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Meryl Streep, luckless thespian

Meryl Streep, luckless thespian (photo)

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Sometimes The Onion‘s stories and editorials are pointed satire and sometimes they’re just goofy conceits and absurdities. The much-discussed fake Meryl Streep editorial is something else. In it, “Streep” bemusedly points out that despite her reputation as one of America’s best actresses, she’s never owned a flat-out masterpiece. If you rewrote it not in Streep’s voice, there’s actually no joke; it’s actually just kind of a curious thing someone picked up on. She accurately describes “The Deer Hunter” as “overrated” and moans about her luck with directors: “The annoying thing about all of this is that I’ve worked with directors who have produced some of the finest films in American cinema. I’m just not in any of them. I do a movie with Robert Altman, but it’s ‘A Prairie Home Companion.’ Mike Nichols calls me up, not for ‘Carnal Knowledge,’ but ‘Heartburn.'” True and true. (Nichols also called her up for “Silkwood,” which is a case in point.)

Over at Hollywood Elsewhere, Jeffrey Wells took the link and provided a supplementary list of great movies associated with great actors: Al Pacino in “The Godfather.” Gene Hackman in “The French Connection.” Ellen Burstyn in “The Exorcist.” (Really? Okay.) But I find it interesting that the one exception “Streep” and Wells bring up — “Manhattan” — doesn’t count because she wasn’t the lead. It’s weird reasoning to me. (And personally I’d go with “Adaptation.” over that, but that’s another matter.)

There are plenty of terrific actors who never got that one classic movie/lead role on their résumés. (The opposite of that approach would be Streep’s late fiancé John Cazale, who made five widely beloved classics, then promptly died prematurely young and tragically.) Then again, how many actors actually get that opportunity? Especially if being an integral part of an ensemble cast doesn’t solidify your masterpiece count? Is Alan Arkin less awesome because he’s always a supporting player? Is “Raising Arizona” less John Goodman’s movie than Nicolas Cage’s? You see my point.

David Ansen considered this very same topic in Newsweek in 2005, arriving at the conclusion for actors looking to make a mark that “the most lasting young star of risk-averse Hollywood is the one who’s taken the most flying leaps.” Surely no one would accuse Streep of being risk-averse in her performances, but she’s conservative in her choices. For a long time, she’s only worked with the most highly acclaimed directors; these days, she’s letting it all hang out, jumping at the chance to correct years of an overly-serious image with comedies left and right. Her taste in comic scripts (“Prime”) isn’t the best, but it’s a Hail Mary pass to re-establish herself as an expert comedienne that could land her that masterpiece yet.


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


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.


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

It’s the final countdown to Christmas and thanks to IFC’s movie marathon all Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, you can revel in classic ’80s films AND find inspiration for your last-minute gifts. Here are our recommendations, if you need a head start:

Musical Instrument

Great analog entertainment substitute when you refuse to give your kid the Nintendo Switch they’ve been drooling over.

Breakfast In Bed

Any significant other or child would appreciate these Uncle Buck-approved flapjacks. Just make sure you’re not stuck on clean up duty.

Cocktail Supplies

You’ll need them to get through the holidays.

Dance Lessons

So you can learn to shake-shake-shake (unless you know ghosts willing to lend a hand).

Comfy Clothes

With all the holiday meals, there may be some…embigenning.

Get even more great inspiration all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC, and remember…