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Vanessa Becknell-Berben
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Blog Entries by Vanessa Becknell-Berben

Mad Men Flounder as Their Women Flex Their Wings

0 Comments | Posted April 25, 2012 | 12:36 PM

This week's "Far Away Places" focused on three very different (but somewhat similar) show-mances. Peggy, Don, and Roger are all in long-term relationships and all three have their kinks. The episode plays out over the same weekend as each couple goes on different paths that in the end have me...

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Mad Men: It was a Very Jared Harris Weekend, And I Liked It

2 Comments | Posted April 19, 2012 | 3:03 PM

Veteran actor Jared Harris shined this weekend, appearing in both AMC's Mad Men and Fox's Fringe as two very different characters. I'm taking a nerd moment here and gushing -- how delightful is he as Lane Pryce? He's pulling double duty right now as Pryce and David Robert Jones on...

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Isaac Marion's Warm Bodies Will Change How You See Zombies Forever

8 Comments | Posted April 14, 2012 | 12:05 PM

I first got my hands on Isaac Marion's debut novel Warm Bodies last fall. I haven't seen a zombie love story since Return of the Living Dead 3, and (Melinda Clarke's fantastically pierced nipples aside) we all can admit that was a bit of a crap-fest, so I...

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Between the Pages With Author and "Bizarre Magician" Brian Brushwood

2 Comments | Posted April 12, 2012 | 4:52 PM

Brian Brushwood could very well be the embodiment of all things we at Donnybrook love -- he's everywhere, he does everything, and he'll probably get it all for free just for being so awesome. Vanessa sat down with Brushwood to discuss his numerous vlogs, podcasts, and books --...

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'Is Don Draper Gonna Have to Choke a B***h?' Mad Men Channels Chappelle's Show and It's Awesome

25 Comments | Posted April 9, 2012 | 3:26 PM

CAUTION: If you haven't caught last night's Mad Men yet, don't proceed without knowing this is chock full of spoilers. OK, you've been warned...

I'm still trying to get over my summer breakup with The Walking Dead, and this video sent to me by one...

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My Harrowing Descent Into Mad Men-ness

7 Comments | Posted April 4, 2012 | 10:19 AM

This is the story of how I dared to spend an entire week in bed with Don Draper. Okay, maybe that's misleading. But whatever. I think I was probably the one person in America that had never seen Mad Men. Don't hate me! I'm but an innocent babe in the...

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Shedding Tears Beside the Dying Fire, What to Do Now That Walking Dead Is Over?

23 Comments | Posted March 21, 2012 | 2:38 PM

The Walking Dead finale this week was BANANAS and a great way to end the season: some questions answered, some new ones raised, a new character to ponder over the summer, and everyone important made it out alive (a big "Sorry!" to all TWD fans that were hoping...

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With Only the Finale Left, The Walking Dead Delivers Its Best Episode of Season Two

67 Comments | Posted March 13, 2012 | 4:25 PM

We saw a perfect mix of compelling dialogue and intense action Sunday night, more screen time for characters we've wanted to see (great moments for Daryl and Andrea, FINALLY some dialogue for T-Dog!) -- you just might have to read an entire post of gushing, (well a shortened post, there...

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A Review of Gail Simmons' New Memoir - 'Talking With My Mouth Full: My Life as a Professional Eater'

4 Comments | Posted March 12, 2012 | 4:59 PM

As the TV & Film Department Editor at The Donnybrook Writing Academy, I've covered the Simmons-judged food competition series Top Chef for the past few years now, so cracking her book open and giving it a read seemed like a logical choice for my first foray into Book...

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That's Right -- They Went There: The RW/RR's Challenge Does Black Face

6 Comments | Posted March 9, 2012 | 5:06 PM

I'm not sure how many people still tune into (or have ever watched) The Real World/Road Rules Challenge. I've covered various incarnations of it over the past couple of years for Donnybrook but haven't touched on this season's Battle of the Exes until now -- and really it's not even...

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Acclaimed Mosaic Artist Jason Mecier Sits Down to Talk Shop... (and the Whitney Piece)

4 Comments | Posted March 7, 2012 | 9:07 AM

Currently based in San Francisco, Los Angeles native Jason Mecier is my Mosaic-Messiah. Taking the concept of our obsession with celebrity and pop culture made famous by artists like Andy Warhol, Mecier builds on that concept by revving it up to 11 -- incorporating "found" objects that his...

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The Walking Dead's 'Judge, Jury, Executioner' Confuses and Confounds

108 Comments | Posted March 6, 2012 | 2:13 PM

Beware: SPOILERS Abound! (That totally rhymed, but I'm going with it.)

I'm having a lot of problems with the last episode of The Walking Dead, and this time it isn't with the dialogue, which I thought was stellar last night -- but in order to bring up heavy stuff like...

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Remembering Davy Jones

46 Comments | Posted February 29, 2012 | 4:08 PM

I've always had an odd taste in music. Maybe not "odd" per se, but most definitely varied. I grew up in a house of music lovers -- my father loved everything from classical to country, my mother liked anything that reflected her Latin roots, my oldest brother still composes classical...

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Finally! The Walking Dead Delivers the Episode We've All Been Waiting For

20 Comments | Posted February 28, 2012 | 4:44 PM

My dearest little Walker-Baits -- I had to flip over from covering the Oscars just so I could see this weeks The Walking Dead -- and I'm so glad I did! Holy shit!!! I think this was the best episode we've seen since 2.1's "A Very...

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Magic Cyclops Coming to the Bluebird March 1st

0 Comments | Posted February 28, 2012 | 1:24 PM

Fort Collins' favorite son, comedy-rock god Magic Cyclops, first rose to everyone else's attention after his hilarious audition for American Idol -- the bit (which anyone watching could see was HILARIOUS and anyone there on the judging panel obviously didn't get) went viral, and a national treasure was...

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Lions to Lambs - The Walking Dead Came Out Swinging Last Night, Only to Fade Into a Whisper

17 Comments | Posted February 21, 2012 | 4:38 PM

Once again, much to the consternation of column bestie Cristina, this week's The Walking Dead ended with... more talking! Ugh. Getting a little tired of this -- I think they should rename the show after the Chris Hardwick hosted gab-fest that comes on afterwards, The Talking Dead --...

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An Exclusive Interview With Donnybrook Bestie Ryan Ward!

0 Comments | Posted February 7, 2012 | 6:21 PM

The Actor/Director/Overall Awesome Person sits down with Alistair (Vanessa) to talk about his Genie-nominated film, Son of the Sunshine, and a romance is born.

Set in low-income Ontario, Canada, Ryan Ward's Son of the Sunshine tells the story of Sonny Johnns, a young man suffering from Tourette's Syndrome,...

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Why You Should Be Watching Top Chef

29 Comments | Posted February 3, 2012 | 2:51 PM

If you haven't had a chance to check out Top Chef this season, you seriously need to. Not because of the cheftestants' popularity -- to be honest, the personalities we're seeing this go around in Austin, while pleasant for the most part, are lacking any real flair. There...

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The Greatest TV Trial Coverage EVER

13 Comments | Posted January 25, 2012 | 4:30 PM

If you know anything about me you know I'm totally obsessed with puppets. Not sexually -- let me get that out of the way because I know my readers, and you are all sick, deviant people and I love you for it -- but seriously -- I'm apeshit for puppetry....

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