What’s Making Me Happy

I routinely listen to the NPR podcast Pop Culture Happy Hour; it’s a great show that discusses pop culture in a smart way and introduces me to a lot of pop culture goodness that I might not otherwise be exposed to. Their areas of interest don’t line up neatly with mine, so I may hear about an old movie or a book that somehow wasn’t on my radar. Every week, they end the show by the foursome going around the table and saying what pop culture related things are making them happy that week. This is traditionally my favorite part of the show and where I get most of my recommendations.

I’m going to steal borrow that idea for today’s post; I’ve been feeling pretty yucky this week from what I assume are allergies. It doesn’t help matters that I discovered this morning that I’ve been accidentally taking a 12-hour allergy pill rather than the 24 hour version, which certainly explains the trouble I’ve had sleeping. Because I don’t feel well, I’ve been tired and a little cranky all week so I especially appreciate the things that have made me smile and momentarily lift my spirits between coughing and sneezing. I love spring, but I don’t love pollen.

Things making Heather happy:

John Krasinski and Jimmy Fallon Lip Sync Battle (Late Night with Jimmy Fallon)

Now, I love these two guys separately, but putting them together and having them lip sync has given me the biggest smile that I’ve had all week. I am not surprised that Fallon was so great at this, but seeing that Krasinksi was willing to have fun with it made my day. Plus Krasinski in now sporting an amazing beard and ?estlove gives the best reaction shots.

 

Jennifer Lawrence Photobombing Sarah Jessica Parker at the Met Gala

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I’m not sure if life is a contest, but if it is I’m pretty sure Jennifer Lawrence is beating us all. (You may have to click on the photo to get the GIF to animate – I’m working on that)

Auto-tuned Charles Ramsey

The interview that Charles Ramsey gave about his role in saving Amanda Berry, Georgina DeJesus and Michelle Knight has been making the rounds, but I think it is even better when it gets the autotune treatment

 

New Music

I’m not usually up on music being released, but so far I am really digging the new album by Fitz and the Tantrums (released 5/7), Natalie Maines (former lead singer of the Dixie Chicks) new solo album, Mother (released 5/7) and the new Vampire Weekend album (out 5/14 and currently streaming on iTunes).

Leinenkugel’s Summer Shandy

This isn’t the best beer out there by a long shot, but it’s a great beer for the summer. In my opinion, putting lemonade and beer together is genius. I got to enjoy a few of these over the weekend and it matched the weather and my mood perfectly.

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Pete Campbell Falling Down the Stairs (Mad Men)

There was a lot to love about last Sunday’s episode of Mad Men, especially Joan’s speech to Don, but Pete Campbell falling down the stairs will just never not be funny to me. Pete is the worst. (Again – you may have to click on the photo to get it to work)

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What pop culture related things are making you happy this week? Let us know in the comments below.

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 – Post BCS Championship edition

I think I was still in shock yesterday with how badly Notre Dame played against Alabama Monday night in the BCS Championship game. I was skeptical that the Irish (my team) would be able to pull it off – Alabama is a great team – but I thought that they would at least put up more of a fight. We knew that the game was over by the end of the first quarter, yet we continued to watch the game unfold. I’m just glad that Notre Dame scored a few touchdowns; losing is one thing – even in a blowout – but getting completely shut out is so much worse. It wasn’t a very exciting game to watch. When the big story coming out of the game is the announcer going on and on about the girlfriend of the Alabama QB (and to a lesser extent the QB’s mom) – to the point that ESPN apologized for it – you know that it’s not that good of a game. You’d think after years of watching the Buffalo Bills I would have been prepared for that display of terrible football, but I had higher hopes for Notre Dame. Clearly, I am not meant to root for a dominant football program on any level.

So while I get over that display Monday night, here’s your biweekly roundup of pop culture odds and ends to keep you occupied:

  • Oscar nominations will be announced tomorrow! It is embarrassing how giddy I am for this.
  • They are making a “sort-of” prequel to Jackie Brown (apparently without Quentin Tarantino’s involvement) that will feature a pretty good cast.
  • Genie Francis (Laura Spencer, of “Luke and Laura” fame) will be returning to General Hospital.
  • Listen to the Stark Children beatbox the Game of Thrones Theme Song
  • Film.com has an infographic that breaks down how many times Tarantino has used the N-word in his films.
  • Speaking of the Biebs, check out this video of James Franco lip syncing to Bieber’s  song, “Girlfriend.” Is there anything Franco can’t do?
  • Woody Allen’s newest movie has a title – Blue Jasmine.
  • The planned reboot of In Living Color is now dead. Thank goodness.
  • The Steven Soderbergh biopic on Liberace (starring Michael Douglas and Matt Damon) was deemed “too gay” for theaters. It will air on HBO.
  • I’m very excited for this – It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia is taking a page from The Game of Thrones and will soon have its own themed beer.  This sounds like the perfect beverage to drink while playing CharDee MacDennis.
  • HBO announced the premiere dates for two interesting projects: A comedy from Christopher Guest and a WWI miniseries with Benedict Cumberbatch.
  • I love this – someone assembled a montage of training montages
  • Anna Farris has signed on to star in Chuck Lorre’s latest CBS sitcom. I’m guessing that it won’t be very good, but will be wildly popular.
  • Watch a drum duel between Fred Armisen and ?uestlove from The Roots:
  • Nicolas Cage and Ashley Tinsdale are attached to the Left Behind movie, based on the faith based novels. A previous adaptation starred Kirk Cameron. I feel like this could be the most awesomely bad movie ever made.
  • HBO has been sued over an alleged cover-up over the death of horses on the show Luck.
  • Seriously, Taylor Swift? Enough already. Try being alone for a while.
  • Check out this video of Django Unchained, reimagined as a terrible sitcom.
  • And finally, because I can’t stop yammering on about Tarantino apparently, College Humor has assembled every pop culture reference from his movies