Pop Culture Odds and Ends – Almost Vacation Edition

Just when I thought that winter might finally be behind us, Mother Nature decided that we needed one last storm (I hope!) to make things all snowy and white. I am not a fan. The only thing making this bearable is the knowledge that in less than a week I will be in Florida with some of my favorite people and watching baseball. The idea of sitting in the sunshine and not having to wear a winter coat make me positively giddy. Plus it has been five dark and lonely months since I last saw my beloved Yankees, which feels like a lifetime. I’m ready for our reunion. But never fear, dear readers – you won’t be without the blog while I’m away. I’ve got some posts ready to go up in my absence. I’m just that dedicated.

So while I dream of warm weather while I scrape ice and snow off my car, here’s your biweekly round up of some of the pop culture stories that you might have missed.

  • Today would have been Mister Rogers’ 85th birthday

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  • Christopher Meloni has been cast in a new pilot from Bill Lawrence (Scrubs, Cougar Town) based on the book I Suck at Girls.
  • Jimmy Fallon and Selena Gomez performed “Mario Kart Love Song” last night on Late Night:

 

  • I’m not sure that anyone was asking for it, but Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters is getting a sequel (my guess is without Jeremy Renner).
  • If you’ve got nothing to do this weekend, MTV will be marathoning old seasons of The Real World. The Real World: Portland will debut on March 27th.
  • Safety Not Guaranteed director has been tapped for Jurassic Park 4. I really enjoyed Safety Not Guaranteed – worth checking out on DVD. A sweet and quirky indie.
  • A Walking Dead/Homeland mash-up:

 

  • This dog does indeed resemble Samuel L. Jackson:

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  • The actor who played Captain Peacock on the British comedy Are You Being Served? has passed away.

 

  • The Funny or Die website is venturing into the world of feature films. Their first product is iSteve, a comedic biopic of Steve Jobs and starring Justin Long (which has got to be better than the not intentionally funny Ashton Kutcher version).
  • Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s production company released a cool short film:

 

  • The blog Thumbs and Ammo has replaced all the guns from TV shows and movies with actors giving a thumbs up. The result is surprisingly positive.

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  • Check out this LEGO paper plane folding machine (it took 600 hours to build):

 

  • I didn’t understand a word of this “March Madness explained with Star Wars” video

 

  • You can watch the first three minutes of the new BBC America show Orphan Black online. The show debuts March 30th.
  • Sigh. I really didn’t need to stumble upon this website of pop culture tribute prints.
  • A Good Times movie is being developed. Not so Dyn-o-mite, though I bet J.J. Walker is available.
  • HBO has released a trailer for the second season of Veep:
  • Vampire Weekend has released two new songs: “Step” and “Diane Young.” Their new album Modern Vampires of the City is out May 7th.
  • Listen to a mix of Justin Timberlake’s “Suit and Tie” and Daft Punk:

 

  • What every home needs – A Breaking Bad terrarium. I’m not kidding – I would put this in my living room.
  • Filming for the third season of the BBC’s Sherlock has begun.  A fourth season is happening as well. More Cumberbatch for everyone!
  • A Shining/Dumb and Dumber mashup:

 

  • Beyoncé has posted a new song on her Tumblr:

 

  • A new red-band trailer for Kick-Ass 2 has been released:

 

  • This is a good dad – a game developer hacked Donkey Kong so his daughter could play the game as a female character that rescues Mario
  • Whoa – Pete Campbell from Mad Men and Rory Gilmore are getting married (well – the actors that play them are, anyway)
  • Watch Usher and the Afghan Whigs perform together at SXSW:

 

  • I can sympathize with Hitler’s reaction in the video I linked to above – I love Google Reader and am very bummed that it will be retired soon. It’s what I use to keep track of all the links that I share with you in these roundups.
  • A new trailer for Despicable Me 2 has been released:

 

  • Cedric the Entertainer is the new host of Who Wants to be a Millionaire.
  • And finally – The Princess Bride meets Game of Thrones:

Pop Culture Odds and Ends – Halloween Edition

Tonight trick or treaters will descend upon residences across the nation, in search of the elusive homes that give out full sized candy bars. I never did find them during my trick or treating tenure, but I have heard that they exist. Unfortunately I found plenty of houses that gave away raisins. May tonight’s participants in the Candy Games have better fortune.

So in between handing out goodies to members of the Avengers, Disney princesses and sullen teenagers with pillow cases, check out your biweekly roundup of pop culture stories.

  • The children of New Jersey may get a delayed Halloween, but they will get it. Governor Christie has said he will issue an Executive Order to move Halloween if things are too dangerous. A lot of people have been making fun of this, but I think it’s a nice gesture. I remember how devastated I was when I was little and the pediatrician said I was too sick to go trick or treating. One dramatic crying fit later and my parents were driving me house to house so I could still participate, if on a limited basis. So I’m glad that the children of Jersey won’t be disappointed. They need something to look forward to.
  • Inexplicably, amid all the terrible destruction and damage in New Jersey, The Jersey Shore house was untouched. I was not one to believe in the Mayan prophesy, but this might be enough to convince me.
  • More big news – the new season of Community finally has an official air date. The good news is that the show is back on Thursday nights. The bad news is that the season won’t start until February 7, 2013. NBC – YOU ARE KILLING ME!
  • In other news from the peacock network – NBC has passed on the Dwight Schrute focused The Office spin-off, The Farm. As of now, we’ll still see the pilot episode; it will air as an episode of The Office as originally planned. It probably can’t be worse than Mockingbird Lane, the failed pilot for NBC’s update of The Munsters that they burned off last week. Yowza – that was terrible.
  • NBC has also halted production on the ratings challenged Up All Night and will bring it back as a multi-camera show filmed in front of a studio audience. I’m really not sure how that is going to increase viewership, unless they are banking on audience members forcing their friends and family to watch to see the episode that they saw tape. Otherwise, I think this is putting a Band-Aid on a bullet wound.
  • One last NBC note – for reasons that I do not understand the network is pulling all their Thursday night comedies this week. Instead, they are allegedly airing a repeat of The Voice. You read that correctly – A REPEAT. However, since 30 Rock has an election focused episode and Election Day is Tuesday (vote early and often!), 30 Rock will air tonight (Wednesday) at 8 pm. I officially give up on figuring out this network; perhaps the newly unemployed Crystal the Monkey (RIP Animal Practice) is now in charge of programming. That being said, they are doing better by 30 Rock than poor Community – their Halloween episode will air sometime in March.
  • Congratulations to the San Francisco Giants on winning the World Series! I was pulling for them, though I will admit that I don’t think I watched one inning of the World Series this year. Even when the Yankees aren’t in it, I usually catch a game or two, but that just didn’t happen this time.
  • The first trailer for Iron Man 3 has been released

They were scouting a local location for this movie, but that apparently didn’t come to pass. Maybe for The Avengers 2?

  • I got a kick out of this Esquire article about the author’s experience at a casting call for The Rock’s new reality series The Hero.
  • In a recent interview Total Film magazine, Quentin Tarantino  hints that Inglourious Basterds and the upcoming Django Unchained are two pieces of an unofficial trilogy. I’m on board.
  • Mark your calendars – new episodes of Arrested Development are coming to Netflix April 2013.
  • What the what? Will Ferrell did an ad for Old Milwaukee beer – airing in Sweden.

 

  • Adam Sandler’s next movie will be a Western. God help us all.
  • Chloe Sevigny will star in a new cop drama for A&E.
  • Paul McCartney does not blame Yoko Ono for the breakup of The Beatles. So that settles that.
  • George Clooney’s next directorial effort has quite the cast: Daniel Craig, Cate Blanchett, Bill Murray, John Goodman and last year’s Oscar winner for Best Actor, Jean Dujardin.
  • Axl Rose gave his first live interview in a decade on Jimmy Kimmel Live! Behold:

 

  • My new favorite tumbler? Kanye Wes – a mashup of Kanye West and Wes Anderson.

Now for some Halloween-specific links:

  • Mike Myers as Michael Myers?

 

  • Paste has compiled the 20 best horror movies currently streaming on Netflix Instant.
  • The Awl looks at underrated horror movie heroines.
  • Here are some pretty cool pumpkin carvings.
  • I’ve been fairly open with my criticism of Modern Family, but I did enjoy seeing the show re-cut as a horror film. Clowns are always scary.

 

  • And finally – The Exorcist as an 80s sitcom:

Still better than According to Jim.

Have a safe Halloween!

Looking for a way to help in the recovery from Hurricane Sandy? To donate to the Red Cross, visit www.redcross.org, call 800-Red-Cross or text the word “Redcross” to 90999 to make a $10 donation. Please also consider donating blood as over 100 blood drives were cancelled because of the storm. To donate, call 800-933-2566 or visit www.nybloodcenter.org.