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Pop Culture Week in Review: August 30 – September 5, 2014

Pop Culture Week in Review: August 30 – September 5, 2014
Drew Troller

Not a great week in pop culture, I’m afraid. The biggest water cooler conversation of the week happens to be the sad fact that several celebrities had their personal nude photos stolen from their phones and/or iCloud storage. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, please don’t go look them up. It’s bad. Anyway, I’ll get to that.

First, let’s start with some happier news in pop culture. Let’s kick off this normal Pop Culture Week in Review, and THEN get into Drew’s recap of Righteous Indignation Week in Review!

The Simpsons Marathon Ended, We Can All Go Back to Not Knowing What FXX Is

After 12 straight days and 552 straight episodes, the “Every Simpsons Ever” marathon on FXX has ended. FXX is channel 259 on DirecTV, which is something I know now. Apparently, several other people found FXX on their TVs, too. Some highlights from the ratings:

  • 3 out of 12 nights, FXX was the #1 highest-rated cable channel among adults 18-49.
  • Ratings were about 3 times higher than predicted. You could say that ratings exceeded FXX execs’ expectations (but I bet you can’t say it five times fast)
  • Primetime episodes averaged 1.32 million viewers. That’s a big number, but just for even more perspective, the channel’s previous average was less than a quarter-million viewers.
I’m one of millions who spent the last two weeks like this

Also, I now need to catch up on sleep and re-wire my neighbors’ cable before they notice I stole it.

Joan Rivers Passed Away

Legendary comic Joan Rivers passed away at the age of 81, after complications from a routine throat surgery left her in a New York hospital on life support. Rivers’ family made the decision Thursday to let Joan pass comfortably in a private room.

Say what you will about Joan – literally. Any joke you could make about her face or her age, she herself was fond of making. A very funny person… she’ll be missed.

Justin Bieber Got Arrested Again

Apologies that I’m even saying this. But, for the curious, Bieber was in Canada driving an ATV out in a somewhat remote area when he allegedly  got reckless and struck another vehicle. After the ensuing conversation with the guy he hit got a bit heated, Bieber was arrested. No, he’s not in jail right now. But he will have to go to court in Canada, and if the people here in LA (where he’s on probation for a prior vandalism charge) want to, they could drag him in for more court time.

Bieber’s ATV could not be reached for comment.

It’s tough being an international pop star.

That Saved By The Bell Movie Was As Terrible As You’d Imagine

Disclaimer: I didn’t watch the Lifetime movie based on the behind-the-scenes shenanigans at “Saved by the Bell.” But reviews indicate that it was exactly as bad as the premise would suggest. Twitter reaction was pretty harsh, but 1.6 million people watched the movie, and Dustin Diamond – aka Screech – finally has some vindication as the movie’s hero.

Suck it, Zach!

NBC Released a First Look at Allison Williams as Peter Pan

The “Girls” star will be Peter in NBC’s live performance of Peter Pan. And this is roughly what she’ll look like, presented without comment:

Disney Has Issued a Warning: There Will Be More “Frozen”

Let it gooooooo! Let it gooooooooo!

This GIF is silent, but it hurts my ears.

If even seeing those words written makes you cringe, it’s gonna be a tough time for you next spring when Disney puts a full-on Frozen short in front of one of their theatrical releases. All the big characters will be back. No word if there’s music… but you’ve been warned.

The Trailer for Horrible Bosses 2 is here.

Hollywood proves once again that it can never have too much of a good thing. And when has a sequel EVER been worse than the original comedy? Judge for yourself by watching the trailer below.

Two Game of Thrones Stars will NOT Be in the Upcoming Season [Non-Spoiler Spoilers]

As you know, Game of Thrones is shooting their fifth season now. And as you may not know, some of the characters you’ve seen before won’t be in this season, simply because there’s nothing for them to do. Two characters’ source material from the George R. R. Martin books has dried up, meaning writers for the TV show have nothing more to give them until George R. R. Martin releases the next book. Ready for the spoiler? Here goes: Hodor and Bran will NOT be in season 5.


These Celebrity Nudes are the Creepiest Thing the Internet Has Ever Celebrated

Finally, we come to the topic of the week that’s hard to avoid but does not need or deserve any more attention. It’s uncomfortable and it’s scary and it’s sad to think that a lot of people (the fact that they’re celebrities is incidental to the things that make this scary and sad) had private photographs stolen and shared with people against their will.

It’s hard for me to understand how the iCloud “leak” – let’s be real and call it a theft – could be cause for celebration among anyone, even curious fans of these celebrities who feel they’re being treated to a private show. This isn’t fun or sexy, and it’s not something that the victims had any responsibility for preventing.

I know I’m not qualified to get on a pedestal about the private lives of celebrities (those of you who know me will understand why it’s hypocritical for me to decry anyone who exposes the lives of Hollywood types). But here are some people who expressed more than outrage, and instead uncovered some of the effed-up values that we as a society are seeing manifested in this whole sad situation.

From Chuck Wendig, via

“I think nude photos are rad. I think not taking nude photos is rad. I think whatever you want to do sexually or artistically is a-okay as long as it’s enthusiastically consensual. […] I want you to have both the freedom to do what you want in this manner while simultaneously possessing the privacy to do it as you see fit. Any violation of that is just that: a violation. […] It is not rape, but it is deeply demonstrative of rape culture because it is an act that exploits a woman and her body without her consent.”

From Emily Bazelon, via Slate (regarding the irony that movie downloaders can be prosecuted but photo thieves cannot):

“We are putting up with a rule that protects Reddit and 4Chan at the victims’ expense. I see two reasons for that. The first is the shaming of the subjects of nude photos that is still all too common. It’s not shameful to have photos like these or to privately share them. It’s shameful to steal them. But that’s a social lesson we’re frustratingly slow to learn.”

From Andrew Leonard, via Salon:

“But let’s not get so caught up in blaming the victims of this mess for their insufficient cybersecurity that we forget that this kind of breach doesn’t happen without the incitement of predatory demand.”

From Amanda Marcoette, via The Daily Beast:

“The Wild West of the Internet—and the fact that many of these misogynist photo collectives are semi-private—means that there’s a limit to how much the government can do to stem the tide of technology being used to hurt women for the “crime” of being attractive but not being sexually available to them.”

 Here’s hoping next week has happier Pop Culture news, everybody!

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