Things You didn’t Know About Black-ish

Premiering in September of 2014, Blackish, stylized as Black-ish, is an American sit-com that focuses around an upper-middle class African American family. The show stars Anthony Anderson and Tracee Ellis Ross, who play Andre Johnson and Rainbow Johnson respectively.

The show has received mostly positively reviews from Rotten Tomatoes, who gave the show an 86% rating based on 56 reviews. Unlike other shows of a similar genre, Blackish engages a non-target specific audience, while simultaneously focusing on issues of racial equality and cultural stereotypes that are prevalent in American television.

However, despite its best efforts, Blackish has come under fire for indulging in casual homophobia, as well as cheapening what it means to be African American.

In the second episode of the first season, Anthony Anderson’s character tries explaining to his eldest son the ins and outs of sex, a commonplace trope in American television that usually pits parental-styled awkwardness against child knowledge in an awkward and delightful mixture. However, during the moments before the talk, Laurence Fishburne’s character comments that the way his son is stretching looked “a little gay.”

On the surface, the comment seems harmless, mainly because of how casually it’s delivered. However, understanding that the African American culture is fraught with generations of ingrained homophobia brings to light an entirely different concern. Instead of continually stigmatizing an already highly frowned upon topic, Blackish could have used the opportunity to demonstrate that  there’s nothing inherently wrong with being gay, and that words like “lame” and “stupid” aren’t interchangeable for gay.

Similarly, Blackish seems to portray the one and only effective means of being black: keeping it real. In this way, being African American is little more than the commonplace sports and fried chicken that are typically associated with African Americans, but in a more demeaning fashion. Instead of reflecting what it means to be African American, by demonstrating that African Americans are people with thoughts, dreams and desires, with motivations and fears, the producers of Blackish cheapened their characters by reducing them to basketball and fried chicken.

On the other hand, lead actress Tracee Ellis Ross commented that because of her role on Blackish, she was forced to reevaluate herself, not only as a person, but as a black woman. In her previous roles, Ellis played black women. However, on her role as Rainbow Johnson, Ellis plays a bi-racial woman, which caused her to look at herself in a different light.

As the premise of the show is the satirical question of whether or not the Johnson family is black, or blackish, Ellis’ questioning of herself seems to be the point of series, even if delivered in a comical formula. The Johnson family is black, not because of the food they eat or the neighborhood they live in. they’re black because of their unique history that’s shared with others, others who identify themselves as African American. They are a people who share a history, who share a reality of struggling in a country full of racial and ethnic inequalities. Despite their skin colors, their socioeconomic standing, they are African American.

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Why Daryl Dickson Might Die—and Why He Might Live

 

The Walking Dead’s Daryl Dickson might just be the most popular character on the show after Rick Grimes—but this fan favorite wasn’t even a part of the original comic book series! Daryl and his brother are original characters created especially for the TV show. But that hasn’t stopped Daryl from quickly becoming one of the most popular characters on the series, to the point where many fans say that Daryl could never be killed due to the subsequent fan outrage that would ensue. But could Daryl Dickson die in the show? Or is he immune to the concept of “everyone can die” concept that the showrunners frequently bring out before and after character deaths? Let’s look at a few reasons why Daryl Dickson might die in the show—and why he might just stick around.

He is the #1 fan favorite character on the show—after Rick Grimes

While some fan favorites have been killed before (Hershel, anyone?) there is no denying that the fan base for Daryl Dickson is not just way bigger—but way louder, too. Killing a fan favorite this popular might just spell doom for the show, especially since fans love to tune in each week to see what trouble Daryl gets into—or gets out of.

It would be the best way for the writers to shake up the status quo

Many fans have gotten comfortable with the idea of Daryl being safe on the show due to his popularity. The writers could kill Daryl off as a way to really shake up the status quo and let everyone watching now: everyone can die, no matter how popular, no matter how cool, and no matter how badass their character is.

He could still leave the show through means other than death

Daryl leaving the show doesn’t necessarily have to end in death. The show’s writers could write Daryl off through other means, such as exile or becoming lost.

It may be difficult for the group to survive without him

Daryl is one of the strongest killers in the group; he also has the most knowledge of living in the woods and surviving in rugged conditions. Without Daryl, the group would be missing the person who knows how to set up just about any kind of trap, who knows how to hunt, and who has been able to get them out of tight situations again and again.

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Things you Didn’t know about Hugh Jackman

The name Hugh Jackman is one that is popular on everyone’s lips. This is because this Australian Born superstar has made a name for himself in virtually everything that concerns entertainment.

Though his childhood was not as rosy as a normal childhood would have been and this was because his parents got separated when he was 8 and so he and his elder siblings were raised by their father who was largely away most of the time fending for the family needs.

Born in Sydney, New South Wales to be precise to parents of English origin, Hugh Jackman who is the last child of the 5 children his parents gave birth to grew up to become a fine actor, movie producer, a songwriter and singer.

Jackman, who was born on the 12th of October, 1968, attended Knox Grammar School and then proceeded to the University of Technology, Sydney where he bagged a degree in Communication. He then proceeded to the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts. Shortly after this, he was offered a role in one of ABC’s television series titled Correlli which aired on ABC in the year 1995. Hugh Jackman will not forget this role in a hurry and this is simply because, it was on this movie set that he came in contact with the lady who is referred to as his wife today, Deborra- Lee Furness. Apart from this fact, his role in Correlli made him a popular television figure and before he knew it, he was already a Guest on several TV shows; he was invited to play more roles as an actor. In addition to this, Hugh Jackman also appeared as a compere in several notable events some of which are The Tony Awards (Four Time Host). He was also the host the 81st Academy Awards which held on the 22nd of February in the year, 2009.

Some of the movies in which Hugh Michael Jackman has been able to take part in as an actor are Beauty and the Beast where he starred as Gaston. Jackman also took part in the Australian version of Sunset Boulevard where he starred as Joe Gillis. In addition to this, he also starred as Curly in the Royal National version of Oklahoma, a story which was made popular by Trevor Nunn and he also starred in Carousel where he played the role of Billy Bigelo.

Hugh Jackman has won a lot of international accolades for the roles he has played in several movies. His role is not limited to a superhero alone as he has shown countless times that he is a name to be reckoned with in Romance movies.

Notable among some of his achievements are his long standing role as Wolverine in Bryan Singer’s directed X-Men. Jackman has been able to hold this role for 14 years.

Apart from acting which is obviously what people know Hugh Jackman for, he is also a singer, dancer and has acted in a lot of stage musicals. As a matter of fact, Jackman’s first taste of Professional acting was on stage in some of Melbourne’s musicals. When he is not on stage or doing anything that is related to entertainment, Jackman loves to entertain himself and he does this by playing the piano, guitar, golf, and also loves to windsurf.

Jackman has been nominated for a lot of awards. Some of them are Nomination as Best Actor in Academy Awards for his very impressive role in the movie production of Les Miserables. His role in this movie also earned him a nomination as Best Actor at the Golden Globe Awards in 2013. He won a Tony Award for his role in the Boy from Oz. As a compere, Jackman also won an Emmy Award for one of his appearances at the Tony Awards.

 

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5 Surprising Facts about the Simpsons

The Simpsons is the longest running animated show on television and arguably one of the most iconic television shows of all time. It has spawned a feature film, numerous video games, countless books, parodies, and plenty of merchandise. But there is a lot more to The Simpsons than meets the eye! The following are some surprising facts about the Simpsons that may just surprise you.

Their skin is yellow for a reason

Matt Groening, the creator of the Simpsons, designed his characters to have yellow skin for a very specific reason: branding. Groening knew that no other show had human characters with yellow skin, and by making the Simpsons characters yellow, it would let people know immediately what show they were watching when they flipped through channels.

Mr. Smithers was an African-American character—on accident

Mr. Smithers, the right hand man of Mr. Burns, was originally conceived to be a white character. However, there was a mix-up during the animation process that caused the animators to mistakenly give him brown skin. The show’s creators were originally going to keep the character African-America, but later decided against it because of the subservient nature of Mr. Smithers.

Dustin Hoffman has an uncredited guest role

There have been many celebrity voice roles over the Simpson’s 20 plus year run. One of the most surprising, however, is the guest role voiced by famous actor Dustin Hoffman. Hoffman appeared in the second season as the voice of Mr. Bergstrom, the substitute teacher that Lisa feels a strong connection with. Hoffman didn’t want to be associated with a cartoon at this time, and he chose a pseudonym to use in the credits.

Krusty the Clown’s origin story was going to be a twist

In an early concept that was quickly dropped by Matt Groening, Krusty the Clown was going to actually be Homer Simpson in disguise. The idea behind the concept was that Bart secretly worshipped his dad as Krusty the Clown, while constantly butting heads with him at home. Groening dropped the idea and decided to develop Krusty as an individual character.

Elizabeth Taylor had a unique guest voice role

The famous Elizabeth Taylor had a very special, and also very brief, voice over role on the show. Taylor was called in to provide the voice of Maggie in the fourth season episode where she speaks her very first word: “Daddy.”

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Did Big Hero 6 Deserve The Academy Award?

Big hero 6 is the most recent animated feature release from The Walt Disney Company; the film has become the third highest grossing Disney animated film of all time, behind Disney’s Frozen and Disney’s The Lion King. The film earned generally favorable reviews after its release and received numerous nominations and awards of achievement. Its most notable award was the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature—but did the film really deserve the highest honor in the motion picture industry?

First, let’s look at the films that Big Hero 6 was running against for the honor of Best Animated Feature: The Box Trolls, How to Train Your Dragon 2, Song of the Sea, and The Tale of Princess Kaguya. Of these films, only three received almost exclusively positive reviews: Big hero 6, Song of the Sea, and The Tale of Princess Kaguya. The Box Trolls received mixed reviews, with most reviews noting that its animation was exquisite—but that the storyline was lacking, especially compared to previous features from the same studio. How to Train Your Dragon 2 also received mixed reviews, although it was noted as having a more mature storyline than the first film.

Of the films with almost exclusively positive reviews, two—Song of the Sea and The Tale of Princess Kaguya—were limited release. The Tale of Princess Kaguya opened in the number one spot in Japanese box offices, but did not receive a notable release in the United States or internationally. Song of the Sea was similarly released only in very limited features. By comparison, Big Hero 6 had a wide international release and an enormous box office income.

Next, let’s look at the accessibility of the stories in each of the films. The Tale of Princess Kaguya and Song of the Sea were both based on cultural legends—Japanese and Celtic, respectively; The Box Trolls was an original story about a boy taken in by mysterious trolls who are being wiped by out a greedy cheese-lover; How to Train Your Dragon 2 was an action drama which continued the story from the previous film; and Big Hero 6 is an action-adventure with dramatic elements, based on a superhero comic book series.

Big Hero 6 not only had the most accessible storyline, but the storyline with the potential for the broadest fan base—which, along with its enormous box office success and critical praise, led to its academy award.

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3 Things You Didn’t Know About Whiplash

Damien Chazelle’s Whiplash was one of the surprise hits of 2014; not only did the film do modestly well in the box office, but it received high critical praise and several Academy Award nominations. But just how much do you really know about this intense, award-winning thriller? The following are 3 interesting trivia facts about Whiplash.

The film started out as a short film

The original version of Whiplash was actually a short film, which was entered into the Sundance Film Festival. The film ended up receiving significant accolades, and it even won the Short Film Jury Award. The reason that Whiplash was a short film, however, was that Damien Chazelle–who wrote and directed the film–could not get the funding for a feature film. But after it won the Short Film Jury Award, he was able to convince someone to fund a full length version of the story.

J.K. Simmons played the role he would reprise for the feature film in the short film version, but the character of Andrew was played by an actor named Johnny Simmons.

Miles Teller bled onto his drums

The film required Miles Teller to do some extensive, vigorous drumming in the film. Teller, who had been playing the drums since he was a teenager, developed multiple blisters on his hands; some of these blisters burst, leaving blood on his drumsticks and the drum set in the film. In addition to a vigorous drumming style, the film’s director often made Miles Teller keep drumming for long periods of time without calling cut, in order to achieve the level of exhaustion and desperation necessary for the shot.

In addition to filming Miles Teller drumming, the director also made use of a visual double for some of the more complex drumming scenes. However, almost half of Miles Teller’s real drumming appeared in the final cut of the film.

Both lead actors took lessons for their roles

Although Miles Teller had been playing the drums since he was a teenager, he opted to take lessons in order to prepare himself for the role. He reportedly took 4-hour drumming lessons three times a week. J.K. Simmons learned to play the piano when he was a child, but opted to retake lessons in order to make sure that his playing was closer to the level that his character would have played at.

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3 Things You Didn’t Know about Big Hero 6

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Big Hero 6 is the latest animated feature film offering from the Disney Company. The film follows a young teenager named Hiro who, along with a robot built for medical purposes, must stop a mysterious villain who is threatening to destroy Hiro—and possibly his city. Big Hero 6 was adapted from Marvel comic books and was a major success for the Disney company, not just financially but critically as well. The film even earned the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature. The following are 3 surprising things that you probably didn’t know about this award winning Disney film.

Stan Lee had to be featured

Although the Disney Company now owns Marvel, they still had to abide by many of the contracts and agreements that Marvel made before being sold. One of these agreements is that Stan Lee, one of the most famous writers in the comic book industry, has to be featured in all films based on Marvel properties. Since Big Hero 6 is based on a Marvel comic book, Lee had to be featured; in this film’s case, he was featured as the father of one of the supporting characters.

The film has plenty of Disney Easter eggs

Like most Disney films, Big Hero 6 has plenty of Easter eggs for Disney fans to spot. These Easter eggs include, but aren’t limited to: a figurine of Wreck-It Ralph on top of Hiro’s computer; the game Sugar Rush in an arcade that the characters pass; a wanted poster that shows Hans and Flynn, from Frozen and Tangled, respectively; and a picture of the family’s cat wearing a Stitch costume for Halloween. A statue of Hans from Frozen can also be seen in in the garden at Fred’s house.

The characters powers are foreshadowed

In the scene where Hiro meets his brother’s friend, each of the characters is working on something which is later used to help them catch the mysterious masked villain. Go-Go is shown working on an extremely fast bike that uses electromagnetic resistance; she later uses these fast, electromagnetic wheels on her suit to give her super-speed. Wasabi is shown working on lasers which are capable of cutting quickly and with precision; these are later adapted into blades attached to his wrists. Honey Lemon is shown working with various chemical orbs; these are later turned into portable chemicals that can perform a variety of functions.

 

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4 Things You Didn’t Know About Oprah Winfrey

 

Oprah Winfrey is considered to be one of the most powerful celebrities in the world—and certainly one of the richest! For decades Oprah has been a household name due to her extensive media presence, which has included a talk show, books, and even appearances in film and television acting roles. It may seem like there is nothing left to learn about this prominent woman, but there are still many interesting facts about Oprah that could surprise even diehard members of the Oprah fan club! Let’s take a look at some interesting facts about Oprah that you probably didn’t know until now!

Her name is the result of a miss-spelling

Oprah’s parents wanted to name her after a biblical figure that appears in the Book of Ruth. The biblical character’s name was Orpah, however, the name was spelled incorrectly on the birth certificate. Her parents decided that the name worked and kept it.

She skipped kindergarten

Oprah was a highly intelligent child and demonstrated her intelligence at a very early age; according to Oprah, she learned to read when she was only three years old. She was only 2 days into kindergarten when she wrote a note to her teacher saying that she felt like she “didn’t belong” in kindergarten because she knew “a lot of big words.” Her teacher agreed that she was developed enough for first grade, and skipped her ahead. She would later become an honors student at East Nashville High School.

She used to work as a news anchor

Her first job as a performer was actually as a news anchor for a local Nashville TV station. Oprah was actually the youngest news anchor that the station ever had–she got the job when she was only 19.

Oprah is credited with creating “rapport talk.”

Oprah’s very distinct interview style was coined “rapport talk” by Time Magazine; “rapport talk” involved talking with guests about very personal issues and admitting that she shared these issues or at least understood them on a personal level. The personal issues included problems with her love life, insecurities about her weight and body, as well as admissions of sexual abuse. The fact that Oprah was willing to get on a very personal level with her guests created a rapport with them that was difficult to achieve in any other way, hence the coinage of the term “rapport talk.”

 

 

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Review of Beyoncé’s “Heat” Fragrance

Beyoncé is best known for her stunning vocals and her award-winning, chart-topping music; but Beyoncé’s talent isn’t limited to singing, dancing and entertaining. She has also participated in several fashion and design related projects, including the release of her very own fragrance in 2010. Beyoncé’s first fragrance, Heat, went on to win numerous awards from fragrance organizations; it was (and continues to be) a very popular seller. But is “Heat” really all it’s cracked up to be? The following is a review of Beyoncé’s 2010 “Heat” perfume.

Beyoncé’s “Heat” Fragrance Notes

Beyoncé’s “Heat” Fragrance
Beyoncé’s “Heat” Fragrance

Heat is a sweet, fruity fragrance with undercurrents of musk, almond and floral scents. The top notes of the fragrance (as officially described) are: neroli, peach, magnolia, and orchid. The official middle notes are musk, honeysuckle, almond, and macarons. The base notes are amber, tonka bean, and sequoia.

The official notes differ from the actual scent of Heat once it is applied on the skin, although that can vary from person to person. The base of the perfume as applied was very floral with a slight woodsy hint from the sequoia, with the almond and tonka bean scents settling towards the middle. The top notes of the applied perfume were a strong peach with a mixture of musk and amber that gives the fragrance a much heavier, musky fruity scent than the description implies.

 

The musk and amber do begin to dissipate after a while, which helps to bring out the orchid and magnolia floral scents, which combine nicely with the peach to give Heat a slightly more upbeat sensation.

Beyoncé’s “Heat” Fragrance Longevity and Sillage

Heat has moderate longevity and a slightly heavy sillage—or ‘lasting’ impression. The longevity is good for the price of the fragrance and lasts for a few hours at full strength before slowly dissipating into a softer scent and finally disappearing. It is a moderate scent and does not require too many sprays in order to achieve the desired affect. The sillage is slightly heavy which, combined with the musk and amber notes, makes it more of a mature (or even winter) scent than something to wear in the hot summer months.

Beyoncé’s “Heat” Packaging

The bottle and color of the liquid fragrance are all packaged very nicely. The bottle is a glass bottle and the fragrance is dyed soft amber red, which gives it a unique appearance that helps it stand out from other perfumes, celebrity or otherwise.

 beyonce's heat

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