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Rosie and Oprah Debut Their New Shows On OWN. How Did They Do?

There’s a renewed sense of excitement and pressure in the offices of the Oprah Winfrey Network right now, as Rosie and Oprah both debuted new highly publicized series. So how did they do?

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There’s a renewed sense of excitement and pressure in the offices of the Oprah Winfrey Network right now. Monday night marked a renewed attempt to gain viewers and buzz to the fledgling network. OWN promoted the evening as a two hour special event, introducing two new shows. Rosie, and Oprah’s Lifeclass.

Rosie O’Donnell debuted her new talk show Rosie live at 7pm eastern, focusing a good portion of her show to guest Russell Brand, whom she describes as her new “Tommy.” (As in, her famous celebrity crush Tom Cruise.) The interview went on for several segments (arguably perhaps one too many) but found it’s fun again when O’Donnell had the chance to showcase her spontaneous humor with a game called “The Ro Game.”  An audience winner won a trip to Jamaica for answering the easy, light hearted questions, each question containing “RO” in the answer. (proposal, rotation, Charo, etc.) The audience enjoyed the game show moments, and Rosie’s ability to react quickly to the well chosen, quirky contestants.

But the howling and screaming of the audience was at it’s loudest at the very tail end of the show, when Oprah herself made a cameo. As Rosie wrapped the premiere, she commented that there was ‘one thing missing.’ (Rosie promos had been showing Rosie calling for confetti during the prior week, which was also a promoted trending topic on twitter earlier in the day… so Winfrey came out screaming ‘confetti!’) Most of Oprah’s appearance was during the final credits, and consisted largely of waves and smiles. The timing of the moment was smartly chosen –  clearly no one would have been able to pay attention to the show if Oprah had arrived any earlier.

Following Rosie came Oprah’s Lifeclass, a tutorial on the Oprah approach to life, drawing upon her vast arsenal of archived talk show material. Viewers can follow the class on facebook, which will include reading and other weekly assignments. (Participants are required to allow the Oprah people to post status updates on their profiles, which some may consider a deterrent… self growth, after all, is to some a rather personal journey.)

Winfrey began her first episode on the topic of EGO, drawing examples from what was among the most infamous, iconic moments of her talk show… the moment in 1988 when she dragged a wagon carrying 67 pounds of fat into the studio… representing the weight she had lost at the time. (She has frequently cited the moment as one of her biggest mistakes, and says she has paid for that moment time and time again.) She spoke in depth about her ego at the time.

The subject was a smart choice for the first episode: whether a person chooses to participate in the lifeclass or not, many people will be curious to know what was going on in Oprah’s head during her weight loss battle.

The class continued in earnest, drawing examples from her life where she has recognized her own ego and then drawing upon more examples via guests on her talk show. What made it compelling, perhaps even more than the lessons themselves, was that it was an intimate, self guided profile of Oprah herself.

The pressure for these two shows to provide a bump in the ratings is high, and perhaps too high an expectation. The time slots, 7pm and 8pm, aren’t likely to result in a real shakeup in the TV landscape, and the subscriber base of the Oprah Winfrey Network is still just a portion compared to other cable networks, making it doubly difficult to complete. But both of these efforts are strong, well produced debuts that are welcome and sorely needed in a cable world headlined by narcissistic reality show characters.

Entertainment

Hold Onto Your Bucket, You Can Visit Colonel Sanders on KFC Island In ‘Animal Crossing’

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Kentucky. Fried. Crossing.

If I told you to live in a tent for a few days, pull a bunch of weeds from the lawn and chop down a few trees for lumber that you will then have to turn into tools with your own two hands all while trying to pay off a ridiculous debt that you unwittingly acquired you might think I’m into corporal punishment. Yet, it’s all those things that make Animal Crossing: New Horizons on the Nintendo Switch so damn addictive.

The life simulation video game has grown unbelievably popular over these last few months and it’s probably because the game provides a great creative outlet that can keep players entertained for hours while remaining home during quarantine. Even some celebrities have jumped on the virtual bandwagon with Elijah Wood, T-Pain, Chrissy Tiegen and more all sharing their obsession on social media. Well scoot over movie stars, big time singers and supermodels because the biggest household name just changed the game (not literally as I’m sure the game has some sort of coding that prevents actual changes to be made but metaphorically the pun works). That’s right, Colonel Sanders has an avatar and an island and is ready to serve up some chicken.

Credit: KFC Philippines Twitter

Earlier this week, the KFC Philippines Twitter account revealed the news that “KFC Island” would be opening for lucky visitors. To get to the island you have to message their Facebook account with the #KFCVirtualStore for a chance at getting a Dodo Code. Because I am one of the many who have fallen in love with this game I know that a Dodo Code is a unique code which can be shared with select visitors to grant them access to your island. I feel like such a gamer. On the Kentucky fried island there is a restaurant that is replicated to look like the real thing! There’s booths, a kitchen and even promotional posters. Oh and as if this wasn’t exciting enough, if you find the Colonel hiding somewhere on the island you could win an 8-piece chicken bucket from KFC…in real life! (The promotion is only valid for players in the Philippines.)

Credit: KFC Philippines Twitter

Visits to the island are only available until June 20th, so be sure to hop on this finger lickin’ experience while you can!

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Stan Lee Said The Only Way To Combat A Racist Is To ‘Expose Them’ In A Periodical From Over Fifty Years Ago

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A man truly ahead of his time.

The concept of finding strength within a community has never been more pressing than it is right now. Our country is divided in so many ways but amongst the fractures you can see groups joining together in an effort to show that unity is always stronger than division. If anyone can attest to that belief it was the ingenius comic book writer, editor, publisher, and producer Stan Lee.

The man responsible for the Marvel universe we know and love today was behind a number of comic books which featured outcasts who looked beyond their differences in order to unify and protect the greater good. A concept our world might need reminding of. In the back of the comics Lee wrote for was a section entitled “Stan’s Soapbox,” where the wordsmith would write short articles expressing some things that were on his mind. One soapbox article from 1968 has resurfaced and gone viral because of how eerily fitting it is for today.

In the article Lee calls bigotry and racism “the deadliest social ills plaguing the world today.” But unlike a super villain from one of his comics, racism and bigotry cannot be defeated by a “punch in the snoot, or a zap from a ray gun,” he says, rather “the only way to destroy them is to expose them – reveal them for the insidious evils they really are.” The comic book creator suggests the only way for our world to continue peacefully is to “judge each other on our merits” and to “fill our hearts with tolerance.”

Along with the soapbox article, a clip from an interview with Larry King has gone viral with Lee once again wishing to see more tolerance in the world. When asked what the one thing he would change about the world Lee responded “I’d make people not hate each other because of their religion, because of their nationality, because of any stupid reason. If we can abolish hatred, we live on this gorgeous planet.”

Why couldn’t he be the celebrity that ran for president!? Hopefully the villains Lee warned us about over fifty years ago will soon seem like a thing in the past and that beautiful, tolerant world he dreamed of will become a reality.

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Lizzo’s Performance Of ‘Pomp And Circumstance’ Will Make Any Graduate Feel Good As Hell

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She really is a hoot with a flute.

Ah graduation, that special moment that every student dreams about where they get dressed up in an unbreathable gown and an unflattering cap and sit outside for hours somewhere on a great lawn in the middle of a heat wave just to receive that special piece of paper that says they have completed a super long chapter in their lives. While the ceremonies are not always the most exciting time ever, to be denied the chance to walk across a stage and turn the tassel on your cap due to the pandemic guidelines does seem like a real bummer. To help remedy the graduation blues of 2020, YouTube Originals live-streamed an event called Dear Class Of 2020 which featured some huge stars offering their support. One of those stars happened to be Lizzo who put her own spin on the classic graduation march “Pomp and Circumstance.”

In her performance, Lizzo played the iconic two-minute section of the song that is most widely associated with graduations. After about 40-seconds, the “Juice” singer shares her congratulations to the graduating class and then lets them know it’s time to “turn it up.” With that, Lizzo is virtually accompanied by the New York Phil Harmonic as they jam out (is it still called jamming out when it’s classical music?) to create a truly memorable performance. The performance is visually stunning showcasing some cool digital effects but what truly stands out in the video are the images of black graduates wearing their caps and gowns as they participate in Black Lives Matter protests that are happening throughout the nation. The entire video suddenly becomes much more hopeful as it becomes clear that the future of our nation rests in the hands of these courageous, intelligent and strong young people.

The video ends with a photo of Deveonte Joseph taken by photographer Nathan Aguirre, which went viral when first posted. In the photo, Joseph is wearing his graduation cap and gown on a street in St. Paul, Minnesota, with the lights of a police set up glowing behind him.

Check out the entire inspirational video below!

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