Friday, June 17, 2011

ALOTT5MA FRIDAY PLAYLIST: With Adam in another state, it falls to me to set up our playlist suggestion for the week. For this week, let's go with awesome/unorthodox covers, and I'll offer two to get us started--Shawn Colvin covering the Police's "Every Little Thing [He] Does Is Magic" and Modern Family's Jesse Tyler Ferguson covering Lady Gaga's "Alejandro."
OTHER THAN ROBERT CARO'S, APPARENTLY: The Guardian (UK)'s book section lists the hundred greatest nonfiction books of all time. (LINK FIXED)

Thursday, June 16, 2011


(Dan Fienberg tweets: "If the secret weapon of your presumptive blockbuster is SCOTT HATTEBERG, you've got issues.")
ALL THE CHILDREN ARE ABOVE AVERAGE: One hallmark of Nigel Lythgoe shows is that the first real competition episode, when you're trying to introduce all of the contestants, is more of a showcase than a competition. With SYTYCD, you can pretty much count on the judges saying nice things about everybody and on pretty nonrandom dance assignments, like hip-hoppers getting hip-hop and ballroom champions getting the quickstep. So with 20 dancers competing for attention, little judging, and no real degree of difficulty, it's hard to say much. Which means quick bullet points:

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

DO YOU HEAR THE PEOPLE SING? How do we feel about Les Miserables: The Movie Musical with Hugh Jackman as Valjean and Paul Bettany as Javert? Do we have suggestions for casting the other roles?
I'M GOING TO MAKE IT, AFTER ALL:  As part of our recurring travel guide, if anyone has advice as to places to eat and things to see in downtown Minneapolis, some of us will greatly appreciate it this week.
SUPER STAR BOMB POP:  Amid this recent trend of Cupcake Trucks and Taco Trucks and Sausage Trucks and Dumpling Trucks (not yet in Phila, sigh), is it too much to ask that on hot days we could get a basic ice cream van to swing by the offices of Center City, Philadelphia?  Because they would make money.  Believe me.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

THE PROBLEM I HAVE IS THAT NO ONE EVER WANTS TO WATCH FRANK ROSSITANO HAVE WELL-LIT SEX, AND WE ARE NOW WATCHING FRANK ROSSITANO HAVE WELL-LIT SEX: Splitsider's Sarah Schneider reviews the porn parody of 30 Rock both as parody and as pornography. If nothing else, watch the trailer, which has brief NSFW language, no nudity, but yes on the porn versions of Scott Adsit and Judah Friedlander. (Yes, it's the same people who did XXX Lebowski.)
BEST EYEBROWS IN THE BUSINESS: Since he's officially a regular on Covert Affairs this season, it's an opportune time for the AV Club to sit down with Peter Gallagher to talk about his career, which has really kind of run the gamut. Sure to sadden many of you? Center Stage is not even touched upon.

Also at the AV Club today? The latest installment of Nathan Rabin's "Silly Little Showbiz Book Club," in which he takes a look at Dustin Diamond's tell-all Behind the Bell.
OUR ANNUALISH-FORAY INTO HOCKEY HULLABALOO: Congratulations and best wishes to fans of both franchises as we approach tomorrow night's Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Finals, and Deadspin asks a good question: if the Vancouver Canucks become the first Canadian team since 1993 to win the Cup, should they be invited to the White House?

[Notes Deadspin: "There are more Americans on the Vancouver Canucks than there are on the Bruins. There are more Canadians on the Bruins than on the Canucks."]
GRAND, OLD:  Happy Flag Day. Back in 2001, the North American Vexillogical Association asked its readers to rank the state, territorial and provincial flags from top to bottom.

See also NAVA's Good Flag, Bad Flag guide to designing your own flag.

Monday, June 13, 2011

DRIVE BOY DOG BOY DIRTY NUMB ANGEL BOY: This Awl list of Best Movie Closing Songs isn't a bad compilation -- I'd have "Where Is My Mind" (Fight Club) a bit closer to the top -- but the fun is in supplementing their top twenty. Yello's "Oh Yeah" (Ferris Bueller's Day Off) and "Aquarius/Let the Sunshine In" (The 40 Year-Old Virgin) are the first two I'd add to the list, each of which in its own way provides a great bonus to the audience on top of an already great film. You?
I BELIEVE, BUT: So, Game of Thrones. What can one say without spoiling?

Sunday, June 12, 2011

I BELIEVE:  I'm trying to think of the last championship won by a non-Philadelphia team that made me as happy as the Dallas Mavericks' victory tonight.  On Twitter, a friend suggested the New York Giants win over the Patriots; before that, I guess, the Red Sox in 2004 and Syracuse in 2003 (combination of family and Boeheim reasons).  You?
MAYBE PEOPLE IN UTAH WILL WATCH THIS YEAR: Here's a comment thread for those watching the 65th Annual Tony Awards tonight on CBS. How many Tonys will Book of Mormon win? Will anyone have to be bleeped? (If so, who? Short odds on Trey Parker and Matt Stone.) Who's winning the necrology? (Arthur Laurents is the big name, but was less than beloved by all.) Will Ned Stark keep his head? (Oh, wait--that's over on another network.)
YOU'RE LIKE A MAID OF DISHONOR: If my near-packed audience last night is any indication, Bridesmaids isn't going away despite now being in its fifth week of release -- and thank goodness. From the advertising and general buzz I was prepared for there to be some riotously filthy gags; what I was not prepared for was just how solid the character story was, how emotionally true it felt, and how messy it was willing to make things.

But most importantly, Bridesmaids is not "funny for a chick flick."  Bridesmaids is funny, period. Very funny. Kristin Wiig's physical comedy is top-notch throughout, and some of the setpieces (the airplane, in particular) are  brilliant, and Melissa McCarthy is triumphant as the Third Lead.  See this movie, with a crowd, while you can.