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The critic and the pirate.

The critic and the pirate. (photo)

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Coming to an airport romance novel shelf near you?

Roger Friedman, critic/columnist for Fox News online, caused as big a stir as a film critic seems able to these difficult days when he posted a review of “X-Men Origins: Wolverine,” having illegally downloaded the leaked, unfinished version of the film. The internet immediately went into paroxyms of self-righteousness, with Ain’t It Cool News, among others, relishing in a chance to take the moral high ground by calling for Friedman’s termination.

Fox News, a separate entity from 20th Century Fox Film Corporation, the studio behind “Wolverine,” took down the review, and on Saturday Nikki Finke at Deadline Hollywood reported that Friedman had indeed been fired. Sharon Waxman at The Wrap noted, with a bit more insight, that Friedman seems to think that the fact that his review was positive would excuse the means by which he saw the film.

As a veteran of the world of hard-nosed publicity barter, Friedman probably figured he could squirm out of an uncomfortable situation by praising the film. Turns out Friedman was working out of an old playbook. The decision to terminate him was made over the weekend, a News Corp executive confirmed. “It’s a matter of principle,” said the executive.

Finke also updates, awesomely: “I did reach Friedman for comment. He emailed back only that he was at the Paul McCartney concert.” And ABC News claims that Friedman met with Fox executives this morning to plead his case.

If this is indeed the end of Friedman, well, I hate to see any film journalist lose a job, but his was by all accounts a spectacularly ill-advised move, both in terms of his position (admitting to pirating a film in your column! from a studio under your outlet’s corporate umbrella!) and from a journalistic standpoint — the film wasn’t finished and it wasn’t being offered for review, and so posting one isn’t ethical or useful. But it’s also exactly the kind of gun-jumping, link-grabbing act that will serve Friedman well when he inevitably has to start his own site, so I’m sure he’ll be fine either way.

+ EXCLUSIVE: Fox News Fires Showbiz Columnist For “Promoting” Piracy (Deadline Daily)
+’s Roger Friedman Does Himself In Over ‘Wolverine’ Review (The Wrap)
+ Fox Columnist Fighting for His Job (ABC News)

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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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