Awesome Shows Hitting the Airwaves in 2017

More and more, superheroes are encroaching on the world of TV (though not as much as film). But there’s plenty else to look forward to on the small screen in 2017: debuts of promising original shows, new seasons of critical favorites like The Leftovers and Fargo, and the long-awaited return of Star Trek, one of television’s most famous franchises, to its original medium. Below, a list of the 20 most exciting shows in the coming year.

Emerald City

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Friday on NBC
Premieres January 6

In the last 10 years, audiences have gotten Wicked, Oz the Great and Powerful, and a revamped The Wiz, but NBC in its infinite wisdom thinks the world needs a fresh take on The Wizard of Oz, so here’s a “dark and edgy” reboot. Directed by the visually adventurous Tarsem Singh (who made The Fall and the Snow White update Mirror, Mirror), Emerald City features Vincent D’Onofrio as the Wizard, steampunk helicopters, and a German Shepherd Toto. Your best guess as to the point of all this is as good as mine.

One Day at a Time

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Friday on Netflix
Premieres January 6

Though Netflix has experimented with the TV format over the years, it’s beginning to embrace the old-school multi-camera comedy as well, here revamping Norman Lear’s classic family sitcom for 2017 audiences. One Day at a Time is still a laugh-track sitcom about a single mother—Penelope (Justina Machado), a Cuban-American military veteran with a teenage daughter and “socially adept tween” son. Rita Moreno co-stars as Penelope’s grandmother, and early reviews are strong.


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Tuesday on FX
Premieres January 10

This miniseries comes from co-creators Steven Knight (who wrote Dirty Pretty Things, Locke, and Allied among others), Tom Hardy, and his father, credited as “Chips” Hardy. Unfortunately, Taboo is not about how Chips got his nickname—it’s an eight-episode story about a mysterious man (played by Tom Hardy) who returns to London in 1814 after years in Africa, seeking revenge on the East India Company for his father’s death.

A Series of Unfortunate Events

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Friday on Netflix
Premieres January 13

Fans largely derided the 2004 film adaptation of Lemony Snicket’s series of dark children’s novels. But an eight-episode Netflix series might prove a better medium for translating the 13-book series, with author Daniel Handler (who penned the books under the Snicket pseudonym) scripting. Neil Patrick Harris stars as the villainous Count Olaf, with Joan Cusack, Patrick Warburton, and Alfre Woodard among the supporting cast.

The Young Pope

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Sunday on HBO
Premieres January 15

Here’s the pitch: Lenny Belardo (Jude Law) is the new pope (the first American in history to hold the position), and boy, is he young. Created by the operatic Italian director Paolo Sorrentino (behind such films as The Great Beauty and Youth), The Young Pope isn’t going for subtlety, but it has already aired in Italy and the UK to critical acclaim. HBO is positioning the show as its big winter prestige drama, and if nothing else, it looks like opulent fun. Diane Keaton co-stars as Lenny’s mentor and personal secretary.


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Thursday on The CW
Premieres January 26

A millennial revamping of the Archie Comics universe, which features a surprisingly buff Archie Andrews (K.J. Apa), a “philosophically bent” Jughead (whatever that may mean), a mysterious past for Cheryl Blossom, and Luke Perry as Archie’s grizzled dad. Betty and Veronica are on board too, of course.  As silly as some of the details might sound, early word on the show is strong, perhaps because it was developed by the veteran comic-book and TV writer Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa.


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Thursday on NBC
Premieres February 2

Unlike Marvel’s attempts at television tie-ins to its superhero movies, Powerless (which is connected to the DC comics universe) is a show about ordinary folks trying to live their lives around the chaos of Superman, Batman, and their ilk saving lives. Vanessa Hudgens and Danny Pudi star as office drones working in the bowels of Bruce Wayne’s company, with Alan Tudyk as their tyrannical boss. Essentially, it’s a workplace sitcom, just with superheroes whizzing around in the background.

Santa Clarita Diet

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Friday on Netflix
Premieres February 3

Sprung from the truly underrated comic mind of Victor Fresco (Andy Richter Controls the Universe, Better Off Ted), Santa Clarita Diet might be his first series to not suffer an untimely cancellation despite critical acclaim, thanks to the less ratings-crazed honchos at Netflix. Drew Barrymore and Timothy Olyphant star as real-estate agents getting divorced, whose lives then take an unspecified “dark turn.”

24: Legacy

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Sunday on Fox
Premieres February 5

After eight seasons, a revival, and a TV movie, Kiefer Sutherland’s Jack Bauer is officially retired, but Fox is reviving the real-time action of 24 yet again, focusing on a new agent at the fictional Counter-Terrorism Unit. Eric Carter (Corey Hawkins), an ex-Army Ranger, is sure to get sucked into many a deadly conspiracy, with Miranda Otto and Jimmy Smits among the ensemble he has to protect. Will the show work without Kiefer screaming into his cellphone?


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Wednesday on FX
Premieres February 8

Viewers are getting another superhero spin-off show, but this one’s adjacent to the X-Men universe and based on the character Legion, a schizophrenic who realizes there may be more to his diagnosis. Legion is a tricky character to get right, but the show is from the talented Noah Hawley (Fargo) and has a terrific cast, including Dan Stevens (Downton Abbey), Aubrey Plaza (Parks and Recreation), and Fargo alumnus Jean Smart.


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Sunday on HBO
Returns February 12

Much ink has been spilled about Girls since its debut in 2012, but this is everyone’s last shot to weigh in on Hannah Horvath (Lena Dunham) and company’s antics—season six will be the last. These final 10 episodes will surely air free of controversy and nary a hot take will be written about them, especially ones about what the show has meant for millennial culture.


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Sunday on HBO
Premieres February 19

One potential successor for Girls is another HBO quasi-sitcom shepherded to screen by comedy vet Judd Apatow. Pete Holmes, a brilliant stand-up who has long been in search of the right TV project (his TBS late-night talk show was canceled too soon), created Crashing and based it on his own life in the stand-up world. It follows Pete (Holmes, playing himself), who’s trying to cobble together a living as a comedian while dealing with the collapse of his marriage.

The Good Fight

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Sunday on CBS All Access
Premieres February 19

A spinoff of long-running legal drama The Good Wife, this show is being used to launch CBS’s new streaming service CBS All Access, premiering on the TV network before bouncing over to the online subscriber-only network. Set a year after The Good Wife’s finale, The Good Fight follows Diane Lockhart (Christine Baranski) as she moves to a new Chicago law firm with her former colleague Lucca Quinn (Cush Jumbo) and her goddaughter Maia (Rose Leslie of Game of Thrones). Delroy Lindo co-stars as a rival attorney.

Iron Fist

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Friday on Netflix
Premieres March 17

The Netflix Marvel universe continues to build out with its most problematic superhero—Danny Rand (played by Finn Jones of Game of Thrones), a billionaire industrialist who has been missing for 15 years and returns to New York proficient in kung fu. Though Rand (created in the ’70s during the first pop-culture boom for martial-arts movies in the U.S.) has always been written as white, he may be an uncomfortable sight for Marvel in 2017, especially after the whitewashing controversy over its film Doctor Strange.

The Handmaid’s Tale

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Wednesday on Hulu
Premieres April 26

Margaret Atwood’s 1985 masterpiece of speculative fiction, set in a totalitarian theocracy where women’s rights have been erased by a religious movement that seized power in the United States, seems quite relevant to the contemporary political mood, and has never gotten a proper adaptation. Hulu is positioning this 10-episode series as its prestige drama of the spring, with Elisabeth Moss starring as Offred; Joseph Fiennes, Samira Wiley, and Yvonne Strahovski co-star.


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Returns this spring on FX

No official premiere date has been set for the third season of Fargo, but the cast is as stacked as ever, with Ewan McGregor playing dual lead roles, and Carrie Coon (The Leftovers), David Thewlis, Michael Stuhlbarg, and Mary Elizabeth Winstead all involved. Unlike the last season, the show will be set in the near-present day (2010, according to reports), opening up the possibility that characters from its first season could return (though the creator Noah Hawley is keeping quiet about any plot details).

The Leftovers

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Returns this April on HBO

In its second season, this TV adaptation of Tom Perrotta’s novel The Leftovers built on its promise to become one of the best, most fascinating, confounding shows on television. Perhaps cognizant that his last great show (Lost) lasted a little too long, co-creator Damon Lindelof is ending the show this year, shifting the action to Australia but keeping the entire main cast (minus Ann Dowd’s dearly departed Patti Levin). The show will struggle to top season 2’s episode “International Assassin,” but whatever Lindelof and Perrotta do come up with is sure to be fascinating.

American Gods

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Premieres this April on Starz

A much-hyped adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s 2001 novel, focusing on Shadow Moon (Ricky Whittle), an ex-con recruited by the mysterious Mr. Wednesday (Ian McShane), who is recruiting the world’s forgotten gods (to say more would be spoiling). Adapted by Bryan Fuller (Hannibal) and Michael Green (Kings), the series, which was initially in production at HBO, promises to be a suitably epic take on Gaiman’s writing. (The first season will cover only the first third of his novel).

Star Trek: Discovery

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Premieres this May on CBS All Access

The first Star Trek show since Enterprise concluded in 2005, Discovery has a heavy fan burden to shoulder, but an exciting cast and crew aboard. Set 10 years before the original Star Trek series, Discovery will not take place in the world of the recent rebooted film series, instead charting the journey of the USS Discovery after weathering a much discussed but secret “incident” in Trek lore. Sonequa Martin-Green (The Walking Dead) stars as Rainsford, the ship’s second officer (the first non-commanding officer to headline a Trek series). Like The Good Fight, this show will premiere on CBS then move to its All Access streaming network.

Game of Thrones

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Returns this summer on HBO

Knocked from its usual April perch by a filming schedule that demanded more time in snowier climes (winter has, after all, come to Westeros), the seventh and penultimate season of Game of Thrones will arrive at some point this summer on HBO for an abridged seven episodes. Will George R. R. Martin finish his next book before then? Will Jon Snow and Daenerys Targaryen become the best of friends? Will Cersei Lannister’s quest for power finally end in glory? All that, and much more, as HBO tries to squeeze as much life out of its big ticket as possible before the whole shebang wraps in 2018.

Looking to Beat The Winter Cold? Try This Hearty Chili Recipe to Warm Your Bones


When the weather turns cold, my mind wanders to hot comfort food.
This week I craved a steaming bowl of hot chili. (This is my wife’s recipe and she is cooking it as I write.)
At the end of 2016, I was writing recipes that might help the harried cook get meals on the table a little quicker. Although this is a long slow cook recipe, the slow cooker makes it work. You can do all your prep the evening before, refrigerate the whole lot then turn the cooker on in the morning and away you go. Large batches also leave leftovers for another meal.
The origin of chili goes back to the Aztecs; it gained further popularity on the cattle drives of the American West. Today there are many many recipes and numerous chili cook off contests. Winter is the time to hone your skills to win the Main street cook off next summer. This recipe is a basic starting point for your chili challenge.


•1 lb gr sausage—hot Italian or garlic dinner
•1 lb ground beef
•1 med onion
•1/2 red pepper
•1/2 green pepper
•1 cup beef stock as needed
•1 can tomatoes
•2 cans red kidney beans
•3 Tbsp Chili powder
•2 tsp cumin
•1-2 tbsp crushed Chili peppers
1. Fry meat & onion then pour into slow cooker with the rest of the ingredients—cook 5 hours on high or 10-12 hours on low.
2.Serve with Cornbread or Garlic bread.

Why Jewish People Eat Chinese Food On Christmas Has A Deeper Meaning Than You Think


Along with carving the ham and eating gingerbread cookies to our hearts’ content, there’s another big food tradition that comes on Christmas day.
For over a century, Jewish families in the U.S. have been paying a visit to their favorite Chinese restaurant for a special annual meal.
Today, the occasion has become such a tradition that Chinese restaurants fill up quickly and see business boom for the day. New York City’s Shun Lee, for example, has received around 1,300 reservations for the day in the past.
But while people now excitedly anticipate the popular custom, its roots are bittersweet. Though there are several theories as to how this practice began, some experts agree that it’s rooted in finding unity amid adversity.
Jennifer 8. Lee, producer of “The Search for General Tso,” explained to The Atlantic that being the two largest immigrant groups at the turn of the century that weren’t Christian, Chinese and Jewish people both understood “what it’s like to be outsiders.”
It was at Chinese restaurants that Jewish immigrants felt accepted, she said.
“Jewish people could go into Chinese restaurants and feel safe,” Lee explained to First We Feast. “And during the 1920s, Chinese food was exotic and cosmopolitan, so the way to impress a girl was to go grab some chop suey.”
Michael Twitty, Food writer and culinary historian, told the outlet that the custom was also a way for the two groups to create their own uniquely American experience.

6 Weird Things That Happened Because of Pokémon Go


Pokémon Go took over the planet this past weekend and inspired millions of people to get out and be active (while still staring at their mobile phone screens). The augmented reality app, which allows players to find and catch Pokémon in the real world, launched in the United States, Australia, New Zealand, and a few other countries, with several more on the horizon. But the launch was far from perfect: Gizmodo described Pokémon Go as “mostly-broken”; there is a fake version going around that is reportedly infecting Android devices; and the headlines associated with the game have been weirder and more shocking than its meteoric rise. Here’s some of what you missed while you were out catching Butterfrees and Krabbys.
On July 8, 19-year-old Shayla Wiggins was trying to find a water Pokémon in a location that sounds like the perfect place for them: near a river in Riverton, Wyoming. While scanning the area, Wiggins discovered what turned out to be a body floating in the water and called 911. Wiggins told Kotaku that because she quit playing to dial 911, she never did find the Pokémon she was looking for.
Pokémon Go encourages people to meet in designated areas with other players so that they can catch wild Pokémon together. According to an O’Fallon, Missouri police report [PDF], four teenagers used the geolocation feature just before 2 a.m. on July 10 to “anticipate the location and level of seclusion of unwitting victims.” The suspects were arrested after allegedly robbing one pedestrian, but the police report says that there had been “similar armed robberies in St. Louis City, County, and St. Charles County, Missouri over the last couple of days with a similar vehicle being described by other victims.”
Pokémon Go players all over the internet have been claiming that the app is sending them to the strangest places. In addition to the Australian police station that issued a statement asking players (a.k.a. trainers) not to come inside, there have been reports of Pokestops (locations where players can find free items that enhance gameplay) and gyms (places where trainers battle and form alliances) inside graveyards, behind strip clubs, at London’s MI5 security agency headquarters, in toilets, and inside places of worship. One user discovered that his home was listed as a gym, and noticed several people parking outside of his gate.
According to Gizmodo, Niantic—the team that collaborated with Nintendo to create the app—used locations from an earlier game called Ingress to fill the Pokémon Go world.
An ex-U.S. Marine currently fighting ISIS outside of Mosul, Iraq shared a screenshot of his Pokémon next to a really big gun and challenged the opposition to battle. It’s unclear why Squirtle, a water-type Pokémon, would be hanging out in the dry desert, but at least the soldiers have something to do during their downtime.
In the span of a few days and with several countries patiently waiting for their launch date, Pokémon Go was downloaded more times than Tinder on Android devices and was very close to matching and potentially passing Twitter’s active user percentage, despite the many-years head starts that both apps have over the hot new game. SimilarWeb reports that 60 percent of the people who downloaded the app in the United States use it daily, and the average time spent playing is around 43 minutes, compared to Instagram’s 25 minutes and Snapchat’s 23 minutes.
Pokémon Go is free to download, but the app is already paying off for Nintendo. According to Forbes, the company’s stock price began to climb in the days following the game’s launch, and it climbed another 25 percent on July 11, adding $7 billion to the company’s market value.

Mango and Cashew Smoothie


I have to admit that I’ve been really missing my holiday sunshine this week, I love being back in London but I’ve been craving warm weather, fresh coconuts and sweet, local mangoes throughout the day, everyday! So since I’ve been back I’ve been wanting to get coconut and mango into all my meals, particularly my smoothies. This mango and cashew nut smoothie is my absolute favorite right now, it’s awesomely simple but so nutritious and absolutely delicious. The mango and banana mix together to make something amazingly sweet and creamy, the spinach then blends in subtly to add plenty of goodness while also turning the whole thing a lovely vibrant green. I also add cashews to increase the depth to make it taste a little milkshake-like, as well as to raise the protein levels so that I’m energized all day, and finally a squeeze of lime to spice it up a little. This can seriously start your day off absolutely astonishingly and you’ll be bouncing around your kitchen as you sip on it. As the liquid you can use either water, almond milk or coconut water, they’re all equally awesome so use whatever is easiest for you – almond milk is the creamiest though, so it’s probably my favorite.

Serves 2
– 1 mango
– 2 ripe bananas
– 2 cups of spinach (60g)
– 1/2 a cup of cashew nuts (80g)
– 2 cups of almond milk, coconut water or water (500ml)
– 1 lime
Optional: a tablespoon of chia seeds
If you can then leave the cashews to soak in a glass of water overnight, then in the morning drain them and add them to your blender once you’re ready to make your smoothie. In case you don’t have time don’t worry though, if you have a strong blender it should still have the ability to blend the cashews into a smooth, creamy deliciousness!
Once you’re ready to make your smoothie, peel the mango and then add it’s flesh (discarding the stone) to your blender with the banana, spinach, cashews and lime juice.
Mix until smooth and creamy.

Kylie Jenner Knows How to Celebrate the New Year!

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Kylie Jenner left a huge mark on the world in 2016 with Kylie Cosmetics and her scantily clad Instagram photos but she has just brought it up to a whole new level!
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As reported by TMZ, Kylie and her boyfriend Tyga were out vacationing in Mexico to celebrate the beginning of a new year. They were down at Joe Francis’ well-known estate in Punta Mita. Kylie celebrated by showing off her best assets in a well fitted black bikini and matching choker. The 19 year old left little to the imagination while her boyfriend got pretty handsy.
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Can you blame him?
If you are interested you can find the Ellejay Rosa Bikini at

Liam Hemsworth Joins Cyrus Family Christmas Photo


Nothing says “we’re serious” like Christmas with the girlfriend’s family…
This time last year, Miley Cyrus was about to join ex-fiancé Liam Hemsworth down under, where their surprise reconciliation trip ended with her coming back to the States with her engagement ring back on. These past 12 months, Miley and Liam have gone Instagram official, attended events together, and Liam even gave Miley a new ring on her birthday.
But perhaps the clearest sign it’s real and serious is the one Brandi Cyrus just posted. Liam Hemsworth is in the Cyrus family Christmas photo, alongside his “favorite little angel” Miley. Aw.

Cyrus fam Christmas in full swing 🎄

A photo posted by Brandi Cyrus (@brandicyrus) on

6 Tips For Staying Fit When Your Schedules Too Packed


You most likely know that exercising, sleeping and healthy eating should be at the top of your priority list. When you exercise regularly, you’re more positive, energetic, productive and creative. That all translates into making you a more effective entrepreneur who can generate more revenue and create a bigger impact in the world.
But maintaining a consistent fitness routine on top of being a productive entrepreneur isn’t a walk in the park (although even that would be better than nothing). A business leader’s average day consists of working from a to-do list, dealing with clients, managing a small team, racing against deadlines and replying to emails — our favorite.
It’s easy to fall into the trap of believing there’s no time to have a life beyond work, much less one that carves out time for regular exercise. But personal health doesn’t have to become a daunting task that commands large chunks of your day.
As an entrepreneur, you’re adept at using your time and energy in the most efficient way possible. You can apply the same mindset to fitness if you follow these six core principles.

1. Schedule your workout.

You schedule doctor appointments, date nights with your significant other (hopefully) and important business meetings. So why not schedule workout time? After all, without personal health, we can’t achieve our best possible versions of ourselves.
Outline a weekly schedule and include an exercise block, preferably at the same time each day. Seeing this item regularly on your calendar will decrease the odds that you’ll skip out on a commitment you’ve made to yourself.

2. Sleep smarter.

Sleep is your foundation to maintain fitness routines and function at your peak performance level as an entrepreneur. Like workouts, sleep must be scheduled.
Studies have shown that healthy sleep habits can help you keep your waistline under control. Sleep also plays a positive role in increasing your creativity, productivity, energy levels and decision-making abilities.
What you do in the hour before bed is one of the biggest barriers to attaining quality, consistent sleep. Intelligent sleeping starts with self-discipline. Create sleep rituals to “automate” this important habit.

3. Start a culture of health and fitness at work.

It’s no secret that support, accountability and enjoyment increase the likelihood you’ll stick to your goals. However, the
the biggest predictor of success often lies in the quality of your environment.
If you spend most of your time in an office, why not make fitness a part of the conversation? Build a health-minded community within your workplace. Unlike friends, whose lifestyles and schedules might be markedly different than yours, colleagues and peers understand the daily demands and intricacies of your work life. These coworkers can provide a solid network of support.
You might start with an office-wide weight-loss challenge or a display board to tally the progress toward weekly walking or running goals. You also can turn to the internet health community for support. A wide variety of fitness sites offer sample workout plans and video tutorials. You even can download health and nutrition information to develop homegrown seminars to further educate team members in your office.

4. Get creative and multitask.

Many entrepreneurs spend way too much time sitting at their desks and at cafes in meetings. During the busiest of days, separating exercise time from work may not be realistic. Life happens.
But it’s still no excuse to skip activity altogether for the day. If work is that hectic, the most logical solution is integrating exercise into your daily workflow.
A favorite strategy of mine — famously used by Steve Jobs — is to hold walking meetings. Instead of sitting at the cafe talking, get some activity in while conducting business. Take the stairs, park your car farther from the door, walk to your favorite lunch spot or invest in a treadmill or standing desk.

5. Make high-intensity training your friend.

When you’re short on time or traveling frequently, you must maximize every moment. During workouts, focus on quality instead of quantity and prioritize intensity over duration. Choose full body workouts, circuit-training intervals and other high-intensity methods to optimize your workouts. These tactics reduce the time you need in the gym to build muscle and lose fat.

6. Have a Plan B.

Whether it’s an impromptu work meeting, traffic on the way home, a family commitment or an unexpected setback on a
project, you will face unforeseen circumstances. Establishing a backup plan ahead of time is essential to fail-proof your fitness.
If you can’t make it to the gym for your scheduled session, seek other forms of movement to continue your daily exercise habit. Alternatively, you could invest in some kettlebells or a TRX for some home workouts. Any regular activity is better than nothing.
The busy life of an entrepreneur or small-business owner makes it tempting to come up with excuses for diverting your time elsewhere. But achieving healthy fitness levels doesn’t require marathon exercise sessions. At a minimum, 30 minutes can be plenty, and that’s only around 2 percent of your day (nothing in the grand scheme of things).
Small, intelligent actions can help you take control of your health and maximize your effectiveness as an entrepreneur.

Jennifer Lopez cancels New Year’s Eve party


Jennifer Lopez has axed plans to ring in 2017 with a New Year’s Eve appearance in Miami, Florida.
The superstar had been booked to host the end-of-year bash at top hotspot E11EVEN Miami on 31 December (16), but she has since pulled out of the gig, according to the Miami Herald.
A statement released by a venue spokesperson reads: “Due to personal reasons, Jennifer Lopez has cancelled her appearance on New Year’s Eve. We look forward to welcoming her in the future.”
Jennifer has yet to comment on the scrapped event, but tickets for the big party had reportedly been going for as much as $500 (£400) each.
Fans in the U.S. will still be able to enjoy a performance by the Waiting For Tonight hitmaker as they count down to midnight – a pre-recorded segment of her Las Vegas residency show, Jennifer Lopez: All I Have, will air as part of the New Year’s Eve with Carson Daly TV special.
Daly will co-host the show with former Spice Girl Melanie Brown, introducing live performances from the likes of country star Blake Shelton, R&B singer Alicia Keys, and a cappella group Pentatonix.
They aren’t the only musicians scheduled to work on New Year’s Eve – rival show Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve with Ryan Seacrest will feature Mariah Carey, DNCE, Thomas Rhett, and Gloria Estefan and the cast of her Broadway musical, On Your Feet! in live performances from New York’s Times Square, while Fifth Harmony, Ty Dolla $ign, Niall Horan, John Legend, Lukas Graham, and Shawn Mendes will be among the stars hitting the stage at a party in Los Angeles hosted by Fergie.

La La Land’s Ending: How Damien Chazelle Pulled It Off


Very few directors know how to end a movie quite like Damien Chazelle. Think about his tense, conflicting jazz-drummer drama, Whiplash. The back-and-forth between Miles Teller’s student and JK Simmons’ teacher built seamlessly to a live confrontation that ultimately awoke the true genius in Teller’s performer… just as Simmons had been predicting over the course of the entire movie. Chazelle’s latest film, La La Land, has an equally perfect and ridiculously satisfying ending, so when I say down with the filmmaker to talk about his process, I had to ask him how he comes up, with his conclusions, because sticking the landing is a LOT harder to do in a movie than audience members may realize. (Right, Passengers?)
The final act of Damien Chazelle’s La La Land takes place five years after the main action of the mesmerizing musical. Mia (Emma Stone), a struggling actress, has finally found success — though her path took her away from Sebastian (Ryan Gosling), the man she was courting during her rough patch. When we catch up with Mia, she’s married to a new man, and while the couple is on the town, they stumble into a jazz club. Sebastian’s jazz club, to be specific. The two haven’t seen each other in five years. Their eyes meet, and as Sebastian plays the piano, we are treated to a heart-wrenching and uplifting montage of the life he and Mia might have lived, if life played out differently.

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It’s such a perfectly crafted finale, I had to ask Damien Chazelle if he came up with the ending to La La Land first, and then backfilled his story to make sure that he built to it properly.
You can tell that the conclusions of Damien Chazelle’s films are so beautifully constructed and meticulously crafted, a ton of forethought has to go into their plotting and planning, because especially with La La Land, the montage has so many brilliant callbacks to the entirety of the film. We essentially are watching a new cut of the same actions, only with tweaks that would reflect different decisions in Mia and Sebastian’s lives. It’s melodramatic and sad, even though — like their director — they both get to where they are supposed to be going.

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