‘Glee’ recap: 4×12 ‘Naked’

10:00 am EDT, February 3, 2013

This week on Glee, we saw a ton of nipples, a ton of feelings, and an unusually disproportionate amount of throwbacks to past episodes. Also, our favourite ladies are back. You can read a full recap of Glee‘s “Naked” below.

Our favourite anchors down at WOHN report that that New Directions are back in the show choir competition circuit after court-administered blood tests proved that Hunter Clarington and the Warblers had used steroids. As the camera stops rolling, at around the same moment I am about to yell, “Seriously? This is on the news?!” Sue’s old rival Andrea shrieks “I can’t believe it. This is what they think news is, now?” as she rips out her microphone and hysterically departs the station. Rod Remington remains unfazed, awaiting his younger, hotter co-anchor. Over at McKinley, the glee club members are back in the choir room, applauding themselves and especially praising dream-team Sam and Blaine for their sleuthing. Finn quickly reminds the club that they’re three weeks behind in preparation, and also that they need to raise $400 to pay for their transport to Regionals. When he suggests a bake sale to raise money, the department of backstory reminds him that this only worked last time because Puck put weed in the cupcakes. “I could sell more of my semen,” Sam offers determinedly, and the implications of that stand-alone sentence sure are something.

Tina quickly comes up with a new way to creep on Blaine under the pretense of it being for the greater good, and suggests that the glee guys do a Men of McKinley calender to sell. She makes sure to point out how she thinks Blaine should dress, and stares at him like he’s a slice of pie. Artie, when he realises that he’s one of the six guys expected to pose, looks a little nervous and asks why the girls can’t be involved and objectified as well, and Kitty gives a pretty reasonable answer – which is that teen girls are the demographic that buys the most, so pandering to them is going to be the most lucrative option. “This could actually work,” ponders Finn, impressed, and puts Tina in charge of setting up the project.

It seems that this week is the week for Glee to roll out a few old staples that we haven’t seen for a while – WOHN, continuity, and now, Fondue For Two. Brittany grabs Marley after glee rehearsal and brings her on the show. It’s as absurd as can be expected, really, with Brittany callously or thoughtlessly referencing Marley’s bulimia, and plenty of Lord Tubbington. But when Brittany tries to get Marley to admit to being in love with Jake, Marley chokes on a bit of bread and gets all startled rabbit. Brittany chides her, saying that if Jake is willing to take off his clothes for the good of the glee club, then Marley should get naked too – emotionally – and be willing to bare all, telling him how she really feels. They’ve been dating for one week. But okay.

The next day, Brittany and Sam – or “sexy teen imbeciles” as Figgins calls them – are told by the principal that they have achieved both the highest (Brittany) and lowest (Sam) SAT scores that the school has ever seen. Brittany’s seems to have been achieved by a random system of colouring in the multiple choice; however, Sam’s score, Figgins tells him, is one that is routinely bested by monkeys in clinical trials. Sam looks disheartened. I feel disheartened, because I hate this Sam-is-dumb storyline. It came out of nowhere, seemingly just so they could pair him up with Brittany. In his first ever episode, he mentioned being dyslexic and having to work at his grades, and that storyline disappeared and re-appeared with Ryder, and now Sam is the “dumb kid”? I really hate it. I forgive Glee for a lot of its errors or back-pedalling – I may snark about it, but I do forgive it – but the dumbing-down of Sammy Evans is not one I am willing to let go of, especially when the show has gone out of its way to include another, beautifully done and sensitive story about dyslexia. Brittany tries to reassure him by telling him how great his body is, and how it means he won’t need to go to college. Sam looks thrilled at this prospect, just thrilled.

At NYADA, Rachel successfully lands a part in a student film, the senior thesis of an older student. It sounds like a load of complete hipster wank, but Rachel is impressed and a little awed by the student director. When the girl mentions that in a certain scene, Rachel will need to go topless, Rachel keeps it together externally but becomes nervous. She takes a moment to talk to herself, assuring herself that she’s strong and confidant enough to do this. “I’m the one who asked Brody to move in. I’m the one who almost made it out of Agent Provocateur without giggling.” “You also made it out, but you didn’t,” says another, identical voice and Rachel turns, startled, to find the old version of herself – straight parted hair, prim skirt and blouse, loafers and knee socks.

The Old Rachel hallucination follows Rachel around the school, playing the part of one extreme of her conscience, trying to talk her current self out of doing the nude scene. She tells New Rachel that she could use a little shame, saying that her current hair and make-up looks like a porn star. Because they’re Rachel, they soon decide that the only way to resolve the issue is to sing about it, so Rachel sings a duet with herself to “Torn,” which has nothing to do with the situation at hand whatsoever, except that it includes the word “torn” and the word “naked,” I guess. As the song ends and her old and new self consider each other, weigh up, the film’s director corners Rachel and asks for her answer – and Rachel accepts the part in the film.

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Major changes coming to ‘Sense8’ season 2

And I'm excited about what happens next.

11:00 am EDT, May 30, 2016

Sense8 is currently in production for their second season, and they’ve gotten pretty far. Here are some important things you need to know about what’s to come for your favorite cluster!

Ever since Sense8 debuted on Netflix a year ago I’ve been obsessed. Not only because it was such a fantastic premise of connecting eight people, but because it was so immensely diverse and represented so many people from all over the world. Now that we’ve got a season 2, it’s about time to start learning what it’ll be about.

There’s some major things about Sense8 season 2 that are going to be dramatically different, and we’ve gotten an update on what our favorite characters will be up to this season thanks to BuzzFeed.

There’s only 1 Wachowski left

One of the biggest draws of Sense8 was the fact that it was a Wachowski sister production. These sisters have brought us The Matrix and Cloud Atlas so we knew when we heard that last name that this was going to be an epic series.

This year, only Lana Wachowski is staying on to direct the show. Lilly Wachowski is taking the much-deserved time off after having just come out as transgender in March, and is using the time to focus on herself. Should the show return to Netflix for a third season then she’ll probably return.

The return of only one sister isn’t something that should affect the show too much, and I’m sure if it does then any changes will be welcome and give the show a fresh vibe — not that it needs it.

Sense8 Nomi Amanita

Capheus has been re-cast

For those who enjoyed Capheus’ story in Kenya the most prepare yourselves for a major change. Due to disagreements between Lana and Aml Ameen, who portrays Capheus in season 1, Ameen left the show before production began.

Capheus’ story isn’t one you can just replace and end so suddenly, so instead of writing him out Wachowski opted instead to re-cast him. Toby Onwumere will now play the part.

For those of you concerned with any disagreement between Ameen and Wachowski being over her being transgender, Jamie Clayton, who plays Nomi, was adamant about stopping that rumor.

The good news is that Onwumere has been completely welcomed by the cast and he felt immediately connected to them upon meeting them at dinner for the first time. This makes me more confident that his chemistry with the actors will show on screen, which is one of the reasons I love Sense8 so much – the chemistry has been fantastic in every episode with all 8 actors.

But these changes can be amazing!

Even though they’re major changes from how the show operated last year, I feel like the new single director and the new actor is going to bring a welcome fresh take for the new season.

Every show can use something new in each season they come back just to keep it interesting and unique every year. I feel like, thanks to these changes made to the cast and crew, the story isn’t going to have to change too drastically just for the sake of change. Obviously it’s going to probably take to places we don’t expect, but that will be because the story is naturally progressing, instead of them trying to change actors and plots already set.

Are you excited for season 2 of ‘Sense8’

Hollywood reacts to ‘Begin Again’ director’s candid criticism of Keira Knightley’s acting skills

Should the trust between actors and directors ever be broken?

10:33 am EDT, May 30, 2016

After Begin Again director John Carney’s candid comments about Keira Knightley’s acting went viral, Hollywood has taken to Twitter to defend the British actress.

In case you’ve somehow not heard the story, here’s the sitch:

Over the weekend, The Independent released an interview with Irish director John Carney, in which he had some harsh words for former colleague Keira Knightley.

The pair worked together on the 2013 musical rom-com Begin Again, where Knightley starred opposite Mark Ruffalo as a promising young folk singer recovering from a broken heart.

Carney evidently wasn’t satisfied with Knightley’s performance, claiming she “always has an entourage that follow her everywhere so it’s very hard to get any real work done.”

Related: Exclusive: Keira Knightley, Joe Wright talk Anna Karenina and the choice to set it in the world of theater

Going on to praise both Ruffalo and Maroon 5 frontman Adam Levine’s performances, Carney said, “I think that that’s what you need as an actor; you need to not be afraid to find out who you really are when the camera’s rolling. Keira’s thing is to hide who you are and I don’t think you can be an actor and do that.”

“I like to work with curious, proper film actors as opposed to movie stars,” he continued. “I don’t want to rubbish Keira, but you know it’s hard being a film actor and it requires a certain level of honesty and self-analysis that I don’t think she’s ready for yet and I certainly don’t think she was ready for on that film.”

Carney concluded, “I learned that I’ll never make a film with supermodels again.”

Now, Carney clearly had a frustrating experience working with Knightley on this film, and his distinction between ‘proper film actors’ and ‘movie stars’ may be legitimate in theory. Begin Again certainly wasn’t the great critical hit that Carney’s Once had been, and at the time of the movie’s release, Keira Knightley herself admitted that she struggled with the material, not being a singer-songwriter herself and having no great appreciation for music.

“It’s terrible. I know nothing about music whatsoever,” she told The Guardian. “I was always more into reading and drama. I was such a geek. … There’s often a huge link between music and memory. And I’ve got such a bad memory.”

But the issue Hollywood professionals have with Carney’s comments seem to have less to do with Knightley’s specific performance, and more about the fact that Carney made these comments at all.

Ava DuVernay certainly makes a great point about why Carney should have stayed silent:

Both industry professionals and notable journalists have joined DuVernay in speaking out against Carney. Here are some of their reactions:

All the same, there are some that find Carney’s candidness refreshing.

What do you think? Should John Carney have held back his criticism of Keira Knightley out of professional courtesy? Or was he right to share his negative experience?

John Carney rose to international fame with Once in 2007, and this year he’s coming out with a musical drama titled Sing Street.

Spectre director Sam Mendes is officially not returning for more James Bond movies.

While we wait for (almost certain) confirmation that Daniel Craig won’t reprise his role as 007 in the next James Bond film, we can at least contend with the knowledge that Sam Mendes will not direct Bond 25.

The two-time James Bond director came on board the franchise for the wildly successful Skyfall, but his follow-up Spectre was not considered as great of a success.

Even before Spectre‘s release, Mendes was talking about quitting the all-consuming franchise, saying at the time, “I don’t think I could go down that road again. You do have to put everything else on hold.” But it was only during a Welsh literature festival that he finally confirmed his departure.

Related: Quantico’s Priyanka Chopra doesn’t want to be a Bond Girl, she wants to be Bond

“It was an incredible adventure. I loved every second of it, but I think it’s time for somebody else [to direct],” said Mendes, as quoted via The Sydney Morning Herald. “I’m a storyteller. And at the end of the day, I want to make stories with new characters.”

Bond 25 is likely to be completely new chapter of the franchise, with Daniel Craig set to follow Mendes’ lead and officially announce his departure soon. Everyone’s been expecting him to bow out ever since his controversial promotional campaign for Spectre, and it’s even more likely now that his two-time collaborator has called it quits.

On the speculation about who might replace Craig, Mendes says, “I can guarantee that whatever happens next it will not be what you expect.”

“[Bond producer] Barbara Broccoli chooses who is going to be the next Bond, end of story. And without that there would have been no Daniel Craig because public support for Daniel was zero. It was her saying: ‘That man over there, he’s going to change the whole tenor, I’m going to cast him.’ That turned the whole thing on its head,” says Mendes.

Rumor has it that Tom Hiddleston is in talks to be the next James Bond, but until we learn more, we can speculate away as we wish! It’s also time to start making those Bond 25 director wishlists. Anyone know if Ava DuVernay is available?