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Teen pregnancies and television

Two popular television shows on MTV deal with teen pregnancy — Teen Moms and 16 and Pregnant. A recent Los Angeles Times article takes a look at the show and the fact that some of its stars are now tabloid fodder — especially the ones who have gotten in trouble with the law. The show does present the struggles that these young parents face. The story cites a survey commissioned and published by the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy that found 93 percent of youth surveyed at various Boys and Girls Clubs of America said they agreed that they learned teen parenthood was “harder than [they] imagined” after watching an episode of “16 and Pregnant.” That message, says Amy Kramer, director of the campaign, is the show’s important takeaway, the article states.

What do you think about the show? Should these young men and women become instant tabloid celebrities?

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Prolific children’s author interviewed by NY Times

Many of us grew up reading Beverly Cleary‘s novels, which include the Beezus and Ramona series. Cleary turns 95 tomorrow, and the New York Times recently profiled the author. It is a fascinating read about an author whose books have been part of so many people’s childhoods. Below is one of my favorite paragraphs from the New York Times profile.

“How does Cleary explain her popularity? ‘I wrote books to entertain,’ she told me. People often asked what she was trying to teach in her books. She would reply, ‘I’m not trying to teach anything!’ This was the same attitude she had when she was first reading. ‘If I suspected the author was trying to show me how to be a better behaved girl, I shut the book,’ she remembered.”

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Radcliffe gives Broadway a try

Daniel Radcliffe, the actor best known for portraying Harry Potter in the movie franchise of the same name, is starring on Broadway in a revival of How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying. Both the Los Angeles Times and New York Times gave lukewarm reviews, but comments on the New York Times’ website indicate audiences are enjoying the show.

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Post-Oscar thoughts

Last night’s Academy Awards were among the most predictable and boring of the past few years. Basically everyone who was expected to win did win — I was hoping for an upset in one of the major awards, such as The Hurt Locker taking Best Picture over Avatar in 2010. Hosts Anne Hathaway and James Franco fell flat. Hathaway did a good job, and she probably would have fared better solo or with a co-host who seemed to care. About halfway through the show, Franco seemed to lose interest. I say bring back Hugh Jackman. He did a great job a couple of years ago. Jackman and Hathaway would make a great song-and-dance duo.

Here are some post-Oscar links:

The Los Angeles Times lists the Best and Worst moments of the Oscars.

Time reviews the awards ceremony.

Entertainment Weekly’s Ken Tuckers gives a positive review of the Academy Awards hosts.

Here is the complete list of winners — and the show’s opening skit.

 

 

 

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Oscars just three days away

It’s almost time for the Academy Awards, and I’ve actually seen two of the movies nominated for Best Picture: The King’s Speech and True Grit. Though I’ve not seen the other eight films, I have trouble imagining Colin Firth losing the Best Actor award — though stranger things have happened in Academy history. The Los Angeles Times provides a behind-the-scenes look at Oscar preparation. The newspaper has other, pre-Oscar coverage, including Award Season Hits and Misses.

Other interesting L.A. Times stories:

A look the locations used to shoot The King’s Speech.

Casting directors would like their own Oscar category.

Speculation on why Natalie Portman might not win Best Actress.

The New York Times has an interactive Oscar ballot where you can share Oscar picks with your Facebook friends.

 

 

 

 

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Entertainment Weekly highlights bad spin-offs

Some of the most popular television series have been “spun-off” from other hit shows, such as Cheers and Frasier or All in the Family and The Jeffersons. But often, spin-offs don’t live up to their predecessors. Entertainment Weekly listed the 15 Worst TV Spin-offs Ever. I hadn’t heard of several, including Baywatch Nights and AfterMASH. What’s your least favorite spin-off? Do you have a favorite?

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Gaga’s ‘Born This Way’ is 1000th Billboard No. 1

Lady Gaga‘s latest single, Born This Way, debuted at No.1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. It is the 1000th song to hit No. 1. Check out Billboard for the list of number ones, going back to Ricky Nelson‘s 1958 hit, Poor Little Fool.

 

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