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Pop Culture Week in Review: August 24-30

Pop Culture Week in Review: August 24-30

Sad news for the teachers and students out there alike: summer’s almost over. But even for those of us who never get months off of work, the end of summer marks the end of a special state of pop culture-dom. Big-budget action movies occupy our attention while regular TV programming takes a break. Here at the end of August, however, there are no superhero films or big-budget comedies. There’s no Oscar bait in August (“The Butler” notwithstanding).
What I DO have to share with you is a week of anticipation, a week of pre-occupation, a week of deals being struck in every permutation. (Thus endeth the rhymes). It’s the pop culture week in review for August 24-30th.

Aaron Paul and Bryan Cranston are Breaking Into Big Roles

My favorite bromance in history is coming to a close. Apologies to anyone who doesn’t watch “Breaking Bad” and therefore doesn’t get the joke of this picture.

Get it? Because they’re on “Breaking Bad?”
Okay, so now that the greatest show in the history of water coolers is coming to a close, its case members are leveraging their newfound stardom for some impressive roles.
Bryan Cranston (aka Walter White) is set to take on the role of Lex Luthor in the new “Man of Steel” movie. This is possibly more interesting than the inclusion of Ben Affleck as Batman. My biggest gripe (I’m looking forward to Nik commenting on why I’m wrong or missing the point): Lex is bald! Like Walt! With all the masterminding and manipulating and evil, the only difference between Walt and Lex is a goatee and a pair of glasses. Of COURSE Cranston will be wonderful. But let’s give America a chance to see him as a good guy with hair, am I right?
Aaron Paul, meanwhile, is in talks to portray Christian Bale’s sidekick in “Exodus,” the story of Moses. Here’s hoping there’s a lot of screaming “bitch!” or holding an icy gaze filled with angst.

There Are SNL Newcomers

The guy from those AT&T commercials is gonna be on SNL

Bad news: Armisen, Sudeikis, and Hader are gone. (And Seth Myers will be gone soon)
Good news: Mike O’Brien (a writer who also hosts that “7 Minutes in Heaven” web show) will be in the cast!
More good news: Also joining the cast are (likely) John Milhiser, Noel Wells, Kyle Mooney, and Beck Bennett (above, from those AT&T commercials with the kids).
Bad news: All of them are white, so SNL isn’t exactly becoming more diverse
Worse news: That means at least one more season of Kenan Thompson playing all black women.
Worst news: Kel Mitchell still isn’t in the cast.

People Are Still Talking About the VMAs

I was going to put up a picture of Miley. But I just… can’t.

Something PorchDrinking newcomer Alex Cadice did quite well earlier this week. But, depending on which side of the issue they came down on, everyone won’t shut up about how trashy/awesome Miley was (editorial note: it was trashy and terrible and awful and please stop making me think about it). Aaaaand they spent more time talking about NSync’s reunion than NSync actually spent… y’know, reuniting.
Next stop for awards show over-analysis: the Golden Globes. Is it too much to hope for a Tina Fey/Amy Poehler reunion?

Aziz Ansari is Writing a Book

Let this guy tell you about love.

Tom from “Parks & Rec” just got a $3.5 million advance for a book he’ll be writing about modern romance. Y’know, stuff about how like… I dunno… flirty tweeting? I’m bad at this kind of thing. I guess I need to buy the book.
And for those of you keeping score on how your favorite comedic personalities/TV stars are doing in the literary market, “Girls” creator/star Lena Dunham got $3.7 million for her book deal.

JD Salinger is Back

Prepare for the most anticipated sequel in literary history

The Weinstein company is putting out a documentary next month about the reclusive author of “Catcher in the Rye.” But this week news came out that Salinger’s trust will be releasing FIVE of his previously unpublished works starting in 2015. And one of them will be about Holden Caulfield! And hopefully they won’t be terrible. Before Salinger died in 2010, according to reports, he did authorize the publication of these works.

The English Language is Dead

Remember real words?

The following words were added to the Oxford English Online Dictionary this week:
-Girl Crush
I can’t believe I studied this stupid language for four years at an academic institution. If I ever use any of these words in earnest on this site, editors, please fire me.


  1. Nik Heimach

    Beck Bennet and Kyle Mooney are fantastic additions to SNL. I’ve been following their sketch comedy group, GoodNeighbor, on youtube for years and feel like I have some sort of ‘hey those are my friends!’ stalkerish appreciation for them. Now if only Nick Rutherford could hop on this train too…

    And Kel. Definitely Kel.

    What kind of a name is Kel?

    • Drew Troller

      A cool name! For a cool dude!

      And yeah, the new SNL picks are smart. It’s weird watching their online videos and noticing how strikingly different video comedy is from live performance on the SNL stage.

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