Is the Cinnamon Toast Shrimp Tails Guy a Liar, Serial Abuser?

Yet another weird viral story that was hiding (even more) disgusting layers beneath its surface.

Milkshake Duck. Zoom Cat Lawyer. And now, Cinnamon Toast Shrimp Tails Guy.

There is an alarming tendency for the Internet to thrust a seemingly random assemblage of nouns — always including a small animal — into strange viral stories, only to have the central figure in said stories revealed as a secret villain.

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"Parks and Rec" Stars Reunite in a Brand New Episode for Charity

And the whole thing was shot from their homes.

It's hard to believe it's been over five years since the final episode of Parks and Recreation aired.

For a start, 2017 has come and gone, and in a world without Gryzzl we continue to be deprived of transparent, holograph-projecting phones and tablets—though folding phones are kind of a thing finally. But now, the old crew is getting back together for a one-episode charity event to benefit Feeding America.

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TV Lists

The 7 Worst TV Shows Coming in 2019, Based on Their Terrible Descriptions

James Corden probably sleeps at CBS Studios, Rob Lowe is a "Mental Samurai," and Jennifer Carpenter was definitely on Dexter.

Bad TV is a career-killing disease that turns celebrity death rattles into song.

In 2019, the sickness will spread gangrenous reality TV and perpetuate the vicious myth that all small towns are full of human interest stories. The lineup of new shows coming to prime-time is one long fever dream featuring Rob Lowe's puns, sub-par government espionage, and Frankenstein's monster solving murders.

We all deserve apologies for these 7 upcoming shows:

1.The World's Best (CBS, February 3)


Mark Darnell at CBS says he's "coming for" NBC's crown with a talent competition to rival America's Got Talent. With James Corden somehow hosting this in addition to The Late Late Show, the hodgepodge panel of judges includes RuPaul, Faith Hill, and Drew Barrymore. Soon there will be a reality TV show pitting all the talent competition shows against each other, a Most Dangerous Game of network bigwigs in which Darnell hunts Simon Cowell.

2. The Enemy Within (NBC, February 25)

Ain't it Cool News

Remember how Jennifer Carpenter used to be on Dexter? Apparently, now she's starring as "former CIA agent Erica Wolfe, the most notorious traitor in modern history and most hated woman in America." Yes, her new character is let out of federal supermax prison to "help the FBI stop some of the most dangerous acts of espionage threatening the United States today," but mostly, Jennifer Carpenter once played a detective on Dexter.

3. Mental Samurai (Fox, February 26)


Who better to host a reality show professing to "push every aspect of human intelligence and mental agility" than Rob Lowe? Contestants will tackle an obstacle course that somehow "tests their knowledge, memory, numbers, and sequencing," as well as the precision and speed of their answers. Rob Lowe is their leader, because he and Ken Jennings are probably a lot alike.

4. The Village (NBC, March 12)

The Knockturnal

NBC continues its role as America's middle school guidance counselor with another show about people from disparate backgrounds sharing "hopeful, heartwarming, and challenging stories...that prove family is everything, even if it's the one you make with the people around you." This show's set in a "unique" apartment building in Brooklyn, where the compelling takeaway is that people as diverse as a single mother, a veteran, and a young immigrant can all get along.

5. Abby's (NBC, March 28)


The best bar in this probably quaint small town is Abby's (Natalie Morales) backyard, "the perfect gathering place for locals to find camaraderie and sanctuary." We want the best for Morales (BoJack Horseman, Parks and Recreation), so the trailer makes us sad.

6. In the Dark (CW, April 4)


Instead of the CW network developing storylines that slowly mature with its primarily teenage audience, they're combining coming-of-age elements with Law & Order: Criminal Intent and hoping it works itself out. In the Dark stars a "flawed and irreverent woman who just happens to be blind and is the only 'witness' to the murder of her drug-dealing friend, Tyson. When the police dismiss her story, she sets out with her dog, Pretzel, to find the killer while also managing her colorful dating life and the job she hates at Breaking Blind—the guide-dog school owned by her overprotective parents." The final incongruity: it's executive produced by Ben Stiller and Michael Showalter, so it's a funny but serious crime drama that's also about living with your parents.

7. Frankenstein (CBS, Unannounced)

TV Watch US

It's Mary Shelley's Frankenstein set in modern day San Francisco. Just kidding, it's Frankenstein retold as a detective story. Still worse, it's an abomination of both. Detective Frankenstein "is mysteriously brought back to life after being killed in the line of duty. But as he resumes his old life and he and his wife realize he isn't the same person he used to be, they zero in on the strange man behind his resurrection – Dr. Victor Frankenstein." It gets worse; it's not even unique. In 2015, Fox developed the short-lived drama The Frankenstein Code on the same premise. Jason Tracey and Rob Doherty of Elementary are the inventors of this nightmare.

Meg Hanson is a Brooklyn-based writer, teacher and jaywalker. Find Meg at her website and on Twitter @megsoyung.

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Culture News

The Academy Chooses to Have No Host

For the first time in 30 years, the Oscars won't be hosted by a celebrity. The last time it was a disaster. What will happen on Feb. 24?

Time Magazine

The 2019 Academy Awards will be hosted by all of Hollywood.

For the first time in 30 years, the Oscars will not be hosted by a leading actor or actress. Instead, Variety reports that producers are trying to assemble a lineup of A-listers who are willing to introduce different segments of the show.

The problem is that hosting the Oscars is "the least wanted job in America," as The Hollywood Reporter panned in December. Initially, Kevin Hart was appointed to host the upcoming ceremony, but during his Wednesday appearance on Good Morning America, he emphatically turned down the job, putting an end to a media saga involving his controversial Tweets from 2011, his half-hearted apologies on Instagram, and a phone call from Ellen Degeneres to the Academy on his behalf.

On the ordeal, Hart told Degeneres, "This wasn't an accident. This wasn't a coincidence. It wasn't a coincidence that the day after I received the job, tweets somehow manifested from 2008." The comedian lamented, "That's an attack, that's a malicious attack on my character, that's an attack to end me, that's not an attack to just stop the Oscars."

There's a chance the awards show will be better off by scattering hosting duties among its illustrious attendees, "instead of relying on one marquee name to kick things off in a monologue filled with Trump zingers," as insiders told Variety. The unnamed sources also indicated that planned skits will heavily feature music from A Star Is Born.

The last time the Oscars went host-less was in March 1989 for the 61st award show, during which Rob Lowe and an actress dressed as Snow White performed an infamously cringe-worthy skit in an attempt to entertain.

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Perhaps the 91st Academy Awards, airing live on February 24th from Hollywood's Dolby Theatre, will feature an equally mortifying parody of Lady Gaga's and Bradley Cooper's doe-eyed duet "Shallow."

Meg Hanson is a Brooklyn-based writer, teacher and jaywalker. Find Meg at her website and on Twitter @megsoyung.

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The Oscars are Changing it Up

The Awards Show Won't Be Over Three Hours…and More Major Updates

Love the Oscars but have better things to do than watch A-listers pat themselves on the back all night?

Well, good news for you. The next telecast will be cut down to three hours max, making the runtime more endurable, ensuring you'll make it 'till the last award is given out and the stars are sufficiently spent.

Along with a significantly shorter show, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has announced a few additional changes to the upcoming Oscars as well. As reported by NPR, "To honor all 24 award categories, we will present select categories live, in the Dolby Theatre, during commercial breaks (categories to be determined). The winning moments will then be edited and aired later in the broadcast." We're guessing these are the "less popular" categories, not to say they aren't integral to the movie-making process. But viewers like to see the big celebs onstage, while those who work behind the scenes often tend to remain there. That's Hollywood for ya!

Interestingly, there will be a brand new category this year – "Outstanding achievement in popular film." What this entails is still to be sorted out, but there have been mixed reviews on the Academy's addition. For instance, actor Rob Lowe had some choice words to share with the Twitter-verse, "Seriously, this 'best pop movie' category is the worst idea the Academy has had since they asked me to sing with Snow White." And Variety journalists Meredith Woerner, Stuart Oldham, and Kristopher Tapley were among the first to comment on the news, calling the addition 'lazy,' 'staggeringly ham-fisted,' and 'a HUGE step back for genre film.'"

On the other hand, this brand new category gives big blockbusters a chance to shine even brighter at the awards show. The mega-hit money-makers are what fans flock to, so why not give them a chance to make Oscar history? As Variety notes, "The Academy has a long reputation of snubbing hit films whose genres aren't usually considered Oscar material. Last year, Wonder Woman's complete shutout aroused an uproar from many who consider the first female-headlined superhero film award-worthy."

A final major update will be the airdate of the telecast. An earlier date of Sunday, February 9 th will get the 2020 awards season started sooner (The 91st Oscars telecast remains as announced on Sunday, February 24, 2019, as per NPR), partly to improve ratings which have dwindled over the past years. As per The Washington Post, "The Academy Awards telecast has had lower ratings in recent years. This year's nearly four-hour telecast, hosted again by Jimmy Kimmel, dropped 19 percent from the previous year to 26.5 million viewers, an all-time low."

Stay tuned for additional Oscar updates and category contenders. 'Till then, keep hitting the theaters so you're all caught up on the year's best and biggest flicks!

Melissa A. Kay is a New York-based writer, editor, and content strategist. Follow her work on Popdust as well as sites including TopDust, Chase Bank, P&G,, The Richest, GearBrain, The Journiest, Bella, TrueSelf, Better Homes & Gardens, AMC Daycare, and more.

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Celebrities attempting to express dismay, via Twitter, about the Paris attacks were blasted for deviating from a simple 'Pray for Paris' sentiment.

Rob Lowe and Ruby Rose suffered some of the worst social media rebukes but no one was safe from edgy Twitter users poised to bash each other or misconstrue an innocent plea for peace.

X Factor star Sam Bailey actually received death threats for her tweet calling for England to shut its borders.

She was eventually forced to beg forgiveness after all the abuse she received, including taunts about being fat and ugly.

Rob Lowe is still trying to redeem himself with his critics in social media but it only seems to evoke new ridicule.

He tried explaining 'Vive La France' to no avail. He was branded a racist and there is no coming back, evidently.

Ruby Rose also tried to reason with Twitter users who blasted her for extending her prayers to the whole world, instead of just France.

She too tried in vain to explain herself.

Then she tried some more. You can feel her frustration:

Poor Ruby. Twitter is a fucking minefield. It's a wonder that anyone risks saying anything.

But some reactions to the Paris attacks are genuinely startling. Some Black Lives Matter activists have registered disdain for mainstream coverage of the attacks with the hashtag #FUCKPARIS.

That one is so harsh that it's only fair to leave you with a gentler faux pas, if that's the right way to describe poor Katy Perry's tweet:

Guys, if praying is your thing, follow Katy's advice.

If not, just try counting to ten after reading celebrity tweets. After all, If you prick them, do they not bleed?*