Pop Culture Odds and Ends – Epic Roundup edition

So it appears I went a little overboard this week with the links; I was freaking out that I was behind schedule on this post and just started plugging away in compiling links. Next thing you know, the document was nine pages long. I guess I just kind of lost track of what I was doing. So while you wade through all the pop culture goodness I’ve cultivated for you over the last two weeks, I’m going to consider taking a nap after a job well done.

  • Chris Brown is facing possible jail time after an alleged hit and run incident. That’s kind of like getting Al Capone on tax evasion.
  • Don Draper’s childhood home is a real place (and for sale), though it was heavily CGIed for Mad Men. Michael Jackson’s Thriller video and scenes from Chinatown were filmed in the same neighborhood.
  • Get off the ledge – Robert Downey, Jr. is confirmed for Avengers 2 and Avengers 3.
  • Breaking Bad is the latest TV show to get its own beer. Anyone in Albuquerque want to send me some?
  • Um….am I the only one that finds it odd that they are using an Eminem song in the trailer for Despicable Me 2?


  • Starz has officially announced a new series Outlander, based on the books by Diana Gabaldon. Not sure it is for me, but sounds interesting.
  • No shocker here – Dan Harmon finally watched the 4th season of Community and he wasn’t a fan.
  • Flavor Flav’s last chicken and ribs restaurant has closed. Fun fact – Flavor Flav is inexplicably one of my Twitter followers (Word up, Flavor FLAV!).
  • Stephen Colbert’s mother passed away last week. If you haven’t seen his touching tribute to her, it is a must watch. I bawled through the whole thing.


  • The national nightmare is over – Twinkies, Ho Hos and the rest of the Hostess cake family will return to shelves July 15. I’m guessing the people who dropped a ton of cash to stock up are feeling kind of foolish right now.
  • Someone (brave) got an Arrested Development inspired license plate:



  • The Faceblock App from the new episodes of Arrested Development can now be downloaded.
  • Shark Week is coming in August – and if this promo is an indication, it’s going to be particularly twisted. RIP Snuffy.


  • CNN breaks down the accuracy of the recent Lifetime movie on Jodi Arias (which yes, I watched). Good job CNN – no worldwide crises you should be covering.
  • Nick Swisher and his actress wife Joanna Garcia have released the first picture of their baby daughter and she is just precious:


Welcome to the world, Emerson Jay!

Welcome to the world, Emerson Jay!


  • Finally! One of Taylor Swift’s (alleged) exes has (allegedly) written a song about her. Oh John Mayer – I knew you were the one that was douchey enough to do this and I love you for it.
  • Jon Stewart was on the Egyptian version of The Daily Show. It switches over to English about 2.5 minutes into the interview


I’m still reeling from the death of James Gandolfini and am touched with the various ways he has been honored:

  • The New York Yankees took a moment to observe his passing:



  • Holsten’s Ice Cream, the locale for the final scene of The Sopranos, saved a table in his honor:



  • Sesame Street posted a clip of his 2002 appearance:


  • Gary David Goldberg, creator of Family Ties and Spin City, passed away. Michael J. Fox remembers him.
  • I’m regretting that I didn’t go to the Wilco’s Solid Sound Festival – it happened only a hop, skip and a jump away in North Adams, MA. I’m especially bummed I missed Wilco’s all cover set, but now I can listen to it online in its entirety.


  • Happy 50th birthday to Georgios Kyriacos Panagiòtou (George Michael to the uninitiated).  In honor of half a century, here’s one of my favorite songs:


  • A new poster has been released for the final season of Breaking Bad (did anyone else internally yell out Fame? Just me? Moving on….)

breaking bad poster


  • Men’s Wearhouse has fired their founder (and star of their commercials). I’m guessing they didn’t like the way he looks.
  • The Village Voice has an interview with my favorite member of The Roots, Questlove.
  • A Street Fighter parody – with cats. My Pumpkin would dominate in this.


  • Among the new Houseguest on this season of Big BrotherRachel’s sister (if you watched the show, you know what this means).
  • Late Night with Jimmy Fallon was really exceptional last week – great guests and fun bits – but this Super Mario Brother’s rap is really fantastic:


  • Speaking of…this photo makes me deliriously happy:

Rob Stringer Honored As UJA-Federation Music Visionary Of 2013


  • The first episode of the Stephen King miniseries Under the Dome did very well for CBS. The rich get richer.
  • An infographic of Leonardo DiCaprio movies.



  • The first trailer for the upcoming Lego movie has been released:


  • This screencap pretty much sums up the 90s:



  • Parks and Recreation will kick off its sixth season with an hour long episode that takes place outside Pawnee.
  • Disney has (thankfully) decided to change the name of the upcoming Muppets sequel from The Muppets…..Again! to Muppets Most Wanted.


  • Ridley Scott. Cormac McCarthy. Brad Pitt. Michael Fassbender. Penelope Cruz. Javier Bardem. Cameron Diaz. All associated with one movie – The Counselor


  • The actor in this character might look familiar – he was the awful Oliver on The O.C.


  • OK – I PROMISE this is the last Kanye-related thing this week. He made a terrible short film to promote his new album Yeezus that features fellow Kardashian baby daddy Scott Disick and Kim BFF Jonathan Cheban. They are not great actors, but this is kind of hilarious since Disick has always given off an American Psycho vibe. Glad to see he owns his sociopathic-ness.


  • This isn’t really pop culture related, but it’s far too crazy not to share (and it happened a few towns over from me).

As always, we end with the mashups and supercuts

  • Here’s montage of famous movie actresses, edited to make their heads explode


  • Wonder what it would be like if John Lennon auditioned for The Voice? Wonder no longer


  • I’m still not tired of Daft Punk’s “Get Lucky;” listen to it performed by President Obama:


  •  A supercut of all of Troy McClure’s credits on The Simpsons


  • Jon Snow gets an 80’s style training montage, as it should be:


  • This supercut seems to indicate that David Letterman is kind of obsessed with drums:


  • A supercut of zombie headshots


  • And finally – Hannibal’s open credits get an Arrested Development make-over:


Have a great week!

The Remix Heard Round the World

Rihanna has clearly lost her mind.

That is the only explanation I can come up with for the recent turn of events. Yesterday was Rihanna’s 24th birthday and she first set off a firestorm by receiving and responding to twitter birthday wishes from Chris Brown. Yup – THAT Chris Brown. The one who beat her senseless in an argument in 2009 and seems pretty unrepentant about the whole thing. The one that has demonstrated that his anger issues have not gone away. That exchange in and of itself is problematic. But then it got worse. Later in the day, both Rihanna and Chris Brown released remixes of the other’s song featuring their vocals (Brown’s “Turn Up The Music” and Rihanna’s “Birthday Cake”), which means that they are not only speaking to one another, but they are also working together.

And this is disturbing.

I don’t usually fall into the “famous people are role models” camp. They can be, of course, and many have chosen to do so. But I don’t think just because you can dribble a basketball or sing a song that you are automatically obligated to take on that responsibility. It gets a little murkier if you specifically cater to a younger audience, but ultimately I feel that it is the responsibility of parents and family to be role models for their children and to put the actions of celebrities in perspective. But the message that Rihanna is sending is dangerous. It is dangerous for young girls to think that this sort of behavior is acceptable and can be forgiven. It is dangerous to young boys to think that this behavior will be tolerated or eventually celebrated. And – most importantly – it is a danger to Rihanna.

Because even removing the issue of being a role model, these are the actions of a woman who needs help. She may seem to have it all together and she may seem to be confident, but clearly she isn’t. The fact that she is willing to speak to, let alone collaborate with, someone who assaulted her raises some red flags and points to some real gaps in her support system. Where are her friends and family? Why is no one telling her this is a bad idea? I get that this is “good for business” in some ways – people are talking about her and downloading the music to hear it. So I am not surprised that her agents and other people in the business are remaining silent, or are even encouraging this. But where are the people who know her as Robyn and not just by her stage name? I’ve seen the photos of what she looked like after the assault. How could anyone who loves her not want to step in and tell her that this is not OK? Jay-Z, Rihanna’s mentor, is supposedly “enraged” by this reconciliation. Why aren’t more people?

This is all especially frustrating because there is no reason she should have to interact with Chris Brown ever again. They do not have children together. She is not economically dependent on him with limited options. She does not have the obstacles to overcome like so many women who feel trapped in abusive relationships. She could walk away. She is not responsible for the abuse that she endured. She is responsible for this choice to reunite with him, whether it is professionally or personally (as has been rumored).

The music industry is littered with people who made poor decisions and who are self-destructive. Whitney Houston was just laid to rest Sunday, a victim of her own addiction. Amy Winehouse deprived us of many more years of her amazing talent. Rihanna shares a birthday with Kurt Cobain, another troubled soul that left us much too soon. Rihanna’s situation is different, but still self-destructive. Hopefully this will not have a similarly sad ending.