Things You Didn’t Know About Doctor Who

In case of a world-ending cataclysmic event, there will be only three things left: cockroaches, Burgess Meredith’s character from The Twilight Zone’s ‘Time enough at Last,’ and Doctor Who.

Doctor Who isn’t just a popular British TV program–it is, at this point in time, a significant part of British culture. Doctor Who first launched in 1963 and since then has spanned 26 seasons, 1 made for TV film, 822 episodes–more, if you include the 97 missing episodes from the show’s earlier runs–as well as book spin-offs, a radio series, countless merchandise, and so much more.

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There is so much to know about Doctor Who that it would take a series of books to explore the entire behind the scenes trivia—from secrets to behind the scenes hijinks and even drama. Whether you’ve soaked in all 822 episodes (and pined for that missing 97) or are just a fan who enjoys watching the series now and again, take a look at some interesting things you probably didn’t know about Doctor Who.

The Daleks’ voices aren’t digital

It’s easy to assume in this day and age that most things are done digitally or in post-production. One thing, however, was impossible for the show’s producers at the BBC to do digitally: the unique voice of the Daleks. They tried using various methods to digitally alter recorded voices to sound like a traditional Dalek, but there was no way to replicate the very distinctive sound. Instead, they had to ask Nicholas Briggs–who voices them–to bring the modulator he uses t create the voice.

No, the Weeping Angels aren’t real statues

Most fans assume that the infamous Weeping Angels are prop statues, carved with precision to scare the living daylights out of any Doctor Who fan that happens upon one of their episodes. However, the Weeping Angels aren’t fake; they’re played by real actresses in specially created ‘stone costumes,’ who have plenty of practice remaining perfectly (and we do mean perfectly) still for filming.


Doctor Who was supposed to protect his secret–by any means necessary

In one early draft of the pilot episode of the series, it became clear that the Doctor would protect his secret by any means necessary—even murder. This early script included references to the fact that the Doctor was planning on killing Ian and Barbara, his future companions, so that they could not reveal his secret to anyone. This dark detail was eventually written out of the script and was not included in the final version of the pilot episode.

Real gas masks couldn’t be used on the show

In the episode The Empty Child, which aired in 2005, multiple characters (both children and adults) are shown wearing WWII-era gas masks. The costume team originally tried to source out some authentic WWII-era gas masks for the show, but were ultimately unable to use real masks because masks from that time period were susceptible to asbestos growth, making them dangerous (and illegal) to use for the show. The costume department decided to get creative; their reconstructions of WWII masks were made from recycled cans of baked beans along with other spare parts, which gave them a more homegrown—and disturbing—look.

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Ridley Scott almost designed the Daleks

Ridley Scott was originally slated to provide the show with a design for the Daleks. However, Scott left his job at the BBC for another one before he actually got around to creating a design. Another designer was hired–and the rest is history. Although it would have been interesting to see what Scott could have come up with, it’s hard for anyone—diehard fans especially—to imagine the infamous characters without their trademark appearance.

What’s that sound? The secret behind TARDIS’ song

Practical sound effects were a necessity in TV shows made in the 1960s, and the original sound effect for the TARDIS was created by rubbing a key along some taught piano strings. The current sound effect is the same, although slightly amplified depending on what season you’re watching.

The Doctor has had three marriages (so far)

It’s not unusual for the Doctor to have romantic flings, but they rarely end in marriages due to the Doctor’s nature as a Time Lord. So far, we know about three definite marriages: River Song, Marilyn Monroe, and Elizabeth I.  River Song has appeared the most out of any of his wives. It is possible that he has been married more than these three instances, but the writers have yet to reveal them to us.

The fourth Doctor’s scarf was an accident

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The most distinctive feature of the fourth Doctor is his long, knitted scarf; but it wasn’t intended to be so long and its creation was actually an accident. The costume team for the show hired Begonia Pope, a professional knitter, to knit a scarf for the character. She was given a large spool of wool by the costume team, but they failed to provide her with more specific instructions–such as how long it needed to be. Rather than fuss around with the costume department, Pope decided to just use all of the wool she was given. The end result was a scarf that was 20 feet long! It was eventually trimmed a bit for practical purposes, but the costume team loved the idea of the Doctor having an absurdly long scarf and decided to incorporate it into his overall look.

Peter Capaldi has a history with Doctor Who

Peter Capaldi, who plays the Twelfth Doctor on the series, was a longtime fan of the show before being cast. When he was just a teenager, he submitted fan art of the Tardis to the International Doctor Who Fan Club magazine–and it was published! Capaldi also wanted to be the president of the official Doctor Who Fan Club in Britain; so much so that the sent hundreds of letters to the BBC insisting that he were right for the job.

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Why We’ll Miss Hannibal

NBC decided not to renew Hannibal for a fourth season, ending the show on its third—and most explosive—season yet. Although there is still a chance that another network or streaming service, such as Netflix, may decide to pick up Hannibal, for now the show is considered to be over.

NBC’s Hannibal didn’t get amazing ratings, particularly once NBC moved it to a Thursday primetime slot instead of a Friday slot, but it did get almost uniformly positive reviews from critics and an exceptional response from TV viewers.

Hannibal, despite its flaws, will most definitely be missed. Let’s take a closer look at why we’ll miss seeing Hannibal on our screens every week. Bon appetite!

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The cinematography was gorgeous and unique

If there was one word used to describe Hannibal, it would definitely be: “beautiful.” Despite the morbid subject matter and often grotesque events depicted on the show, the editing and cinematography were absolutely stunning. The show made brilliant use of everything from selective coloring to montages to reverse photography and even black and white sequences—and that’s to say nothing of the excellent film work done on the cooking and dinner scenes in the show.

For a series like Hannibal to work, the food has to look good—disturbingly good, even, considering that the audience knows something that most of the characters don’t. The show even employed a special “food artist” whose job it was to create edible dishes with a complex layer: they needed to look like human ‘meat’ disguised as something else, which Hannibal would do when feeding unsuspecting guests his latest kills. The job wasn’t easy, especially since the food not only had to be edible but had to be able to withstand hours of filming, but all of the planning and hard work definitely paid off.

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It was a new, interesting take on the book series

Hannibal was based on the same book series that inspired Silence of the Lambs, Red Dragon, and more. Before the show premiered, many fans wondered if the show would be able to live up to the film adaptations—or even the book series itself. Some even worried that the show would try to emulate the films a little too much, given their popularity in pop culture.

Thankfully, the show resisted the temptation to copy the films, and instead gave viewers a unique, interesting adaptation of the book series. Some characters and storylines which were cut when the books were adapted for film were re-introduced, while completely new characters and stories were created to add a new dimension to the story. In some cases, these changes had to be made due to the fact that NBC didn’t have the film rights to certain books in the series, such as Silence of the Lambs.

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The acting and chemistry in the show was top-notch

It’s rare to find a TV show with a solid line-up of top-notch actors, but Hannibal definitely lucked out in the casting department. Every character, from the titular Hannibal to his counterpart Will Graham, all the way to minor roles such as the Italian investigator who met a grisly end at Hannibal’s hands, was just about perfectly cast.

It’s not all about acting, however. The chemistry between the actors can be just as important as their acting ability. And there is no denying that the chemistry between the actors who played Hannibal and Will Graham in the show was absolutely explosive; if it wasn’t, the show would not been nearly as charismatic and intense as it was. Their chemistry was especially highlighted in the show’s third season, when Hannibal was on the ‘loose,’ so to speak, and the damaged nature of their relationship was never more apparent.

TV needs more underplayed horror shows

Horror isn’t unheard of on TV, but there is a distinct lack of underplayed horror shows on the air today. Shows like MTV’s Scream, American Horror Story or Scream Queens, are technically horror: but they are filled with constant scenes meant to be shocking or controversial, snarky humor, satire and they have an exaggerated tone that is entertaining but not usually horrifying in a traditional way.

As a horror show, however, Hannibal is definitely underplayed. Yes, there are moments of shocking violence—but they are depicted in a stylish, almost beautiful way, as part of the shows overall aesthetic. The horror is not in seeing what Hannibal or the other killers in the show do; it’s seeing how the characters in the show can be brought into such terrible deeds; how a character like Will Graham can go from being a befuddled investigator into a serial killer with a mind for a design.

In addition, Hannibal isn’t afraid to use classic horror techniques to build tension. The show frequently uses music as a way of adding suspense and horror, even when nothing exciting is happening on the screen. By contrast, shows like Scream Queens or American Horror Story definitely prefer to thrust shocking images into viewer’s chances whenever they get, ignoring the benefit of building tension and horror gradually.

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It added much-needed characterization

There is only so much you can show or tell about a character through a 2 hour film or a novel, or even a series of novels. Three seasons of Hannibal, on the other hand, have allowed the writers to develop all of the main characters—especially Hannibal Lecter and Will Graham—in a way that is only possible through a multi-season television medium.

Hannibal in particular was given more airtime in the series than in the books or films, which allowed viewers a greater sense of who he was. Not only were viewers given a greater insight into Hannibal’s mind, they were allowed to see a slower, more gradual relationship development between Hannibal and Will. While their relationship in the books and films was depicted well enough, the television show was able to spend hours and hours on their relationship, which ultimately made the third season’s final episodes have a much bigger payoff than either the film or book adaptations.

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Things Every Mad Men Fanatic Needs to Know

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The last episode of Mad Men aired in May of 2015, ending a show that brought viewers an intimate, retro look at the world of the 1960s. The series received almost entirely positive critical praise throughout its seven season run, and each of the 92 episodes brought great ratings to its home network, AMC.

Although the show is over, that doesn’t mean fans of the show have stopped caring about the lives, loves and adventures of its characters. If you’re a Mad Men fan who wants to stay immersed in the fantastic world created by the show—or just wants to know more about the workings behind this award winning modern period drama—then take a look at some interesting and sometimes surprising trivia that will make you the envy of your fellow Mad Men devotees.

The show was not originally pitched to AMC

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AMC was not the first network people thought of when it came to period dramas, especially modern period dramas without a hint of unreality. Not surprisingly, then, it wasn’t AMC that the show’s creative team made their initial pitch to: it was HBO! HBO has been home to many different types of dramas, but the network decided to pass on Mad Men. AMC eventually bid on the show and the rest is AMC ratings history.

The ‘smog incident’ was based on real events

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Dark Shadows, episode 9 in the show’s fifth season, is perhaps one of the most polarizing episode in the show’s history. The episode was alternatively praised and criticized for its usage of symbolism to address the growing jealous and insecurity in the character’s lives, particularly in between Betty and Don, and Don and the newest star of the agency.

One of the ways the episode symbolized the poisonous atmosphere the characters were living in was through an actual toxic atmosphere. Megan makes a remark about the radio saying there was a ‘smog emergency,’ and that the air was toxic. This wasn’t just a random symbolic addition to the story—New York City had frequent increases in deadly smog, including one in the real year Dark Shadows was set in; that year, about 300 people are estimated to have died due to the smog.

Roger was almost killed off in season 1

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Roger Sterling, played by John Slatterly, was almost killed off at some point during the show’s first season. The reason, according to creator Matthew Weiner, was that John Slatterly had another acting job lined up and was unsure if he could commit to doing Mad Men as well. Slatterly ended up wanting to stay with the show, and the character was left to live another day.

Peggy didn’t leave the company for $19,000 (technically)

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Some fans of the show took to social media when Peggy finally decided to leave the company. Not because they were upset with her decision–although to this day her departure is a sore point for some fans–but because they felt she left the company for ‘beans,’ meaning nothing at all. In the episode, it is revealed that Peggy left on the promise of $19,000. While leaving a high-paying, fairly secure job for ‘only’ $19,000 would be unheard of today, Peggy wasn’t leaving for $19,000 in today’s money: converted for inflation, Peggy left the company for about $131,000!

The “Blackface Scene” created in-house controversy

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In My Old Kentucky Home, Roger Sterling performs a song in Blackface in front of an exclusive country club. The act is not seen as outrageous by the characters–who are still firmly entrenched in 1960s society–but the scene did create some controversy within the Mad Men staff itself.

Several of the writers for the episode did not want their names attached to that particular episode, and were allowed to excuse themselves from working on that particular scene. John Slatterly thought that the scene might end his acting career. Show creator Michael Weiner knew the scene would be controversial, but felt it was necessary to remind audiences of the everyday racism that would have been acceptable in that type of 1960s high society setting.

The show is set in New York City—filming is not

The show does a pretty good job of hiding its real location, but the New York City of Mad Men is a far cry from the real New York—literally. The show was filmed almost completely in Los Angeles, with one exception: the pilot episode of the show filmed on location in New York. After the show was given the greenlight for the full season, the decision was made to film in Los Angeles. The decision was made for several reasons, including the fact that filming in Los Angeles is cheaper than filming on location in New York City; additionally, the show’s cast would have had to relocate to New York if they decided to film the show entirely on location in the city.

The cigarettes are all fake

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There’s no denying that one of the show’s staples are its dedication to authenticity, which includes a tremendous amount of cigarettes, which were commonplace in the workplace in 1960—especially high-end agencies and firms where stress, and pressure, was high. However, the cigarettes in the show are all fake; some of the cast members do actually smoke, however there is a California law on the books which completely bans smoking tobacco cigarettes in the workplace. The cigarettes used in the show are fake cigarettes from a brand that creates nicotine-free, toxin-free herbal “cigarettes.”

Joan’s ‘signature walk’ was not deliberate

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One of Joan’s signature characteristics is her signature walk, but actress Christina Hendricks revealed in a behind-the-scenes interview that the walk was not a deliberate acting choice on her part. Instead, it was the result of Hendricks actually having trouble walking in the tight, constricting dresses combined with high heels that her character wore on the show. Although she eventually got the hang of it, she kept the ‘signature walk’ that had become an iconic part of her character.

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Was ‘Mysteries of Laura’ a very, very bad idea?

In May of 2015 there was a lot of concern over the new television series The Mysteries of Laura. NBC, the network that the show aired on, decided to cancel a number of television shows—in fact upwards of half a dozen. Of course, this lead to some degree of anxiety and curiosity —what shows made the list to be renewed? What shows were done with forever? A lot of this would hinge on whether or not the TV series got good enough ratings, of course.

The Mysteries of Laura did not have the reviews that NBC had been hoping for. The season ended with ratings of 1.22 in adults 18-49 and later ratings of 1.12. This is somewhat lower than the network’s scripted average. It is actually NBCs lowest rated returning drama by quite a considerable amount. To boot, on the Big 4 networks, Nashville, Hawaii Five-0, and unfortunately The Mysteries of Laura rank as the three lowest performers. Obviously this is all rather troubling news since it was a strong indication that The Mysteries of Laura may not make it to its second season. Television networks want programs which will earn them money, and if a show could be replaced with a more profitable series then generally that is the practical and economical decision. Sometimes, however, TV networks choose to give a series a second chance to see if the next season might perform a little better. Some really fantastic TV shows begin with seasons that are below-par, but they get their second wind and people begin to enjoy it more with a second season.

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It has also been said that NBC doesn’t have a lot of openings for dramas for the fall season—and it seems to be more attracted to serialized material that is shorter-run. This made it even more unlikely that Laura would get an opportunity to be renewed.

NBC has a particular method it uses, specifically a ratio, when determining what shows will stay and what shows have to go. The renew/cancel index is decided based on the ratio of adult ratings on that specific show to the ratings of other shows. This is done by looking at then new, live, same-day episodes and dividing the average ratings between the show in question by other new television shows.

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The confusion about whether or not The Mysteries of Laura would be renewed or canceled has still been pervasive in the past several months, but the matter has been relatively cleared up, at least for the time being—the series has, against all odds, made a comeback. In fact, it actually premiered on September 23rd, 2015. In May Deadline said that the series would have a 13 episode renewal. They also declared that it is the only NBC new series to obtain a renewal for its second season. It was reported that The Mysteries of Laura would be surviving the axe along with Undateable and The Night Shift. Unfortunately State of Affairs, About A Boy, Constantine, One Big Happy, and Marry Me only had the chance to show their first season and that is the extent of their lifespan on NBC.

The primary misunderstanding lies in the most recent news, which is that NBC ordered five additional episodes of The Mysteries of Laura. Evidently this is not what had happened, and Debra Messing, the actress who first announced this information, was accidentally mistaken. NBC had actually just ordered five scripts for episode orders, not episodes themselves. Now it has been confirmed that NBC will be ordering a few episodes, but the network only wants three.

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In one sense this is rather good news, as it means that fans will be able to enjoy a few more episodes in addition to the second season which has already aired. However, the insubstantial quantity is a pretty good indicator that NBC is hesitant about going forward with The Mysteries of Laura and isn’t really sure it is worth the effort. If the second season gets better ratings NBC might order some more episodes for the third season, but for now it looks a little bleak an daunting for The Mysteries of Laura. Still, the series defied probability by getting a second season in the first place, especially after its rather disappointing first season. Perhaps this second chance to make a series out of The Mysteries of Laura is all the show needs to redeem itself for good in the eyes of NBC. There is at this point no premiere date for the third season and we shall see with time what happens to this show.

The Mysteries of Laura is a police procedural comedy-drama. Laura Diamond, played by Debra Messing, is a homicide detective working with the New York Police Department. She is a single mom who has to balance her time between her troublesome twin boys, her ex husband, Captain Jake Broderick, and her busy career. At the end of the first season her ex gets shot, although he does recover. He is then replaced by a new captain.

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Perhaps one of the biggest reasons that there may not be a full season three of The Mysteries of Laura is some of the feedback the series has been getting. On Rotten Tomatoes the show got a critic’s review of 22%–although it did have an audience review of 72% and the second season got an audience review of 60%. IMDb gives the series 6.5/10 stars which isn’t half bad. There are a number of critics who don’t consider the plot to be funny and who find Laura’s children’s behavior to be atrocious. Those who disliked the series say that there is no attention to crime-solving details and that it seems like a spoof. For what it’s worth there are still a lot of big fans of the series who especially adore Debra Messing. She is perhaps most noteworthy for her performance as Grace in the sitcom Will and Grace. There are some excited fans who call the series exciting, entertaining, and great. A lot of people do find it to be amusing and humorous, although, it seems like there are also an overwhelming majority who do not appreciate the jokes or the style of The Mysteries of Laura.

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Are you Addicted to Fresno?

Addicted to Fresno came out of the gate with the makings of an excellent film. There’s a lot to say towards why the film should be very good, or at the least well above average. First of all, the cast is stellar. The plot, while it doesn’t meet the grade for arthouse nuance and complexity, seems unquestionably poised to deliver ridiculous scenes with plenty of room for good dialogue. At the very, very least, it doesn’t seem like it could possibly be a boring movie. Look at the poster for example, there is a clean version of it, but another official release has the center character holding a candy red dildo. It has to deliver on something right?

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The story centers around two siblings, sisters, that share an over the top codependency. One begins the movie almost straight out of rehab for sex addiction and her counterpart is queer, bubbling, and wildly optimistic. As it was mentioned, no one will be left brooding in a coffeeshop having long discussions into the night about what it all meant after the credits roll. There is some promise though. Shannon, the first sister, relapses and ends up killing a guest of the hotel she just started working at (thanks to her sister) in a series of unfortunate events. The second sister, Martha, does all she can to help her sister out and cover up the incident but in the end Shannon grows to accept the consequences of her actions. Finally, the sisters are able to not so much reconcile their differences, but at least able to work towards a healthier and more understanding relationship.

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If you don’t include the bit at the end, the movie sounds like something the Cohen brothers would cook up. Which is high praise. Normal people in a farfetched scenario. It would be fair to say that this sort of feel is no accident, Addicted to Fresno has been heavily branded as a weird indie black comedy. It fits the description, down to the cover design. Even one of the actresses, Aubrey Plaza, is known for being weird black comedy indie. Her farfetched nature on Parks and Rec made her one of the shows most loved characters and it seems that producers wanted to instill that same vibe into Addicted to Fresno .

Natasha Lyonne stars as one of the sisters and has been successful in comedy before. Her most famous role was a recurring spot in the cast of the American Pie franchise. Many people might mutter at that but the fact remains, American Pie is one of the most successful franchises in American cinema. With that said, the more recent spinoffs are very, very hard to endorse. She has received a primetime Emmy nomination and worked with Woody Allen on Everyone Says I Love You.

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Across from her is another comedy professional, Judy Greer. One of the first roles to get her attention was Kitty Sanchez from Arrested Development , who was a staple foil of the series always after the show’s patriarch, his money, and recognition for her breasts. Since then she has made many appearances from romantic comedies to action films. Among that list are some highlights like Carrie , The Wedding Planner, Love and Other Drugs, and most recently, Jurassic World. However people now may recognize her voice most as Cheryl Tunt, probably the most misunderstood member of the team that makes up Archer’s members.

To recap, Addicted to Fresno has an excellent cast. Each one of the major players is accomplished in their own right and they each appear to have very decidedly specialized in comedy. On top of that these great actresses, each of whom brings an individual brand of good comedic work to the table, are working with a solid plot. If you read the objective papers on the film you would be hard pressed to anticipate something other than some degree of success. The reviews have offered up the unexpected though. The film earned a thirty three percent from critics on Rotten Tomatoes and twenty eight percent with audiences, for IMDB it got a 5.5.

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The movie is full of contradictions, in the trailer alone we see a smoking nurse, an olympian die from sex, a robbery made at the point of a fire extinguisher, etc. All of this is inline with the appearance of a great movie, but for some reason audiences aren’t pleased. This isn’t to say that everyone hasn’t liked it, in fact there are some out there who would swear by the movie. In this way, it looks as though the film accidentally hit the niche it aimed for too well. It was weird, it was hilarious, it was over the top, but more than anything it was strange. Cohen brothers esque strange but lacking in either restraint or that hard to place quality that ties everything together.

The movie is worth a watch for anyone willing to see raunchy comedy, there are a lot of dildos after all, because it is one of those films that is going to be love it or hate it. The pair has the body with them in a blue industrial laundry bin for almost the entire movie and try to get the body cremated at a pet cemetery by passing it off as a great dane. That is biggest spoiler that will appear in this article and serves as a sample of the film’s character.

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The comedic aspects of the film seem to thrive while most complaints are centered around the emotional aspects of the stories developments. One selfish person burdening a level headed, gentle companion until the first realizes the error of their ways is a plot as old as plots get. It seems that the plot is there as a medium for the jokes, which is true of almost any comedy, but here that backdrop seems very thin. With that said, if a few stale conversations is the only payment for seeing April Ludgate rob a sex shop with a fire extinguisher, it has to be worth a try.

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He Named Me Malala: An Important and Incredible Story

He Named Me Malala is the uplifting documentary following the story of a Pakistan girl who was shot in the head for suggesting that women deserved to go to school. She was in critical care for quite some time. Her family, and everyone who followed her store, were met with a terrifying prospect from her doctors. They worried that even if she did manage to miraculously survive the wound she would come out of surgery changed and no longer the Malala that they knew before.

Malala survived the horrendous incident and has gone on to become a face for the countless numbers of women around the world who are denied education and other basic rights based on cultural tradition and religious belief. At the same time she makes it clear that she is still a regular girl and wants to be seen as such. That brand of humility makes her message even more potent because it illustrates her desire to truly be a voice and not an icon. It’s particularly inspiring because it allows any participant to realize that you do not need to have a near death experience to have a worthwhile passion and the rights owed to any human.

about-a-girl-i-am-malala-1024x563 copyThe story is true and bears few, if any, marks of any Hollywood exaggeration or bending. The cameras accompany Malala through a wide variety of settings and you’ll see the young woman making presentations at school, getting report cards, and speaking out for women’s rights at major events. Her presence is astounding alone, even beside the fact that she is only 17. Her speeches show a genuine determination that one would expect to see from a lifelong activist or head of a charitable foundation. No small feat at all, especially when considering the fact that one of her stirring speeches was made from the podium at the United Nations. Her appearance at the UN is without a doubt an achievement that demands recognition but it is far from her greatest one. In 2014 she became the youngest person in history to receive the Nobel Peace Prize and even just a year after her award she has made it clear that it was deserved and will continue to be so.

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There is a supernatural element to her story as well. Her namesake comes from a story about a woman who was killed for making her voice heard. Afghani folk hero Malalai of Maiwand rallied troops and is granted credit for the Afghan victory at the Battle of Maiwand in 1880. She was killed by British troops but is seen as having been the cause of victory. Obviously, this connection has not gone unnoticed by much of the press that has followed her and is brought up several times in the film. Discussions around Malala’s name reveal that she is firmly established in her own identity and at such a young age has already realized, for the most part, the kind of person she wants to be. She states that her father, in naming her, did not make her Malala. Her own life has shaped her own unique journey. The father states that in naming her Malala he was hoping to bring up a daughter that would leave behind a less tragic legacy, a girl who spoke her voice and was heard without a violent result.

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The documentary takes place before, after, and during the incident. It provides a valuable, on the ground glance into life under the Taliban in Pakistan. The film provides enough background and explanation to create an appropriate atmosphere and understanding for Malala’s life and the circumstances surrounding it and the incident. However its focus is on Malala’s life today and how she lives her life in spite of her status as a representative hero to many.

Malala has a mindset that could easily be likened to the greatest social justice warriors of history and that mindset is evidenced through her language. She is always fast to point out that she is not a sole voice coming from an isolated place, instead Malala makes it clear that her experience connects to all repressed women. I don’t claim to be a psychoanalyst but it seems important to look at the details of her attack in order to better understand her admirable beliefs regarding the specifics of being a representative voice and not just a sensational figure.

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When she was attacked she was not a solitary victim. Malala had spoke out publicly for the reform of female education but when the Taliban attempted to silence her they opened fire on an entire school bus. This detail can be expanded to hint at Malala’s great level of empathy. While she almost died she remains aware that she is not the only one that has suffered, or is suffering because of female repression.

She is not putting on an act either. She genuinely wants to be seen as the normal girl that she is. The documentary highlights her globally recognizable achievements but it also illustrates her personal life at home and her relationships with family and friends. In one scene she introduces her family members and jokingly points to her brother, calling him “the laziest one.” At one point in a one on one interview she is asked if she thinks she’ll ever ask anybody out and she covers her mouth, giggles, and looks away. Moments like these make her story so touching because they prove that even a voice recognized the world over and a person with an incredible story can be entirely relatable. Malala, in her own nature, proves that there is a hero in all of us. That anyone is capable of enacting great change and one does not need to be born a figurehead of change. The film has received good reviews and regardless of your opinion on the reception of critics it’s safe to say that the movie is worth seeing. It grants a unique perspective and inspiring story that could do the world a lot of good.

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Kendra’s Always Been on Top

The show has returned for its fourth season and it is certain to be every bit as entertaining and dramatic as ever. The playboy model turned reality TV star Kendra Wilkinson seems to have finally found a recurring place in the reality tv line up after a few years of bouncing from show to show. Hopefully the fourth season does not mark the end of her show with WE tv. Kendra’s unlucky number seems to be four.

However, it’s not the first time that Kendra has had her own recurring show. From 2009 up through November of 2011, Wilkinson had a series on the E! network that was titled, simply, Kendra . When the series reached what would ultimately be its end in the fourth season the celebrity and the network broke up. The official press releases attribute the decision to conflicting goals between the star and the company, the direct quote being, “went in a different direction.”

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Kendra was not out of work for long though. Less than a year later, in March of 2012 it was released that Kendra had been signed on for a new show with WE tv and production began within the month. The market is flooded with rising and fading realities stars along with an incredibly high turnover rate. But Wilkinson is no small fry. The first season of her WE tv series brought in an impressive amount of viewers, just under eight million to be exact. It is no surprise to see a show renewed after raking in those kinds of numbers.

Kendra clearly brings something to the table that most reality stars are not able to obtain. She has been something of a constant presence in a rather dynamic branch of media for over a decade. Her career as a Playboy model got her a spot on the show The Girls Next Door . She made her strong personality known almost immediately and proved that she had no fear of speaking her mind. In an interview from 2014 she reflected on her rise to fame and recalled her feelings from when she was offered a spot in Hefner’s mansion.

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“I was like, ‘Hell yeah, I’m here!’ I was living in this smallass apartment with this uglyass b*tch. I was praying for anything to get me out of there. I moved in and weeks went by and I didn’t know that sex was involved. I knew nothing about Playboy, I’d just graduated high school.”

Girls Next Door focused on the lives of Hefner’s girlfriends at the time, a trio composed of Kendra Wilkinson, Bridget Marquardt, and Holly Madison. Wilkinson was not long for the love square and moved out of the mansion after five years. In that time she met the man who would later become her husband. Hank Baskett. Meeting Hank and getting engaged was a major turning point for the then minor celebrity because it inspired her to set out on her own and film a series based on her new life away from the mansion and the planning of her wedding.


Part of Wilkinson’s staying power on television is due to the fact that she has been around as long as she as. It’s sort of a selfperpetuating cycle that ties into the base elements of reality tv. The whole point is to have an in depth view of a real person and watch them develop through their daily life. Audiences have been privy to the entirety of Kendra’s career and as sh has grown as a person more people have become invested in her life’s progress.

Her first show saw her planning her wedding and beginning her own life. During all of this she appeared on more traditional series like Las Vegas and Entourage in addition to a few music videos. Wilkinson has even made it on to the big screen and if you look closely you can see her in the Scary Movie 4 .

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Her career as a tv personality is clearly established and won’t be going away any time soon, although the star reportedly has some surprising career goals in mind. Currently she is hoping to one day become a massage therapist or sports announcer. It’s more than just a fantasy too, she has connections to the sporting world. She was a blogger for the Philadelphia Eagles. Her ties to the athletic industry go beyond work and reach into her family tree. Her mother was a cheerleader for the same team and her husband, Hank, played for them.

She has done a lot of work outside of television and is the author of a memoir, Sliding Into Home. The book rates highly on Amazon and is a significant piece of work that weighs in at 256 pages. A lot has changed since Kendra’s career began though. Now she is letting the world watch her as she learns to be a mother. She won’t be alone in the effort on account of the fact that she has her husband there with her and has declared Hugh Hefner himself to be the godfather of her first child.

The family was rocked by a sextape scandal that Kendra confessed she had made because at the time she was in love with the man who filmed it. Obviously, the event garnered a lot of media attention for her but the family was able to come together and move on from the event successfully. The pair is quoted as having tried their hardest to make the experience into a positive one that will make for a stronger bond in the family.

kendraontop-1024x581 copyWilkinson obviously has a loyal fan base and a reputation for breaking records and remaining relevant. Over more than a decade people have had access to glimpses of her life and she is obviously a celebrity that is rising up on her fame instead of drowning in it. It’s a safe bet that the show will return after its fourth season but there’s no telling what kind the Basketts will be getting into over the course of the next few months.


Best ‘Secret In Their Eyes’ Secrets Revealed

Julia Roberts and Nicole kidman are playing the leads in a dark film about the inner workings and intense struggles that investigators can face in the line of duty. The story backing Secret in Their Eyes is dark, disturbing, and pulls upon a chord of fear that almost everyone has. I’m not spoiling too much of the plot by telling you what kicks the movie off because it is revealed in the trailer, along with the fact that the movie is going to be gruesome and heart-wrenching.

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Julia Roberts discovers her daughter has been murdered and left in a dumpster. This sort of event is a special kind of boogeyman because it is an unlikely worst case scenario. Returning home only to find that a loved one has been kidnapped or worse is a fear that many people imagine when out of contact with those they care about but are usually able to shake off, for the most part. It’s a splinter fear one that does not seem very real or pressing because it is so unlikely, but it is always way in the bag nagging just slightly.

In the film Roberts takes on the role of Jess, an up and coming investigative agent for the FBI. The horrible event described above takes place early on in Jess’ career. Secret in Their Eyes truly kicks off when a new clue to the case appears 13 years after the fact. The movie has yet to be released to critics for review but expectations are very high. The script comes from Oscar nominated screenwriter and director Billy Ray. He’s gained fame recently with The Hunger Games and Captain Phillips.

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Secret in Their Eyes presents a unique challenge for the director and the cast however. It is important to know that while this film is sure to put its own unique stamp on the story, it is actually based on an Argentine film from 2009 of the same name. That film was awarded an Oscar for its quality and has left the team with a high benchmark to aim for. Huge amounts of confidence and anticipation surround the film because of its top tier cast and the excellent track records of the people involved.

Ray plans to make the movie his own and wants to highlight different facets of the story,

“I felt that as great as that movie is, and I literally mean great, I felt that it needed to be made into a slightly more muscular version of itself, and that just meant it needed a little bit more story and a couple of things I thought were sort of uniquely American touches to justify retelling the story,” he said. “I’m pretty confident we found all that.”

Julia Roberts comes onto the projects with an Oscar under her belt along with a great story from early stages of production. The scene where she finds her daughter in the dumpster is of utmost importance to the film because it essentially defines Robert’s character and explains many of her motivations. The emotional and practical weight that surrounds the scene is massive and Julia Roberts had a stroke of acting genius during filming, according to reports.

On the very first take of the scene she left the crew and her colleagues stunned. Those who were there were amazed and almost could not believe what they were seeing. Getting into the headspace necessary to give a good depiction of a mother confronting a nightmare can not be easy, and to do it on your first try is commendable. The director asked for a second take just for insurance purposes and some extra material incase editing became necessary. Apparently her second take was even better the first and director Ray wrapped up shooting the scene directly after the second take.

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It wasn’t all death and despair in the studio though. After the filming was done Ray approached Roberts and thanked her for her performance, saying that as a fellow human being he could not ask her to do what she had done another time. She replied, “You’re the director. You’re not supposed to be human.” Hearing about chemistry and high spirits on any movie set is always reassuring because it belies a healthy working atmosphere and happy working conditions almost always serve as a hint of great creative work to come. Cohesion among the cast is important to every move and the same holds especially true for Secret in Their Eyes because it is relying largely on an impeccable cast to do the story justice both as a remake and as its own film.

Alongside Roberts we will see Nicole Kidman and Chiwetel Ejiofor. Kidman has been nominated for two Oscars and took one home for best actress through her role in The Hours . She is well known and hardly needs an introduction. Chiwetel Ejiofor is perhaps not as well known as Kidman but he has been equally successful and impressive throughout his film career. He gained recent attention and an Oscar nomination as best actor with 2013’s 12 Years a Slave . You can also find him in two other excellent films, Children of Men and American Gangster.

Secret in Their Eyes will be on the must see list for anyone aiming to see all of the movies in the Oscar run but will also certainly be worthwhile to anyone looking for a good movie. There is sure to be plenty of emotion, hope, and twists with this interesting take on the standard cold case narrative. It also provides a rare opportunity to compare and contrast an example of American cinema crafted by top tier actors and actress with the work of a South American team of equal quality. Secret in Their Eyes promises to leave anyone who sees it shocked and a little disturbed but will hopefully smooth out the deep catharsis with stellar acting and excellent writing. The film has much to prove given its counterpart’s success but has a team more than capable of living up to its expectations.

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