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arts

Friday, December 19, 2014

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Young Money

Mature Nicki Minaj delivers sprawling, excellent 'The Pinkprint'

BY ADAM THEISEN

At 60-plus minutes, it’s a beast of an album, a sprawling work that presents one of today’s strongest, most versatile artists in a creative sweet spot. Minaj never lets up or coasts throughout the entire album, and she delivers a new high for an already impressive career.

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Dystopian 'One Child' critiques government corruption

SundanceTV

BY CATHERINE SULPIZIO

“One Child” typifies the high-caliber content migrating to television. It’s skillfully paced and harrowing, composed with judicious doses of both psychodrama and political commentary.

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'Girlfriends' Guide to Divorce' brings scripted reality to Bravo

Bravo

BY KAREN HUA

“Girlfriends’ Guide” may be a scripted show of fiction, but it is one that feels “realer" than any of Bravo’s “reality” shows. Though it bears a flippant title, the show aims to be emotionally complex with a bit of social commentary.

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The Smashing Pumpkins steps forward on 'Monuments to an Elegy'

BMG

BY MELINA GLUSAC

On the song “Drum + Fife,” Corgan sings, “I will bang this drum till my dying days.” For the sake of music and all things rock, we’re begging you, Billy. Please do.

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The enigma that is 'the lob'

BY MARIAM SHEIKH

What’s next? What about resurrecting “the Rachel,” that has personality. The blob? The cob (crimped bob)? I want the royalties if that last one takes off. I love the concept of the lob; it’s great, it’s change. But, it’s either a bob or it’s not people.

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'Peter Pan Live!' improves on last year's 'Sound of Music'

NBC

BY ALEX INTNER

Yes, “Peter Pan Live!” was not perfect. However, by the time Williams was asking us to clap if we believed in fairies and the last chords of the wistful “Never Never Land” played, I was filled with a childlike sense of wonder and happiness.

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Ghostface Killah sticks to old tricks on '36 Seasons'

Tommy Boy

BY BRIAN BURLAGE

That after nine years of learning, music-making and growing up, Ghostface Killah still relies on the tricks and traps of the rapper who rests in peace with Fishscale.

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Learning from my middle school iPod

BY CARLY SNIDER

I learned that there is so much to be discovered, listened to and experienced that I can’t help but be fond of where all my interests started. Even if that means admitting my love for all things Coldplay.

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Max Braverman, 'Parenthood' 's unexpected heart and soul

NBC

BY ALEX INTNER

To have such a truthful and sincere portrayal of a character with a disability and the challenges that he and his parents face is something that I’ll never forget when 'Parenthood' ends, and I’ll be grateful to have had the opportunity to watch.

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An ode to YouTube

BY KAREN HUA

After years of watching the same YouTube characters, they have simply become friends I have never met. In my bedroom, I sit alone with my laptop, with voices seemingly aimed solely toward me – I feel a connection even with a lacking physical aspect.

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Fox Searchlight

A retrospective: Anderson's dark 'Grand Budapest Hotel'

BY BRIAN BURLAGE

A fictionalized conversation between director Wes Anderson and frequent collaborator Hugo Guinness.

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Caked Up

Turning up with Caked Up at Necto

BY ARIANA ASSAF

Most recently, Caked Up played at Necto on the most turned-up Wednesday night I’ve ever experienced. To those of you who stayed in because it was the middle of the week and finals are coming up, you were wrong (sorry).

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Adam Theisen: Catchy, creepy Christmas carols

BY ADAM THEISEN

Although Spector influenced The Beach Boys and The Beatles (and, by extension, practically everyone involved in pop music from the ’60s onward), he was also batshit crazy.

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AMC

'The Walking Dead' subverts the norm in solid mid-season finale

BY MATTHEW BARNAUSKAS

Rather than constant escalation, the episode saw most characters intentionally avoid killing, only to see their efforts tragically fail. “Coda” wasn’t the strongest episode of this half-season, but it was an intriguing change of pace that put previous episodes into perspective.

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Cash Money

Where is 'Tha Carter V'?

BY RACHEL KERR

Tha Carter V, Wayne’s supposed last solo album, has been in production since late 2012. Despite countless reported release dates, it has yet to drop. If you weren’t aware, it’s now late 2014.

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RCA

Christmas music in a sex shop won't cut it

BY CHRISTIAN KENNEDY

Pick your battles, holiday tunes and whoever is the DJ behind that intercom. It’s time to get it together because Christmas music in a sex shop (and many other venues) just is not going to cut it.

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Counter Point

'Awake' barely scratches the surface of Yogananda's life

BY REBECCA LERNER

Instead of acquainting the audience with the personality and flaws of the man behind the legend, the film focuses its energy on the glorification of Yogananda. “Awake” barely scratches the surface of a complex man who deserved a better exploration of his depths.

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Alfred A. Knopf/Vintage Books

Natalie Gadbois: Making feminism more inclusive

BY NATALIE GADBOIS

Thankfully, perhaps because of Twitter and our increasingly global world, or perhaps because of a conscious effort to be more inclusive, other voices are coming to life, adding more and more narratives to the library of pop culture feminism.

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An in-depth look at ComCo's players

BY FRANCESCA KIELB

It didn’t take long to realize that the improv group was improv-ing on me.

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Columbia

How should we judge acting?

BY MAYANK MATHUR

Ultimately, this all comes down to the fact that individual performances show signs of a talented actor, but performances analyzed over time show proof of versatility; the latter is the more important when actually judging performances.

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