ICYMI: Friday, March 28

Let’s ignore the fact that it’s not Friday and just accept that this is a special Saturday edition of ICYMI, because I didn’t have access to the internet yesterday! Okay then.

-Yesterday, at the American Horror Story panel at Paleyfest, Ryan Murphy announced that basically everyone from Coven will be back, plus new addition Michael Chiklis, for Freak ShowI have so many feelings about this. All of them are positive.

-Also coming soon is the Magic Mike sequel, as penned by professional beefcake/icon of perfection Channing Tatum, and it will be called Magic Mike XXLYes. I can’t. Such happy. Wow.

-In an attempt to appease fans who have been waiting a full Westeros winter for the sixth Game of Thrones book, George R.R. Martin has released an excerpt from the eventually forthcoming The Winds of Winter – spoilers, obviously, but it’s an Arya chapter, so that rocks. Oh, and speaking of Game of Thrones, Jon Snow has a butt double. Sorry, ladies.

-Are you upset that How I Met Your Mother is ending on Monday? So are Billy Eichner and Lindsay Lohan, who smashed a HIMYM-themed car out of pure sadness, I guess. Can we talk about how hard Billy Eichner has been killing it lately?

-Whoops. Even though Hannah Horvath was accepted to the prestigious University of Iowa writer’s workshop, the university will not allow Girls to film on campus, so that’s kind of awkward.

-So, Colbert did a bit where he made fun of the Redskins owner for starting a charity that has the word Redskins in its name, and made a joke that was great in context about starting a charity for “Orientals or whatever,” which promptly was taken out of context when Comedy Central tweeted it, and people got really butthurt and started a #CancelColbert hashtag. To the people using this hashtag: you know his show is satirical, right? And you get that he’s ON OUR SIDE, RIGHT?! Sigh.

-Once he’s finished with Captain America, Chris Evans is planning on quitting acting and moving behind the camera. I hate to break it to him, but he’s probably contractually obligated to do, like, 20 more Avengers movies, sooooo, yeah.

-The Emmys are changing up their rules a little bit and allowing True Detective to compete in the Drama category, even though it’s technically an anthology slash miniseries, not unlike AHS, which always competes in Miniseries. This means McConaughey will be up against both Bryan Cranston and Jon Hamm, most likely, while he’s fresh off his Oscar win, and that the series itself will have to contend with Breaking Bad‘s final season, Game of Thrones‘ fourth season (which is jam-packed with Emmy material, I can assure you), and the first half of Mad Men‘s final season. YIKES. This year’s Emmy race just got way crazier.

-Also, Emmys powerhouse AMC is developing a whole buttload of original series, including, finally, some comedies, so hopefully those have a chance of eventually beating Modern Family!

-And, finally, after the really-big-deal death on last week’s Good Wife, Vulture, among other websites, has rounded up a list of ways that TV shows have killed off unhappy actors. Most creative, naturally, goes to South Park re: Chef.

Next week, we’ll have another piece about HIMYM, and hopefully more opinion pieces coming up, including some thoughts about Paleyfest! Have fun in the rain! (It’s raining on this whole half of the country, so, just assuming.)

Quickie: Chris Martin and Gwyneth Paltrow Are “Uncoupled,” Which Is a Snooty Term for “Separated”

I guess the pressure of Kim and Kanye stealing their throne as “World’s Most Annoying Couple” was starting to get to them, because Gwyneth Paltrow and Coldplay frontman Chris Martin are separating, or, in their words, “uncoupling.”. I have to admit, I did NOT see this one coming. Is nothing sacred anymore?! (Jennifer Garner and Ben Affleck had better keep their shit together.) Gwyneth announced the news yesterday on her lifestyle blog GOOP (yes, the one where she tells her readers to buy million dollar Hermes sweatpants, because she’s hopelessly out of touch with normal humans), and the site promptly crashed. Oh, well. What can you expect from a couple where the man is so irritating his own band once booted him from the recording studio even though he’s their lead singer, and the woman’s high horse is so high that she once said she would rather smoke crack than eat cheese from a can? (I probably shouldn’t have written this Quickie. I sound really biased.)

A Piece of My Mind: How I Met Your Mother’s (Impossibly?) High Expectations

How I Met Your Mother aired its penultimate episode this Monday, wherein Robin and Barney actually made it down the aisle, pre-wedding tantrums notwithstanding. And, with that, the big conflict of this season has found resolution. We still have one episode left – the hour long, series finale – and we still don’t know exactly how Ted meets The Mother (who, at this point, remains nameless), nor do we have any answers to, I don’t know, about a million questions the show has left open-ended (thankfully, an intrepid Buzzfeeder rounded up the 51 most important questions). This show has been frustrating, complex, and, in its best moments, incredibly rewarding for its loyal viewers, which makes its fans wonder – can the big ending possibly live up?

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A Piece of My Mind: The Muppet Movies, from Worst to Best


What are the ingredients to a good Muppet movie? I would argue that these are the five essential rules to making a solid film with our furry, fuzzy felt friends;

-Original songs.

-Make us laugh.

-Celebrity cameos who actually have something to do.

-A human is not the main character.

-Give us something to truly care about.

With Muppets Most Wanted being released this past weekend, this is as good a time as any to reflect on the Muppets. They’ve been delighting audiences for decades, whether it was on TV in The Muppet Show, on one of their many film soundtracks, or on the silver screen in an impressive eight films as of this writing. But do all eight of those Muppet films hold up? So yes, from worst to best, here are my thoughts on all eight theatrically released Muppet films;

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ICYMI: Friday, March 21

So, apparently yesterday was the first day of spring, Divergent comes out today, and every music festival I can’t afford to go to is announcing their line-ups! Fabulous. Here’s what else happened this week.

-Last night, Jimmy Fallon and Billy Joel formed a two man doo-wop group, so that’s a delightful thing that happened.

SNL has an incredible lineup of hosts for the next few episodes. Louis CK will host on March 29 with musical guest Sam Smith, Anna Kendrick on April 5 with musical guest Pharrell, and Seth Rogen on April 12 with musical guest Ed Sheeran. Please, writers, don’t screw any of these people like you screwed Jennifer Lawrence.

-David Cross, most famous for playing Tobias Funke, has has joined the cast of Fox’s sitcom Dead Boss, which is also starring Jane Krakowski, and my inner comedy nerd just peed a little out of sheer excitement.

-Do you want to see a picture of Jason Segel as David Foster Wallace? Well, here it is.

-So, apparently, Louis CK once said that any actor who would stand up and ask Sean Penn a question during Inside the Actor’s Studio was doomed to never make it. That being said, Bradley Cooper’s entire career exists to prove him wrong.

-Anthony Lane wrote a really slobbery profile of ScarJo in the most recent New Yorker, and I’m obviously not the only one who thought it was a little weird, since Vulture has compiled a roundup of other writers’ responses to the piece.

-Everyone’s boyfriend Ryan Gosling will be reappearing in the public eye to play Busby Berkeley, the famously flamboyant director and choreographer. WELL THANK GOD. WHERE HAS HE BEEN?!?

-The Sorkin/Fincher Steve Jobs biopic (aka The Social Network 2: Electric Boogaloo) has its sights set on Christian Bale for the title role. No, really, Fincher said he won’t even make the movie if Bale doesn’t do it. So… no pressure, Christian!

-And, finally, for some reason there are TWO Jungle Book remakes in the works – one directed by Jon Favreau and the other, now, by motion-capture icon Andy Serkis, best known for playing Gollum and Caesar. I didn’t think I’d ever see the day where there would be two competing Jungle Book remakes, but apparently, that day has come.

We’ll actually be putting up some movie reviews starting next week, as well as some Piece of My Mind essays, a largely forgotten about feature here at (Pop) Culturally Informed. We’ll also be debuting a new and exciting feature in the next few weeks, written by a West Coast correspondent. Happy spring, even though it’s supposed to snow in Philly! Again! Gahhhh!!

QUICKIE: Are we sure this is the Trailer for The Giver?

Maybe it’s just because I haven’t read Lois Lowry’s book in a long time, but;

-Is The Giver as futuristic-looking as this? I don’t remember technology being such a huge part of the book as it is presented here. Someone please correct me if I’m wrong.

-I know for a fact that one of the big things is the lack of color in this world. You’d think that most of the film would be shot in black and white, no? Something of a Pleasantville vibe to it? At least not so much damn blue everywhere.

-Meryl Streep is pulling off a really nice Anjelica Huston impression.

Quickie: New Setting for American Horror Story Revealed


During an appearance on the Nerdist Panels’ Podcast, American Horror Story writer Douglas Petrie confirmed that though next season still doesn’t have a title, it will be “set in a carnival.” Wasn’t Carnivale already a show? Whatever. It’s going to be amazing, probably, so now we can adequately prepare ourselves for Jessica Lange’s final AHS season by imagining which act she’ll do. Even odds on lion tamer.

ICYMI: Friday, March 14

Well, True Detective‘s first season is over, spring is kind of springing, and it’s Pi Day, I guess! Math!

-But more importantly, one year ago today, the Veronica Mars Kickstarter began, and crushed every Kickstarter record ever – meaning that today is the day the VERONICA MARS MOVIE COMES OUT. It’s not playing in a huge number of theaters, but you can download it in Digital HD from Amazon, iTunes, or Flixster. Happy watching, marshmallows!

-Yesterday, during a concert at SXSW, Lady GaGa had a performance artist vomiting neon puke on her during the performance – said performance artist apparently does this all the time, as her act. What? Why? Why is neon barfing “art?” I just don’t get modern art, you guys.

-I’m sure you’re aware that President Obama appeared (and killed) on Between Two Ferns with Zach Galifinakis. Here, the director talks to Vulture about how this insane thing even happened and what it was like to film in the White House.

-Chloe Sevigny’s new lady cop drama, Those Who Kill, has been pulled from A&E’s lineup after only two episodes. The network says they just need to find a better spot for it due to low ratings, which I think translates to “this show is DOA and we’re embarrassed.”

Pretty Woman is being turned into a musical, because why the fuck not?

-Here’s a roundup of production photos and recap videos: if you have amnesia and have completely forgotten Season 3 of Game of Thrones, here’s a 25 minute recap so you’re not annoying everyone in the room by asking who that guy with the beard is; here are shots of Robin and Barney’s upcoming wedding on HIMYM which are unclear about whether or not it actually happens; and finally, here are production pictures from Season 2 of Orange Is the New Black (eeee!!!!!!!).

-CBS has renewed basically all of its shows for the fall, including The Big Bang Theory with a history-making three-season pickup, which really just means we have to watch Jim Parsons win one hundred more Emmys and resist punching our TVs.

-That being said, Louie returns on May 5, so thank God.

-Rooney Mara (of The Social Network and Girl With the Dragon Tattoo and sister of House of Cards’ Kate Mara) is in negotiations to play Tiger Lily in an adaptation of Peter Pan done by Warner Bros., which is stirring up some understandable controversy about, you know, not casting an actual Native American actress. (The original Disney movie was actually pretty racist about Native Americans to begin with.)

-The inhumanly perfect Julia Louis-Dreyfus was inducted into the Television Hall of Fame, and was introduced by the equally perfect Amy Poehler. Both of their speeches are solid gold.

-Want to know where “alright, alright, alright” came from? You’re in luck.

This week, we’ll post a review of the Veronica Mars movie, as well as other essays and random quickies. Have a good pre-Patty’s Day weekend! Green beer is gross! Make good choices!

Form and Void: An Essay on True Detective (by Fred Pelzer)


Our first guest writer is Fred Pelzer, a fellow Pitt graduate, playwright and pop enthusiast who currently resides in Chicago. Keep an eye out for more pieces by guest writers, and thanks to Fred for kicking things off!

This then is the climax of True Detective. Ignore the Lost-esque rabbit holes of hidden crowns and m-hole theories and W. H. Chambers references. Pay no mind to the man behind the yellow mask. For the past 8 hours we have watched two men grapple with the gap between their idea of family and the reality of it. For Marty, his philandering could be written off as for the family, but not until his near death experience does he seem to actually enjoy their presence, fully in the moment and not looking for other ways to satisfy his contradictory self-definition of what it means to be a man.

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Quickie: Justin Bieber Has Officially Become King Joffrey


Oh, Justin. TMZ has released footage of his deposition (which is related to his bodyguards beating up a photographer, I guess, and not the drag racing/DUI situation that also totally happened), and just as everyone suspected, Bieber is a complete and total snotrag, not unlike our young king of Westeros (although as of press time, Bieber has not executed anyone in Selena Gomez’s family and then forced her to look at their severed head). These videos are actually appalling, though, but the best part is when he’s trying to say that he was “instrumental” to his own career and ends up saying “detrimental” instead. Gotta love those Freudian slips.