Side-by-Side: Justin Bieber’s ‘Boyfriend’ & Justin Timberlake’s ‘Like I Love You’

As I’m writing this, I just realized both their names are Justin. That was totally a coincidence, to be clear. I don’t troll around looking for similar videos from artists with the same first name.

Since I have to stay up on my teen popular culture (I’ll say it’s because I just started doing social media for a teen magazine and want to work in the teen market, but I may secretly enjoy teen culture.), I watched Justin Bieber’s new video for “Boyfriend” Thursday night. I’m going to ignore the fact that the intro made me think my computer couldn’t handle all the teen idol gushing off of the Biebs and turned off, when it was actually just some sort of editing effect. Aside from the fact that the girl in video looks extremely uncomfortable (Was Selena on set or something?) and isn’t into him at all, I was instantly reminded of Justin Timberlake’s first solo music video for “Like I Love You.” J.T. chose a lead in the video who could at least pretend to find him attractive and wasn’t always looking off camera (I swear Selena must have been on the set.), but the whole let’s-dance-in-a-crowded-parking-lot-while-we-try-to-pick-up-a-girl scene took me back a while. They also both do a lot of foot movements and wiggle their shoulders, which I guess is supposed to be sexy. Honestly, it just makes me think they’re shaking a mosquito off or something.

Of course, Justin Bieber’s is exclusively in a parking lot, as he stars into the dead eyes of his lady love. (Sorry, but I just can’t get over how long he made us wait just to see some girl who acts like he had bad breath or something.) J.T. branches out a bit, using some sort of stage and dancing around in leather pants. And can we please not ignore Timberlake’s crotchet hat and the fact that he’s wearing 7-11 shirt at a 7-11! Why did we allow celebrities to dress like this and say nothing? Past fashion critics, you should’ve done better.

I don’t know what you think, but it seems to me that Bieber is using some past inspiration. With J.T.’s track record, it’s a good move. I just wish Mr. Timberlake would do something musical again. Why do we let Jessica Biel stick around if she’s not even encouraging him to get back in the studio? Jess, you have the power to put an end to his hiatus!

Did I mention I like both of these songs? Because I do. Watch and listen, guys. And let me know if there are any other parking lot pick-up videos from pseudo R&B/Pop artists that I should be aware of.

“Boyfriend” by Justin Bieber

“Like I Love You” by Justin Timberlake

Update [5.4.12 at 9:36 p.m.]: MTV Style compared this video to N*Sync’s “Girlfriend” and I definitely see the similarity there, too.

“Girlfriend” by N*Sync

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Midseason Premieres Round-Up

Kerry Washington, right, stars in the new ABC drama "Scandal."

So, I’ve been slacking, but staffing a magazine is a neverending job and when someone quits, I step in. We’re actually accepting summer interns, if anyone’s interested. This is our first summer! I hope to be so happy about it by the end that I start singing “Summer Nights” from “Grease” and actually hit that weird note John Travolta does in the end.

OK. I’ve been watching a lot of midseason premieres and I’ve kept my mouth shut. But now it’s time to open it a little. I’m not going to open wide and start spewing out the criticisms because I have to edit our stories for May, but I thought I’d pop in and predict the futures of some of these shows, with a little insight added.

Are You There, Chelsea? : I bet this looked really good on paper, but Laura Prepon was a terrible choice as a lead. She’s a background character actor; second to someone else’s polished fiddle. She should be playing the sister and Chelsea Handler should be somewhere with her feet propped up on all her money.
Prediction: No second season renewal

Napoleon Dynamite : I watched the film twice. The first time, I was angry for wasting my time on a film with no plot and the second time I was stuck on a coach bus with it. (I ended up falling asleep somewhere in the beginning.) I find the cartoon to be just as annoying as the film, but I feel bad for everyone in the town because cartoon teens never grow up. They’ll be stuck with these kids forever. At least Jon Heder’s getting work.
This will probably get at least three seasons and be watched by people who somehow think it’s funny. Then, it will live in cult classic infamy with the film.

Key & Peele : I’ve only seen two episodes, but this show was hilarious. It uses the live show/pre-recorded format popularized at Comedy Central by Dave Chapelle. But the show’s got a different dynamic, using two hosts and with a smaller crowd.
It’s been renewed for a second season. Unfortunately, I think it would get canceled halfway through the second season unless it can gain some serious buzz. Good news: the skits will definitely live on through YouTube forever.

Smash : NBC’s problem is usually that they don’t put enough work and preparation into a show before debuting it. Well, they did with this show and it’s a hit. I was worried it would be too much like Glee, but this show is for Broadway lovers who will occasionally dip their toe into the Top 40.
This will be on for at least four seasons, losing its way somewhere in the second season when they’ve gotten to big to fail.

Fashion Star : My wallet hates this show. It gets smaller after every episode. The clothes are good, the concept is great, but the execution is terrible. I’m not invested in any of the designers because I don’t know how they are. The editing is so bad and we get so little time to see the creative process that I don’t know who anyone is. I swear they slipped in a guy in this week because I’d never seen him before.
This will last until NBC gets tired of paying for it. And they will never improve the execution.

Scandal : There are no words to describe how much I love this show. All the TV elitists hate it, but I’m not a TV elitist. Just give me good characters, good acting and a novel concept. When you put Shonda Rhimes in the mix, I will automatically love it. Then, you give me Kerry Washington? This show was created with me in mind.
At least two seasons. If people stand behind it like they should, it’ll be on for five, but I can’t see Washington putting in seven seasons of work on TV when she could easily get film roles.

Don’t Trust the B—- in Apt. 23 : I love shows like Dexter and films like American Psycho, where you go into the mind of sociopaths. I never thought about a female sociopath, and definitely didn’t she’d be featured in a comedy about roommates. But this show works. Probably because Krysten Ritter is perfect for the role.
Three seasons before America gets tired of it and the network kicks it the curb.

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Say What?: Bane’s Garbled Speech in “Dark Knight Rises”

Tom Hardy as "Bane" in "Dark Knight Rises"

Not only did I see the prologue to Dark Knight Rises but I was excited about it. I’m much more savvy on other comic series than Batman, but I’ve always loved the cartoon and I’ve seen all the movies. Bane is a relatively new addition to the Batman villain roster, debuting for the first time in 1993. I like Tom Hardy, so I was excited to see him in this role, but it’s really hard to be excited about something you cannot understand.

Christopher Nolan is reportedly working on it, but doesn’t plan to tweak it too much. He told The Hollywood Reporter, it was OK if people didn’t understand the prologue as long as they got the overall message. For a person like me who loves visuals and can forgive a poor story line if it’s beautiful (I love all of Baz Luhrman’s films and I’m pretty sure the scripts aren’t that great), that’s fine. Let’s face it: this will probably be a visual masterpiece with Nolan at the helm. But a lot of people really want to know what the characters are saying, especially if they pay $10 to see it. Plus, we can’t forget that Christian Bale’s Batman voice has become such a deep growl that bears come to set because they think it’s a fellow grizzly in distress.

How unintelligible is Bane’s voice? I came up with some quips to explain it better.

Bane sounds like:
• he’s speaking Simlish
• he’s gargling mouthwash
• he’s trying to talk while foaming at the mouth from rabies
• Dark Vader with the flu
• the kid from “Hey Arnold” that Helga always punches in the face

Even though you can’t understand him about 75 percent of the time, Bane will be totally badass. The character’s father was sentenced to life in prison, but escaped and had his infant son serve out his prison sentence. Meaning Bane was born and raised with criminals. He read a lot growing up and had a few mentors, but he also committed his first murder at the age of 8. He’s smart and deadly. Oh, and he was also injected with a toxin called Venom during an experimental procedure. This is all before he busted out of prison to start his life of crime.

Voice aside, the prologue was possibly the most action packed into one scene that I’ve witnessed since I saw The Mechanic earlier this year. The best part about Nolan’s Batman series is that it raises the bar for action scenes, something I don’t think the older films really did. They banked on the character, but Nolan is more interested in telling the story. Which explains why Inception had one of the most complicated yet easily understandable, plots I’ve ever seen.

As long as I can at least understand Anne Hathaway as Catwoman, I’ll be satisfied.

On second thought, I probably won’t, but I won’t regret buying the ticket because it’s probably impossible to hate a Christopher Nolan film.

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‘Dollhouse’ First Chapter Review: How the Kardashian Sisters Ruined My Night

These pour souls may have actually read this book after getting it signed. My thoughts and well wishes go out to them.

I never understood the so-called “need” for book burnings until now. Fanatics shouldn’t be burning copies of well-written-yet-controversial texts. They should be burning books that make you want to be illiterate. Books so bad that the first sentence makes you want to chuck it across the room just to get it as far away from you as possible. Books that can turn your great day into the worst day of your life after just three pages. Those would be nice critiques of the first chapter of Dollhouse by Kim, Khloe and that other Kardashian sister whose names escapes me and I don’t care enough about to look up at this moment. (I wanna say Lamar Kardashian? Or is it Bruce Kardashian?)

When Khloe Kardashian put a link to the first chapter on her Twitter, I knew I had to read it. I didn’t expect greatness, but I didn’t expect that they may have actually written this book themselves. After the finishing the chapter, it was apparent the last thing book they ever read was probably something like The Kardashian Sisters: Krazy Kool by the 13-year-old moderators of the IHeartKimKhloeKourtneyOMG Twitter and Tumblr. The influence of that book is seen in their writing.

I give them props for knowing their largest following is tweens and young adults, but they’re either underestimating their reader’s intelligence or overestimating their own by not enlisting a few actual writers to help turn this from a tween’s short story for basic English class into an actual book. If they did have some outside help, those people should be stripped of their writing titles and forced to wander Hollywood Boulevard barefoot for eternity as atonement for their crimes against literature.

A good writer would’ve noticed that everyone’s name starting with a “k” is confusing enough when I have visuals to help me out on their TV show, but in a book, I don’t know who is who. I think the first chapter is about Kamille Romero and her sisters are Kass and Kyle. The mom’s name is Kat. Don’t even ask me who’s the oldest or the youngest. Also, don’t ask me anyone else’s name because it took me way too long to figure out who the main characters were to focus on anyone else.

Notably bad writing decisions:

“But her destiny was out there, waiting for her, as sparkly and spectacular as the Kodak Theater on Oscar Night…” (Note: Those ellipses are actually in the book! They were not added to indicate the sentence continued past my quoting. When did that become OK to put ellipses in a novel? Also, what’s so sparkly about Oscar Night? I guess I’ve been a member of the proletariat too long.)

“David Alexander Romero had been a famous film producer. More important, he had been the most awesome dad in the world.” (As an editor, I can tell you that “had been” would be easier to read if they just said “was” and it would also flow better if it said “more importantly” because more important sounds like hillbilly talk.)

“Kat found out that he had secretly invested the family’s saving with his best friend, who was a big-deal investment banker to the rich and famous.” (The entire sentence reads like a line from Valley Girl.)

The name of the restaurant the family owns is the oh-so-original Café Romero. (Zero points for creativity.)

“What do you mean you need an emergency vagina-plasty?” (Don’t even ask.)

I’m going to give them the benefit of the doubt because this is just the first chapter. In light of the fact that there’s this much wrong in just nine pages, I will not be reading the rest of the book or suggesting it to anyone. The fact that they think nine pages of introductory nonsense disguised as clever background information is actually a chapter is a bad sign for the quality of the rest of the book. But I must confess that I thought Lauren Conrad’s L.A. Candy novels would suck after the first paragraph,  but I ended up liking them. But they got better by the second page, so I didn’t have to read an entire chapter that made me cringe.

The ladies should probably just keep doing fashion collaborations and endorsements. Or read a few good books in whatever genre (it seems like this was supposed to be YA fiction) they want to use for their next book. FYI: Kardashian Konfidential does not count as a good book to use for inspiration.

After this scathing review, I’d like to apologize if I offended any of you 12-year-old “dolls” or “K-hearts” or “Krazy Kardashian stalKers” out there. Just as I have the right to like good literature, you have the right to kill your brain cells with the first chapter is this book. Just be glad I didn’t weigh in on Kim’s whirlwind marriage…yet.

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Review: The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn-Part 1

I went to go see The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn-Part 1 at midnight last Thursday. It was easily the best of the series. After a few days, I’m starting to wonder if it was actually good or if it was just so much better than the rest of the series that I just thought it was. Looking back, my friends and I were kind of talking the whole time.

Regardless, I spent a little over two hours of my life watching Kristen Stewart try to make her emotionless face exhibit complicated feelings and reviewed it for Feather Magazine.

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The Rise of Awkward Girls

The NBC sitcom Whitney is cashing in on the popularity of awkward women on TV.

What I hate most about TV sometimes is how together a lot of characters seem in fall shows. These are usually the ones that don’t get picked up for a full season. Thank, God.

Instead of people with only one or two minor problems being passed off as issues, networks seem to be looking to cash in on women so awkward that they make you a little uncomfortable. Two shows definitely fit that bill: Whitney (NBC) and New Girl (FOX).

Whitney (Whitney Cummings) is somehow in a three-year relationship despite her awkardness and complete disregard for social norms. Her boyfriend, Alex (Chris D’Elia), apparently a multi-millionaire after selling an Internet company, puts up with her antics and even plays along with them. After deciding they aren’t having enough sex, Whitney buys a sexy nurse’s uniform and during the sexy role play she makes him fill out paperwork and even takes his insurance card. That doesn’t really scream sexy, does it? She gets even more awkward in the second episode, insisting that they go on the first date they never had and taking their roles to the extreme. She even has an awkward meeting with him by the elevator.

As for New Girl, it’s just as quirky as the previews made it seem. Jess (Zooey Deschanel) can never do anything without adding some kind of awkwardness to it. In the pilot, she makes an entrance in a LBD and right after her roommates compliment her, she does a terrifyingly quirky little dance move. The second episode shows her driving around in circles because she’s afraid to get her belongings from her former boyfriend’s house. She’s a complete quirky disaster in the third episode, trying to help her roommate make his ex jealous by pretending to be his girlfriend. All she does is make fake pregnancy allegations and plead to wear false buck teeth. If she weren’t odd enough, Jess also frequently sings her own theme song under her breath.

A few years ago, characters like this wouldn’t have made it past two episodes, but both have been picked up for a full season. Can you imagine if Carrie Bradshaw or Mary Tyler Moore had this many quirks in the first season? I think the success comes from the fact that women in their target age group are becoming more comfortable with being a little different.

Although, I love Whitney, I remain on the fence about New Girl. Jess crosses the line between quirky and just unrelatably insane way too much. I’m also not crazy about Winston, a roommate added in the second episode. I preferred Damon Wayans Jr.’s coach character because he was awkward in all the right ways. Winston just seems lost. It’s a trait he shares with the story line.

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First Glance: ‘Up All Night’ TV Review | Realized Parenthood

Christina Applegate, Will Arnett and Maya Rudolph star in "Up All Night," a show about a couple figuring out parenthood.

Sometimes my parents talk about fun stuff they used to do before they were parents. It’s like the want me realize they weren’t always so uncool. They used to have discussions that weren’t about school districts or recalled toys. The only time they thought about babies was probably when they saw one at the mall or something (or maybe I’m just speaking from my experience).

Up All Night takes a look at parenthood from the perspective of two new parents, Reagan (Christina Applegate) and Chris (Will Arnett). Besides making sure the baby does put her fingers in any light sockets and staying up with her until she can be lulled to sleep, they have no idea what they’re doing. In the pilot, the couple look at their daughter Amy lovingly and Chris remarks on how beautiful she is. Reagan responds, “So f***ing beautiful.”

Yep, they still curse. They also still think they can party all night and not feel like death with the baby wakes up at the crack of dawn the next morning (“Are we dead?” Chris asks).

While Chris’ job is, as he says, “raising a human,” Reagan has a high-level job at a TV show called Ava. Her boss, Ava (Maya Rudolph), is a bit like what people would think Oprah is like behind the scenes. She relishes in praise and obsessed with how other people see her. When Amy doesn’t seem to bond with her, Ava can’t handle the rejection. For her faults, she’s a good boss and seems to love Reagan the best way she know how—a little selfishly.

At first glance, this looks like two people in denial about parenthood taking away their youth and social life. While that’s true to some extent for even real-life parents, underneath the jokes and sleepless nights this is about a couple realizing that being good parents is worth giving some up some of their pre-parenthood freedom.

I’m not always the biggest fan of kids, so if I can enjoy this, anyone can.

First Glance: The New Fall Season

I know it’s been a while, but you didn’t think I would really sit out the Fall 2011 TV season, did you? Not a chance.

I don’t want to judge anything before I give it at least two episodes, but I’ve seen a few pilots and these are my initial thoughts as I viewed them.

New Girl: If Zooey Deschanel tries any harder to make her character quirky and individualistic, I will throw my television out the window and thank God I won’t even have the possibility of flipping through channels and accidentally seeing a second of this. (Since I love Zooey’s music and some of her films, I’m going to give it one more chance. Pray for my TV’s well-being.)

The Playboy Club: Did she really just kill a mobster with her high heels? And now a lawyer is helping her load the body in a trunk and dump it in a river. Wait, is that Hugh Hefner narrating? Why is the narration so spaced out and awkward? It’s like a thought you keep trying to push away, but it comes up again at the most random—

There it is again! Go away, Hef!

Free Agents: There’s nothing like a grown man crying after sex in the opening scene of a show. Oh, actually, there’s nothing like a discussion about his sex life during staff meetings. Is she really listening to “Fernando” by Abba to get over her husband’s death? Isn’t that about a war? Hilarious! I can’t believe they actually cleared up the background of “Fernando.” This is going to be one of my go-to Hulu shows every week for a good chuckle.

Up All Night: They just cursed at their baby! That is something about transitioning from life without kids that I never considered. That made my day! Maya Rudolph playing a TV host? This is officially my favorite show of the new season and I don’t have any kids or a full-time grown-up job.

I’m gearing up for Charlie’s Angels, Pan Am and maybe Revenge. I’d watch the new shows on The CW, but they’re not on Hulu and I’m not available most week nights. I hate the video player on The CW site, but I will find a way to watch those shows. Maybe I’ll bum off of a friend’s DVR.

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Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 Review | Saying Good-Bye to ‘The Boy Who Lived’

A movie poster for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2

The last installment of the Harry Potter film franchise doesn’t beat around the bush. It starts right where it left off with Voldemort (Ralph Fiennes) stealing the elder wand from Dumbledore’s grave and casting its power into the sky. It sets off a flurry of non-stop action sequences as Harry (Danielle Radcliffe), Ron (Rupert Grint) and Hermione (Emma Watson) seek out and attempt to destroy the last of the Horcruxes.

One minute they’re on the beach, the next they’re in Gringotts, then they’re in Hogsmeade, then there’s a battle at Hogwarts. Somewhere in there they ride a dragon, Prof. McGonagall (Maggie Smith) proves she won’t back down without a fight, Mrs. Weasley shows how far a mother’s love goes, Ron and Hermione get–uh–closer and Neville Longbottom (Matthew Lewis) finally becomes the hero he was born to be.

David Yates, the film director, never leaves any stone unturned when it comes to portraying the action as realistically as possible, which is hard considering the overwhelmingly fictional concept. But he does it well. In one scene inside Hogwarts, he even makes sure you can see flashing coming from outside where Death Eaters are wearing down the magical protection around the castle to get in. That attention to detail and the loyalty to the original text easily helps catapult this film into the top spot.

Snape (played flawlessly by Alan Rickman), in both the book and film version, turns out to be someone completely different than we all thought he was. Unfortunately, the film went the same route as the book and didn’t give him the interpretation his story deserved. His whole teen years are actually left out, which was important to realizing the depth of his past. But people who hadn’t read the books seemed to understand what was going on anyway, thanks to good editing. Somewhere inside Snape’s past is a secret concerning Dumbledore that will change Harry’s life forever and he’ll realize whether he really is fighting Voldemort for the greater good or just for vengeance.

I read the first Harry Potter book when I was 11 years old, so I literally grew up with the series along with most of the people watching the film with me last night. More than anything this film is about every student at Hogwarts going from kids to adults by risking their lives for something they believe in. That’s a legacy I hope all my fellow 20-something Harry Potter loves take with them as we all made our final foray into adulthood when the last remnant our childhood came to a close with this film.

I laughed, I cried (the whole theater was full of sniffling people), I applauded and I when the screen turned black, I said a final good-bye to “The Boy Who Lived.”

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“Best Thing I Never Had” Music Video

Beyoncé’s video for “Best Thing I Never Had,” the second (third if you count “1+1,” which was her second single before she changed her mind) single from her “4” album premiered on her website and VEVO tonight.

Everybody has to do the wedding video. It’s an unwritten requirement for female artists. Think about it: Mariah Carey in “We Belong Together”; Katy Perry in “Hot N Cold”; Pink in “I Don’t Believe You”; Madonna in “Like a Virgin.” I could keep going. At least she made it down the aisle, which really isn’t the norm for wedding videos.

The video was missing all the sass everyone wanted, but she pulled off the happy vibe well. There’s just not much to it. It’s a good video, but I’m nothing really stood out. I think she set the bar really high with all the dance moves and the story line for “Who Run the World (Girls)” and going the simple route after that wasn’t expected.

With any other artist, the video would have gone unnoticed, but Beyoncé has this charm that makes it easy for her to pull off almost anything.

She pulled it off with smiles worthy of a toothpaste ad (I really need to see her dentist), white lingerie that’s somehow sexy and modest at the same time and a wedding dress that’s to die for. Ten points to anyone who can tell me who the wedding dress designer is. I have an inkling of who the designer may be, but I’m too savvy with wedding dress fashion. [UPDATE: My best friend did some research and found out the wedding dress is Baracci Beverly Hills and the reception dress is Vera Wang. Thank God for friends who love high-end wedding dresses.]

Some of my Twitter friends (tweeps, as I call them) and I want her to do the same thing she did with “B’Day” and make a music video for every song. Pretty please, King B?

Check out the video for “Best Thing I Never Had” below:

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