Pop Culture Odds and Ends – Almost the Oscars edition

We’re in the home stretch – the Academy Awards are this Sunday. All I have left in my quest to see all of the Oscar nominated films are some foreign films and some documentaries. If everything goes according to plan, I think I am going to come up two movies short of my goal. It’s proven to be impossible to find the foreign film No and the documentary The Guardians. The closest that either film is playing is NYC and unless I want to take the day off to make the trip downstate (which I did actually consider), I think the dream may be dead. But still – I’ll come pretty darn close!

As I frantically try to find some Oscar screeners, enjoy your biweekly roundup of pop culture stories you may have missed:

  • A happy belated 75th birthday to author Judy Blume!
  • In honor of the season three finale (what did everyone think??), here’s the cast of Downton Abbey performing One Direction’s “What Makes You Beautiful”

 

  • Maybe they were jealous of the attention that Jeopardy! has been receiving lately, but Wheel of Fortune decided to up their game with a dog on a scooter.

SCOOTER

  • The 2013 Bonnaroo line-up was announced yesterday. I want to go!
  • I hate Monopoly – it takes way too long and just isn’t much fun – but I might change my mind if I played this Breaking Bad version.
  • Check out Leonardo DiCaprio’s foreign ad for Jim Beam:

 

  • This is hilarious – Guy Fieri didn’t secure the full URL for his restaurant’s website, so someone else bought it and posted a parody menu. Well played.
  • Josh Duhamel and Fergie are expecting their first child; the singer announced the news on Twitter, using the hashtag #mylovelybabybump (which I have to admit is pretty cute).
  • The movie Lincoln inspired the state of Mississippi to finally ratify the 13th Amendment. They somehow hadn’t managed to get around to that yet. Who says pop culture can’t make a difference?
  • Listen to Mariah Carey’s new song from the upcoming film Oz the Great and Powerful (I’m not a fan – she sounds weird)

 

  • I don’t know that it was in doubt, but It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia will be back for a ninth season.

glenn

  • So, is everyone else watching The Following and kind of getting obsessed with it? Intellectually I have a ton of problems with the show, but damn it if it doesn’t manage to drag me in every Monday night.
  • SNL continues to be dreadful; I only made it about halfway through last week’s episode with Christoph Waltz. I did, however, really enjoy this digital short:
  • Whoo-boy. Things are not going well for Renee Zellweger. Lifetime just passed on her pilot Cinnamon Girl. Let that sink in for a moment. The network that gave us Liz & Dick passed on a pilot featuring an Oscar winner. I think we may have just found rock bottom.
  • The great Andre Braugher has joined Andy Samberg’s new police comedy pilot on Fox. The likelihood that I will tune in to this show if it goes to series just jumped to 100%.
  • It’s been a good couple of weeks for me – another one of my favorites joined a pilot. Josh Holloway (aka Sawyer on Lost) will star in the CBS drama Intelligence.
  • The New York Times Magazine has a long profile of blog favorite Connie Britton.
  • Sarah Michelle Geller will be starring opposite Robin Williams in a new sitcom.
  • Don’t cry for the B in Apt. 23 – Krysten Ritter landed a role in a pilot for NBC. Let’s hope James Van Der Beek has as smooth a transition.
  • PBS is trying to become the first nonprofit organization to reach one billion views on YouTube.

 

  • HBO may have pulled the plug on Luck, but it lives on in blog form. Added bonus – no horses can die online.
  • I guess they had a lot of fun filming Silver Linings Playbook; Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper are reuniting with director David O. Russell on his next film (and holy hell – this film has an amazing cast!).
  • TV Land had become the go-to network for 90s sitcom stars. They have ordered a new comedy starring Kirstie Alley, Rhea Perlman and Michael Richards.
  • NBC’s new drama Hannibal will debut on Thursday April 4th.

 

  • Jerry Seinfeld stopped by The Late Show with David Letterman to do some stand-up:

 

  • Dean Norris (Hank to Breaking Bad fans) has been cast in the upcoming Stephen King miniseries, Under the Dome.
  • As an unabashed fan of The Golden Girls, I couldn’t pass up this collection of the 10 best musical numbers from the series.
  • The Strokes are back with a new song:

 

  • TV Duck has an infograph of 15 things you didn’t know about The Walking Dead.
  • My baseball husband Mark Teixiera made his Broadway debut in Rock of Ages. Check out video here.
  • The Discovery Channel is launching two new documentary series that focus on marijuana. The are calling the block of programming “Weed Wednesdays.”
  • And finally, a 60 second, live action version of the wonderful Wreck it Ralph:

Pop Culture Odds and Ends – Snow Day edition

Well, it was too good to last. We finally got some significant snow here in Albany; up until this point we’ve just had a dusting or two, but we had several inches by the time I left for work this morning with more snow and sleet on the way. I am miserable. I live in the totally wrong part of the country as I hate winter. I could handle it being really cold, but once the precipitation starts to fall I am not a happy camper. If I didn’t love my friends and family so much – and wasn’t kind of lazy – I would have taken off for a warner climate long ago. Now I’ll just pout until I go to Florida in March.

While I’m sulking at my desk and watching the snow fly, enjoy your (slightly delayed) bi-weekly roundup of pop culture stories you may have missed.

  • It was a sad Christmas as we lost two actors – Jack Klugman (The Odd Couple, Quincy) and Charles Durning (a prolific character actor who was Doc Hopper in The Muppet Movie) both passed away. Rest in peace.
  • If you need a Star Trek crash course, here’s a chart of all the character names and roles.
  • As a Seinfeld devotee, I ate up this New York Times Magazine piece on Jerry.
  • Grantland has a conversation with Quentin Tarantino. If you missed my review of Django Unchained, that’s here.
  • Frank Ocean’s song didn’t make the Django Unchained soundtrack, so he released it on his own. Take a listen:

 

  • Last Django Unchained reference (promise!) – check out this mashup with Blazing Saddles

 

  • Someone dressed up their dogs to look like Walter White and Jesse Pinkman from Breaking Bad. I wonder if my cat would tolerate that?

breakingbad-dogs

  • Perhaps the third time is the charm: Kate Winslet married Ned Rocknroll (Best.Name.Ever) earlier this month. I’ve always really liked her, so I hope this works out for her. Titanic co-star Leonardo DiCaprio gave the bride away.
  • UGH! CBS has renewed How I Met Your Mother for a ninth season. I used to really like this show, but it has had a serious drop off in quality the last two seasons and I finally stopped watching it a few weeks ago. Damn you, Jason Segel, for not refusing to come back. It would have been a mercy killing.
  • Here’s the trailer for the new Gossling/Cooper movie that was filmed locally and got everyone in such a tizzy (not that I blame them).

 

  • Another story with a local twist – Brewery Ommegang has teamed with HBO to bring us a Game Of Thrones themed beer, Iron Throne. Ommegang is a brewery in Cooperstown, NY (home of the Baseball Hall of Fame) and is pretty close to Albany. I’ve sampled many of their beers and they are all tasty – I am partial to Three Philosopher – so I am definitely trying Iron Throne when it debuts in March. Might be reason enough to take a trip to the brewery for a tour.
  • Wheel of Fortune is getting a lot of attention for this decision. Watch your pronunciation people! It may cost you $4,000.

 

  • I’ve always been a fan of Legos, so I’m pretty psyched for this Back to Future inspired set. And as a side note, when are MLB and Lego going to get together for licensed baseball stadium sets. I would absolutely buy that.
  • The Walking Dead has been renewed for a 4th season, but show runner Glenn Mazzara is leaving the show over a difference of creative direction. That’s too bad, as I thought he fixed a lot of the problems that I had with the show in the second season. AMC is now getting a reputation as a network that doesn’t work well with creative types; there is a lot of turnover and prolonged disputes.
  • Arsenio Hall is back

 

  • Steve Carell and Jim Carrey play rival magicians in the new movie The Incredible Burt Wonderstone. I don’t see any way this movie will not be fantastic.

 

  • File this under terrible ideas – Vin Diesel (remember him?) may play Kojak.
  • A moment of silence for Nick Swisher, who has signed with a baseball team that is not the Yankees. Right field will not be the same without him. Perhaps I will now move my seat location.
  • For those of you that miss Community as much as I do, hopefully this video of Alison Brie and Danny Pudi freestyle rapping will tide you over until new episodes (allegedly) debut in February

 

  • The League (FX) and Psych (USA) have both been renewed for their 5th and 8th seasons, respectively.
  • Yeah, this isn’t at all creepy. Larry Hagman will appear posthumously on an episode of CBS’s reality show I Get That A Lot.
  • NBC will also host a mini Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip reunion when Bradley Whitford stops by Matthew Perry’s sitcom, Go On.
  • Michael J. Fox’s new show just got a lot more interesting; The Wire and Treme’s Wendell Pierce has joined the cast.
  • The Rock+ Mark Wahlberg+ Rebel Wilson = Heather’s all in. I want to see Pain and Gain NOW!

 

  • I don’t care your political leanings – this photo of President Obama playing with a staffer’s son is fantastic

Obama spiderman

  • Speaking of Spider-Man, the latest issue has fans all riled up. (Contains spoilers)
  • And finally, it was probably inevitable. Here’s The Hobbit/The Hunger Games mashup, The Hobbit Games.

Pop Culture Odds and Ends – In a Slump Edition

I’m in a bit of a pop culture slump – no movie screenings this week, not much on TV and I’m reading a book that is going to take me a while (Wolf Hall). So while I regroup, here are some pop culture odds and ends to occupy your time:

  • In honor of Andy Griffith’s passing, I finally watched his film debut in A Face in the Crowd. I really liked it and it was definitely a different side of Griffith than people who know him from Matlock or The Andy Griffith Show would be used to. Much darker than Mayberry, but he was excellent and the story holds up very well. The corrupting power of fame is pretty universal. RIP Andy.
  • With all the discussion of the Cruise/Holmes divorce and the role that religion may have played in it, I was reminded of this article from the New Yorker last year about Scientology. Paul Haggis, director and former Scientologist, is interviewed and provides a lot of details about the religion and the organizational structure that were pretty eye opening if all true. It’s on the long side, but I found it interesting.
  • The final book in the Hunger Games trilogy (Mockingjay) will unsurprisingly be split into two movies. I hate when they drag this stuff out.
  • Paste magazine has compiled a list of the 90 best movies of the 90s. I’ve seen 56, which is less than I would have expected though I do have some omissions in my movie watching I am aware of (I’ve never seen Groundhog’s Day, to everyone’s horror).
  • You are all aware of how much I love the Muppets. But now that we have the Cookie Monster version, can we please retire the “Call Me Maybe” parodies? It’s played out at this point.

 

  • Chumbawamba is calling it quits. Who knew that they had been together for 30 years? That’s a long time to have only produced one hit.
  • As a fan of Superheroes and The Golden Girls, this made me laugh. A lot. I would totally watch this show.

 

  • Mental Floss has a piece on 17 literary characters that were almost named something else. Pansy O’Hara just doesn’t have the same ring to it.
  • The Wall was great, but I’m still bitter I didn’t get to go to any of the Phish shows last weekend.
  • Dave Grohl (Foo Fighters, Nirvana) was honored by his home town of Warren, Ohio with the world’s largest drumsticks. He already has his own alley named after him in the city, which seems like overkill since Grohl didn’t live there very long.
  • I’m digging the new Frank Ocean cd, Channel Orange. It’s available on iTunes or can be streamed on his tublr. It will be released on cd next week. He’s been in the news for his announcement that his first love was a man, but I was actually familiar with him from his work on Jay-Z and Kanye’s Watch the Throne.
  • This is a sweet story about Ron Perlman donning the Hellboy costume once again to grant a Make-a-Wish to a six year old with leukemia. I’m kind of surprised that a kid that age would even know who Hellboy is.
  • Run DMC is reuniting at the Fun Fun Fun Fest in Austin, TX in November.
  • I have absolutely no idea why, but I am currently obsessed with this song:

It just puts me in a good mood. I heard it at the Yankee game the other day and it’s been stuck in my head ever since.

  • The critics were right – The Newsroom definitely dipped in quality between the pilot and the second episode. Episode three is sitting on my DVR and I’m almost afraid to watch it for fear it will get worse.
  • What do you do to revitalize a city like Detroit? How about open a zombie amusement park? The city isn’t biting, but I’d definitely consider going if it happened.

Based on the blog stats the last couple of days, there aren’t a lot of Pink Floyd or Woody Allen fans out there. I’m always open to suggestions for things to cover or pop culture to try, so feel free to leave ideas in the comments (or on the Facebook link).