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Leading men (and women).

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"Says the man in the air-conditioned room..."
Two grumpy pieces on how one should be famous in the British press: Jan Etherington at the Telegraph has a long treatise on how leading men aren’t acting or looking their age, bemoaning Tom Cruise‘s gamboling around a London red carpet with fans and the Douglases getting plastic surgery:

The result is that sudden and radical “wind tunnel” look – not so much youthful as utterly scary. Take the Douglases père et fils. Have Kirk and Michael really done themselves any favours in their desperate attempts to stay young? Those oddly wide, wrinkle-free eyes, the unnaturally smooth cheeks.

Heh. But we’re distrustful of any article that holds up Jack Nicholson as an example of aging done right. Hadley Freeman at the Guardian‘s problem is that star mystique is gone. Freeman writes that "this probably reveals more about my own limitations than Brad Pitt‘s but, personally, I find it tough to see Pitt as Jesse James in The Assassination of Jesse James when I am force-fed supposed details of Pitt’s home life every time I walk into WH Smith." We actually buy into the argument made at the beginning of the article more — this film season is so earnest, so furrowed-brow (has any recent trailer looked less appealing than that of "Lions for Lambs"?) that many of these films neglect to make use of the star qualities of their presumed main attractions.

Roughty related: Troy Patterson at Slate posts his thoughts on the Wes Anderson/Owen Wilson Myspace interview:

When I call this clip stunningly banal, I’m trying to offer
a compliment. There’s something as comforting as oatmeal in its refusal
to serve as a showbiz confessional, to gratify the thirst for tears and
sap. You might click it into existence feeling like a vulture—a
scavenger preparing to snack on celebrity misery—but you come away
aware of yourself as a mildly bored human.

Very roughly related: William Grimes at the New York Times writes about Jeanine Basinger’s recently published "The Star Machine," which examines the way the studios would have budding actors "renamed, reshaped and taught how to speak and move in front of a camera," then tested out in the right kind of picture and, if it took, typecast. 

+ The men behaving sadly (Telegraph)
+ Brad just ain’t box-office (Guardian)

+ Owen and Wes (Slate)
+ When the Studios Called the Shots, and the Close-Ups (NY Times)

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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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