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Doing a jig on Variety’s grave.

Doing a jig on Variety’s grave. (photo)

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src=””>With print journalism suffering, layoffs abounding… yeah, you know this story. Film trade Variety is now behind a slowly mounting paywall, while its rival the Hollywood Reporter got sold. It’s grim out there for print entertainment journalism and news right now.

It fell, therefore, to industry blogger Nikki Finke to dance all over their graves in her usual restrained, graceful manner.

The headline speaks for itself: “MMC News Release: Deadline/Hollywood Now Has Larger Readership Than Variety And The Hollywood Reporter Combined.”

This tells us two things: One, that Finke has zero shame about posting press releases on her website, which isn’t surprising — what she reports on is never the real subject; it’s her fireball take that is. Two: at this particular historical moment (the traffic numbers in question deal with November), Finke is the go-to entertainment biz news source, eclipsing those venerable trades singlehandedly. (Or so she’d have us think.)

Let’s assume the numbers are basically true and verifiable (if only because I don’t feel like getting angry e-mails on the subject, despite their shakiness). And let’s also assume that Variety might die someday, though it’s kind of unthinkable to me, like trying to conceive of what Queen Victoria’s death in 1890 must have been like. Well, then what would life look like in Finke’s universe?

It would suck. The most valuable stuff about Variety has jack to do with entertainment news. What Variety does have is something Finke has zero interest in: reviews, and quite comprehensive ones at that. While they’re not generally to my taste, you can read enough of them to know where they’re coming from and adjust your barometer accordingly. They’re all over the festival circuit, giving at least a cursory paragraph to pretty much anything that’s played more than two fests, an invaluable reference.

That’s what gets lost in the Finke universe of “TOLDJA” and up-to-the-minute blow-by-blows of the life of the industry “buttboys.” It doesn’t seem to bother her one bit that everything she writes is dead in a week and that not a single thing she’s written could be anthologized in a decade, much less a year. And that’s fine, Hollywood folks need their industry gossip fix as much as anyone. But let’s not pretend that it would be okay if Finke somehow supplanted the publications she claims to have changed the paradigm on.

You know what the triumph of “New Media” looks like? It looks like this.

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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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