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Why all the Kristen Stewart hate?

Why all the Kristen Stewart hate? (photo)

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One way the internet allows you to make serendipitous discoveries about something’s popularity is by typing one letter at a time into Google and seeing what the auto-complete brings up (something Slate discovered last year). Typing in the letters “kr” will give you “Kristen Stewart” second (first is Kroger, the largest grocery store chain in America, albeit one not yet universal).

Keep typing her name out and she remains higher than, say, “Krispy Kreme,” safely perched above the likes of the Kristins Chenowith and Bell (distinctive first name spelling helps, presumably). “Kristen Stewart aw,” it gets a little more sinister: “awkwardness” is prevalent. And yes, finally, there’s an auto-complete for “Kristen Stewart awful actress,” something apparently on a lot of people’s minds.

Back in 2002, Stewart plausibly played Jodie Foster’s daughter in “Panic Room” — not an easy task, seeing as Foster’s basically the first and final word in preternaturally intelligent child/teen performers, but she pulled it off. She was also very cool and collected in “Undertow” and “Adventureland,” and admirably spacy in “Into The Wild.” She’s not the most wildly expressive actress, but that’s a choice rather than a limitation.

03192010_panicroom.jpgThe main complaints against Stewart that come up, then, are surprisingly consistent. An online petition sums up many of the points of contention: “cold, boring and fidgety,” “lack of interest or ability,” “intimidating.” Indeed, apparently Stewart is one point on which pro- and virulently anti-“Twilight” factions can find common ground. There are Twihard who think, basically, she doesn’t understand who Bella is, and an anti-side who also think she’s limited for superficially different reasons: “it’s all the same emo carp [sic],” says “Kokuhaku.” Consensus in a divided America at last!

Might I suggest that Stewart is actually quite good at what she does? In a world decrying the existence of the Manic Pixie Dream Girl, Stewart is realistically sulky and pissed-off — not aggressively unpleasant, just hard to impress and already disappointed far too many times. I’ve seen people dismiss her performances based solely, it seems, on her association with “Twilight” — which, as we can see, is fairly prickly even among that devoted community.

Leave her alone: no matter how awkward her faux pas can be (as if being caught smoking pot were somehow a completely unusual activity rather than a case of poor choice with regard to visibility), she has real talent. That she sold her soul to teenage Satan means she can do that much more for the other side on her off-hours, as she’s repeatedly proven. Don’t hold success against her.

[Photos: “Twilight: New Moon,” Summit, 2009; “Panic Room,” Columbia, 2002]

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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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