by Jac Kern
Jac's roundup of pop culture news and Internet findings
At the risk of
inducing widespread PTSD flashbacks, I invite everyone to recall 2011’s
Internet Public Enemy No. 1, Rebecca Black. The teen, who is probably a decent
human undeserving of worldwide hatred, assaulted eardrums on a massive scale
with her music video gone viral, “Friday.” The worst realization to come out of
Friday-gate wasn’t the sorry state of the music industry or even the online bullying Black faced,
but the fact that, apparently, rich people will throw a few thousand dollars at
a greedy producer to create a shitty song and music video for their marginally
and songwriter Patrice Wilson was one of the driving forces behind “Friday” and
if you wanted to give his work another chance, you’re in luck. He worked with
Nicole Westbrook to record a song not about one day of the week (that’s so 2011),
but one day of the year. Ladies and gentlemen, it’s Thanksgiving.
Kraft Mac-n-Cheese – AY! Stove Top stuffing – AY! We
one-percenters should have better food than this.
While we’re on the
topic of social phenomena ripe for mockery, it’s fitting to recognize Food
Network’s Guy Fieri (Real Name: Guy Ferry. Yeah, douchebag status: confirmed)
who recently opened a new restaurant in New York City. It seems most people
either love or hate Guy. He co-owns five California restaurants and hosts the
popular Diners, Drive-ins and Dives,
on which he travels the country highlighting off-the-beaten-path chow-down
spots — so, clearly he’s got some fans out there. Others are a bit turned off
by his labored “Rock-N-Roll” façade, his annoying catchphrases
and his penchant for bowling shirts. I can’t trust a man who purposefully styles
his hair like a goofy visor hat from Cappel’s,
and apparently New York Times’ Pete Wells isn’t a fan either. In his Nov. 13 take-down piece on the new Guy’s American Kitchen & Bar in Times Square, Wells completely ripped
the joint apart limb from tribal tattooed limb. While any attempt to seriously
review what sounds like a black hole for overweight tourists would probably
prove futile, I feel Wells could have been a bit more creative in his blasting
of Fieri. Guy’s an easy target, so why go with the cliched “Dear Guy,” letter
format, punctuated by a series of overly sarcastic questions? At this point I’m
waiting for a cynical review of Wells’ review (please tweet any findings to
@jackern), but I have to hand it to the reviewer for this service assessment
that made me choke on my morning coffee: “The well-meaning staff seems to realize that this is not a
real restaurant.” Find the full story here.
Fans got a first
look at Brad Pitt zombie action flick World
War Z last week. The film, based on Max Brooks’ 2006 novel of the same
name, may stray farther from the text than fans have hoped, judging by the
(Though it’s important to note how
deceiving these first looks can be). The book reflects on a worldwide war on
zombies after the fact, using interviews with survivors to paint the terrifying
picture, whereas the film appears to be a straight-up zombie movie. However it
turns out, zombie purists beware: These may be the quickest and most agile
last week’s election, gay marriage is now legal nine states. It’s a great feat
for equality, but we’ve got a long way to go. In fact, gays across America have
given straight, conservative men an ultimatum: Vote to legalize same-sex
marriage, or they will marry the crap out of your girlfriends.
Portlandia, the hilarious sketch comedy
spoofing counter-culture trends, returns to IFC Jan. 4. The show stars SNL’s
Fred Armisen and Sleater-Kinney/Wild Flag guitarist-singer Carrie Brownstein — quite possibly my
favorite non-romantic duo — in a series of timely skits about the hipster sect
of popular culture. All the good little boys and girls of Oregon and beyond can
get an early sampling of the two with the “Winter in Portlandia”
holiday special on Dec. 14. Fans will see Peter and Nance go low-carb to stave
off winter blubber and meet Candace’s son as he swings by Women and Women First
during his holiday visit.
Here’s the first skit from the
upcoming third season:
by Jac Kern
Posted In: TV/Celebrity
at 03:33 PM | Permalink
Upcoming shows and recent TV announcements
Based on the style of BBC sitcom The Thick of It, HBO’s Veep (10 p.m. Sundays) stars Julia Louis-Dreyfus as the Vice President of the United States. For those of us who’ve had more than their fill of Sarah Palin after the channel’s movie Game Change, don’t worry — this is a fictional storyline not based on any gun-toting beauty queens. The comedy follows the less-than-glamorous day-to-day tasks of V.P. Selina Meyer. Think Parks and Recreation if Leslie Knope made it to the White House. Selling point: Tony Hale (otherwise known as Buster Bluth) plays her bodyguard. Veep premieres April 22.Did you watch that Portlandia sketch about the fictional restaurant Around the World in 80 Plates, “a culinary voyage across the seven seas of flavor,” and think that would be a great premise for a food and travel show? Well, the folks over at Bravo did (or it at least seems like it) when they created a new reality show where chefs compete while traveling across the world, entitled — wait for it — Around the World in 80 Plates (10 p.m. Mondays). Chefs Cat Cora and Curtis Stone host. Tune in May 9 for the premiere to see if Craig’s Crazy Guac Tacs are involved in any way (fingers crossed).Move over, Kardashians — there’s a new family in E! town. Mrs. Eastwood & Company (10 p.m. Sundays) takes the ubiquitous reality formula to Northern California, focusing on the lives of Clint’s wife, Dina, and two of his daughters, Francesca and Morgan. The ladies live on a sprawling ranch complete with a sassy housekeeper and herd of pets. The show focuses on the Eastwoods’ pet project, grownup boyband, Overtone. Hit show or hot mess? Find out May 20 when the series debuts.Other recent show announcements include the following premiere dates: HBO's True Blood (9 p.m. Sunday, June 10), TNT's revival of Dallas (9 p.m. Wednesday, June 13) and my guiltiest of pleasures, Showtime's The Real L Word (10 p.m. Thursday, July 12).
0 Comments · Tuesday, March 6, 2012
American remakes of British television shows tend to be hit or miss. The Office certainly found a place in America’s heart, but countless others just didn’t quite make the trip across the pond. Showtime’s Shameless gives
an award-winning Brit series a Chicago-style makeover, resulting in one
of the grittiest portrayals of lower class family life on U.S.
0 Comments · Wednesday, February 8, 2012
When filmmaker George Romero directed 1968’s Night of the Living Dead,
he surely had no clue zombies would turn into a cultural phenomenon.
While tons of horror films give way to camp, sex or bad special effects,
Living Dead remains a classic and has prompted a cult of the zombie-obsessed.
0 Comments · Tuesday, January 31, 2012
American testifies against the Russian mob, forcing him and his family
to enter the Witness Protection Program, move to New York City and …
make a reality show about it! This is the premise of Adult Swim’s
sleeper hit Delocated (midnight Thursdays, Cartoon
0 Comments · Wednesday, January 25, 2012
Lake Superior State University recently
released its annual List of Words Banished from the Queen’s English for
Misuse, Overuse and General Uselessness. Annoying terms such as “baby
bump,” “man cave” and the worn-out “amazing” made the list. Now, I can’t
argue with the retiring of these words, but I’d like to add one to the
list — hipster.
0 Comments · Tuesday, February 1, 2011
Trying to come up with a fake major while stoned in college is easy (“Dude, I wish I could major in, like, pot studies or ’80s TV sitcoms or something.”). But trying to come up with a real major can be a bitch, especially as technology and a tanking economy have shifted and narrowed the job market. But every now and then, a college will irresponsibly offer advanced degrees in frivolous studies.