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Caryn James

Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Joe Biden: Between Two Veeps (Video)

  • By Caryn James
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  • May 4, 2014 12:27 PM
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Julia Louis-Dreyfus' Veep is absolutely brilliant this season, the smartest and most pointed political satire on television (and that includes Stewart and Colbert). Her filmed introduction to the President's speech at the White House Correspondents Dinner was gentler, but then her co-star was the real Vice-President,

Review: 'Last Week Tonight with John Oliver'

  • By Caryn James
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  • April 28, 2014 11:45 AM
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Just because John Oliver was so brilliant sitting in for Jon Stewart on The Daily Show, that doesn't mean he should have cloned it for his HBO series, Last Week Tonight.

Obama and Galifianakis' Meta Political Video

  • By Caryn James
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  • March 11, 2014 11:42 AM
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It's hard to imagine that President Obama appearing on Zach Galifianakis' web series Between Two Ferns will really inspire young people to sign up for health insurance. What's easy to imagine is that the newly released Funny or Die video will be a huge hit and do a lot of good for the President's image in other ways.

Will Ronan Farrow's MSNBC Show Be Derailed by His "I Hate Woody" Fame?

  • By Caryn James
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  • February 24, 2014 3:29 PM
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  • 11 Comments
Ronan Farrow began his new MSNBC show today by saying, "I grew up watching the greats of TV news," then delivered his wry list of "Murrow, Cronkite, Colbert." He wasn't really kidding, because Ronan Farrow Daily is all about trying to channel his generation. At a glance the show wasn't rocky; it was flat and safe, which might be worse.

Jimmy Fallon's Beta 'Tonight Show' (Review & Video)

  • By Caryn James
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  • February 18, 2014 1:15 PM
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  • 2 Comments
If you want a sense of what Jimmy Fallon's Tonight Show will be, look at his guest list. The first episodes feel like a soft launch.

Stephen Colbert's Book Club Takes on Hemingway (Video)

  • By Caryn James
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  • January 22, 2014 12:18 PM
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  • 0 Comments
Ernest Hemingway – genius writer or macho cliche? Or both? Stephen Colbert's latest installment of The Colbert Book Club, lovingly and admittedly stolen from Oprah, lets you choose, as the host puts on a safari jacket, holds a gun and swigs from a wineskin while pretending to have read A Farewell to Arms.

Rotten Tomatoes Meets Fox News on 'Colbert Report'

  • By Caryn James
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  • November 5, 2013 1:26 PM
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  • 0 Comments
Fox News is such an easy target to bash – totally deserved, but easy. Now The Colbert Report brings a hilarious fresh spin, by Tweeting out comments from positive reviews on Rotten Tomatoes, substituting Fox News shows and names for the movies. Works perfectly, as in this substitution for The Omen: "All references to prophecy and the Antichrist aside, Shepard Smith Reporting achieves its horrors the old-fashioned way. #PraiseFOX"

New York Film Festival Review: James Franco Directs 'Child of God'

  • By Caryn James
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  • September 26, 2013 1:24 PM
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  • 2 Comments
If Child of God had been made by James Franco instead of "James Franco," by just another filmmaker instead of the public figure whose career and self-consciously created image seem like one hydra-headed piece of performance art -- actor in blockbusters and indies, fiction-writer, student at too many schools, the guy slyly asked by Stephen Colbert, "Are you a fraud?" (watch the video here) -- it's unlikely anyone would question why it's in the New York Film Festival. The film is a powerful adaptation of Cormac McCarthy's 1973 novel, directed -- and written by Franco and Vince Jolivette -- with such discipline and intelligence that it captures the mordant darkness of McCarthy's world.

The New Heisenberg: Jimmy Fallon Does 'Joking Bad' (Video)

  • By Caryn James
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  • September 12, 2013 1:29 AM
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  • 0 Comments
Now down to its final episodes, Breaking Bad gets darker, wilder, more go-for-broke. The lighter side? That would be Joking Bad, the latest pop-cult parody from Late Night with Jimmy Fallon.

Stephen Colbert Asks James Franco, 'Are You a Fraud?'

  • By Caryn James
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  • March 6, 2013 11:06 AM
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  • 2 Comments
James Franco has taken on one of his most mainstream roles in the new Disney film, 'Oz the Great and Powerful'; nothing is more mainstream than Disney. (You can read my review here.) But his entire career still has the shape of wide-ranging performance art -- and with a lot more focus, Stephen Colbert's on-screen right-wing persona has so overshadowed the "real" Colbert that the character can be considered one of the most successful, long-running pieces of performance art of all time. So consider the many layers of reality and artifice when Colbert asks Franco, the professor-filmmaker-writer-actor-whatever: "Are you a fraud?"

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