MTV, It's Time to Kill 'The Hills'

MTV's reality TV juggernaut—in which young pretty things become terrible human beings—has become a meta genre: we know they're acting, so those questions about whether it's scripted are older than the Juicy Couture they wore on Laguna Beach. Viewers have abandoned the idea that the lives presented on The City and The Hills are anything close to the lives of Whitney Port or Heidi Montag—they just want to believe that the plot lines are close to anything they could be going...

Tuning Out, Zuning In: Why I'm Keeping My iPod Forever

At this point, it's basically a given that I use an iPod. Apple has sold 220 million of 'em, almost one for every American of music-liking age. We jet out our doors each morning, press play and put the machine in our pocketrarely realizing that the Miike Snow album we're listening to is actually coming from the gadget, not from inside our heads. The iPod and humankind are inseparable. But lately, the Techtonic Shifts bloggers have tasked NEWSWEEK's writers with turning in...

Newsweek Can Has Photoblog?

Today, NEWSWEEK's turned its attention to the hilarious photography blogs that have been cropping up online faster than a Polaroid camera shoots out it's film . In our gallery, you can find out how Web memes from LOL Cats to Cake wrecks came to be, and you'll likely LOL at the hilarious montages put together by our photo department. We chose the blogs that we think are most iconic: hipsters, goth, you name it. So take a look and tell us what blogs we're missing in the...

What Happens When Facebook Locks Your Account

Imagine you wake up in the morning, you log into Facebook, and, out of nowhere, you're told that your account has been disabled. While it's not exactly a new phenomenon, it's bound to happen more often as Facebook grows. With 300 million users and counting, the reasons that the social network might put your account on hold are both mysterious and myriad: maybe you joined too many groups; maybe you wrote something that the bots deemed offensive or overly promotional; perhaps Facebook, from a...

Techtonic Trash: Timberlake to star in Facebook Film?

For a few months rumors have been swirling about what everyone's been calling "The Facebook Movie," a film version of Ben Mezrich's Facebook Tell-All, The Accidental Billionaires. When I interviewed Mezrich about his book a few months ago, he told me that Aaron Sorkin was living in Boston, writing the screenplay's segments soon after the author had finished each chapter. That's a good sign for the forthcoming movie, right? Also involved was Kevin Spacey, who's close with Mezrich and was partly...

The Jennifer Aniston Problem

 Poor Jennifer Aniston. She's heartbroken again, and it was a dirty breakup this time. Her boyfriend—a rock musician—cheats on her, and she discovers it by picking up a lipstick-stained wine glass. It's a fictional breakup, of course—at the beginning of her new movie, Love Happens—but her twisted face and emotional stuttering are straight out of real life, where we're used to seeing Aniston on the receiving end of a guy's bad behavior. While most heroines from romantic...

Blagojevich Headed to Hollywood, Says He Doesn't Want to 'Embarrass' Obama

Both of Chicago's famous politicians were in New York today, but while Obama was speaking on Wall Street reform, Rod Blagojevich was speaking for ... himself. He was here promoting the release of his book, The Governor, which is his account on the scandal that made him the governor no more. He's doing the talk-show circuit today and tomorrow, though he was more impressed with radio: "You have to listen to the Howard Stern interview I did," he told this guest Gaggler. "Let's just...

Sorry, 'Dancing With the Stars.' TV's Best Dance Show Is 'So You Think You Can Dance.'

By Kurt Soller  For five seasons, So You Think You Can Dance has been ruling the summer airwaves, playing pinch hitter while most of the other reality-television competitions are on hiatus. But, due to what Fox calls "audience demand," the dance competition will be running its first fall season starting Wednesday. It's a risky gamble: do you mess with a good thing in a relatively safe spot, or do you let the rising star out to play with the Yankees? Either way, So You Think You Can...

'Melrose Place' Is Nothing Without Heather Locklear

The most dramatic block of '90s television will be resurrected tonight, when the CW welcomes us home to Melrose Place. Ten years after it left the air, the salacious soap will return to its proper place: right after the yawn-worthy remake of Beverly Hills, 90210. Since they're back to back, it's unfortunate that the network's second go at Melrose Place falls similarly flat. When the original aired from '92 to '99, it was the kind of period piece─to some working...

My Audition for 'Who Wants to Be a Millionaire'

By Kurt Soller A few things really stress me out. Taking the SATs (all three times) was a nightmare, and I hate anytime I fly: all that security, so many conversations with strangers. So I have no idea what I was thinking when I signed up to audition for Who Wants to Be a Millionaire last week. When I arrived at ABC Studios in New York, I was met by a crowd of 50 other wannabe geniuses. There were men with scraggly beards and women in pantsuits and so many New Jersey accents, I thought I had...

Sandra Lee: The Anti-Julia Child

If you watch the cooking show Money Saving Meals, you'll see a svelte Sandra Lee working in an impressively clean kitchen. On the first episode, everything is white: the counters, the drawers, the bowls, even the KitchenAid mixer. So is the sweater she's wearing, which may not be a surprise, as Lee has developed a knack over her years on the Food Network of matching her appliances to whatever stylish outfit she has on. The kitchen is so pristine, you have to ask: is Lee actually cooking?

Make It Stop: "In These Tough Economic Times"

Are we in a recession? A depression? Experts may differ, but here's something we can all agree on: in these tough economic times, the last thing we want to hear, ever again, is the phrase "in these tough economic times." Sadly, the mainstream media—and if you consult Google, yes, NEWSWEEK is probably guilty, too—can't get enough of it. Actually, we did Google it, and this year alone, the nation's 50 biggest newspapers have used the phrase more than 2,500 times. That's a fivefold jump over...

The Trashy Pantheon: Is "Obsessed" the New "Showgirls"?

by Kurt Soller Confession: I'm obsessed with Obsessed. As I was typing an e-mail to my co-workers about the saturation of coverage, I almost didn't mention that I spent my Friday night watching a different movie-- You know, the Beyonce Knowles and Ali Larter thriller with the terrible previews, the same one that topped the box offices when it opened two weekends ago. It's since earned $56.2 million, which means that enough people have now seen it that I should hardly be...

Log Cabin Republican Hit Hard Times

In the 2008 election, 4 percent of the voters identified themselves as gay, lesbian or bisexual, according to a CNN poll, and 27 percent of them voted for John McCain—numbers that seem to indicate a healthy space in politics for the Log Cabin Republicans, the party's most visible gay organization. But as its annual convention in Washington wraps up this week, the LCR is running on fumes: it currently has no full-time employees—its executive-director position has been vacant since...

Debunk This Meme: Mass Killings Linked By Economy

In one month, eight mass killings in the U.S. have left 57 people dead. A unifying theory has emerged: it's the "dismal state of the nation's economy," says an April 8 story in The Washington Post. Other outlets concur. NEWSWEEK's Kurt Soller tested the meme with three leading criminologists.Richard Rosenfeld, president-elect, American Society of Criminology: "There are too few mass murders to draw a meaningful connection … [And] there's no way to prove whether those killings would have...

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