Pop Culture Week in Review: February 8-14, 2014
Do YOU have Olympic fever?
Oh, sorry. I don’t really cover that in this week’s Pop Culture Week In Review. But here are some things you CAN look forward to: House of Cards! Drake! Shia LaBeouf! Aaron Paul! The Beatles! Fred Armisen! Cable Companies! An offer to refinance your mortgage at great new rates!
Okay, that last one was a lie. I just wanted to see if anyone actually read these things before scrolling to the big font. Here we go!
House of Cards Came Out
If you’re reading this, I’m assuming you’ve already watched all 13 episodes of season two of House of Cards, Netflix’s critically beloved drama. That, or you’re taking a break because you can’t handle the weight of the show’s complex (and, granted, sometimes-overwrought) dramatic elements. Plus you’re tipsy from the AMAZING drinking game Erin wrote earlier this week.
In any case, the inevitable success of this season – and the announcement of a third season renewal – proves that Netflix has come up a winner in its $100 million gamble to produce two seasons of original content.
Also, Frank Underwood is maybe the most interesting anti-hero on TV now that Breaking Bad is over (pssst! More Breaking-Bad-tangential news a few bullet points down).
Shia LaBeouf Is Weird
Remember Shia LaBeouf? The kid from Even Stevens? Or the somewhat older and more serious kid from Transformers? Or the somewhat even more serious kid from Disturbia?
Well now he’s a very very serious man. And he wants everyone to know that, in the face of the public backlash hating on him in recent months (he plagiarized someone else’s work in a movie, and then made increasingly bizarre apologies).
This week, Shia walked out of a Berlin press conference for Nymphomaniac after once again plagiarizing someone else’s words. Then he went onto a red carpet wearing a tux and a paper bag over his head that said “I AM NOT FAMOUS ANYMORE.” Then he came to LA and opened an art exhibit where he let fans sit in front of him and say whatever they want, apparently doing a lot of crying in the process.
Also, actor Jerry O’Connell did a pretty good and pretty quick mock-version of this.
Short story here, if you want to see Shia LaBeouf melt down and maybe pull a Joaquin Phoenix, get to LA soon – the gallery’s open for a few more days.
Drake Called Out Rolling Stone
Rolling Stone Magazine put the late Philip Seymour Hoffman on their front cover this month. Makes sense, right?
Not to Drake. The rapper had beef with the magazine allegedly misquoting him on what he said about Kanye, and then took to Twitter saying, “They also took my cover from me at the last minute and ran the issue.”
Boo. Hoo. You’re alive, Drake. And maybe some people (coughcougJERKScough) will make the argument that you DIDN’T die of overdosing on heroin and therefore are MORE deserving of a cover. But nonetheless, bro… bad form on that tweet. I know you deleted it and all, but… damage done.
The Friggin’ Beatles Reunited
Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr performed together – as did stars as eclectic as Dave Grohl, Katy Perry, Imagine Dragins, and Stevie Wonder – on Sunday to commemorate the 50th anniversary of The Beatles’ 1964 appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show and their subsequent takeover of American pop culture. There’s no arguing that The Beatles have taken their rightful place as the pinnacle of rock-and-roll stardom and fame in America.
Still, though, there’s a huge glaring omission from the CBS special that touted a Beatles reunion. As I recall, there were FOUR members of The Beatles. And yet on Sunday I only saw two dudes up on stage. What gives?*
(*Yes, I know. I’m a dick. Rest in peace, John and George.)
Aaron Paul Visited the Cheers Bar in Boston
If you’ve read my Pop Culture Week In Review articles in the past, you know that I was/am a HUGE fan of the late cable drama Breaking Bad. I’ve even been accused of having a man crush on both Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul. I don’t think THAT’s fair. But… anyway… Here’s a story about a cool think Aaron Paul did.
While on his press tour for Need For Speed (okay, I am NOT seeing that. Sorry.), Aaron stopped by the Cheers bar in Boston. Yes, THAT Cheers. Like, from Cheers. (For those of you lacking in 1990s pop culture awareness, there was a hit show on NBC called Cheers that took place in a bar in Boston).
Anyway. Aaron stopped by for some beers around lunchtime. Then he came back for some more later in the evening. He is a cool dude and I wish we were bros.
Comcast and Time Warner Cable Maybe Will Join Forces
The nation’s number one cable provider, Comcast, announced its bid to buy the nation’s number two cable provider, Time Warner, in a $45 billion deal. This is more business news than entertainment news, but it means that (if the deal is approved by regulators) the same people who you buy cable/internet from may be the very ones who create the content on-air. It’s a brave new world in the changing industry of television, and it’s the bane of anti-trust lawyers’ existence.
Fred Armisen Will Be Seth Meyers’ Paul Schaffer/Andy Richter
With the Sochi Olympics in full swing and no new episodes of Late Night or The Tonight Show this week, you’d expect something of a doldrums late-night-news-wise before the onslaught of over-critiquing Fallon and Meyers’ new respective shows on NBC. Nope.
This week it was announced that Fred Armisen, venerated SNL alumnus and star of Portlandia, will be joining “Late Night with Seth Meyers” as the leader of Seth’s house band (The 8G Band, named for Seth’s studio within 30 Rockefeller Center). Whether or not you liked Fred on SNL (his Obama impression got lazy fast), this is right up his alley – he came to comedy through the unusual path of performing in a band, and his comedic timing and chemistry with Seth will make him a pretty reliable sidekick.
…Okay fine Olympics
Bob Costas’s crazy eye infection finally got so bad he had to stop doing his hosting duties for awhile. Costas Pinkeye Watch 2014 begins!