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A Primer on 'HIMYM’

How did Ted Mosby meet the mother of his children? After nine seasons on air, we’ll finally get some closure.

Someone once called How I Met Your Mother “the Lost of sitcoms.” That’s exactly it. Like the cult drama that drove us all crazy (a polar bear?!) HIMYM revolves around a series-long mystery, constant use of flashback and flashforwards, a comprehensive mythology, polarizing seasons towards the end of its run, and even time travel.

HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER

Ron P. Jaffe/Fox

For diehards of the show, staying abreast of everything that happens to Ted and the gang is moderately difficult. For those who tune in for the first time to the series finale, is damn near impossible.

What Cannibals?

Bloody Bloody Andrew Lincoln

The star of ‘The Walking Dead’ talks to The Daily Beast about Terminus and how much he knows about the cannibals theory. Spoiler alert!

Andrew Lincoln is minutes away from finding out what happens at Terminus.

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Gene Page/AMC

The British actor, who plays former Atlanta police officer Rick Grimes on The Walking Dead, is just about to step into the writer’s room of the AMC zombie drama and get a “general sketch” of what’s going down in Season 5. (“It’s an incredibly exciting day,” he says.) Meanwhile, the rest of us are still reeling from the Season 4 finale that aired last night. “A” debuted the most vicious version of Rick Grimes we’ve ever seen, who’d rip through a man’s jugular with his bare teeth, then repeatedly stab a man to death for attacking his son.  Rick, Daryl, Michonne, and Carl reunited with Glenn, Maggie, and the others at Terminus, but there was no “sanctuary” awaiting them there. With snipers’ rifles aimed at their heads, the group was herded into a cargo container and locked inside—which actually made Rick smile. “They’re gonna feel pretty stupid when they find out,” he says. “They’re screwing with the wrong people.” 

'Frozen' is now the highest-grossing animated film in history, earning $1.072 billion worldwide. Here’s how it happened.

Statistically speaking, Frozen is the best animated film. Ever.

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Disney

Buoyed by a strong debut in Japan, the movie is now the highest-grossing animated film in history, earning $1.072 billion worldwide. (That’s just more than Toy Story 3, which grossed $1.063 billion.) Here’s how it happened:

1) Inflation! In domestic sales it's still technically behind (in ascending order): Toy Story 2, Monsters Inc., Toy Story 3, Aladdin, Lady and the Tramp, Finding Nemo, Bambi, Pinocchio, Shrek 2, The Jungle Book, Fantasia, The Lion King, 101 Dalmatians, and Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.

2) That being said, the film received excellent reviews and has an 89 percent score on Rotten Tomatoes. The Daily Beast’s Kevin Fallon was early on the Frozen bandwagon, anointing the flick “the best Disney film since The Lion King.” Melissa Leon agreed, saying that the film debunked outdated tropes like love at first sight and damsels in distress, slyly showing us how not to make a princess movie. The film won Oscars for Best Animated Feature and Best Original Song (more on this later) and a Golden Globe for Best Animated Film.

3) Hitting theaters on November 27, 2013, the film capitalized on the Thanksgiving box-office rush. It banked a Disney-record $67.4 million over the three-day weekend, and $93.9 million for the five-day holiday. These hauls shattered the previous Disney records, held by Wreck-It Ralph and Tangled, respectively. Big weekend, right?  Frozen didn’t even open at no.1 at the box office. It was second, behind The Hunger Games: Catching Fire.

4) Of its total gross, $398 million (37.2 percent) is from domestic sales, while $674 million (62.8 percent) is from international audiences.

5) One of these nations was South Korea, where Frozen demolished records and crossed the $75 million mark in early March.

6) When it comes to 2013 worldwide grosses, Frozen sits comfortably at no.2 on the list, behind Iron Man 3 and above Catching Fire.

7) At the all-time box office, that puts Frozen at no.10, within striking distance of The Dark Knight Rises. (Transformers: Dark of the Moon is on that list, so that’s something to think about.)

8) The top grossing animated film, in order: Frozen, Toy Story 3, The Lion King (which came out in 1994!), Despicable Me 2, Finding Nemo.

9) The movie’s soundtrack has spent a seventh week at no.1 on the Billboard 200. This is partially because of the release of the film on DVD and Blu-ray. It’s only the fourth animated film soundtrack to do this.

10) Director Jennifer Lee is the first female director of a Disney animated feature film.

11) “LET IT GO.” John Travolta. Adele Dazeem.

The notorious vixen has been in her share of controversies before—and had even supported the occasional dictator. But nothing like this.

On Sunday, sex tape vixen/reality TV starlet/entrepreneur Kim Kardashian took a break from the #belfies to wade into geopolitics—specifically, the ethically murky territory of the Syrian civil war.

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Karwai Tang/WireImage

On Twitter, she made what seemed like a simple cry to save the citizens of Kessab, a town in Syria that’s been the scene of intense fighting in recent days. The tweet was even welcomed by one of the country's main rebel groups. But, as with all things Syria, the reality is far more complicated. Kessab was, until recently, part of a stronghold for Damascus dictator Bashar al-Assad. Some are accusing the campaign to “save” the place of using fake images as part of a possible stealth movement to support the Assad regime.

Brooklyn

Spike Lee Vs. 'The NY Times'

Whose Brooklyn is it, anyway? Spike Lee and The New York Times' A.O. Scott disagree on this.

On Sunday, The New York Times ran a front-page story titled “Whose Brooklyn Is It, Anyway?” The piece, written by Times film critic A.O. Scott, looked at the changing faces and places of the New York City borough through the prism of pop culture—shows like Welcome Back, Kotter and Girls to films like Saturday Night Fever and The Squid and the Whale.

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Spike Lee attends Michael Jackson's 51st birthday celebration in Prospect Park on August 29, 2009 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. (Neilson Barnard/Getty)

The piece was crafted in response to statements made by acclaimed Brooklyn-born filmmaker Spike Lee who, at an event celebrating Black History Month in Brooklyn last month, unleashed an epic rant aimed at white gentrifiers for perpetuating “Christopher Columbus syndrome”—interlopers who claimed the artsy, edgy borough as their own while booting out those that had previously laid claim to it.

All Talked Out

Has Handler Had Enough?

Is Chelsea Handler really planning on leaving E!, or is she after a better deal from the network she calls a “sad, sad place to live.”

Apparently Chelsea Handler isn’t kidding this time.

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Mario Anzuoni/Reuters

The 39-year-old comic, whose latest book Uganda Be Kidding Me is No. 3 on the New York Times Bestseller List, is making noises about leaving her E! channel late-night show, Chelsea Lately, when her contract is up nine months from now.

The Real Villain

‘Blacklist’ Is Dead Without Red

NBC’s agonizingly schizophrenic drama is almost unwatchable in the absence of the mesmerizing James Spader. How to fix it? Kill Agent Keen, a flimsy version of Clarice Starling.

Rookie FBI profiler Elizabeth Keen (Megan Boone) tracked a suspect to a building, not realizing she was actually at a “watch post” manned by her husband Tom (Ryan Eggold), who appeared to be a mild-mannered schoolteacher but unbeknownst to Keen, is actually an baddie hired to marry and spy on her. As Keen investigates (without first drawing her gun or calling for backup, but we’ll get to that in a moment), at one point she is just inches away from her cornered husband, whose secret is seemingly about to be revealed.

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Will Hart/NBC, via Getty

This moment in last Monday’s episode of The Blacklist should have been one of the most harrowing moments of the year, but instead, the near-showdown was almost completely devoid of tension. It highlights the biggest problem with The Blacklist as the show barrels towards the conclusion of its debut season. The NBC drama is one of this year’s few true breakout hits: it regularly draws 11 million viewers each Monday night, and adds another 7 million when Live + 7 ratings (which include seven days of DVR and video on demand viewings) are factored in. But the agonizingly schizophrenic show has failed to even marginally develop its characters aside from James Spader’s mesmerizing central turn as Raymond “Red” Reddington, who after spending 20 years brokering deals for the world’s most sinister criminals, now helps the FBI catch them.

Yikes

Woody As a Pimp Is Tough to Watch

He sits on park benches scoping out rich middle-aged women for his gigolo. In light of allegations, Woody Allen’s turn as a pimp in ‘Fading Gigolo’ is problematic, to say the least.

The premise of Fading Gigolo, a new film by John Turturro, is simple enough: M. Schwartz & Sons Rare & Used Books, a quaint, red-awninged Mom-and-Pop bookstore in Downtown Manhattan, is going out of business—yet another casualty of modernity, judging by the sprawling Staples next door.

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Inside, its aging proprietor, Murray, played by Woody Allen, is chatting with his longtime employee, Fioravante (Turturro, who wrote and directed the film), about a strange episode he’d overheard at his dermatologist’s office. It seems his skin technician, Dr. Parker (Sharon Stone, radiant), is interested in hosting a “ménage”—as in ménage à trois—along with her friend and a man. Murray tells her he knows just the guy, but it’ll cost her $1,000. Since they’re both out of work, Murray tries to sell his boy Friday on the idea of being a gigolo.

Sketch

Comedy’s R-Rated Queen

The ‘Inside Amy Schumer’ star wants you to laugh, as long as you’re ready for jokes about sexually active tweens.

Amy Schumer knows you're expecting her to top herself. She's prepared to deliver, providing you’re prepared for her to make jokes about tweens "finger blasting" each other.

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Justin Stevens

Schumer's baby, the Comedy Central sketch series Inside Amy Schumer, served as the vehicle the 32-year-old raunchy writer-actress-standup-comedian rode to breakout-star status last year, when it became the typically male-driven network's highest-rated new series. Showing off a unique perspective that’s less interested in the usual shock value of a woman saying something dirty, and more in delivering acute observations about the insecurities that go along with being a (strong, sexual, smart, and maybe a little messy) woman, Inside Amy Schumer made waves by proving that there's a place for woman on Comedy Central, too.

When we spoke at the end of her show's stand-out first season run last year, I asked Schumer if she thought she was making a point about women and their place in comedy with her show. She told me, "Do I want women to watch and I am sending a message? My instinct is a little bit to whisper 'yes.' That doesn't seem like something you'd have to whisper, but it really is." Now, speaking in advance of her show's second season premiere this Tuesday, Schumer seemed more than happy to state things with confidence. "This season definitely has a stronger point of view," she tells me. "I'm saying some things, and I'm saying them with more confidence."

That should excite anyone who relished in last year's standout sketches, be it "P.O.V. Porn," which shows a sex tape from the female point of view, and how unsexy and awkward it is. Or a bit in which a girl, after a magical night with who she thinks is "the one," starts sampling wedding cakes and choosing adjoining burial plots, while the guy can't even remember her name. What's in store for this year, then? The aforementioned "finger blasting" sketch, for one, which needs to be seen to be believed, and another in which she tries to pay her way out of her herpes—complete with some hard negotiations with God himself, played by Paul Giamatti.

And if there was any doubt that the success of Season 1 didn't raise Schumer's star quotient, she's also in the casting process for Trainwreck, the R-rated comedy she wrote and will star in…and will be directed by a certain comedy kingmaker by the name of Judd Apatow.

We Are Family

The Silverman Sister Act

On the surface, it may raise an eyebrow that controversial comedian Sarah Silverman’s sister is a renowned rabbi. That is, until you get to know them.

At this point, there are few things that Sarah Silverman could say or do that would shock people. But mention that the consistently controversial—and consistently hilarious—comedian’s sister is one of the world’s most renowned and influential rabbis, and watch those who thought they’d seen or heard everything from the professional button-pusher react, once again, with surprise.

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Boston Globe/Getty

But learn more about Sarah’s sister, Rabbi Susan Silverman, and it becomes abundantly clear that even though “I’m godless and she’s godfull,” as Sarah puts it, audacity runs in the family.

last call for zombies

‘Walking Dead’s Scary New Rick

Spoilers ahead: In the AMC zombie drama’s season finale on Sunday, a new, killer leader was born and old Officer Friendly left behind.

The Walking Dead’s fourth season finale was the most terrifyingly intense hour the show has produced all season—so why do people feel robbed?

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Gene Page/AMC

No major characters died. Nagging questions remained unanswered. (Where is Beth? How do we still not know what Terminus is?) Serene flashbacks to the group’s earliest days in the prison, just as peace settled in and Rick gave up his role as leader, made up about half the episode. And the other half comprised of situations so tense, it seemed like they must be escalating toward some bursting point—which, except for Rick’s newfound resolve to kill or be killed, never came.

I'm Back

The State of Schwarzenegger

The DEA agent film 'Sabotage' seemed like a perfect reboot for the former governor but it was awful—though Schwarzenegger is good in ways that suggest he might still have a future in film.

He always said he'd be back. 

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Open Road Films

Ahh-nold. Arnie. The Austrian Oak. The Governator. On Friday, former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger returned to the big screen in Sabotage, only his third starring role since leaving office in 2011. For Schwarzenegger fans like me, the movie had all the makings of a breakthrough. Direction by David Ayers, the Navy submariner who wrote Training Day and helmed 2012's excellent End of Watch. No gimmicks, no supervillains, no tongue-in-cheek nostalgia—just a streetwise story about the deadly suspicions that infect an elite team of undercover DEA agents after the money they stole during a drug bust disappears. And a role for Schwarzenegger as John "Breacher" Wharton—a damaged legend of the drug wars—that seemed to suit his older, craggier persona. Finally, we said. The perfect career reboot

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Robert Daly

Starvation, snake venom, “oil pulling”—no wonder Chris Martin didn’t want to live with this woman.

When Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin announced to the world on Tuesday that they were “consciously uncoupling,” we couldn’t help but wonder if Paltrow's notoriously strict lifestyle was to blame.

In 2008, Paltrow founded her lifestyle website and brand GOOP, encouraging readers and fans to “invest in what’s real” and “nourish the inner aspect.” With a slew of overly-healthy recipes, pricey beauty treatments, and tough workouts, Paltrow quickly became recognized as the girl we love to hate with an “I’m better than you” attitude.

On Thursday, The Sun reported that Paltrow's obsession with her diet and Kabbalah caused a rift in her marriage to the Coldplay songbird. "Chris felt he was starting to lose the woman he fell in love with," a source told the British tabloid. It’s hard not to believe it when you’re discussing a woman who has said things like, “I would rather die than let my kid eat Cup-a-Soup” or “I’d rather smoke crack than eat cheese from a tin.”

Fact-Check

‘Noah’: Bible vs. Blockbuster

Director Darren Aronofsky takes plenty of liberties with the biblical myth, but also brings back parts of the story we've forgotten.

With Noah, Darren Aronofsky has made a surprisingly good movie about a man who saves his family and the animal kingdom from a catastrophic worldwide flood. For those who entered the theater expecting to be entertained, and even perhaps made to think, by a cinematic adaptation of a biblical story, they no doubt left happy. For those who expected to see the biblical story rendered into glorious IMAX, every detail preserved exactly as it is told in Genesis, disillusion probably set in around the third minute and lasted until the hundred and thirty-third.

This is the film that will introduce most of the country to the Watchers: fallen angels who, according to Aronofsky’s version, have been encrusted in stone and, with a little persuading, help Noah construct the ark (for giants with gobs of rock for hands, they are extraordinarily dexterous). The Watchers are a very ancient tradition, going back over two thousand years in Jewish and Christian interpretation. But they don’t go as far back as Genesis.

At least the Watchers have a good long pedigree. The same cannot be said for the antagonistic narrative the film creates between Noah and the movie’s villain, Tubal-Cain (a real biblical character, but I never quite pictured him looking so much like he came out of a Mad Max movie). This is the flood story with fight scenes. Plenty of them. Every movie must have its bad guy, I suppose, but in the Bible the only characters in the Flood story are either on the ark or in heaven. And I’m tempted to say that there is already a bad guy in the story.

Kate Upton Beats a Serial Cheater

In a given year, 4 percent of married people have extramarital affairs. Find out more stats about infidelity tied to the new comedy ‘The Other Woman,’ with Cameron Diaz and Kate Upton.

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