Quickie: NBC’s “Peter Pan” Finds Its Lead: A One-Act Play by Ben Kaye

Lights up.

Three NBC executives sit in an office conference room.

EXEC 1: Alright guys, we need to figure out who to cast as our lead role for our musical version of “Peter Pan” this year. People made fun of us for casting Carrie Underwood in “Sound of Music” last year, so we gotta think differently.

EXEC 2: Well why didn’t people like Carrie Underwood?

EXEC 3: I’m guessing it’s because they’ve heard of her before? People like unknowns, underdogs.

EXEC 1: That’s good, that’s good! Ok, step one; find someone who people sort of know, but isn’t like, “really famous,” you know?

EXEC 2: We already have Christopher Walken as Captain Hook, so it all balances out! Perfect!

EXEC 1: Ok, so, in the grand tradition of this show, we need a girl playing Peter Pan. Anyone know any girls who could play Peter Pan?

EXEC 3: Well, there’s a TV show called “Girls.” How about someone from there?

EXEC 1: You’re on a roll! So, out of the four girls on that show, who looks the most like a pre-pubescent boy?


ALL EXECS: Allison Williams!

EXEC 2: Boys, we’ve done it again.

EXEC 3: Don’t know how we do it.

EXEC 1: Another job well done. Now, let’s start planning NEXT year’s musical, “Sweeney Todd” starring Jim Parsons. We’re making magic here, guys!

End of play.

ICYMI: July 25, 2014


New week, new stuff you may have missed. Buckle your seat belts, folks, it’s a wild one.

-In what could be one of the oddest rumors of the week, word on the street is that Joaquin Phoenix is in talks to star as “Doctor Strange” in Marvel’s screen adaptation of the comic-book character. After kicking Edgar Wright off of “Ant-Man,” this could certainly be a move that would earn Marvel back some street-cred.

For the first time in his more-than-30-years of being famous, Weird Al Yankovic was #1 on the Billboard Album Charts. It just goes to show what we never knew before this moment; nostalgia never dies.

-The San Diego Comic-Con is this weekend, which means plenty of juicy gossip, pictures, trailers, and all sorts of geekery abound. Already, we have a new trailer for “Interstellar,” and some new pictures of Batffleck (yes, this is seriously what people are calling it. But look at his tiny little ears!)

-More TV news this week! “Community”‘s 6th season will likely come out “after Christmas,” and will be released in a weekly fashion, rather than Yahoo dumping all the episodes in our lap like Netflix or Hulu would have. No binge-watching for you, Greendale students.

-Mark August 21st on your calendars, because that’s the day when the epic “Every Episode of Simpsons Ever” Marathon begins on FXX. Shortly after that 12-day (Yes. TWELVE DAYS) marathon, FXX will release the “Simpsons World” app, containing not only every single 500+ episode of the iconic animated series, but behind-the-scenes factoids, trivia, and other goodies. This is the Golden Age, my friends.

-For all you sickos out there, the “50 Shades of Grey” trailer is out now. So go watch that filth based on that book of filth, and then go see the full-length filth feature. You can tell how much I care about this story.

-Hey look, guys! It’s a comedy show with Tina Fey and Rachel Dratch from 1999 performed at the Second City! Watch this instead of the above link! This will make your day better!

-Finally, and with no further context, watch this trailer. You won’t regret it.

Well, August is around the corner, and that means our Make Our Case articles will be going up soon, where Nina and I make our respective cases for who should take home an Emmy Award in each category. Stay tuned for that, and have a great weekend, y’all!

ICYMI: July 18, 2014


Happy Friday, everyone! Let’s get down to it, because that GIF is mesmerizing and I need to write something so I don’t just watch it all day.

-Weird Al obviously released his new album this week, along with a new video coming out every day. Up there is “Tacky” (Happy), and he’s also given us “Word Crimes” (Blurred Lines), “Handy” (Fancy) and “Foil” (Royals), with more to come. Weird Al is pretty great, so just enjoy your afternoon watching all of these. (Also, do you think he’s still taking submissions? Is there still time for me to ask him to do “***Flourless”?!?!)

-Speaking of music videos, the VMA nominations were announced via Snapchat, which makes me, at the ripe old age of 23, feel ancient. Beyonce leads with nine nominations, because Beyonce.

-Our Lord and Savior of High-End Television Programming, Bryan Cranston, will be making his official return to the small screen with HBO (of course) in an adaptation of All The Way, his Broadway show wherein he just played Lyndon Johnson and, you know, won a Tony. (HALWAY TO AN EGOT! SOMEONE GET THIS MAN AN OSCAR!)

-Leighton Meester wrote an essay for Huffington Post about feminism in Of Mice and Men, and it’s… actually a pretty good essay. Blair Waldorf was always an excellent student, so I guess I should have expected that.

-The World Music Awards tweeted recently that Adele had officially announced her new album, 25, but that turned out to be an EXTREMELY CRUEL LIE and nothing is confirmed yet. I didn’t even know that the World Music Awards were a thing and now they’re toying with my heart. Unacceptable.

-Seth MacFarlane is being sued because he possibly stole the idea for Ted, a movie where a teddy bear makes dick jokes for about two hours. I mean, what an intricate, complicated premise. I can see why he couldn’t come up with that on his own.

-Nathan Rabin feels bad about coining the phrase “Manic Pixie Dream Girl” and wishes it would go away. I don’t think that’s how it works, or Ben Affleck certainly would have made Gigli go away by now.

-That terrifying Kardashian iPhone game I refuse to play (because I would definitely get super addicted to it) is poised to make $200 million, because we live in a terrible world.

-Let’s switch gears to people and things that are awesome: my favorite human Jenny Lewis dressed Anne Hathaway, Brie Larson, and Kristen Stewart up as tracksuit wearing dudes for her new music video, “One of the Guys,” and the results were DELIGHTFUL.

-More great, excellent lady people: here are pictures of Tina Fey and Amy Poehler on the set of The Nest, also known as my new favorite movie.

-But not all lady people can be as funny – Blake Lively is sad that people don’t seem to get her jokes. Honey… have you ever heard the saying “God doesn’t give with both hands?”

-And, finally, some fun Game of Thrones theories that are absolutely probably correct! If you haven’t heard the R+L=J theory before, this video lays it out in a way that’s super easy to comprehend, considering that most of the characters in this goddamn series have the exact same name.

That’s all for ICYMI this week! This coming week, our Emmys series will begin, so hide yo kids, hide yo wife. Byee!

QUICKIE: Elaine Stritch Dead at 89

Broadway and screen legend Elaine Stritch was found dead in her Birmingham, Michigan home today. The singer, actress, and personality struggled with alcoholism throughout her life and made no secret of it, making a name for herself as a brash, honest, and hilarious woman and comedian. Stritch certainly had no shortage of iconic, huge roles, but right now, I’ll remember her fondly as Jack Donaghy’s terrifying Irish mother Colleen on 30 Rock, a secret lesbian who used to sleep with FAO Schwartz in exchange for Christmas presents for her kids. Rest well, Elaine. And, as for the rest of us, let’s say we put some things aside tonight and stream “Shoot Me” on Netflix.

QUICKIE: Saturday Night Live Cuts Three Rookies

Bad news for three relatively recent SNL hires- Noel Wells, Brooks Wheelan and John Millhiser will not be returning to the sketch show this fall, so it’s time to bid a fond farewell to Wells’ dead-on Lena Dunham impression, along with… whatever memorable things Wheelan and Milhiser did. Mike O’Brien is the only newb to remain on the chopping block- Kyle Mooney, Sasheer Zamata and Beck Bennett are obviously sticking around. More like Slaughterhouse Night Live, ammiright?!

DISCUSSION: Emmy Nominations 2014

Welcome to the first in many entries leading up to this year’s Primetime Emmy Awards! In this initial post, Nina (N) and myself (B) will go through each of the major categories on the big night and give our initial musings and opinions on Television’s highest “honor.”

B: Oh, the Emmys. An awards show filled with shows/actors being placed into strange categories, and mediocre shows (for the most part) rising up their critically-acclaimed brethren. Nina, is this the year where I finally pull my hair out when Modern Family wins Best Comedy for the 5th year in a row?

N: I hope so! I think you’ll look good bald. But I wouldn’t, and my hair would be on the floor too. At least the list of nominees this year includes a whole bunch of newcomers and strong contenders that might be exactly the shake-ups the Emmys need.

B: Well, let’s get right into it, shall we…

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ICYMI: July 11, 2014

Hello, world! It’s been approximately 4,000 years since anyone wrote an ICYMI, and by that I mean about a month. But, the holiday weekend is over, and we are BACK! Let’s get started, shall we?

-Why does the Gos look so sad? Well, maybe it’s because every woman in the world is crying forever rn. Eva Mendes and perfect human Ryan Gosling are reportedly expecting, so, give up, women. Put on your sweatpants and wash off your makeup. It’s over.

-Here’s another thing to cheer you up – in case you’re actually dead and/or don’t have an Internet connection (and if you don’t… how are you reading this? And why did you pick THIS website?), you probably heard that J.K. Rowling released a new Harry Potter short story this week and it was extremely fucking exciting. Vulture had some thoughts.

-The Emmy nominations were announced today, as you definitely know, and we’ll be writing a more comprehensive piece on those over the weekend. By that, I mean we’ll be pumping up our rage-boners about who and what got snubbed.

-The Jayoncé tour, which is happening right now, will get its own HBO special, so that everyone at home can stare at the most perfect couple in the world while they eat Sour Straws. At least, that’s what I’m planning on doing. Just me? Okay.

True Detective will apparently now have four leads. Jesus, every time I check in, there’s more leads added. I can’t wait for Nic Pizzolatto to announce that the entirety of Arcade Fire will be the lead next season. (WAIT. That’s a great fucking idea.)

-This story is hilarious. Basically, as long as Larry David is even remotely, distantly thinking about Curb Your Enthusiasm, HBO is ready to renew it whenever. I mean, I certainly don’t have an issue with that. It’s just great that a blurry thought in Larry David’s crazy brain has a contract waiting at HBO at literally any point in time.

Scarlett Johansson and Jonah Hill are both in talks for the extremely exciting-sounding new Coen Bros. movie, Hail Caesar!, which is about a “Hollywood fixer” in the 60s whose job is to “keep stars in line.” Oh, dear God, that sounds incredible. Already attached to star are huge names like Josh Brolin, Hill’s BFFJill Channing Tatum, and Coen mainstay George Clooney. Oh, and I just bought tickets already.

-Reese Witherspoon, bless her heart, is angling for Oscar #2 in this new trailer for Wild, the follow up from Jean-Marc Vallee, director of Dallas Buyers Club. Between the foxes and the heroin, this looks like some rough shit happening for Elle Woods.

-Speaking of trailers! Here, we have two creepy trailers (one teaser, one full) for the price of one – one teaser for The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 1 (wherein President Snow’s address doesn’t go exactly as planned), and one full-length trailer for Gone Girl (wherein Ben Affleck is shady as fuck, but Neil Patrick Harris is definitely shadier, and everything is the perfect level of David Fincher ominous).

-George R.R. Martin flipped off the haters during an interview with a Swiss paper, and by the haters, I mean the absolutely correct people who don’t think he’ll finish the books by the time HBO finishes the series.

Jimmy Fallon sang “Fancy” as Neil Young, and got Crosby, Stills and Nash in on it too. It was actually pretty amazing, and just serves as further proof that Jimmy Fallon is blackmailing anyone who’s ever been famous slash is a master hypnotist, because he can make anyone do anything he has ever wanted.

-And, finally, Andrew Lloyd Webber, otherwise known as The Bane of My Existence (I hate Phantom and always have, even when I was an awful musical theater nerd, so get over it), is rewriting his famous awful musical Cats to include… a rapping cat. Nope. I should revise this item to read: the worst thing ever just got worse! (Also, a character exists named Rum Tum Tugger, which I wish I didn’t know.)

See you this coming week, where we’ll whine about the Emmys and talk about some other stuff that I don’t know specifically what it will be yet! Have a great non-long weekend! (Sorry. Too soon?)


Emmy Nominations 2014


Well, the Emmy Nominations this year were just announced this morning honoring the “best” of television. There are a LOT of categories at this awards, so instead of going through each one individually, I’m just going to give my thoughts on the nominations as I go through them, and see what we’re dealing with this year…

Best Lead Actor in a Drama has to be the most epic category of the night, with Bryan Cranston, Kevin Spacey, Jon Hamm, Jeff Daniels, Woody Harrelson, AND Matthew McConaughey. Jesus, can’t they just ALL win?

-If “Ozymandias” doesn’t win for Best Writing for a Drama Series, I don’t even know what to say.

-The answer is yes. Ricky Gervais’ nomination for “Derek” in Best Lead Actor in a Comedy is very shocking, but I’ll allow it. They just better not freakin’ give it to Jim Parsons again.

-I’m super thrilled that Kate McKinnon got a Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy nomination for “Saturday Night Live.” That’s so well deserved. And yay for Kate Mulgrew’s nomination for “Orange is the New Black!”

-It is imperative that Andre Braugher win Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy for “Brooklyn Nine-Nine.” This MUST happen.

-Because of the weird freakin’ rules at the Emmys, Best Guest Actress in a Comedy consists of half of the cast of “OITNB.” I’m gunning for Uzo Aduba, aka Crazy Eyes.

-So, in a Best Comedy Series category that includes Louie, Orange is the New Black, Silicon Valley, and Veep, you also have fellow nominees The Big Bang Theory and Modern Family. Which THAT competition, if either of those latter two shows wins, we here at Pop Culturally Informed will officially stop covering television. Because nothing will make sense anymore.

We’ll have some more in-depth analysis of these nominated television shows as we lead up to the awards ceremony, but until let’s let’s all cry over the fact that “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” was snubbed. SNUBBED I TELL YOU!!!


Movie Review: Obvious Child


Jenny Slate in Obvious Child.

If you are a human person with a heartbeat and any semblance of a soul, you should go and see Obvious Child. Just as Brokeback Mountain was so much more than “the gay cowboy movie,” Obvious Child is so much more than the “abortion rom-com.” It sucks that it seems groundbreaking for a movie to show a woman who decides to get an abortion (and, non-spoiler alert, goes through with it) who doesn’t then die or get smited (smote?) by God, but it is.

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