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Pop Culture Week in Review: April 26-May 2, 2014

Star Wars Episode VII

I cannot properly start this week’s Pop Culture Week in Review without giving another round of applause to Nik Heimach for last week’s PCWIR, written entirely in iambic pentameter as a tribute to Shakespeare. It doesn’t matter if the news is a week+ old… check it out if you haven’t.

Now on to the matter at hand – talking about what happened in pop culture this week. And let’s be honest… what else did you think I was going to start with? STAR WARS IS COMING BACK FOR REAL!

It’s Now SUPER Official: “Star Wars: Episode VII” Has Begun

“But Andrew,” you say, “Isn’t that news like a year and a half old? They announced plans to make that movie back in October of 2012.”

“Quite the memory you have,” I say to you. But this week, it is my pleasure to present the following photo:

Don’t let me down, you lot.

This photo, released this week by JJ Abrams & Lucasfilm, shows a table read for “Episode VII” taking place in the UK. This is our cast, ladies and gentlemen. Please note the presence of the following people, in no particular order.

-Mark Hamill AKA LUKE SKYWALKER

-Carrie Fisher AKA PRINCESS LEIA

-Harrison Ford AKA HAN SOLO

-R2D2, who for whatever reason seems to be in storage. Anthony Daniels (C3PO) and Peter Mayhew (Chewbacca) are also in attendance.

-Adam Driver (best known as Adam from “Girls”)

-Andy Serkis, the brilliant man whose Mo-Cap performances brought Gollum, King Kong, and Ceasar the Ape to life. Can’t wait to see who/what he plays.

-Oscar Isaac (known as the titular character from “Inside Llewyn Davis.” His reunion with Adam Driver is just one Justin Timberlake short of a full-on “Please Mr. Skywalker Kennedy, Please Don’t Shoot Me Into Outer Space” reunion).

-Newcomers John Boyega, Domhnall Gleeson, and Daisy Ridley. Some out there may be more familiar with their work than I; I apologize for my ignorance.

It may still be more than a year and a half away, but I’m counting down to this wonderful movie. December of 2015 cannot come soon enough.

FHM Named J-Law the Sexiest Woman in the World, and Pretty Much All of America Agreed

Part of me worries that we’ll soon live in a world where people are kind of over Jennifer Lawrence and we’ll find some reason to dislike her. But for now, don’t trouble your head with such thoughts. She’s great.

I said we don’t hate you YET!! Geeeeeeze!

Craig Ferguson, Late Night’s Most Underrated Host, is Hanging it Up

The brilliantly funny Ferguson is going to be leaving “The Late Late Show” at the end of the year. Lest you speculate, both he and CBS made it clear that the departure has NOTHING to do with the fact that Stephen Colbert, not Ferguson, inherited David Letterman’s 11:35 timeslot. In fact, Craig says he has loved the past 10 years, none of which he expected to last this long, and he wanted to leave before it felt like a chore.

In addition to his “monologues” being among the most charmingly funny in late night, Craig’s opening is almost entirely improvised.

Props to Craig for his free-wheeling, off-the-cuff show which represents its host’s personality better than any other show in late night, bar none. The effortless wit he brings to late night television will be missed.

And 3… 2…1 – NOW you can start speculating about who will fill the 12:37 time slot.

The Simpsons Are Now Temporarily Terrifying

Maybe the only couch gag “The Simpsons” haven’t done yet.

Well, someone apparently decided that it was a good idea not only to make a Lego set based on “The Simpsons” but to also make an episode of “The Simpsons” based on what “The Simpsons” look like in Lego.

It’s weird.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AYGSpOfIr9Y

I will say, the best way to deal with how unusual and out of the ordinary your characters look in a unique format is to make the comedy of the episode all about how out of the ordinary your characters look. Who better to handle a shake-up in reality than “The Simpsons?”

“Better Call Saul” Has New Cast Members!

You already knew that a spin-off of “Breaking Bad” was in development, focusing on Bob Odenkirk’s corrupt lawyer Saul. And you already knew Jonathan Banks was signed on to reprise his role as Mike. And you’d even heard the rumors that MAYBE, just MAYBE they’d get Aaron Paul to make a cameo or two as Jesse Pinkman. (Nevermind that bringing Jesse back makes no sense given that the series was meant to be a prequel.)

Well now, “B.C.S.” has its first NON-“Breaking-Bad”-affiliated cast member. Michael McKean – the guy from “This is Spinal Tap,” yes, and NOT Michael KEATON – will be joining the cast as “Dr. Thurber,” a “brilliant attorney who is now restricted by an unusual affliction.” 

David St. Hubbins needs a crooked lawyer.

They could cast Donald Sterling in this thing, and I’d still tune in.

Okay, maybe not him. But pretty much anyone else.

Speaking of Perfect Casting…

Remember how Kevin Spacey’s character in “House of Cards” would unwind after a night of legislation, back-stabbing, and (spoiler alert) murder by playing “Call of Duty” on PS3.

Well, I guess you can call this art imitating… art?

Sick of Superheroes Yet?

Too bad. This week, Warner Brothers announced the news that we’d all been kind of assuming/sure of for years. They’re making a Justice League movie.

Soon there will be over-payed PEOPLE to fill these roles!

You knew already that Zack Snyder was directing a sequel to “Man of Steel” wherein Superman goes up against Ben Affleck’s Batman, and runs into both Wonder Woman and Cyborg. And you already knew that Zack Snyder’s “Man of Steel” was… um… hard to watch? (Superman blows up skyscrapers but then breaks Zod’s neck to stop him from killing a couple people? Who is this “hero?”)

But now we know Zack Snyder will ALSO be ruining directing a Justice League movie with even MORE superheroes, being released May 5, 2017. So you don’t pitch your tents (I mean outside the theater, you perverts!) quite yet.

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