Pop Culture Odds and Ends – Working Late Edition

Blerg. I’m stuck at work until at least 8:30 tonight, which means I’m putting in a solid 12+ hours at the office today. I like my job and all, but that is a long freaking day. This will also throw off my delicately calibrated television viewing schedule. While most normal adults are watching the news and having dinner with their families, I use that time to catch up on The Daily Show, Late Night with Jimmy Fallon and whatever 10 pm shows I didn’t finish the night before. At least I’m getting some comp time.

So while I settle in for the long haul, enjoy your bi-weekly roundup of pop culture nuggets:

  • People magazine announced their Sexiest Man Alive – Channing Tatum. With Magic Mike and 21 Jump Street (not to mention that body), I can’t say that I blame them. But I thought this might be Ryan Gosling’s year.
  • Liza Minnelli will guest star on Smash. This had better not interfere with her ability to reprise her role as Lucille 2 on Arrested Development.
  • Conan has been doing a great bit where he imagines what the new Star Wars film would look like in the hands of different directors.

Woody Allen

Kevin Smith

Michael Moore

  • If you spend any time around tweens, you probably already knew this – Justin Bieber and Selena Gomez have apparently called it quits.
  • A Drive/Mario Kart mashup
  • Music group INXS finally gets around to announcing that they are done touring, only 15 years after lead singer Michael Hutchence’s suicide.
  • Louis C.K.’s next comedy special will air on HBO (but will also be available for download on his website).
  • ABC has given Nashville a full season pick up. I still haven’t had the chance to watch the show; perhaps over Thanksgiving.
  • Showtime is airing a ten part documentary series, Oliver Stone’s Untold History of the United States. I can only imagine what that’s about.
  • Check it out – Joe Biden was on Carmen Sandiego in 1993
  • Vulture examines what James Bond villain plots would work and which would not with the help of an economist (If they told me I could have done stuff like this with my economics degree, I might pursued that instead.)
  • Mumford and Sons + Idris Elba = Happy Heather
  • Bret McKenzie will once again write the songs for the new Muppets film. Double Yay!
  • The Dr. Who Christmas Special will debut in the U.S. on December 25th (fitting) at 9 pn (ET) on BBC America.
  • The New York Times critic was not a fan of Guy Fieri’s new Times Square restaurant
  • And finally, I saw this trailer for the new Jackie Robinson movie 42 over the weekend and I practically squealed. I seriously cannot wait for this movie.

Pop Culture Odds and Ends

Sometimes I come across some pop culture nuggets that I really enjoy, but that aren’t really worthy of their own blog post. So every once in a while, I’ll round up all these odds and ends and give them to you en masse. Consider it a pop culture buffet – a little bit of everything.

  • Perhaps Jimmy Fallon read my Peyton Manning/Tim Tebow post because right on schedule he resurrected his “Tebowie” character for another performance last night:
  • Speaking of Jimmy Fallon, he’ll be interviewing Madonna on Saturday. You can watch the Q&A live on Madonna’s Facebook page. It’s allegedly her only interview in support of her new album that drops next week
  • Michael Bay has plans to reboot the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle franchise and there is already controversy. Who knew that the Turtles had such a rabid fan base?
  • With “The Situation” going to rehab and Snooki pregnant, the next season of  Jersey Shore, slated to film this summer, should be interesting. Is there even a show if a third of the cast can’t make drunken fools of themselves?
  • I saw the best foreign language film Oscar winner, A Separation, on Monday night and thoroughly enjoyed it.  Subtitles aren’t for everyone, especially if you are a slower reader, but I really got sucked into the story of an Iranian couple’s decision to separate and the chain of events that it sets in motion, culminating in the husband being accused of murder. The performances are very good and they story does a nice job of presenting the various shades of gray in who is right and who is wrong. I’d recommend it.
  • Poor sweet Taylor Kitsch (aka Friday Night Lights’ Tim Riggins). John Carter, his first starring performance, is going to cost Disney about $200 million and may be the biggest box office flops of all time. His next starring role is in the big screen adaptation of the board game Battleship (which they have reworked to involve aliens). Good thing he is so darn good looking.


  • The newest family to get a reality show on E? The Eastwoods. Yup, as in Clint Eastwood. This doesn’t seem like a smart move, but I’m guessing it wasn’t his idea.
  • Adam Levine (Maroon Five and The Voice) is apparently in talks to appear on the second season of American Horror Story. Everyone seems pretty psyched about this, but I’m a little skeptical. I’m curious if he can actually act, but the show is so bats&$t crazy that it might be a moot point.
  • Is anyone else watching The River on ABC? It ended its first (and presumably only) season last night. I DVRed the finale (so no spoilers!), but I have to say that the show really improved over the course of its short run. I wonder if the show, which was a paranormal “found footage” show about the quest to find a missing explorer/TV personality who mysteriously disappears in the Amazon, would have done better if it had aired during the summer.
  • Random things I am excited for: The Hunger Games movie, the arrival of my copy of The Muppets Blu-ray yesterday, the Mad Men season 5 preview (FINALLY) on Sunday and the fact that I got tickets (and the time off) to go to opening day at Yankee Stadium in April. Hooray for them all! What pop culture things are making you happy?