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Pop Culture Week in Review


You guys. I hate to be such a downer so early in the week, but Chumbawamba is breaking up.  Let’s analyze their statement, shall we?

We felt we’d got to a point where what we did as a band — and specifically the writing, recording, touring cycle — wasn’t doing justice to what Chumbawamba set out to do in the first place.

I’m no musical genius, but I’m pretty sure that you have to write the album before you record it, and record it before you tour.  I’m not sure what other way they planned on functioning.   Also, what were these things they were doing that weren’t doing justice to the apparently lofty ideals of Chumbawamba.  Quick- somebody make a tumblr called “The Apparently Lofty Ideals of Chumbawama.”

We were always as much about ideas as music, and that meant doing more than writing, recording and touring songs.

Again with the writing, recording and touring.  Seriously though- what else would you do if not write, record and tour?

It meant trying to be relevant and active and up-to-date…

I think we can all agree you didn’t try very hard.

…while trying to avoid the dreaded rut of routine or repetition.

You wanted to avoid repetition? What about the getting knocked down and getting up again and the never keeping down and the getting knocked down again?

Being up-to-date…

But really- you don’t really think you were hip, do you?

…meant giving plenty of time and energy to the band, constantly, for those thirty years…

Holy shit, they were together for THIRTY YEARS?!

..a constancy we plainly couldn’t keep up with in the end.

Or the beginning.  Or any part of the middle.

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I’m sure you’ve already seen this, but if you haven’t….

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I have learned a lot about Ron Perlman today.

First and foremost, he is an awesome guy.  I know him from Sons of Anarchy, which I’m sure you all recall I recently binge-watched.  The catelyst of me going down the Ron Perlman trivia rabbit hole was that he recently participated in a Make-A-Wish where the kid wanted to meet and become Hellboy.  I think this was more of a hero-worship situation than a Single White Female situation.  Anyway, Perlman was totally game and went through the four hours of make up to transform into Hellboy for this kid.  This is when I learned that he was in Hellboy.  So then I checked out his imdb page and found the greatest gem of all.  This:

Uh, yeah.  The Beast from the late 80s Beauty and the Beast was Ron fucking Perlman.  The more you know.

The Hunger Games Game Keeper for Catching Fire will have less stylized facial hair.

Mostly because he is being played by Philip Seymour Hoffman.  Hoffman will play Plutarch Heavensbee, who takes over the games because the other guy had to eat some berries and is now shaving waves in his face in the sky (Slightly related side thought- he would be really good at pumpkin carving, no?).  Now, I don’t want to give anything away but shit really gets real in the second book.  And who plays “this shit’s getting real” better than Philip Seymour Hoffman? Approve.

A Daniel Tosh story you never saw coming

Because its not about rape. And its barely about Daniel Tosh.  TruTV has greenlit a Tosh.O-style show hosted by….you guessed it! Shaquille O’Neil!  Upload with Shaquille O’Neal is (and this is a direct quote from The Hollywood Reporter), “centered on the former basketball star scouring the Internet in search of the funniest online videos to comment on as well as creating his own viral videos and parodies.”  Oh. My. Internet.  To prove how awesome this is, truTV EVP and COO Marc Juris gave us this gem of a quote: “Shaquille O’Neal has such a great personality, and he really has a lot of fun with the format and the material in this new truTV series. This show is going to be a great fit with truTV’s comedic shows like Impractical Jokers and the upcoming Killer Karaoke.”

First thing- I’m glad Shaq is having fun with the format and the material because no one else will be.  Second thing? Killer Karaoke? I’m just…no.  Just no.  No.

Because I can:

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In other non-original idea news, Ed Helms is bringing back the Vacation movies

Helms will play Rusty Griswold, the boy child played by Anthony Michael Hall from the original films), who has now Helm-ed his own family to take on vacation (see what I did there?  I’m more inclined to believe that this:

Grew up to be this:

Instead of this:

John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein are directing the project, though I really think they meant the duo was writing it.  Because I can’t come up with a clever way to remind  you who John Francis Daley is- he was Sam Weir on Freaks and Geeks, now plays Sweets on Bones and with Goldstein wrote last summer’s Horrible Bosses.  So there’s some potential here.  Casting, obvs, is TBD but I’ll keep you updated.  Well, only if I find it interesting.

The final Hunger Games movie, Mockingjay will be split into two films

Upon hearing the news, people everywhere went about their business as normal.

Steven Tyler and JLo are leaving American Idol

Thank god.  I mean, there really needs to be on whakadoo judge that talks nonesense. But as the panel stood before Tyler’s exit, there were three.  With JLo also announcing her exit, we’ll just be down to the one.  We don’t need someone who is going to be mean necessarily.  We need someone who is 1. Going to be coherent 2. Going to be intelligent.  If they are both those things, we will have that voice of reason we’ve been longing for since Simon Cowell decided he was board with this show (notice how I didn’t say since he left…).  I think his statement is perfect evidence for my point:

“After some long … hard … thoughts … I’ve decided it’s time for me to let go of my mistress American Idol before she boils my rabbit,” said Tyler in a statement. “I strayed from my first love, Aerosmith, and I’m back – but instead of begging on my hands and knees, I’ve got two fists in the air and I’m kicking the door open with my band.”

Browncoats UNITE! …is the title of the Firely reunion special airing on the Science Channel

The one-hour reunion will feature footage from Comic Con (that’s happening right now!) as well as a round-table discussion of various things Firefly.  The special marks the 10 year anniversary of the Joss Whedon-created show.  Naturally it will air after an all-day marathon of the show.  Unfortunately, this particular all-day marathon won’t happen until November.

I wasn’t going to report this, but then I listened to it.

In an effort to remain relevant/remind people of how good the show once was, Weeds is reviving its original theme song.  But like they did in the second season, “Little Boxes” will be sung by various artists that change week to week.  Artists already on tap to sing are Ben Folds, Hunter Parish (who plays Silas), and a Steve Martin/Kevin Nealon duet.  The Martin/Nealon duet is on Soundcloud and the full reason I decided this was important enough to write about.  I gagged on my own spit- that’s how surprised I was.  Hopefully you will too!

Be sure to follow me on twitter @caitlinvanmol and for more pop culture news, visit my blog  (

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