The Web, itself a source for entertainment, is also the best resource for every other form of entertainment. No other tool can locate a movie, TV show, game, musical composition, or commentary upon request, and also deliver it to you, possibly in real time, on your personal computer screen. Knowing how to locate what you want is key: the findingDulcinea Entertainment Web Guide will tell you how to go, where to go, and what you’ll find there.
You know the feeling. All of a sudden, you’ve got some free time, and you don’t how to fill it. You’d like to do something fun with the kids, have a cultural experience, go crazy at a concert, or just catch a movie. Whatever your craving is, when the mood strikes you, you need information fast. Below, you’ll find a combination of links to other sites and specialized findingDulcinea Web Guides that will ensure you always know what’s going on, wherever you are.
- The online version of your local paper probably has an entertainment or arts and culture section that can help you stay abreast of upcoming events in your area.
- The findingDulcinea Movie Web Guide has the resources you need to stay updated on what’s coming to theaters with reviews, showtimes, and info on getting tickets. Explore the guide and become an armchair expert, or grab your coat and head to the theater.
- The findingDulcinea Music Web Guide provides links to sites that sell music tickets online and additional sites with information about upcoming concerts. Visit sections that link to news and reviews. All genres of music are included.
- The findingDulcinea Theater Web Guide directs you to reviews, databases, and theaters all over the country. Buy tickets to a Broadway show or research a whole season at the repertory theater one town over.
- The findingDulcinea Fine Art Web Guide can help you research and locate galleries in the United States and around the world. Learn about openings, research artists, or find a particular painting you’re interested in. Discover the work you can’t find in museums.
For general activities and festivals …
is a travel and entertainment solutions site, but it also lists events and goings-on around the world. Use the search fields at the upper left of the homepage to find events by country or city. In addition to providing this database, Whatsonwhen produces content that travel agents, airlines, hotels, and tour groups can use to enhance their Web sites.
is a hub for information about festivals in the United States and around the world. Search for festivals by area or by interest. This site provides contact information for the festivals as well as brief descriptions and admission costs, links to their Web sites, times, and location info.
Festivals and Events
lists festival names, dates, and very brief descriptions of what will be going on, along with estimated attendance and usually contact phone numbers. The downside of this site is that there aren’t links to festival Web sites.
only covers eight cities, but if you’re interested in one of them, expect to learn everything entertaining that’s going on in it through features, news, and listings.
For movies …
is the online version of the famous phone service for booking movie tickets. Search for films by title, find out what’s playing in your neighborhood, and buy tickets for selected theaters via MovieTickets.com
. Also on offer are reviews, articles, and DVD information. Because it’s an AOL site, you can use AOL Instant Messenger to send pages from the site directly to other AIM users.
deals primarily with movie listings and ticketing. When you’re browsing theaters, icons indicate whether it’s possible to print tickets at home, pick them up at the theater, or both. You’ll also find movie and video information, articles, movie guides, and user reviews.
provides a wealth of information that includes showtimes and listings, as well as reviews, movie guides, DVD information, and so on. The site links to MovieTickets.com for ticket purchases.
For music concerts …
provides a search box so you can find live music and buy tickets to upcoming shows. Search by area, venue, artist, or date.
contains concert tour information, industry news, ticket sales, and band contact information. The best way to see what music is coming to your area is to search by “City Schedule,” from the drop-down box in the upper left corner, then enter your city into the box below.
is a free plug-in for iTunes that searches through your music and lets you know when concerts and shows of interest are coming to your area.
For theater …
is a site from the League of American Theatres and Producers that lists all the Broadway shows currently on tour. Select “Shows” or “Cities” from the column on the left and find out what’s playing in a theater near you.
provides information about shows and tickets for theaters all over the country. Use the box at the top of the screen to search for theaters by region, and you’ll get a list of venues divided by state and city. Set up an ATW account to get news updates about your local theaters when you log in.
is the official site of the Association of Performing Arts Service Organizations and can help you find theaters in most towns all over America as well as many international locations. Simply select from the list of cities on the right side of the screen, and you’ll be reconnected to either a tourism site or a site that sells tickets for theaters in the area. A few cities may render dead links, but there is reliable information for most locations.
sells tickets and provides information for Broadway shows, some off-Broadway shows, and some shows in London. This site also has theater news, reviews, and actor interviews, as well as hotel and theater packages and gift certificates.
For museums and galleries …
Museums in the USA
allows you to sort museums by name, state, or museum type; or use the keyword search feature to find a museum that covers your favorite topic. The “Top Sites
” feature links to some of the most interesting and interactive museum Web sites online.
For literary events …
, another large bookstore chain, also lists its in-store events online and offers a keyword search that allows you to specify events within the next week, two weeks, or month. To refine your search by location, you must do a zip code search for the nearest Borders store and add it to a personal list of stores near you
The Library of Congress
’s Center for the Book lists upcoming book fairs and festivals all over the world, complete with contact information and links to the events’ Web sites.
Just because you have no desire to get off the couch doesn’t mean you should have to be bored while you’re there. Here you’ll find overviews of stuff to do at home, information on DVDs and television shows, and even tips for book buying.
- For other online entertainment, jump to the “What sorts of diversions can I find online?” section of this guide.
- The findingDulcinea Televison Web Guide helps you locate show reviews, listings, and online broadcasts. If you’re really a TV fanatic, you can also investigate how TVs work or compare and contrast cable providers.
- The findingDulcinea Books Web Guide provides you with even more book-related links. Learn about discount stores, join online book clubs, and locate reviews.
For an overview of home entertainment …
is all about what’s new in TV, DVDs, theaters, books, music, and video games. Find an overview of releases this week on the homepage and click on any title or name to get a summary of the release and a list of similar releases. The only thing this site lacks is a good review section.
compiles reviews from a number of different critics and review sites to create a “metascore” out of a possible 100 points. Read a synopsis of each film, game, album, book, DVD, or television show and snippets of what the critics are saying, along with links to the full reviews.
For DVD reviews …
features reviews and news about DVD, HD DVD, UMD, and Blu-ray Disc releases. It also has a chat forum
The Digital Bits
provides news, gossip, reviews, and blogs about DVD, HD DVD, and Blu-ray Discs. It’s a site for the true film fanatic with excellent eyesight—the black background makes the site difficult to read.
To purchase DVDs …
sets the standard for DVD shopping. If a movie is available to buy—or will be soon—it can normally be found here, along with professional and consumer reviews and free shipping.
offers a DVD collection that rivals Amazon’s, with the added benefit of free shipping no matter how small your order. Prices run about the same; at the very least, it’s worth your while to do some comparison shopping.
, the well-known auction site, has a section devoted to DVDs. You can select your desired format and genre and probably get a pretty good deal, too.
is a site for trading media, which of course includes DVDs. Sign up and list the items you want to get rid of and the items you’d like to get. Then wait to make a match with another member.
To rent DVDs …
researches and reviews just about everything. Their “Online DVD Rental Report” compares DVD rental companies and their services on one easy-to-read chart.
is the original online movie rental site. The prepaid envelopes and absence of late fees make the service extremely user friendly. The company offers payment plans that allow members to rent anywhere from one to eight movies at a time.
operates a service (an offshoot of its physical stores) that is almost identical to Netflix. The main difference is that in addition to ordering movies by mail, you can return and exchange them at Blockbuster stores. However, the service offers around 75,000 titles, in comparison with its competitor’s more than 90,000.
For buying books …
aggregates the listings of more than 100,000 online booksellers (including the two bookstore giants, Amazon.com
and Barnes & Noble
) to make comparison shopping a snap. Just enter what you’re looking for—your query can be as general as author or title, or you can specify first editions or signed copies only—and review the prices of all new and used books matching your criteria. BookFinder even gives you the option of seeing prices with or without shipping costs.
has a wide selection at significantly discounted prices, and it features interesting staff recommendations on its homepage and within each of its subject categories, along with the more traditional critic and user reviews. An order of $50 is required to qualify for free shipping.
offers a wide variety of free downloadable books formatted for printing or use on iPods, personal digital assistants (PDAs), or eBook readers (specialized gadgets for viewing electronic texts). Most of the texts offered are from the archives of Project Gutenberg
, but while Gutenberg’s downloads are only available as plain text, manybooks.net formats the texts for printing or easy installation on a variety of portable electronic devices.
The lives of celebrities and the fast-paced worlds of the music, film, and television industries can be endlessly fascinating and delightfully ridiculous. Whether you want to find out who designed a celebrity’s outfit, discover new musicians, or get the scoop on next summer’s box office hit, there is a Web site that can help you.
- Most of the entertainment news sites below are relatively tame, but there are lots of gossip blogs that provide much more opinionated, exaggerated, or risqué celebrity and industry news. If that’s more up your alley, try searching for entertainment news of your choice on a blog search engine like Technorati.
- Looking for concert listings or tickets to another event? Check out the “What’s going on out there?” section of this guide.
For celebrity news …
The Hollywood Reporter
is the way to satisfy your curiosity about the famous without feeling trashy about it, and also to read entertainment industry information. See how the entertainment industry is performing in the stock market, discover links to other reliable sources of information, and find entertainment company pages.
aggregates tasty celebrity and gossip bites from other entertainment blogs and columns into a plain, newspaper-like site. Each headline is followed by a short synopsis of the article and a link to its source.
is the combined effort of AOL and Telepictures Productions. This gossip and entertainment site covers celebrity news like who’s going into rehab, who’s getting married, who’s getting arrested, and more. You can also catch TMZ on TV
is the usual celebrity gossip column blog, but with a perky, semipositive twist. Instead of, say, making fun of celebrities in rehab, PopSugar is more likely to wish them well in their efforts to restore mental and physical health.
The Hollywood Stock Exchange
helps you track the successes and failures of Hollywood à la fantasy sports. Sign up for free and get 2 million Hollywood dollars to buy “shares” of actors and movies. Your share values will go up or down with the success and failure of the person or movie.
If you aren’t sure exactly what you want to do, but know that you are ready for a distraction from the job, school, kids, or whatever else it is that you spend most of your day doing, a number of Web sites can keep you entertained. You can view and create different types of media from photo albums to full-length films, play video games, or even sing karaoke on a Web site like The Sims On Stage.
- To view or listen to certain content, you may be asked to install additional components on your computer (a sound or video player, or something similar).
- Be careful to avoid downloading (saving to your computer’s hard drive) content without the original creator’s permission; you may be in breach of copyright law.
- Because there is so much user-generated content on multimedia sites, there is no guaranteed filter mechanism to keep out objectionable content. Know that you may run across obscene or offensive material while browsing such sites. Some sites use the indicator NSFW (not suitable for work) to flag this type of material, but others don’t provide any sort of indication.
- Check your office policy about appropriate Internet use at work. If you aren’t sure about the rules, it is best to stick only to work-related sites at the office. You don’t want to lose your job because you watched a video or played a game.
- findingDulcinea’s own Netcetera can take you all over the world and introduce you to all sorts of exciting people, all while you’re sitting at your computer.
For online puzzles or games …
offers lots of free games: sports games, puzzle games, even multiplayer games. This page is busy with graphics for all of the games, but don’t be deterred by the cluttered look; click on something that looks interesting or scroll down the page to see a text list of all the games available. Miniclip also has daily crosswords and Sudoku puzzles.
has an incredible number of free online games in categories such as Action & Arcade, Strategy, Card & Board, and Word Games. There’s also a huge selection of games especially for kids.
is filled with cute, creative, and time-draining Flash games, all created by the same programmer. If you’re looking for some wholesome and simple games, you’ve come to the right place.
allows you to literally create a second life for yourself on the Internet. Get a job, buy a house, go to parties, buy clothing, or do whatever you want. It’s a fascinating development in the virtual world because of its extreme popularity (almost 6 million inhabitants) and the emergence of entrepreneurs on the site (trading virtual money for real money). Buy Lindens (the official currency of the game) through the site’s exchange or on a third-party site (like eBay). Then use your Lindens to buy things like property, clothing, or anything else you can imagine. Basic membership is free.
lets you play Sudoku (a numbers logic game) online for free. The “How am I doing?” button lets you know if you have made any mistakes in your puzzle at any time during your play, and it highlights the mistakes in red; pretty handy, but it might be too tempting for those who can’t help but cheat.
For videos …
, powered by iFilm, brings together a good blend of TV clips, viral videos, and user-generated content. It has an especially good selection of sketch comedy and short films. Choose the “Comedy” channel on the left menu to filter the site for comedy content only.
boasts a large collection of uncensored stand-up comedy clips from some of the country’s top comedians and clubs. It’s a great way to see comedians in their natural club habitat without having to buy drinks.
For audio clips …
is a digital radio network featuring the best of the BBC’s programming with an emphasis on comedy. Anglophiles beware: this site may become addictive.
archives funny audio files from around the Web. It’s not very well designed in comparison to other sites, but it has an especially good selection of prank phone calls and song parodies.
For cartoons …
is one of the most heavily trafficked media sites on the Web and has primarily made its name as a top source of offbeat cartoons and animation. Go to the “Flash Videos
” page to begin browsing by “Flash Categories,” “Series,” “Current Most Popular Flash Videos,” or “Classic Popular Flash Videos.”
, which achieved fame in 2004 for its “This Land!
” Flash video featuring caricatures of George W. Bush and John Kerry, hosts a large catalog of animation and other clips. The site is especially directed at fans of pop-culture humor.
For intellectual humor …
is an excellent collection of interesting and ridiculous news stories. The site is well indexed to help you find what you want quickly, and each story has a one-word classification (“Asinine” and “Amusing” are two examples) to indicate what makes it worth reading.
has had many formidable competitors (modernhumorauthority.com and SatireWire.com, to name a couple), but none of them have had the staying power of this fake news progenitor. Although its popular and critical acclaim have wavered over the years, it is one of the few sites of its kind that remains fully staffed, well maintained, and updated on a regular basis.
scours the Web every day for exceptional news satire and collects the headlines onto one page with links to the full stories on their original sites. There are some stories only The Onion
can invent; for everything else, there’s HumorFeed.
may have retired from his regular duties as a humor columnist, but the daily posts on his official blog remind us that he’s really not making any of this up. Much like AOL’s collection, this is a variety of bizarre news stories gathered from around the Web.
For political comedy …
The Borowitz Report
is an award-winning political comedy site from The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air
co-creator Andy Borowitz. The rare site that is as funny as it is smart, the Borowitz Report can be delivered daily to your inbox via e-mail or to your desktop via RSS.
The Orlando Report
assembles political humor from all over the Web, including links and monologue jokes from late-night television. The site isn’t updated very often, but it is still a good place to fish around.
For literary humor …
’s Web site is updated daily and posts a delirious assortment of sly humor.
The New Yorker
magazine’s humor site really needs no introduction. Aimed at an older demographic than McSweeney’s, this site is a great fount of dry, high-brow wit.
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