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Two Joans.

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06112008_joancrawford.jpgLooking at a 1930 photograph of Joan Crawford by George Hurrell, the Independent‘s Hannah Duguid describes it as “the stuff of fantasy…simply a close-up of her perfectly beautiful face. Crawford’s troubled character is not apparent in these photographs, nor is her battle with alcohol; the ravages of life are painted over with clever lighting and a thick concealer.” Duguid, writing on the occasion of a new exhibit of celebrity photography at Yorkshire’s National Media Museum, traces the progression from the idealized portraits of the studio era to publicity stunts and the rise of the paparazzi. Question: Which is the true opposite of everything represented by that Crawford photo — US Magazine‘s reoccuring “Just Like Us!” feature of the famous taking out their garbage, picking a friend up at the airport or getting coffee, or the gallery I stumbled on while looking for “Just Like Us,” entitled “Stars Falling Down”?

Elsewhere, blogger Self-Styled Siren has produced an anecdote from another Joan that’s ever timely, given the recent attention being paid to the upcoming remake of “The Women.” When starring in the first remake of the Cukor film, the 1956 musical “The Opposite Sex,” Joan Collins, in the Crawford role of home-wrecking shopgirl Crystal Allen, took a blow to the face from co-star June Allyson that wasn’t your typical stage slap when the two were filming the dressing room scene: “Any more shooting was out of the question. On each of my cheeks was forming the perfect imprint of a tiny hand! Branded, if not for life, for the two or three days it took for the welts to go down.”

[Photo: George Hurrell’s photograph of Joan Crawford, Hulton Archive/Getty Images, 1930, used without permission]

+ Shooting stars: A dazzling new exhibition explores how Hollywood exploits the power of photography (Independent)
+ Anecdote of the Week (Self-Styled Siren)

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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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