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MTV VMAs recap: Beyonce slays, Rihanna shines, and not even Kanye gets crazy

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Between Britney and Rihanna and Nicki and Ariana and Halsey and Mary J. and Serena and Simone, Sunday’s 2016 MTV Video Music Awards felt like an unending progression of “SLAY, KWEEN!” moments.

But as always, there was one kween to rule them all. And her name was Beyonce Knowles Carter.

As was the case during the 2014 VMAs, Beyonce was simply playing a different sport than every other competitor Sunday night, winning Video of the Year for Formation and dominating the telecast with a wildly ambitious suite from her April opus Lemonade.

In her first televised performance since stealing the Super Bowl, she played a 15-plus-minute medley of Pray You Catch Me, Hold Up, Sorry, Don’t Hurt Yourself and Formation in a performance so ambitiously stylized, everything else at this by-the-books VMAs felt like window dressing.

No one in the arena could handle it. No one watching at home could handle it. And apparently no one who votes on the VMAs could handle it either, as Hold Up also won Best Female Video. …

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What's coming to and leaving Netflix in September?

The first season of Marvel's Luke Cage comes to Netflix in September.

Myles Aronowitz/Netflix

The first season of Marvel's Luke Cage comes to Netflix in September.

September sees a slew of new television seasons coming to Netflix this month, including the highly anticipated new Marvel series Luke Cage. There's also the addition of Jaws and its sequels, as well as Zootopia and The Finest Hours as Disney's deal with the streaming service starts this month. But as Netflix giveth, it taketh away, and so shows like Alias and Fringe, the Jurassic Park series and Disney animated films The Emperor's New Groove and Lilo & Stitch leave. For a full list, read below: …

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Crazy celeb fact of the day: Macaulay Culkin and Chris Pine are both 36 today

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Today, Internet, I just had to share with you this mind-bending celebrity fact I discovered last week: Macaulay Culkin and Chris Pine both turn 36 today.

YES, THEY WERE BORN THE EXACT SAME DAY.

Happy 36th to both famous fellows born on Aug. 26, 1980.

Yes, it's hard to believe the Home Alone kid of yesteryear and the hunky new Capt. James T. Kirk are the same age, but there you have it. Culkin was born in Manhattan while Pine was born across the country in L.A. Who knew.

It just goes to show how relative time can feel. Culkin acted in his first move in 1988 at the age of 8, rose to prominence in 1990's Home Alone at the age of 10 and kind of fell off the map after 1994's Richie Rich. He popped up again with drug troubles 10 years later in 2004, which just so happens to be the same year as Pine's first movie, The Princess Diaries 2 (bet you had forgotten all about that!). Both turned 24 that year.

Just imagine if the roles were reversed and kid Chris Pine outfoxed burglars while 30-year-old Macaulay Culkin flew around the galaxy battling aliens and getting all the girls.

 …

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Twitter couldn't resist turning Hurricane Gaston into a Disney meme

People are turning the storm named Gaston into a Twitter meme.

@saywhatsugar on Twitter

People are turning the storm named Gaston into a Twitter meme.

I have an unfounded theory that whoever's in charge of picking storm names before hurricane season starts is a Twitter user who knew this would be their one chance at meme glory.

Few of us know any actual people named Gaston, but many will recall the character from Disney's animated classic, Beauty and the Beast. Gaston, if you can't quite remember your childhood, is Belle's suitor with a chest full of hair, "biceps to spare" and a talent for spitting, according to his signature song. 

When Tropical Storm Gaston formed in the Atlantic this week, then became a hurricane, it was no surprise people's minds went there. 

Here are a few of the best:

Live shot from inside Tropical Storm #Gaston pic.twitter.com/Ozhwgw4bhh

The Internet is the best sometimes. #hurricanegaston #gaston pic.twitter.com/aXI6OiMpEy

It wasn't right until we added the song.#HurricaneGastonhttps://t.co/Pzc5OVtMgw

He's especially good at expectorating... (those cows he picked up before) #HurricaneGaston

@SayWhatSugar When I was a tropical storm I flooded 4 dozen streets every morning to help me get laaaargee...

@SayWhatSugar Now that I'm a hurricane I flood 5 dozen streets, look at all those floating caaaarsss

 …

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Busch Gardens' new baby hyena is extremely cute, for now (w/video)

Mandazi is a 20-week-old spotted hyena.

Busch Gardens

Mandazi is a 20-week-old spotted hyena.

Look at how ridiculously cute this spotted hyena cub is. He's like a puppy, except possibly better in every way.

His name is Mandazi, a nod to his sweet personality, and a pastry traditionally eaten on the Swahili coast, Busch Gardens said via news release. He was born at the Tampa theme park on April 3 to Taziki, an 8-year-old female. The father is 16-year-old Makali. Visitors to the park can now see Mandazi in the Edge of Africa area of the park, Busch Gardens said.

He is very cute, but depending on how recently you've seen The Lion King, you might feel differently when he grows up to weigh up to 165 pounds and he's capable of digesting bones, horns and even teeth. But right now, again, he's very cute (see below).

"Typically more successful at hunting than other African predators, hyenas often have their prey items stolen by lions, rather than the other way around," the park said.

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What's coming to Amazon Prime in September?

The third season of Transparent comes to Amazon Prime in September.

Amazon

The third season of Transparent comes to Amazon Prime in September.

September is a busy month for Amazon's original television shows, including the third season of the critically acclaimed Transparent and new series by director Woody Allen and comedian Tig Notaro. Yet there's also plenty of new movies being added, including classics by Michael Cimino and Stanley Kubrick and great new ones including The Witch and Sicario. For a full list, read below: …

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Amy Schumer had a great one-night stand in Tampa, but calls the city 'horrendous' in her new book

Amy Schumer is set to perform in Tampa in October, but she had some unkind words for the city in her new book.

Associated Press

Amy Schumer is set to perform in Tampa in October, but she had some unkind words for the city in her new book.

Amy Schumer has some harsh words for Tampa in her new book, The Girl With the Lower Back Tattoo. 

Only six pages into the memoir, the comedian, TV and movie star describes being on tour, "traveling between two horrendous cities: Fayetteville, North Carolina and Tampa, Florida."

It gets worse.

"I'm not scared about writing that, because I know for a fact that no one who lives there has ever read a book. JKJKJKJK, but kind of not K," Schumer writes, before going on to describe the flight to Tampa as "the tiniest short bus in the sky."

Stefani Beddingfield cracked open a copy of Girl With the Lower Back Tattoo on Friday while she was closing up at Inkwood Books, the store she owns in South Tampa. 

"It was so weird and so ironic, because I read that part about how nobody in Tampa reads, and I was sitting here reading this book in Tampa," Beddingfield said when reached by phone at the store. "Her book is really good and really funny, by the way. She actually comes across as very nice." …

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Universal Orlando announces dates for fourth year of A Celebration of Harry Potter

Thousands of Harry Potter fans will descend on Universal Orlando Jan. 27-29 for the fourth annual A Celebration of Harry Potter.

Chelsea Tatham | Times

Thousands of Harry Potter fans will descend on Universal Orlando Jan. 27-29 for the fourth annual A Celebration of Harry Potter.

Now in its fourth year, A Celebration of Harry Potter will once again bring thousands of witches and wizards to Universal Orlando in January.

The special weekend event Jan. 27-29, 2017, will feature a Harry Potter Expo, panels with celebrity guests and exhibits from Warner Bros., Studio Tour London, Pottermore and more.

If you've ever wanted to be sorted by the Sorting Hat or see costumes and props from the films, Diagon Alley and Hogsmeade in Universal will be the place to do it.

House robes and wands are highly recommended.

Last year's celebration brought film cast members, Evanna Lynch (Luna Lovegood), Matthew Lewis (Neville Longbottom), Rupert Grint (Ron Weasley), Katie Leung (Cho Chang) and Bonnie Wright (Ginny Weasley).

Standard park admission gives guests access to expo, panels and exhibits. Three-day, two-park tickets start at $229.99.

Celebration vacation packages for non-passholders including hotel, early park access, exclusive panels and commemorative items start at $215 per person, per night.

There are multiple levels of general park admission and vacation packages, but they do sell out quickly, especially after the celebrity guest list is announced. …

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Winner and loser of the week in pop culture

Leslie Jones started a Twitter campaign in support of Gabby Douglas.

Associated Press

Leslie Jones started a Twitter campaign in support of Gabby Douglas.

Winner

Leslie Jones. The Saturday Night Live star is no stranger to online hate. Last month, she publicly shared a number of racist, sexist and even violent comments hurled at her by Twitter trolls, and received an outpouring of love and support. This week, Jones paid it forward by rallying support around Olympic gymnast Gabby Douglas, who reportedly was spotted crying after an interview that touched on controversies over why she hadn't held her hand over her heart during the national anthem and other stuff that had nothing to do with her athletic performance. Jones sent out this tweet.

Yo I just heard Gabby getting attacked on her page show her the love you showed me #LOVE4GABBYUSA send to @gabrielledoug

The response was huge, with thousands of people sharing the #LOVE4GABBYUSA tag, including stars like Shonda Rimes, Gabrielle Union and Kerry Washington. Also, if you're asking me, Jones was the best part of that ho-hum Ghostbusters reboot.

Loser  …

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Did Disney World remove Steven Tyler's shockingly obscene hand gesture from a ride?

The Rock 'n' Rollercoaster, featuring Aerosmith, has been operating at Disney's Hollywood Studios in Orlando since 1999.

Walt Disney World Resorts

The Rock 'n' Rollercoaster, featuring Aerosmith, has been operating at Disney's Hollywood Studios in Orlando since 1999.

Has Steven Tyler been making the obscene hand gesture known as "the shocker" in front of countless Orlando tourists and families for the past 17 years?

That's what Behind the Thrills, a popular blog dedicated to Disney theme park news is saying, and they've posted video evidence to back it up. 

The Rock 'n' Rollercoaster indoor rollercoaster features the music of Aerosmith as well as Tyler and the rest of the band in a video intro. The ride opened in 1999, and for years that video apparently featured Tyler doing this with his hand...

VIDEO: Steven Tyler’s “Obscene Hand Gesture” Removed From Rock ‘N’ Roller Coasterhttps://t.co/PB1iJTIHwD pic.twitter.com/ynmePrRcF8

That is, until recently, when the theme park reportedly used digital effects to change Tyler's offending hand to this...

@tvaziri How much do you think it cost Disney to digitally remove Steven Tyler's "shocker" gesture after 17 years pic.twitter.com/uUTVedomG8

We can't know for sure if Tyler meant the gesture as an obscene one, but the fact that Disney decided to go through the trouble of removing it begs the question, why now? Were there complaints? Did they only just now finally notice? …

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Pottermore to publish ebook short stories on Harry Potter's wizarding world

Pottermore, the online headquarters for the Harry Potter fandom, debuts the Pottermore Presents ebook series of short stories on September 6.

Pottermore

Pottermore, the online headquarters for the Harry Potter fandom, debuts the Pottermore Presents ebook series of short stories on September 6.

Wizards and witches are less than three weeks away from more stories about the beloved wizarding world creating by J.K. Rowling.

Pottermore, the online headquarters for the Potterverse, debuts the Pottermore Presents series of ebooks on September 6. The series includes short stories and Rowling's reflections on the world she created.

The collection includes work originally published on the Pottermore site and new work, with each ebook being about 10,000 words long.

"Pottermore Presents is intended to supplement the Harry Potter book series with short-form content that is entertaining and thematically curated by the Pottermore editorial team," Susan L. Jurevics, Pottermore CEO, said in a release. "The eBooks will delight readers as they take them beyond the Harry Potter stories and deeper into the wizarding world. J.K. Rowling's writing in these collections reveals intricate details of her characters' lives, their histories, as well as her inspiration."

The first titles in the Pottermore Presents collection focus on Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. …

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Former Miss Tampa Charleene Closshey makes a movie in hometown Plant City

Former Miss Tampa Charleene Closshey produces and stars in No Postage Necessary, currently filming in Plant City.

Special to the Times

Former Miss Tampa Charleene Closshey produces and stars in No Postage Necessary, currently filming in Plant City.

Home is where Charleene Closshey's heart and movie are, a Plant City native with a Hollywood dream.

Earlier this month, Closshey, 35, began filming No Postage Necessary, a dramedy for which she produces and stars. She expects to wrap principal photography on Aug. 23 on the low budget indie produduction.

Making her movie practically in her childhood backyard is icing on the strawberry shortcake.

"That's a big thing for us," Closshey said by telephone during a recent break in filming. "We don't believe in the locust phenomenon where you fly in, you eat all the grass and then fly away.

"This is my hometown, my family is still here. I don't want to fly in, abuse relationships, abuse people. If anything our stakes are higher because we're still here in some ways. And part of me will always be here."

Closshey could've filmed elsewhere. Alabama and Mississippi each offered state-sponsored incentives trying to attract No Postage Necessary, and any economic benefits it would bring. Florida's similar incentives program is currently flat broke. …

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Larry Wilmore had the best reaction to his show being canceled: 'Racism is solved' (w/video)

Larry Wilmore jokingly displayed this photo as proof that "racism is solved."

Comedy Central

Larry Wilmore jokingly displayed this photo as proof that "racism is solved."

Larry Wilmore may have been television's sharpest voice on race in America, but he'll be silenced, at least for now, when The Nightly Show's final episode airs on Comedy Central this Thursday.

So what do you do when its announced your show is canceled on a Monday morning, but you still have to tape four more episodes? If you're Wilmore, the answer is be very funny.

"I'm Larry Wilmore. Sooo, how was your day?," Wilmore asked nonchalantly at the start of Monday's episode, drawing a big laugh.

He went on to say that the show being canceled must be a good sign.

"On the plus side, our show going off the air means one thing: racism is solved," he said before displaying a photo he said was taken in Ferguson, Mo. earlier in the day that showed a black man riding a unicorn with a white police officer. "Yeah, you're welcome America."

You can watch Wilmore's entire opening segment below.

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'The People v. O.J. Simpson' used Seal's song, but he still hates the show

Seal, whose song "Kiss From a Rose" was revived for the FX series, is not a fan.

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Seal, whose song "Kiss From a Rose" was revived for the FX series, is not a fan.

American Crime Story: The People v. O.J. Simpson was critically acclaimed as a timely, well-performed, solidly-written piece of limited-run television.

It was nominated for a buttload of Emmys. It brought the O.J. Simpson case back to the spotlight at a time when the conversation around race and justice in America made it as relevant as ever. It brought the "Trial of the Century" to a new generation. 

Perhaps most importantly, it brought back Seal, and his key '90s jam Kiss From a Rose.

Only thing is, Seal is not a fan.

"I tried watching that show, and it just bored me to death," the singer told Times music critic Jay Cridlin, dissing the show that everyone seems to love.

That's insane, because the scene, featuring Sarah Paulson's Marcia Clark getting her legendarily bad haircut set to Kiss From a Rose,is a mini masterpiece in itself. In my mind, it's the official music video to Kiss From a Rose.

So, Seal, we have just one word for you:

You can real all of Cridlin's interview with Seal here.

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Larry Wilmore's 'The Nightly Show' canceled by Comedy Central

Larry Wilmore's "The Nightly Show" has been canceled after an 18-month run in Stephen Colbert's old Comedy Central time slot.

Comedy Central

Larry Wilmore's "The Nightly Show" has been canceled after an 18-month run in Stephen Colbert's old Comedy Central time slot.

Who's going to "keep it 100" on late night TV now?

The final episode of Larry Wilmore's The Nightly Show will air Thursday at 11:30 p.m., bringing an end to the show's brief and sometimes brilliant run on the cable network. Comedy Central's president told the New York Times that the show simply never "resonated."

Wilmore had been a regular on The Daily Show for years during the Jon Stewart era, serving as the show's "senior black correspondent," before The Nightly Show was chosen to fill the timeslot vacated by The Colbert Report when Stephen Colbert departed in 2014 to eventually take over David Letterman's CBS slot.

He brought the same deadpan and brutally honest sensibility to The Nightly Show, where he was one of the first and most outspoken critics of Bill Cosby when his rape allegations resurfaced. He brought attention to voter suppression in Alabama, took aim at Fox News and Bill O'Reilly's tone-deaf, all-white debate on racism, made Bernie Sanders a regular guest and went viral by introducing the world to "Donald's Trump's black supporters."

 …

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