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Odds: Wednesday – “Brokeback” appeal, Oprah and Ebert.

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"You boys sure found a way to make the time pass up there."There’s much to love about Choire Sicha‘s feature on "Brokeback Mountain" at the New York Observer, first and foremost that it’s written by Choire Sicha, but beyond that, that he takes some issue with the generally accepted truths about the film’s boundary pushing laid out in Anne Thomson‘s Hollywood Reporter column. Sicha:

[T]he eight years it took to make Brokeback suggests something else: Hollywood isn’t leading, it’s lagging. Newsweek, in its Nov. 21 issue, described how Hollywood producers thought playing gay would trash the careers of Mr. Gyllenhaal and Mr. Ledger when they took their parts. Yeah, they’re way ahead of the social curve out there…

If Hollywood’s so damn liberated, well then, what’s everyone so worked up about?

Sicha also points out that the romance and the eroticism of the film are aimed at women ("’Brokeback Mountain’ declares that boy-on-boy is the new girl-on-girl.") and even cites yaoi manga in his attempt to analyze the appeal (to the female population) of Jake and Heath in hot lip lock, which treads into anthropology dissertation territory. We’re seeing the film ourselves next week (woo!), but must confess we have no idea how it’ll be received — our instincts tell us that no one will make a fuss in the face of the glory that is quivering, emoting hotyoungactorflesh, but then there are things like this hilarious Drudge Report "news flash" from last week on the following shocking revelation:

Arriving with nudity and explicit gay sex scenes between two cowboys, UNIVERSAL/FOCUS FILMS’s BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN has quietly become an award season frontrunner, interviews with Academy members reveal.

Our favorite part is less the awesome lateness of the report (Dude, Salon ran a feature on the then-still-in-planning film in January of last year!) than the "quietly," which is just silly.

Elsewhere: Roger Ebert on how he’s responsible for Oprah‘s syndicated television empire:

It begins early one morning in Baltimore, where Gene Siskel and I are scheduled to appear on a morning talk show hosted by a newcomer named Oprah Winfrey. The other guests on the show include a vegetarian chef, and four dwarfs dressed as chipmunks, who will sing "The Chipmunk Christmas Song" while dancing with Hula-Hoops.

Trailer for Terry Gilliam‘s "Tideland" up on its official site. According to festival chatter it was terrible, but we maintain a feeble sense of hope.

At the Washington Post, "Syriana" director Stephen Gaghan takes questions from the crowd.

Anne Thompson points to Matt Welch‘s piece on Reason on the death of the celebrity profile, and weighs in herself ("At last month’s Reuters panel on celebrity and the media, I argued that the well-written celebrity profile had been killed by too-ardent publicity wrangling."), and we’d just like to say, good lord, yes. We’d rather read five thousand words of George Clooney talking about his favorite meatloaf recipes than see yet another near-identical Q&A about meeting him from coffee from a day of his making the rounds pushing his film.

Several people have pointed out Eric Alterman‘s response to Matt Bai‘s New York Times Magazine piece on the death of the Hollywood liberal, and we join in the chorus — it’s sure worth reading.

Also, a new issue of Reverse Shot‘s up. We haven’t had a chance to do more than look over the table of contents yet, but to hell with us, you’ve got David Hudson at Greencine Daily.

+ Chokeback Mountain (NY Observer)
+ Ang Lee’s ‘Brokeback’ explores ‘last frontier’ (Hollywood Reporter)

+ How I gave Oprah her start (
+ Trailer: Tideland (Official site)
+ Movies: "Syriana" (Washington Post)
+ Celebrity profiles (Risky Biz blog)
+ Hollywood homies hammered (MSNBC)
+ Reverse Shot. Autumn 05. (Greencine Daily)

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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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