Caryn James

Obama Sings; Hope He Keeps His Day Job (Video)

  • By Caryn James
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  • February 22, 2012 1:23 AM
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At a blues-y celebration of Black History Month at the White House – a concert to be shown on PBS on Feb. 27th – the President joined in and sang “Sweet Home Chicago” with B.B. King, backed up by Mick Jagger, Jeff Beck and others.

Watch The Downton Abbey Season Finale

  • By Caryn James
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  • February 20, 2012 1:33 PM
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Whether Mary and Matthew got together or not, there was no bad way for the Downton Abbey season to end. If you missed last night’s finale or want to relive the Christmas holidays with the Granthams, for the next two weeks you can watch it online here. (If you haven’t watched and want to be surprised, skip to the video and don’t read more until you do!)

Gervais Skewers Fame in Life's Too Short, With Tall Guest Liam Neeson

  • By Caryn James
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  • February 19, 2012 8:30 AM
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  • 1 Comment
No one is smarter or funnier at tweaking celebrity than Ricky Gervais, and if you loved the inexhaustible wit of Extras as I did, you will probably also love his new HBO series Life’s Too Short, even though it doesn’t revolve around Gervais himself. Created by Davis, Gervais and his often underappreciated creative partner Stephen Merchant, the hero – or self-defeating anti-hero – is Warwick Davis, a dwarf and an actor who plays a skewed version of himself much the way Larry David does on Curb Your Enthusiasm. Davis is fine, but let’s be honest: the heart of the show is Gervais and Merchant, who in every episode meet some wildy funny star who makes a cameo appearance. This week’s guest scene is - and I am not exaggerating – one of the funniest things I’ve ever seen, and the unlikely comic is Liam Neeson.

Previewing The Irresistible Downton Abbey Finale: There Will Be Answers

  • By Caryn James
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  • February 17, 2012 2:16 PM
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  • 1 Comment
Heading into this Sunday’s Christmas-themed finale of Downton Abbey, you might worry that the season would end with another excruciating cliff-hanger. Mary and Matthew are undoubtedly in love, but will the question of their on-and-off and currently still-off engagement be resolved? (Really, only House and Cuddy were more back-and-forth about things.) I won’t give away the resolution, but there is one at the end. The series could have ended there, but this second-season conclusion also sets us up for season 3 -  and of course, who knows what might change then?

Beautiful and Eloquent, "The Loving Story" Comes to HBO

  • By Caryn James
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  • February 14, 2012 8:48 AM
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The Loving Story, which I’ve been following since it was a work-in-progress, premieres on HBO tonight. To say that this documentary is about Mildred and Richard Loving, the interracial couple who were arrested and forced to leave Virginia in the 1950’s, and whose Supreme Court case finally struck down anti-miscegenation laws, doesn’t begin to suggest how beautifully the film is made.

Jean Dujardin Drops By; Watch SNL's Charming Homage to The Artist

  • By Caryn James
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  • February 12, 2012 1:30 AM
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  • 4 Comments
OK, I surrender – if not to The Artist, to the charming, exuberant SNL dance sketch and Artist tribute starring Jean Dujardin himself.

Best Downton Abbey Mashups and Parodies

  • By Caryn James
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  • February 11, 2012 9:01 AM
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  • 1 Comment
One of the surest signs that Downton Abbey has become a full-blown hit and pop-cult phenomenon is the mini- and strained flap that has erupted about whether it is snobbish or middle-brow or an old-fashioned soap opera. I don’t see why it can’t be all three. The series satisfies our indulgent fantasies of an old-fashioned life of leisure. Of course we know it’s pure illusion; even Michelle Dockery, who  plays Lady Mary, told David Letterman about her working-class roots, and the fact that her ancestors would surely have worked downstairs.  But what a satisfying fantasy!

Miss Piggy Hosts The BAFTA Red Carpet

  • By Caryn James
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  • February 9, 2012 10:40 AM
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This could be the Red Carpet for people who hate The Red Carpet: Miss Piggy is the hostess for the BAFTA arrivals Sunday, asking the urgent questions about clothes, jewels, dates (“Who are you with, Georgie? Why not moi?”) and we can only guess what else.

Zooey Deschanel Sings, Knocks Out Teeth in SNL Promos

  • By Caryn James
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  • February 8, 2012 2:30 PM
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Zooey Deschanel, star of the funny, charming Fox series New Girl, and the person who gave currency to the work adorkable, will host this week’s SNL.

Michelle Obama, Coolest FLOTUS Ever, Hula-Hoops With Jimmy Fallon

  • By Caryn James
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  • February 8, 2012 11:57 AM
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  • 2 Comments
Michelle Obama’s initiative to get kids to exercise took a high-profile, witty turn when she taped a segment for Late Night, challenging Jimmy Fallon in push-ups, a  hula-hoop competition, and a tie-breaking potato sack race.

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