Pop Culture Odds and Ends – Kick off the Weekend Edition

Some technical difficulties and a wonky schedule this week mean that you are getting your pop culture roundup a few days late. Apologies to anyone who was disappointed, but I tried to make it up to you with an extra-long batch of links. With Sundance, The Television Critics Association winter meeting and awards season all happening at the same time, there was no shortage of news to report. This is actually the condensed version of links! So while most of the country is in a deep freeze, grab a blanket and stay inside all weekend pouring through the last 2+ weeks in the world of pop!

  • Last night was Adam Scott’s final installment in his The Greatest Event in Television History specials. They ended with a bang, with Scott and Paul Rudd recreating the opening credits to Bosom Buddies:

I will miss these.

  • HBO has passed on the Sarah Silverman pilot, People in New Jersey. Boo!


  • As someone who regularly hangs out with our interns at the office, this Conan bit made me literally laugh out loud:


  • Adrian Grenier was almost Dawson on Dawson’s Creek. I didn’t think it was possible to make that character more awful, but that would have done it. #Pacey4Life
  • This will make some people I know happy – the first photo from Dumb and Dumber To:


  • Bam! Pow! The original Batman TV series with Adam West is finally coming to home video. So. Much.Kitsch.

Now for some news on the Super Bowl:

  • The Full House guys are reuniting for a yogurt commercial:


  • Good news for the Bronies out there – the Bronytunes app allows you to stream 7,000 different songs about My Little Pony.
  • One Direction will appear on the show:


  • This is kind of cool – watch Quentin Tarantino and Steve Buscemi rehearse Reservoir Dogs:


  • The first poster for The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part I have been released (and it doesn’t look much different than the poster for the previous two films):




  • One of the stars of Shipping Wars has died.
  • Watch a one armed teen scare The Walking Dead star Norman Reedus:



  • A teaser trailer for FX’s The Strain:


  • I bailed after J.R. died, but here’s a trailer for the 3rd season of the new Dallas:


  • A new trailer for The LEGO Movie, which I really want to see:


  • Chloe Sevingny’s new show, Those Who Kill:


  • James Franco’s Child of God:


  • Showtime’s new creepy thriller, Penny Dreadful:


  • A very Syracuse-y trailer for Adult World, starring Emma Roberts and John Cusack


  • A new prom for The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon:


  • I did far better than I expected on this SNL quiz, thanks to some catchphrases from the 90s.
  • Just because, here’s a photo of Tupac and Suge Knight playing Sonic the Hedgehog:


As always, we end with the mashups and the supercuts:

The film Her seems to have inspired a lot of parodies:

  • A trailer for Him:


  • Her starring Sex and the City’s Samantha Jones:


  • If you ever wondered what Game of Thrones would look like if it was set in ancient Japan (and who hasn’t?), wonder no longer.
  • As a fan of independent films, this parody trailer made me giggle:


  • Mean Girls by cats:


  • A supercut of every Nintendo start screen….ahh memories:


  • A hipster remake of American Psycho:


  • Donald Glover’s last episode of Community was last night; here’s a Childish Gambino/Community mashup to help ease the pain:


  • It was only a matter of time- someone mashed up Haim’s “The Wire” with footage from The Wire :


  • Watch a supercut of “Let It Go” in 25 different languages:


  • Teen Wolf of Wall Street:


  • A supercut of Larry David’s best insults:


  • And finally…The Facts of Life/Breaking Bad mashup you didn’t even know you needed:


Have a great weekend!!!

Down the Rabbit Hole

Last night, I had a plan. I was finally going to put away the stacks of (clean) laundry that have piled up in my living room because I am lazy. I was going to make the grocery store run that I should have made over the weekend, but somehow never got around to. I was finally going to make some forward progress in reading The Twelve, as I’ve been stuck at the same place for several weeks. I’d cleared my DVD out quite a bit over the weekend and there were no new programs that I watch anymore on Monday nights (adios, How I Met Your Mother), so I should have been able to get a lot done.

And then I stumbled upon Anchorman on HBO. And there went the rest of my evening.

There are certain movies that when you come across them on TV, you just have to stop and watch them. It’s like you are compelled to do so. You don’t plan it – most of the time you don’t even know that the movie is on, but simply find it while mindlessly flipping channels. It’s like a surprise gift that you didn’t even know you wanted until you see it. But once you do, the movie casts some sort of weird spell over you and you just can’t keep flipping the channels. You’re down the rabbit hole and for the remainder of the film’s running time, you are in. The only exception for me is if the movie is on basic cable; occasionally, a commercial break briefly breaks whatever hold the movie has over me and I can change the channel or turn the TV off. But most of the time, once I start watching there is no escape.

I can’t really explain this phenomena or why certain movies trigger this reaction and others don’t. In many cases, I actually own the DVDs of these films so I am not a slave to when they show up on TV; technically I could watch them whenever I want. Yet there is something more compelling about discovering the movie unexpectedly rather than making the conscious decision to put the DVD on. Perhaps it feels more like good luck when it is unanticipated – a gift bestowed upon you by the pop culture gods on high.

The other interesting wrinkle is that not all the movies that have this power over me are necessarily “good” movies. They are all movies that I enjoy, but I can still recognize that some are quality filmmaking and others not; some of these movies are more the cinematic equivalent of comfort food. I thought that The Hurt Locker was a fantastic film and deserved the Academy Award, but that doesn’t necessarily mean I ever want to watch it again. The films that compel me to watch them are all selections that I can view over and over again without tiring of them; what some of them lack in “quality,” they make up for with durability.

Though the list is lengthy, these are some of the films that immediately suck me in when I find them on television:

The Shawshank Redemption

This movie has consistently been in my all-time Top 5 of movies since I first saw it in graduate school, so it is not a huge surprise that one of my favorite movies is also a movie that always draws me in. The great thing about Shawshank is that no matter what place you are in the movie, it is pretty easy to jump in and be instantly immersed in the film. It’s a great movie, but it is also accessible. The plot isn’t complicated and there aren’t a lot of twists and turns to keep track of. And who wouldn’t be lulled in by narration stylings of Morgan Freeman? If it’s on and I know about it, I’m watching it. And the good people at TNT and AMC must agree with me because they have re-aired this movie a lot over the years. In fact, though I’ve seen this movie at least 50 times, I don’t know that I have ever watched the DVD that I own.


The Godfather

Though I tend to agree with arguments that The Godfather Part II is the better film, nothing can kill an afternoon for me like the original movie about the Corleone family. It’s so immensely quotable and the story draws you in so quickly that it is hard to change the channel. I always seem to jump into this movie in two particular spots – when Michael is standing guard outside his father’s hospital room and when Sonny is handing Carlo an epic beatdown in retribution for what Carlo has done to Connie

I think I could watch this movie 100 times and never tire of it.



What can I say? I love me some mafia movies. Thankfully for my productivity, I tend to catch this one toward the end of the film, right before Henry gets caught. Just a great cast that you can’t help but get sucked in. Joe Pesci at his absolute best.


Drive Me Crazy

This movie is not good. I will fully admit that. It’s also not a movie that on paper you would think that I would like. The only thing that most people know about this movie is the Britney Spears song of the same name on the soundtrack. But I am embarrassed to say how many times I watched this film in the late 90’s/early 2000’s when it was on heavy rotation on HBO. I refused to by the DVD for this film because I was embarrassed to have it on my shelf, so this is one that I totally had to rely upon finding on TV to enjoy. It’s mindless, but something about it draws me in. Chances are you have caught me watching this and I have claimed that it was “just on.” I was lying to you.


The Goonies

This one is pure nostalgia – I’m sure if I watched The Goonies with adult eyes and without the memories of childhood I would be much less enamored with this film. But thankfully, I don’t have to, so I can continue to spend entire Saturdays laying on the couch and watching Goonie adventures.


Starsky and Hutch

I’ll admit that I didn’t much like this movie the first time that I saw it. However, I’ve been bored enough to watch it several times since then and it has grown on me. I still think it’s a step below a lot of the other “frat pack” movies (like Old School, Zoolander, etc.) and I would never seek it out, but somehow if I happen upon it I am tricked into watching the rest of the film. I do enjoy the dance off, however.

I could go on, but I’ve already embarrassed myself enough and you get the idea. What movies always reel you in whenever they are on? Sound off in the comments below.