Pop Culture Week in Review: January 18-24
How are you all doing?
Awards show red carpet followers? You all feeling a bit overwhelmed? Hang in there.
Beliebers? Remember to take a deep breath. It gets Bieber—I MEAN BETTER.
Grammy nominees? You’re going to a stupid awards show this weekend.
It’s the pop culture week in review for January 18-24. Who’s up first? Oh … wait … crap … Let’s just get it out of the way …
Justin Bieber Was … Sigh … Arrested
One presumes that, if this is actually the first you’re hearing of this, you just got back on the internet after a couple days without connection to the outside world (and of course you came to PorchDrinking first). Not sure how much more there is to be said about Justin Bieber’s DUI/resisting arrest/invalid license scandal except that a lot of people are glad he’s fallen from grace, and a lot of other people are second-guessing their fandom.
Lost in all that is that it’s just good news that no one got seriously hurt in the substance-influenced antics. I just have to mention this story because we live in America and this is pop culture.
Sundance Film Festival has taken place in Park City, UT for the last 36 years or so. Roughly 50,000 people show up for it. It’s the unveiling of many indie films looking for distribution.
Read: movie/TV stars from Zach Braff to Aaron Paul to Elijah Wood to Aubrey Plaza all have passion projects you haven’t heard of, and they hang out in the mountains to try to turn their movies into passion projects you HAVE heard of.
If you’re actually the kind of person who would be into the movies at Sundance (“Song One” has Anne Hathaway singing and it’s not “Les Mis,” for example), you likely already know more than I do about which projects were well-received.
One specific story I know is relevant is that Zach Braff’s movie “Wish I Was Here”—which was paid for by Kickstarter funds—got picked up for about 2.75 million bucks. But the people who provided 3.1 million for the movie should NOT expect to get any of that back.
It’s a gift, guys. Not an investment.
Oscar Nominations Came Out!
This was actually relatively early in the week, so I won’t go too deep into the specifics. Some general surprises: no Tom Hanks or Oprah for acting nods. No “The Butler” at all, actually. No Robert Redford. No ScarJo (her voice in “Her” makes that movie so much sadder, somehow). No music recognition for “Inside Llewyn Davis.”
And … get this … no Tina Fey or Amy Poehler hosting the ceremonies on February 9!
Daniel Radcliffe is Coming to Broadway
The Artist Formerly Known As Harry Potter is headed back to Broadway to star in “The Cripple of Inishmaan” this Spring. If you can pronounce that word, bravo to you.
I don’t know this for sure, but I’ll bet that Radcliffe will see people waiting for him at the stage door every single night who are wearing lightning-bolt scars. Act on stage all you want, Daniel. We know you’re Harry Potter.
The Star Wars Script is Done
JJ Abrams has confirmed that the script for Star Wars: Episode VII has been completed. And it’s still on track to hit theaters around Christmas of 2015 (don’t start your countdown yet; you can’t count that high).
Other recent developments in this movie’s… er… development: the ORIGINAL characters (Luke, Leia, Han) will be the focus of Episode VII. Also, there’s a chance that Jesse Plemons will be in it. You may know Jesse Plemons as the lovable, sweet kid from “Friday Night Lights” or the psychotic, deplorable kid from “Breaking Bad.” Which seems fitting; Todd died on “Breaking Bad” sort of like Jabba died in “Return of the Jedi.”
SNL Has a New Weekend Update Co-Anchor (oh, and Sasheer Zamata Made Her Debut)
Ever heard of Colin Jost? No? He’s only SNL’s head writer. And he’ll soon be the Weekend Update co-anchor (alongside Cecily Strong) once Seth Meyers leaves for his new gig hosting “Late Night.” Here’s a video of Colin doing stand-up.
While I’m sure some people will gripe about this guy who we’ve never seen before suddenly becoming one of the more recognizable faces of the show … I say relax. “Weekend Update” is as more about cleverly-written punchlines than catchphrase-heavy-sight-gag-y characters you see in sketches. Give him a chance.
Speaking of new faces on SNL, how ‘bout that debut for Sasheer Zamata, the much-publicized new hire (and the first black woman SNL has had in its cast for over half a decade)? Looking forward to see how she grows to find her niche on the show (and the end of Keenan in drag).
Late Night TV’s Next Generation Is Scheduled
Speaking of SNL “Weekend Update” alums and their new gigs … you know how Seth Meyers and Jimmy Fallon are getting new late night shows on NBC? This week they announced some of their first guests.
Seth will welcome Amy Poehler as his first guest on Late Night with Seth Meyers on February 24. Jimmy, for his part, will have Will Smith and U2 on the first “The Tonight Show Starring
Jay Leno Conan O’Brien Jay Leno Jimmy Fallon,” which premieres February 17.
That Superman-Batman Movie Got Delayed
Remember when Ben Affleck got cast in the new Superman and Batman movie, which I guess is a sequel to “Man of Steel” but really just a prequel to the Ben Affleck franchise of Batman movies? Well, it was supposed to come out on July 17, 2015 (only 18 months from now! Better camp out outside the theater). Well, now it’s coming out May 6, 2016 (28 months away. I guess I have time to get standard shipping on my Superman and Batman sleeping bag).
It’s unclear why exactly the movie’s getting delayed, considering the main cast has already been hired, and shooting is expected to start this spring. Maybe I’m being paranoid, but I’m afraid this might mean they want more time for post-production CGI work. After all, it takes a few animators to realistically create the complete annihilation of Metropolis.