Pop culture from Southern California and beyond.

Emmys 2014: 'Naked category jockeying' and other tales from the nominations

Ali Goldstein/Netflix

“Orange is the New Black,” where the laughs are sometimes few and far between, was placed in the comedy category, where it earned an Emmy nomination.

In the legal world, it’s known as venue shopping — finding the best judge, jury or courthouse for your case.

With the Emmy Awards, according to Variety TV editor Cynthia Littleton, the practice is known as “naked category jockeying.”

The Emmy Awards give networks, cable channels and online outlets the freedom to pick a preferred category for a show, within reasonable limits. But the Emmy guidelines are loose and open to manipulation.

With Thursday’s nominations for the 66th annual Primetime Emmy Awards, it was clear some shows bent the rulebook to their immediate advantage.

“Orange is the New Black,” in which the laughs are sometimes few and far between, was placed in the comedy category, where it earned a nomination. (A few months back, the show was in the drama category at the Golden Globes.)

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#FireRickRemender: Captain America writer under fire over misunderstood timeline

Marvel Comics

A panel from Captain America #22.

Last week's issue of Captain America provided a big status quo change — Captain America losing his super soldier serum and suddenly becoming an old man — but the story element that caused an online maelstrom and calls for the firing of Los Angeles writer Rick Remender was two characters having sex.

Shortly after the issue came out, critics argued that it showed longtime Cap sidekick the Falcon — who recently made his big screen debut in "Captain America: The Winter Soldier" — having sex with an underage character, Jet Black. You can read the full scene here.

One Tumblr post about the perceived controversy received almost 2,000 likes and reblogs. The only problem with the outrage — that character isn't underage.

The issue itself references her 23rd birthday, but some argue that the character couldn't be that old. The character first appears as a child in the first issue of the current run of Captain America, but the comic explicitly shows at least 12 years passing. If the age used in the new issue is approximately in line with the rest of her appearances, that makes her 11 in her first appearance, which doesn't appear to be off-base from the stories themselves.

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Critics cry 'TMI' in Robin Thicke's 'stalkery' new album 'Paula'

BET AWARDS '14 - Show

Kevin Winter/Getty Images for BET

Singer Robin Thicke performs onstage during the BET AWARDS '14 at Nokia Theatre L.A. LIVE on June 29, 2014 in Los Angeles, California. Thicke's new album, "Paula," a public reconciliation quest to win back his ex-wife, has been slammed by critics.

56th GRAMMY Awards - Backstage And Audience

Christopher Polk/Getty Images

Singer Robin Thicke and actress Paula Patton attend the 56th GRAMMY Awards at Staples Center on January 26, 2014 in Los Angeles, California.

2014 Film Independent Spirit Awards - Red Carpet

Kevin Winter/Getty Images

Actress Paula Patton attends the 2014 Film Independent Spirit Awards at Santa Monica Beach on March 1, 2014 in Santa Monica, California.

BET AWARDS '14 - Show

Kevin Winter/Getty Images for BET

Singer Robin Thicke performs onstage during the BET AWARDS '14 at Nokia Theatre L.A. LIVE on June 29, 2014 in Los Angeles, California.


Note: A video for Robin Thicke's new track "Get Her Back," posted at the bottom of this story, contains some suggestive material that may not be appropriate for all viewers. Don't watch if you're easily offended.

Robin Thicke’s (@robinthicke) new album, “Paula,” isn’t likely to win back his estranged wife, the actress Paula Patton (@PaulaPattonXO) . But we don’t have to wait to see if the record will bring him fresh love from critics: they hate Thicke’s latest work.

What “Ishtar” was to movies, Olestra was to nutrition, New Coke was to soda, the Edsel was to automobiles and McDonald’s Arch Deluxe was to fast food, “Paula” is to recorded music. Or so reviewers say.

Thicke’s oddly public reconciliation quest — filled with way too much information, or TMI — has been savaged for its narcissism, cluelessness and atonal music.

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Soul singer Bobby Womack dies; 11 of his most epic songs

Guinness Celebrates Arthur's Day

Stuart C. Wilson/Getty Images for Guinness

File: Bobby Womack performs at Sinnots as part of the fifth annual Arthur's Day celebrations on Sept. 26, 2013 in Dublin, Ireland.

Famed soul singer Bobby Womack has died at the age of 70, according to a representative for Womack's label XL Recordings.

"Sadly the reports are true," wrote Sonya Kolowrat in an email to KPCC.

His label tweeted a tribute to Womack.

Label tweet

The cause of death is unknown, though he was previously diagnosed with cancer and the early signs of Alzheimer's disease. Womack had a European tour scheduled, with dates announced beginning in the Netherlands on July 19 and ending in France on Aug. 2.

Womack was born in Cleveland, Ohio and started out in music as a member of Curtis Womack and the Womack Brothers with brothers Curtis, Cecil, Harry and Friendly, Jr. Sam Cooke signed the group in the early 1960s and released gospel singles before becoming the Valentinos and moving out of the religious musical realm.

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Taylor Kitsch, hungry for creative control, directs a new short film

"The Normal Heart" New York Screening - Arrivals

Ben Gabbe/Getty Images

Taylor Kitsch attends the New York premiere of "The Normal Heart" at Ziegfeld Theater on May 12, 2014 in New York City.

Taylor Kitsch — the shaggy-haired, hunky actor who, at 33 years old, has already generated a career of questionable highs and lows — has a new project, a short film that he hopes will take your mind off his recent big-screen flops.

You may know Kitsch, if you know him at all, as Tim Riggins on the critically acclaimed but belatedly watched TV show "Friday Night Lights."

Or if you're a fan of sci-fi films, you may recall him from two spectacular 2012 box office bombs: "Battleship" and "John Carter." Both films cost well over $200 million to make and tens of millions more to market, but sold only a fraction of that amount in tickets. When they failed, their studios — Universal and Disney respectively — had to take embarrassing and costly write-downs.

Recently, Kitsch has gone smaller and more highbrow with his screen work, appearing alongside Mark Ruffalo in the HBO adaptation of Larry Kramer's Pulitzer Prize-winning AIDS drama "The Normal Heart."

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