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Are you there, God? It’s me, Oscar.

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" of the great threatened faces in screen history..."We’re going to be ranging far wider and cheesier than the above before the end of this awards season, we promise you.

But seriously, God (Buddha?), please prevent Caryn James from any more articles like her howler of a Sunday Times piece on the sudden deluge of actors taking on gay roles, in which she take the following point, which we’ll lay out in the snappy, concise, dumb style of your average magazine front-of-book:

In: Playing gay

Five minutes ago: Playing mentally disabled

Out: Playing in blackface

And proceeds to subject it to some painful and awkward analysis: Most of the actors playing flashy gay parts this year aren’t gay! (Even though the Internet sometimes says they are!) Which makes it less threatening to Middle America! Where they’re often threatened by gays! And sometimes even though a non-gay actor makes the massive stretch of acting like he or she is gay, it still doesn’t work! But what actually drives us nuts is that while there might be a point to be made here (several good ones, actually), she fails to arrive at one, linking "Capote" (and Philip Seymour Hoffman‘s performance there was really more about "Ray"-style ventriloquism than sexuality), "The Dying Gaul" (which, beyond being campy, is also such a small indie that it probably won’t get beyond the top ten markets, which is what most gay-themed films are limited to anything), "Transamerica" (same) and "Brokeback Mountain" (which is shaping up to be big enough to shake shit up) to add up to…a trend report?

Kevin Maher at the London Times suggests that playing a drunk is actually the over-tried and true Oscar bait.

Elsewhere on the burgeoning Oscar front, Tom O’Neil at the LA Times refutes reports that there’s nothing to talk about regarding the Best Actress race (beyond Reese Witherspoon in "Walk the Line," who’s been getting buzz for, like, forever). He points to Felicity Huffman in "Transamerica" (who is actually very good), Zhang Ziyi in "Memoirs of a Geisha" (though the cool kids are saying it’s Gong Li who walks away with the film), Keira Knightley in "Pride & Prejudice" (buoyed on recent glowing reviews), and "The New World"‘s young newbie Q’Orianka Kilcher.

And David Thomson at the Independent would start a club of actresses who win two Oscars and then never do anything of note again — and he’d make Jodie Foster chairperson.

+ The Winner Is…Only Acting Gay (NY Times)
+ The message in the bottle is Oscar winner (London Times)
+ A race worth running (LA Times)
+ You want a babysitter with brains to burn? Call Jodie (Independent)

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The Best Of The Last

Portlandia Goes Out With A Bang

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The end is near. In mere days Portlandia wraps up its final season, and oh what a season it’s been. Lucky for you, you can watch the entire season right now right here and on the IFC app, including this free episode courtesy of Subaru.

But now, let’s take a moment to look back at some of the new classics Fred and Carrie have so thoughtfully bestowed upon us. (We’ll be looking back through tear-blurred eyes, but you do you.)

Couples Dinner

It’s not that being single sucks, it’s that you suck if you’re single.

Cancel it!

A sketch for anyone who has cancelled more appointments than they’ve kept. Which is everyone.

Forgotten America

This one’s a “Serial” killer…everything both right and wrong about true crime podcasts.

Wedding Planners

The only bad wedding is a boring wedding.

Disaster Hut

It’s only the end of the world if your doomsday kit doesn’t include rosé.

Catch up on Portlandia’s final episodes on demand and at

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Your Portlandia Personality Test

The New Portlandia Webseries Is Going Your Way

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Carrie and Fred understand that although we have so much in common, we’re each so beautifully unique and different. To help us navigate those differences, Portlandia has found an easy and honest way to embrace our special selves in the form of a progressive new traffic system: a specific lane for every kind of driver. It’s all in honor of the show’s 8th and final season, and it’s all presented by Subaru.

Ready to find out who you really are? Match your personality to a lane and hop on the expressway to self-understanding.

Lane 10: Trucks Piled With Junk

Your junk is falling out of your trunk. Shake a tail light, people — this lane is for you.

Lane 33: Twins

You’re like a Gemini, but waaaay more pedestrian. Maybe you and a friend just wear the same outfits a lot. Who cares, it’s just twinning enough to make you feel special.

Lane 27: Broken Windows

Bad luck follows you around and everyone knows it. Your proverbial seat is always damp from proverbial rain. Is this the universe telling you to swallow your pride? Yes.

Lane 69: Filthy Cars

You’re all about convenience. Getting your car washed while you drive is a no-brainer.

Lane 43: Newly Divorced Singles

It’s been a while since you’ve driven alone, and you don’t know the rules of the road anymore. What’s too fast? What’s too slow? Are you sending the right signals? Don’t worry, the breakdown lane is nearby if you need it.

Still can’t find a lane to match your personality? Check out all the videos here. And see the final season of Portlandia this spring on IFC.

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Last-Minute Holiday Gift Guide

Hits from the '80s are on repeat all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC.

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GIFs via Giphy, Photos via The Everett Collection

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