"We never went for a shot, I don't believe, that was fully gratuitous. But we did get desensitized as we learned more about science. And I believe that the audience did too. … Every episode is reviewed by broadcast standards and by legal. And they are really tough on us. They would give notes, like, 'The blood pool is too big,' or, 'There's too much dripping blood,' or, 'You cannot see a bullet actually impact a person,' or, 'You cannot hold a gun to a person's head.' 'You have too many maggots.' I can't say that at times it wasn't contentious? But they're the guardians of the airwaves. Without them, who knows where we would have gone!"
—CSI executive producer Carol Mendelsohn, as her so-called autopsy-TV series logged its 300th episode last week [buzzfeed.com, 10/21/13]
A tombstone for Walter White, the main character in AMC's acclaimed and recently concluded series Breaking Bad, will be moved from its resting place in Albuquerque's Sunset Memorial Park to a shopping mall. The tombstone was the centerpiece of a recent charity event that raised $17,000 for the homeless, but relations of those buried at Sunset were concerned that the marker could become a tourist attraction. And, indeed, Albuquerque is currently awash in tourists taking pictures in front of other Breaking Bad landmarks. (The series was filmed there.) Sunset Memorial Park officials were also concerned about the unseemly dissonance created by the show's story line heavily involving crystal meth and the fact that some of the people buried in the cemetery might've died, in part, from using the drug. "Being a cemetery, we see families bringing loved ones—kids, if you will—who have died from drug abuse," said Sunset's general manager Vaughn Hendren. [nydailynews.com, 10/23/13]
Who's America's creepiest celebrity? According to an annual survey conducted by E-Poll Market Research, it's musical artist Marilyn Manson. Also: Paul Reubens (of Pee-wee Herman fame), former NBA star Dennis Rodman, shock jock and American Idol judge Howard Stern and comedian Andy Dick. Miley Cyrus, incidentally, came in at No. 11. [usatoday.com, 10/23/13]
"Apocalyptic storytelling is appealing when people have apocalyptic thoughts. With the global economic problems and everything else, a lot of people feel we're heading into dark times. As bad as it is for society, I'm benefiting greatly."
—comic book writer Robert Kirkman, whose series The Walking Dead has served as the inspiration for AMC's violent hit show of the same name [Rolling Stone, 10/24/13]
"Hate me all you want, or call me paranoid and misinformed, but there is one common theme that is pervasive in American pop culture today: violence. Even more specifically, zombie violence. The idea of a zombie-infested world inspires fantasies of monsters possessed by an uncontrollable rage to kill, and viewers get a thrill imagining what it would be like to participate in this new world order."
—Fox News' senior managing editor for health news Dr. Manny Alvarez, arguing that our culture's obsession with zombies is keeping us from improving ourselves. "Our brains should be less focused on imaginary zombie hordes," he says, "and more focused on harnessing the tools that we need in order to enhance our lives, whether it be music, education, science or the classics. Entertainment should help us soothe our brains so that we can ease our minds of some of the stress from our daily lives." [foxnews.com, 10/17/13]
"Life is cheap on TV, or rather death is—it's plentiful, showy, devoid of realism or consequence. But ordinary death is a blank spot in our pop memory, one we've filled with monsters and explosions. After a steady diet of Hollywood deaths, real ones—the labored breathing, the body becoming a slack husk—seem uncanny, alien. … I suspect we'd plan for and deal with death better if we weren't so good at avoiding it."
—James Poniewozik, television critic for Time magazine, discussing Showtime's six-part documentary Time of Death, which begins Nov. 1. According to Poniewozik, Time of Death shows us a very realistic, and therefore unfamiliar, view of the transition between life and death, which he thinks makes for incredibly difficult viewing. [time.com, 10/24/13]
Actress and singer Selena Gomez says she's still interested in being a good role model to young fans, despite her increasingly racy movies (Spring Breakers) and album lyrics (Stars Dance). The 21-year-old recently told a concert audience, "The kids trust me, the parents trust me, and I just have to say: Thank you! Because I hear you guys. I hear what you're telling me. … I have to say that I know exactly what you feel. Sometimes it is so hard. But I have to tell you, I get it all day, every day. That I'm not sexy enough, or I'm not cool enough or if I did this I would be accepted. Let me tell you one thing: the sexiest thing … is class. I promise you that each and every one of you is made to be who you are. That is what's so attractive and beautiful. Please don't forget that, even when it gets hard." [huffingtonpost.com, 10/22/13; washingtonpost.com, 10/11/13]
Thirty-seven-year-old Parks and Recreation star Rashida Jones took to Twitter last week to unleash some blunt, crude commentary on the state of being a female celebrity today. She wrote, "This week's celeb news takeaway: she who comes closest to showing the actual inside of her vagina is most popular. #stopactinglikewhores" Then she added, "Let me clarify. I don't shame ANYone for anything they choose to do with their lives or bodies … BUT I think we ALL need to take a look at what we are accepting as 'the norm' … There is a whole generation of young women watching, be SEXY but leave something to the imagination." [huffingtonpost.com, 10/21/13; twitter.com, 10/19/13]
"My only advice, honestly, is to get these kids out of Hollywood and let them lead normal lives."
—actor Corey Feldman, who starred in the hit '80s movies The Goonies, Stand by Me, The Lost Boys and Gremlins. Feldman has recently published a memoir, Coreyography, which details the sexual abuse he suffered back then at the hands of Hollywood adults, and then his descent into sexual excesses and drug abuse [foxnews.com, 10/21/13]
"We have what you call a threefold marriage. You make a triangle with your hands and you can see Jesus is at the top and we're below. That's pretty solid. You're a threefold covenant. There's three people in this marriage. We've been through some difficult things physically but we're still here, stronger than ever and living for the Lord."
—82-year-old actor Gavin MacLeod, best known for his role as Captain Stubing on The Love Boat. MacLeod has recently published a memoir titled, This Is Your Captain Speaking. [foxnews.com, 10/24/13]
"I've come out of a really dark place in my life over the last three or four years and just had a real change on the inside. … I'm sober; I'm in recovery and really enjoying life. My new meds are getting up and running five miles a day. I'm surrounded by the love of my wife and three children and then my faith. I finally found resolution in my faith and reconciled my doubts and my questions and all these issues that were brought on by the conflict I had that my stepfather did in confusing me with what God was all about. It's just been an amazing and miraculous situation. [Now I] just want to give back because when you've found a light that has pulled you out of a darkness, you want to tell everyone else that's in the darkness, 'I got the light, I can show you!'"
—former Creed frontman Scott Stapp, whose second solo album Proof of Life lands on Nov. 5 [foxnews.com, 10/22/12]