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Oscars: Now hipper, if anyone cares.

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So this year’s Oscar nominees consists of a solid slate of issue-related semi-indies and the coolest host they’ve ever managed to blackmail into that damn thankless job. So it’s not unexpected that today there are similar stories popping up all over: no one’s going to watch, and no one’s going to care.

James Bates at The Envelope points out that "roughly only 200,000 people so far have seen Felicity Huffman‘s Oscar-nominated performance in ‘Transamerica.’ That’s less than 1% of the weekly viewers who watch her on ABC’s ‘Desperate Housewives,’" and offers two perspectives:

Call it a triumph of art over commerce. In a year of small but quality films, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has followed to the letter its artistic mission. Or call it a massive disconnect with popular culture, a lineup of blue state movies playing in a red state multiplex.

Mary McNamara at the LA Times proper:

None of the five was conceived as a blockbuster or big film. To a title, the nominees are politically charged stories. (It’s a remarkable year when a film about Truman Capote is considered the least controversial of the batch.) None has been in more than 2,000 theaters.

At their widest reach, "Munich" was shown in 1,498 theaters and "Capote" in 348. Compare that with, say, "Dukes of Hazzard," which went to 3,785. Not surprisingly, the vast majority of those theaters are on the East and West Coasts.

And David Lieberman at USA Today tackles the economic reality:

"I don’t know how they get an attraction out of this. Look at the top films and tell me who’s starring in them. If I were an advertiser on the Oscars, I’d look for something else," says independent analyst Dennis McAlpine. "This is not going to give Hollywood a chance to promote the idea of going to the movies for entertainment."

That’s key, because the show and the industry need to build buzz. The Oscars’ 42.1 million audience last year was off 3.2% from 2004 and 9% since 2000.

We’re a little hard-pressed to care — isn’t this inevitable in the face of more movies than ever, more channels than ever, more options than ever? Welcome to the terrible dystopian future, where no one wants to watch the Oscars anymore.


Sad, however, that pop culture has officially outgrown its days of being easy common ground — though we can’t really remember the days when it was likely that someone not in your particular niche market had seen the same films/listened to the same albums as you.

+ The trouble with Oscar (The Envelope)
+ 5 Films With Depth, if Not Breadth (LA Times)
+ Oscar nods for small films could kill ad buzz for show (USA Today)

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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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