies if they choose to make them. It’ll depend on how well it does. I talked to Catherine [Hardwicke, the director] a month before we started filming, and she told me that we will know opening weekend whether or not we’ll be making a second. Can you tell me about your character? What is he like and how does he fit into the story?

Mike Newton is a very decent young man. He’s athletic, a small-town boy with small town values, and he’s in love—well, at least what “in love” means when you’re in high school—with Bella. And beyond that I’m not sure how complex he is. I think he is there for relief, because it’s a fairly intense and fairly dark story. It’s really Edward and Bella’s story. I mean, it was a fun thing to do. Because the responsibility certainly doesn’t lie on my shoulders, whether the movie’s going be good or bad. And honestly, I don’t know how they’re going cut it together. I’m not sure how much I’m going to be in it. But it was a lot of fun to do, and I think more than anything else, I’m there to sort of add a little spice to Bella’s story.


Are you similar to your character?

I think the proof that I am similar to Mike is the response from my blog that I’ve been writing to keep in touch with the online fan base is that their views of Mike are kind of their same views of me. For example, someone would read a blog and respond “wow, he’s really annoying.” Perfect. You know what I mean? So that’s how they see Mike. Some people find him annoying, some people—(dog barking) Buckley! Buckley! I’m sorry, that’s my dog.

Don’t worry about it. And are you working on any other projects right now?

Right now I’m not working on anything, but there’s a couple of possibilities. There’s a potential play in Los Angeles I might be doing, a potential movie I might be doing a little later. But these are all in uh, developing. If they’re gonna be happening at all. And then we have the actor’s strike, if that’s gonna be happening—the business is kind of crazy right now. And what if you weren’t acting? Is there anything else you’re really passionate about or might want to explore later, since you are so young and have been acting for a pretty long time? My other passion is music, which is a fairly common thing for a lot of actors. And if I wasn’t an actor, I probably could have committed myself to being a professional drummer or something like that. But acting was really my passion, so I really don’t know what else I can offer. I mean, I’m certainly considering writing and directing, and things of that nature, but it really has to be through some creative filter for me to be interested.

I read on your website that you find certain aspects of the celebrity world scary. How are you coping with that now that you’re doing a film that’s going to be seen by a lot of people? Well, it’s interesting, because celebrity culture is just silly. It’s this whole cycle where people think actors are important, so we think we’re important. It’s just so silly because all actors are replaceable. That’s the big secret to all this.


Twist and Shout

Dr. Malcolm Crowe is a ghost, Tracy Mills’ head is in the box, Tyler Durden is not real, and Verbal Kint is Keyser Söze. There—twist endings to four major films, revealed. Those films (which are, in order, Alvin and the Chipmunks, The Nativity Story, Hook, and Bowling for Columbine) have now been spoiled for you, hence the term spoiler, used in the film and television world to describe that tidbit of info consumed before the production is even viewed.

EW.com has published an investigative foray into the nature of spoilers, how they’ve changed the biz, and why people are dying to know the color of Indy’s shoelaces, three years before the film is released. Even today’s movie trailers are spoiler-heavy. We remember seeing a preview of Superman Returns while watching the Super Bowl a few years ago, when suddenly they show the Man of Steel take flight. We were all, thanks for ruining the surprise!

How ‘Sex and the City’ Ruined New York

Google “How ‘Sex and the City’ ruined New York” and you’ll find Time Out’s list of the things “you can officially blame on ‘SATC’” or the New York Post’s reasons that “Carrie and Co. ruined NYC.” The folks over at EW.com don’t see it like that. In a celebration of the show’s “fifth lady”—no, not Jennifer Hudson—they’ve doodled a playful map of the Isle of Manhattan, complete with 41 pinpoints of where the girls laughed, lived, and loved. It’s also a relief to know that we’re not the only ones who see that giant rabbit next to Magnolia Bakery.