The festive season might mean fun with family and too much turkey, but it’s also the time entertainment addicts suffer through a television drought.

But you needn’t struggle with withdrawals until the new seasons hit the small screen. Use the time to catch up on these cult favorites in time for their 2014 returns.

1. ‘Nashville’: Sudsy Drama with a Country Twang

Connie Britton and Hayden Panettiere star as Rayna Jaymes and Juliette Barnes, two rival country singers thrown together by their shared record label for a national tour. Don’t expect music to unite this pair a la Glee, though. Rayna can’t stand Juliette’s short dresses and bad attitude, while Juliette feels the more seasoned Rayna is dragging her down. There’s plenty more drama aside from their tumultuous relationship and some killer original country songs.

Even the country music industry has celebrated ABC’s soapy drama series. Country-pop darling Kelly Clarkson, who once described Nashville as her “new favorite TV show,” will play herself on the January 15 season return.

2. ‘Girls’: Coming-of-Age Dramedy with an Edge

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Actress-producer-writer Lena Dunham has seemingly burst out of nowhere with her coming-of-age dramatic comedy Girls. With her posse of young women navigating love and sex in New York City, the comparisons to Sex & the City were inevitable. But this series has far less gloss and Manolo Blahniks than its predecessor. Don’t dismiss this smart dramedy as yet another chick series, either; significantly enough, 56 percent of its devoted fans are men.

If you don’t have HBO yet and you’re shopping for a new provider, it’s worth comparing cable providers to find the best deal. No matter who supplies your cable, though, Girls is one of the best reasons to indulge in this premium service. Catch up on the first two seasons before the third hits HBO on January 12.

3. ‘The Blacklist’: Edge-of-Your-Seat Thrills

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The Blacklist isn’t one of those shows that has to ease into itself. It grabs viewers from the first few moments, when James Spader’s Raymond “Red” Reddington, one of the world’s most wanted fugitives, calmly walks into FBI headquarters and surrenders himself. He says he’ll help the authorities catch the criminals they’re after in exchange for immunity, and so an unlikely partnership is formed.

James Spader is a captivating screen presence, and he’s used to great effect in this series, which doesn’t shy away from a little blood and gore. It’s packed full of twists and turns, so it’s easy to devour episode after episode of this NBC psychological thriller. The Blacklist returns from its mid-season break on January 13.

4. ‘House of Cards’: Political Intrigue at its Finest

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House of Cards is Netflix’s first original series, and it sets the bar very high. The political thriller stars Kevin Spacey as Francis “Frank” Underwood, a man intent on toppling the new president after he’s passed over for Secretary of State. Often, remakes of British series’ falls flat, but the creators of House of Cards show how to do it right.

House of Cards is ideal for binge-watching because Netflix releases an entire series at one go, putting an end to those agonizing week-long waits we usually experience. Season 2 hits Netflix on February 14.

So grab the popcorn and settle yourself in for some serious binge TV watching before the new seasons start.

In interesting but potentially brilliant casting news, comedian Amy Schumer will be taking on the role of Barbie for a live-action film.

Take a moment to soak in the news. Now revel in the idea. This could be awesome.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Amy Schumer is not only leading the project on screen, but she’ll also have an influence on the script.

Read full article

In interesting but potentially brilliant casting news, comedian Amy Schumer will be taking on the role of Barbie for a live-action film.

Take a moment to soak in the news. Now revel in the idea. This could be awesome.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Amy Schumer is not only leading the project on screen, but she’ll also have an influence on the script.

Last year, Sony had their pick of three complete scripts for a live-action Barbie movie. Of those three, they chose Hilary Winston’s. Now that Schumer is on board, THR says to expect her and her sister, Kim Caramele, to rewrite Winston’s original idea.

The plot, given that Schumer doesn’t change the major details, “begins in a perfect land of Barbies where one woman slowly awakens to the fact that she doesn’t fit it. She is expelled from the idealistic land and journeys to the real world, where she discovers that being unique is an asset.”

The outlet also addresses the fact that Mattel has had to deal with plenty of criticism regarding body image and race when it comes to the Barbie toys. Schumer’s casting is a great way to speak to some of those issues, and will hopefully provide a positive and uplifting message by the movie’s end.

There will be, of course, some hesitation given Schumer’s previous work. One only has to look as far as Trainwreck and Inside Amy Schumer to see her comedy is often brutally honest and raunchy. Barbie would be shocked.

But Schumer is an actress, after all, and a brilliant comedian. For this “contemporary spin on beauty, feminism and identity,” she seems like just the right fit.

What do you think of Amy Schumer as Barbie?

It’s arguably the biggest day for Hamilton fans since the release of the original Broadway recording: The Hamilton Mixtape has arrived!

Following years of development, the Hamilton Mixtape was released around the world on Friday, December 2. Mixtape features, well, remixes of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Hamilton hits, sung by artists both big and small from various genres.

To celebrate the album’s release, a special #Ham4Ham was hosted at the Richard Rodgers Theater on Thursday night, where names like Ashanti, Ja Rule, Regina Spektor, and Andra Day performed their songs from Mixtape:

Read full article

It’s arguably the biggest day for Hamilton fans since the release of the original Broadway recording: The Hamilton Mixtape has arrived!

Following years of development, the Hamilton Mixtape was released around the world on Friday, December 2. Mixtape features, well, remixes of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Hamilton hits, sung by artists both big and small from various genres.

To celebrate the album’s release, a special #Ham4Ham was hosted at the Richard Rodgers Theater on Thursday night, where names like Ashanti, Ja Rule, Regina Spektor, and Andra Day performed their songs from Mixtape:

Stream ‘The Hamilton Mixtape’:

Spotify users can easily stream The Hamilton Mixtape below. You can also listen here via Apple Music.:

And you can purchase a physical copy from Amazon here (you know all the Hamilton fans in your life will want a physical copy):

Hamilton Mixtape tracklist

1. No John Trumbull (Intro) – The Roots
2. My Shot (feat. Busta Rhymes, Joell Ortiz & Nate Ruess) [Rise Up Remix] – The Roots
3. Wrote My Way Out – Nas, Dave East, Lin-Manuel Miranda & Aloe Blacc
4. Wait For It – Usher
5. An Open Letter (feat. Shockwave) [Interlude] – Watsky
6. Satisfied (feat. Miguel & Queen Latifah) – Sia
7. Dear Theodosia (feat. Ben Folds) – Regina Spektor
8. Valley Forge (Demo) – Lin-Manuel Miranda
9. It’s Quiet Uptown – Kelly Clarkson
10. That Would Be Enough – Alicia Keys
11. Immigrants (We Get The Job Done) – K’naan, Snow Tha Product, Riz MC, Residente
12. You’ll Be Back – Jimmy Fallon & The Roots
13. Helpless (feat. Ja Rule) – Ashanti
14. Take A Break (Interlude) – !llmind
15. Say Yes To This – Jill Scott
16. Congratulations – Dessa
17. Burn – Andra Day
18. Stay Alive (Interlude) – J.PERIOD & Stro Elliot
19. Slavery Battle (Demo) – Lin-Manuel Miranda
20. Washington’s By Your Side – Wiz Khalifa
21. History Has Its Eyes On You – John Legend
22. Who Tells Your Story (feat. Common & Ingrid Michaelson) – The Roots
23. Dear Theodosia (Reprise) – Chance The Rapper & Francis and The Lights

What are our favorite performances on ‘The Hamilton Mixtape’?

Chris Pratt is currently on a press tour for Passengers. Jennifer Lawrence may or may not be there too.

Passengers, the new sci-fi epic starring Chris Pratt and Jennifer Lawrence, comes out later this month. The promo tour has kicked off in Europe, with the two stars on hand to answer all our questions.

To entertain himself (and his fans!), Chris Pratt has been updating his Instagram with funny photos and captions from the tour.

Read full article

Chris Pratt is currently on a press tour for Passengers. Jennifer Lawrence may or may not be there too.

Passengers, the new sci-fi epic starring Chris Pratt and Jennifer Lawrence, comes out later this month. The promo tour has kicked off in Europe, with the two stars on hand to answer all our questions.

To entertain himself (and his fans!), Chris Pratt has been updating his Instagram with funny photos and captions from the tour.

There’s some real gold in there, but the best part is when he realizes that fans really want to see some pictures of Jennifer Lawrence — who doesn’t have her own social media accounts — and proceeds to very decidedly not include her!

Update: He did it again.


See some of the hilarious posts from Chris Pratt below:

Finally got that selfie with Jen y'all wanted. #passengersmovie

A photo posted by chris pratt (@prattprattpratt) on

Just hanging with my bestie Jen. #passengersmovie

A photo posted by chris pratt (@prattprattpratt) on

Here Jen and I pose with @elrubiuswtf

A photo posted by chris pratt (@prattprattpratt) on

Here's an extremely artistic and meaningful video I made in which Jen is heavily featured. #passengersmovie

A video posted by chris pratt (@prattprattpratt) on

Another day down with me and my best buddy Jen. #London #passengersmovie

A photo posted by chris pratt (@prattprattpratt) on

Not going to lie — we’re almost as excited for the press interview videos as we are for the movie itself!

‘Passengers’ hits cinemas on December 21