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Good grief Holiday

Good grief Holiday (photo)

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I’ve been watching the obligatory holiday favorites, a bit of “White Christmas” and the like though I can’t keep my attention fixed on them or keep away from the laptop for long. The beloved holiday Star Wars marathon is the only thing I find myself unable to look away from, even some of the new trilogy, which lies somewhere between horrid and mediocre.

What really surprises me is how awful the cartoony CGI looks in these films – compared to the hand made sets of the originals – which was the only thing they had going for them, outside of the occasional juicy Star Wars lore tidbits. Story and soul abandoned for bling, it’s the theme of big studio filmmaking and brings me back to the new holiday blockbuster “Avatar.” I don’t care what James Cameron, or his composer, James Horner say about the attention paid to story. Lucas paid a l lot of attention to story too, there’s still something lacking in CGI that leaves a picture too clean, too sterile.

A glance at the box office any day shows that the masses buy into anyway despite the common grievance about hollow plots. “Avatar” is currently dominating with last count at a $381,630,006 worldwide gross. It was actually overtaken by an animated film in daily gross take yesterday when “Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel” opened, scoring a few more seats than the king of the world. I wonder if we can count “Avatar” as an animated film too? It seems that animated flicks dominate the holidays, indeed the other big winner is “The Princess and the Frog.” Those Randy Newman tunes can’t lose either.

But as far as I’m concerned, the field is crowded with losers. The bang for the buck this year lies in the holiday standards, and the king of those is obviously “A Charlie Brown Christmas.” It’s free, it has a good story about triumphing over how fake and commercial we are, and it has the best holiday score ever.

Watch Charlie Brown – A Charlie Brown Christmas in Anime  |  View More Free Videos Online at

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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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