Pop Culture Odds and Ends – Beware the Ides of March Edition

Whoo-boy – we got a lot of snow yesterday. This may be the worst storm that I can remember, though I’m not 100% sure my recollections are accurate. All I know is that 48 hours ago the tree outside my office was beginning to bloom and now it is buried under a blanket of white. For someone like me who straight up hates winter and snow, this is a troubling development. Times like this, however, I am pretty stoked that I don’t own a home. My snow removal responsibilities are limited to cleaning off my car.

So while the region is digging out from what this blizzard had to offer (and if your name is Caesar you’re watching your back today), take a break and get caught up on this week’s pop culture roundup. It will make your kids’ snow day much more bearable.

Television

 

Movies

Trailers

  • The first teaser for season 7 of Game of Thrones:

 

  • Wonder Woman:

 

  • Hulu’s The Handmaid’s Tale:

 

  • Life red band trailer:

 

  • The Get Down, part II:

 

  • Veep, season six:

 

  • Better Call Saul:

 

  • Baby Driver:

 

  • Fate of the Furious:

 

  • The Little Mermaid (not the Disney version):

 

  • Rough Night:

 

  • Atomic Blonde:

 

  • Doctor Who, season 10:

 

  • Most Hated Woman in America:

 

  • Smurfs: The Lost Village:

 

  • Becoming Bond:

 

  • Despicable Me 3:

 

  • Naked:

 

  • Leap!:

 

  • Bodyslam: Revenge of the Banana:

 

Music

Theater

Books

Podcasts

Stand-up

Odds and Ends

Mashups and Supercuts

  •  Andrew Garfield and Adam Drive audition for Clueless:

 

  • A vintage cover of No Doubt’s “Spiderwebs”:

 

  • Samuel L. Jackson reprises his movie roles with James Corden:

 

  • Tyrion Lannister one-liners:

 

  • Zootopia as a crime thriller:

 

  • A Notorious B.I.G. newscast:

 

  • Belle and Boujee:

 

  • Teletubbies sing “Get Ur Freak On”:

Pop Culture Odds and Ends – Beyoncé is Pregnant Edition

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Things have been crazy at work the last few weeks so I’ve been running around a lot trying to spin a lot of plates and hope that none of them hit the ground. It’s been legit bonkers – my New Year’s resolution of actually taking a lunch break has been replaced by multitasking while eating a salad at my desk. So last Wednesday I had just returned to my office from yet another unexpected diversion when my assistant told me the news – Queen Bey was pregnant. And how flawless is she? Not only is she expecting twins but she made her announcement on the first day of Black History month. That woman has timing.

And of course, as a ride or die fan of Beyoncé and Jay Z, I am happy for them and their ever expanding family. But the first person I thought about was Blue Ivy, who is about to have her world rocked by the arrival of her new siblings. I know because I’ve been there. I was five when my parents told me that I was getting a baby brother or sister (six when he actually arrived) and I was old enough (and smart enough) to know it was going to be a seismic shift in my life. I knew I had a good thing going and that a new baby showing up was going to significantly cut into the amount of attention that I got, not just from my parents but from all their friends. I was getting upstaged and believe you me, I don’t like being upstaged.

Blue Ivy has been the only child of music royalty and has become a celebrity in her own right. Her birth was a big freaking deal, especially since her parents had already lost a child to miscarriage. But now she’s going to have to compete with not one but two new siblings for the limelight. Twins inherently bring their own weird fascination, even when they aren’t born to members of the Illuminati celebrities. Maybe she’ll enjoy getting a little more privacy and letting the new arrivals soak up all the press attention. And of course, Blue Ivy will be fine – it’s hard to be too concerned for a kid that not only is filthy rich but seems to have two doting parents. But I still did have a smidge of sympathy for her when the news broke, one older sister to another.

While I pour one out for Blue Ivy’s lost only child status, get yourself caught up on all the pop culture that you might have missed this week with the latest installment of the roundup.

Television

 

 

Movies

 

Trailers

  • Iron Fist:

 

  • Fist Fight:

 

  • The Blackcoat’s Daugher:

 

  • Snatched:

 

  • Aftermath:

 

  • The Dinner:

 

  • Samurai Jack, season 5:

 

  • Girls Trip:

 

  • Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2:

 

  • A Cure for Wellness:

 

  • Life:

 

  • Logan:

 

  • Stranger Things 2:

 

  • Headshot:

 

  • The Handmaid’s Tale:

 

  • The Fate of the Furious:

 

  • Baywatch:

 

  • Transformers: The Last Knight:

 

Music

 

Theater

Books

Podcasts

Odds and Ends

Mashups and Supercuts

  • 90s movie dance party:

 

  • Stephen Colbert performs “Once in a Lifetime”:

 

  • Someone turned Tim Allen’s grunts into music:

 

  • Emilia Clarke celebrates the end of filming on season 7 with an appropriate song:

 

  • #Gaga4Rent:

 

  • Aaron Paul gets a shot at Price is Right redemption on The Late Late Show:

 

  • James Corden and Adam Lambert has a front man battle:

 

  • LEGO Batman on Gotham Cribs:

 

  • City Slickers meets Westworld:

 

Some Thoughts on the In The Dark Podcast

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As I have mentioned previously, I am a fan of the true crime genre. I’m obviously not alone in this; not only have the shows Making a Murderer and The Jinx been wildly popular, but there is an entire network devoted to this stuff in Investigation Discovery. Podcasts like Serial and Undisclosed have also been watercooler fodder, though I admit the second seasons of both have not quite grasped my attention the same way their respective first seasons have. I’m always on the hunt for compelling items from this genre; currently sitting on my coffee table is Shake the Devil Off: A True Story of the Murder that Rocked New Orleans by Ethan Brown. When done right, true crime can be a fascinating examination of our judicial system and how police build a case – for good and for ill.

In my search for new content, I found the podcast In The Dark; it was mentioned on a recent episode of Undisclosed and piqued my interest because unlike a lot of what’s currently popular in the true crime universe, this podcast wasn’t interested in shining a light on a potentially wrongly convicted person or in trying to solve a cold case. The case at the center of In the Dark has been solved and there is no ambiguity that they have the right person. Rather, the podcast focuses on why it took so long to solve this case and what went wrong along the way. As a person that is always fascinated with process and ways to improve it, In the Dark is right up my alley and has resulted in a fascinating listen.

At the center of the podcast is the abduction and murder of 11 year old Jacob Wetterling, who went missing in St. Joseph, Minnesota in 1989. His body wasn’t found until earlier this year, when the man that assaulted and murdered Jacob confessed and led authorities to his body after being caught for another crime. In the Dark examines why it took 27 years for this case to be solved; what could have been done differently to lead to an earlier conviction of the man who was underneath their noses the entire time? The podcast also examines how this case affected some of the people who were wrongly identified as “people of interest” in the case and the impact of the national registry for sex offenders that was put into place as a result of Jacob’s disappearance. They also put the failure to solve Jacob’s case in a timely manner in the context of other major crimes in the county to see if there is a systemic problem.

It’s been a fascinating listen so far and it has raised some pretty big issues not only about how the Stearns County sheriff’s office conducted their investigation, but about their disinterest or unwillingness to revisit what they could have done better in this case to improve their procedures going forward. Perhaps because of my personality and because part of my day job is to constantly re-evaluate how we do things at my office and how we can improve, I was surprised by the lack of self-reflection and the “we can’t change the past so why think about it attitude” that seemingly pervades the organization. It’s heartbreaking to see how close they were to solving this case – and others – and how failure to follow policing 101 or tunnel vision on one particular suspect handicapped them every step of the way. Combine that with the lack of oversight for the Sheriff – they can only be removed by losing an election – and it doesn’t instill a lot of confidence. It’s also heartbreaking to hear from the man who was deemed a “person of interest” in the case and the devastation that association has had on his life.

In the Dark is great investigative journalism and I’m sorry that there are only nine episodes of the podcast planned (the first eight have already been released). While they may have exhausted all that they can examine in the Jacob Wetterling case, I hope this podcast serves as a model for others; even in a case that is ostensibly solved, there are still issues to be examined. The focus doesn’t always have to be on potential exoneration of an innocent person (though that, of course, is important too). Nothing can bring Jacob Wetterling back or spare his family the pain that they have endured, but hopefully In the Dark will lead to some changes that will honor his memory and help others. If you dig criminal justice, true crime, Serial, or Making a Murderer, In the Dark is worth a listen.