Blog Profile / Washington Post: Arts Post

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Archived Since:April 20, 2011

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Will Michelle Obama avoid a diplomatic fashion controversy at the White House state dinner for China?

During her tenure as first lady, Michelle Obama has rarely made a fashion choice that sparked criticism from Seventh Avenue. American designers, it is no exaggeration to say, love her. Adore her. She represents them on the world stage with her willingness to wear a wide variety of both barely-known brands and household names. But […]

Pope Francis’s popular touch: Kisses, hugs first. Presidents can wait.

As Pope Francis greeted the crowd outside the Apostolic Nunciature on Wednesday morning, just before heading to the White House, he got a surprise. A man reached out, grabbed the 78-year-old pontiff with both hands and kissed him on the face. A Secret Service agent, understandably nervous, lunged as if to yank the pope to […]

‘Big Brother’ finale: The most-hated player stops just short of winning $500,000

At first, the “Big Brother” finale on Wednesday night looked like it might be a repeat of last year: A skillful contestant with an advantage from a job in the outside world would win the $500,000 grand prize. Then, things took a turn. Vanessa Rousso, a polarizing 32-year-old professional poker player who had been strategically manipulating the players, was […]

‘Empire’ Season 2 premiere recap: ‘The Devils Are Here’

“Empire” is back, and in our excitement we almost forgot just how diabolical the Lyons are. This family deserves each other (and we mean that in the best way). The episode started with a #FreeLucious concert in Central Park. Lucious, who was arrested on murder charges in last season’s finale, has been in prison for three months […]

‘Empire’ creator Lee Daniels calls out fellow drama showrunners for not staffing writers of color

“Empire” co-creator Lee Daniels is not here for your excuses and he doesn’t care if he makes you uncomfortable. Daniels was part of a roundtable discussion with showrunners of some of the hottest dramas on television, organized by the Hollywood Reporter in advance of the Emmys. Beau Willimon (“House of Cards”), Damon Lindelof (“The Leftovers”), Alex […]

American in Paris: Saul Williams critiques his home country from the outside looking in

In 2006, FX premiered a show called “Black. White.” It was very serious, and involved generating ratings by having a black family and a white family switch places in the racial hierarchy with the help of very expensive and yet still suspicious-looking special effects makeup. It was a high-production, small-scale social experiment not unlike the one […]

Five storylines to watch closely as ‘Empire’ returns for its second season

“Empire’s” highly-anticipated second season premieres tonight on the heels of a wildly successful first season that drew jaw-dropping ratings. Before we hop back into the Lyons’ den, it’s worth reviewing the crazy, Shakespearean plot twists that led us to the divided dynasty we’ll encounter in Season 2. Show More Summary

The strange (but fascinating) story of how ‘Buy Me a Boat’ became a No. 1 country song

Landing a No. 1 song is a big deal for any artist, but it’s particularly surreal for country singer Chris Janson, who wasn’t even on a record label six months ago. Yet his song “Buy Me a Boat” hit the top of the radio chart this week — and the strange story of how it […]

‘Scream Queens’ premiere: So, who’s the first character to die?

(This post obviously contains spoilers about Tuesday night’s premiere of “Scream Queens.”) If  you heard the news that at least one character will die on every episode of Fox’s new horror drama “Scream Queens”… you might only care about learning who dies. Because you don’t want to get sucked into another Ryan Murphy show. As has […]

Diversity problems persist for Upright Citizens Brigade comedy troupe, students say

Rita Chinyere was a longtime student in the Upright Citizens Brigade comedy community until this week, when she finally had enough. Chinyere, 31, recently published a post on Medium called “Why I’m Quitting UCB, And Its Problem With Diversity,” accusing UCB of paying lip service to diversity in comedy but doing little to advance it. The […]

Brian Williams returned to TV today — as the midday anchor on MSNBC. Here’s how it went.

News anchor Brian Williams returned to the air Tuesday after seven months on ice, but he made no mention of what prompted his absence during his first appearance on his new TV home, MSNBC. The former anchor of NBC’s flagship “Nightly News” started his new assignment as a live-news anchor on the cable network with […]

Blake Shelton and Gwen Stefani dating? Oh no — that’s a faux-showmance.

If you read celebrity gossip sites, you may have seen the recent rumors about Blake Shelton and Gwen Stefani. Dating! Maybe! Because they’re both divorced now! (Life & Style says their chemistry is “off the charts,” for what it’s worth.) Shelton even added some fuel to the fire: Getting ready this morning to go put in […]

Joyce Carol Oates: The power of sympathy

Joyce Carol Oates, with dozens of books to her name, has given a lot of author talks. The pleasant surprise at her recent event at Politics and Prose, the Washington independent bookstore, was that she wasn’t perfectly polished. She wasn’t excruciatingly prepared. The bestselling author of “The Accursed,” and beloved chronicler of family dramas, Gothic […]

The fashion trends of the Emmys 2015 red carpet in photos

Last night’s Emmy Awards ceremony was one of the more entertaining in years past, but per usual, our eyes were mostly glued to what the stars were wearing. From bright yellows to muted pinks and feathered sleeves to thick chain straps, the stars did not disappoint in their turns on the red carpet. We break […]

Why Amy Poehler never really had a shot at winning an Emmy for ‘Parks and Recreation’

When names were announced for leading actress in a comedy category at the Emmy Awards on Sunday night, nominee Amy Poehler appeared in the crowd looking like this: We are all Amy Poehler in this moment — People magazine (@people) September 21, 2015 Obviously, Poehler assumed — as did anyone familiar with how […]

‘Black Mass’ is a gritty, realistic drama. Why is Johnny Depp’s makeup so embarrassingly fake?

Would you be able to pick James “Whitey” Bulger out of a line-up? Some of you may vaguely remember his face from the FBI “Wanted” posters when the gangster was on the lam, circa 1999-2011, but his features are hardly imprinted on our collective memory. And yet Johnny Depp, who plays Bulger in the crime […]

Why could the women of ‘Mad Men’ never win Emmy awards?

Somewhere around the time Christina Hendricks lost the Emmy for best supporting actress in a drama (it went to Uzo Aduba from “Orange is the New Black”), TV Guide tweeted this sobering statistic: #MadMen is now 0-35 in acting #Emmys. — TV Guide (@TVGuide) September 21, 2015 Some fans of the AMC drama were appropriately outraged, until […]

Emmys 2015: 10 things you missed from the show, including Viola Davis, Jon Hamm and Tracy Morgan

Didn’t catch the Emmy Awards on Sunday night because you were too busy watching football or just forgot it was on? Here are 10 things you missed from the surprisingly entertaining show, from actors making history to the inevitable HBO dominance: 1) Viola Davis made history. The “How to Get Away With Murder” star became the first African-American […]

‘You cannot win an Emmy for roles that are simply not there': Viola Davis on her historic Emmys win

The road actresses of color have had to travel to find success on television has been a long and desolate one since Diahann Carroll began playing a nurse named Julia Baker in 1968. In fact, for 40-odd years, it wasn’t really a road so much as a narrow, washed-out, rubble-laden path that more often than […]

‘Olive Kitteridge’ won a ton of Emmys. Should you care about it?

“Olive Kitteridge” won six Emmys on Sunday night, by far the most of any program, which means it’s probably a big deal…right? [The Emmys made sure to spoil every series finale you might care about] Even though it’s possible you’ve never heard of it, now is when you should probably care and/or figure out how to […]

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