TIME’s Lev Grossman calls Adam Sternbergh’s Shovel Ready, a hard-boiled mystery set in a dystopian future New York City, “the best of two dark, amoral, existentially empty worlds!”
Stephen Colbert will star in a Super Bowl ad for Wonderful Pistachios, joining a storied list of spokespeople including Psy and Snooki.
North Carolina politician David Waddell stepped down from a local council–and tendered his resignation letter in Klingon.
When asked about the virtual companion in Her, Apple’s Siri throws shade: “Her portrayal of an intelligent agent is beyond artificial.”
A tale of three bros
On a sad-sack Army base
It’s more Stripes than M*A*S*H
–JAMES PONIEWOZIK ON ENLISTED, FRIDAYS AT 9:30 P.M. E.T. ON FOX
Insta-photography isn’t just a smartphone thing. Its lure–particularly since the 1972 debut of the Polaroid SX-70, the camera used by André Kertész for this 1979 picture–has long enticed photographers to play with the norms of the medium, as explored at the Norton Museum of Art in West Palm Beach, Fla., through March 23.
It’s been a busy (sorry) few months for the actress, 34, who returned to shooting Cougar Town (Tuesdays on TBS) when her younger daughter was “like, 6 weeks old.” The show’s fifth season kicked off Jan. 7.
So, New Year’s Eve: Worst night of the year or the best?
I’ve always had a good New Year’s Eve experience–though I had the worst New Year’s ever [in 2012]. I got food poisoning in Mexico.
Uh-oh. What did you eat?
It was cooked shellfish. I started puking at, like, 9 p.m., and I didn’t stop until noon the next day.
Not to bring up food, but your character on Cougar Town has a cake shop. Do you bake?
Well, you know what happens on TV shows. Toward the end of the second season the writers are like, “What do you guys have going on in your lives?”
I have to be honest with you, since they wrote it into the show, I like doing it less, which is sort of a bummer–but at the same time it’s like, whatever, it’s fine. I just took a class with Anna Ellison at Charm City [Cakes] West, who was on the show Ace of Cakes.
What did you learn?
Some fondant techniques, like ombre ruffle cake.
As soon as you mention fondant, I’m impressed.
When [my older daughter] said she wanted a Rapunzel tower, I spent hours trying to figure out how I was going to do it. The Rapunzel cake was probably my favorite.
The other Cougar Town culinary staple is wine. Are you a connoisseur?
I sort of refuse it.
I might be one of those people who’s allergic to wine. If I were drinking that much in real life, I wouldn’t be able to talk. Or at least you wouldn’t be able to understand what I was saying.
“ON MY RADAR
Haim’s Days Are Gone
“Those girls are so awesome and so talented!”
House Hunters on HGTV
“My 5-year-old is obsessed with home shows, and I just feel like I’ve done something right.”
The intersection of art, technology and film will come into focus when the Sundance Film Festival returns to Park City, Utah, Jan. 16–26. This year it has expanded New Frontier, its multimedia film-art program, to showcase pieces like Jonathan Harris’ interactive documentary I Love Your Work, in which 2,202 video stills showing the day-to-day lives of sex workers are stitched together, above, and the first live-action film made for the Oculus Rift virtual-reality headset, courtesy of Chris Milk.
Would-Be Celeb Currencies
Kanye may not like it–in fact, he’s threatening to sue over it–but Coinye West still launched on Jan. 7. The Bitcoin-like product, whose logo and name are inspired by the rapper, aims to be “a cryptocurrency for the masses,” according to its creators, who may or may not be playing a giant practical joke. Nonetheless, it got us thinking: Which other celebrities could be cashified, and–more important–what would that cash be called? Here’s what @TIME’s Twitter followers said.
Number of F bombs dropped in Martin Scorsese’s The Wolf of Wall Street. The financial caper totally outcursed previous record holders Summer of Sam (roughly 435) and Nil by Mouth (roughly 428).
Shia LaBeouf apologized to Daniel Clowes, whose comic he plagiarized in his new film, with a skywrite over Los Angeles. Clowes lives in San Francisco.
Rick Ross is suing LMFAO over the “Party Rock Anthem” refrain “Everyday I’m shufflin'” because it sounds too similar to his lyric “Everyday I’m hustlin’.”
TIME’s James Poniewozik calls IFC’s The Spoils of Babylon, produced by Funny or Die, “a bloated parody of ’70s network miniseries that might have been funnier if it were mini-er.”
Lady Gaga’s apology to fans for delaying the release of a new music video includes the line “Let me be for you the Goddess that I know I truly am.”
FOR TIME’S COMPLETE FILM, TV AND MUSIC COVERAGE, VISIT time.com/entertainment
This appears in the January 20, 2014 issue of TIME.