Top Things for 04/08/13

What’s up guys! Welcome back to another edition of “Top Things,” in which I try to regulate your lives, one blog at a time. There’s a lot of good stuff coming out this week, so let’s get right to it, yes?

Books

This week sees the release of Blood of Dragons, by Robin Hobb. I haven’t read the series yet (Dragon Keeper), but it’s got pretty decent scores up on Goodreads. So maybe check that out. The only other books I see coming out are diet books, so…

Comics

If, by now, you don’t know that I’m going to recommend SAGA each month, well you clearly don’t know me. Last issue ended on a powerful, if somber, note. And as much as I’m sure our characters could use a minute to grieve, it looks like Prince Robot IV will be making his return to the series.

Over at Marvel, the new Hawkguy issue is out, which promises to be as fast-paced and fun as it has been since the first issue.

Movies

42 comes out this week, if that’s your jam. I don’t typically care for sports movies (with a few notable exceptions), nor do I care at all about baseball. That being said, Jackie Robinson is an important historical figure, so there is a story to be told I’m sure. At this point I’m really just biding time until Iron Man.

Music

Paramore is coming out with their fist album since two founding members left the band. From what I’ve heard/seen, the reviews have been pretty positive, but this could potentially be a make-or-break moment for the band. Will they use this opportunity to shake up their sound, or will they try to reassure long-time fans by sticking to what they’ve done so far?

Television

We’re really living in a sweet spot, television-wise right now. The network shows are still on and ramping up to their season finales. At the same time, cable has started rolling out some of their summer shows, such as Game of Thrones and Mad Men. This week, we’ll be seeing Cece’s bachelorette party on New Girl, Community will be a puppet show, and Leslie takes on the animal control department in Parks and Rec. And as always, Game of Thrones, Mad Men, and Doctor Who on the weekends.

 

On the blog this week, I hope to have a review of Mad Men‘s premiere, or else maybe Game of Thrones‘ season so far, up on Wednesday, and a movie post from Will on Friday!

Top Things For 4/01/13

I hope you’re all surviving your April Fool’s Day, everyone. I personally hate this stupid day each year, as my patience for outlandish articles and “shocking” tweets grows thinner and thinner. More and more, today seems like a day to just avoid everyone/the Internet. But worry not, fair reader, for you will always have a safe haven here! My lies will always be comforting and/or self-preserving, and never malicious! So without further ranting, let’s get to the best of this coming week! Because it can only go up!

Books

On Tuesday, The Sword and Laser is kicking off their discussion of The Dragonriders of Pern by Anne McCaffrey. While I won’t be reading this month, I always enjoy listening to the podcast, watching the YouTube videos, and creeping on the Goodreads forum. If you want to see this month’s sci-fi/fantasy releases, they have a calendar here. If you have any interest in their discussions, or want to see which six books I am currently reading, head to Goodreads.

Comics

This is actually a pretty light week, for once – for which I am immensely thankful. The last several weeks have been jam-packed with releases, and it was getting tiring. Probably the most notable release on Wednesday is the new Action Comics #19, which sees Andy Diggle taking over from Grant Morrison. Of course, Diggle walked away from the title almost immediately, and artist Tony Daniel will take over for at least an issue. Apparently more info on what’s next for the Superman series is forthcoming. So while there’s drama behind the scenes, Daniel’s art looks pretty amazing, and hopefully worth the price of admission so to speak.

Movies

This week sees the release of the Evil Dead reboot, but honestly I could not care less. The original is a cult classic – though I’ve never seen it. A roommate in college tried to get me to watch one of the sequels, but I just couldn’t get through it. Some of that might be because this guy had the worst. Taste. In movies. EVER. I mean, Daredevil, Electra, and Ghost Rider were unironically two of his favorite movies. His favorite actors included Nic Cage. So maybe I didn’t give the movie the chance it deserves. That being said, this reboot just looks… meh. Like a Cabin in the Woods without any sense of self-awareness or humor.

The movie I am actually excited about, however, is the re-release of Jurassic Park in 3-D. In general, I’m pretty cynical when it comes to these 3-D re-releases, as they seem like the absolute laziest way to make money. On the other hand, Jurassic Park is a phenomenal movie that still holds up twenty years after its initial release, and the chance to see it (again? I can’t remember) in theaters is just too great to ignore.

Music

My frankly embarrassing lack of investedness in the world of music is well documented. I mean, I probably spent $10 on music last year. And the year before that. And probably the year before that. I’M NOT THAT HIP YOU GUYS. But if I had to point out an album release this week, I’d probably have to go with The Band Perry. I don’t love them, but the only other artists I recognized were Rilo Kiley and NKOTB. And I couldn’t name a song by either. Rilo Kiley brings back really embarrassing memories of a phase I went through in college where I was really into indie folk music. So… yeah.

Television

I warned you guys. GAME OF THRONES GAME OF THRONES GAME OF THRONES holy crap did you see when they cut that guy’s nipple off and did you see the dragons eating fish and oh man Cersei wants to totally strangle Margaery Tyrell and she and Loras are her worst nightmare because she can’t seduce them and when are Jon and Ygritte gonna get DOWN and where was my homegirl Arya?

Sorry. Deep breaths. Calm.

Anyway. If epic fantasy isn’t your thing, Parks and Rec is coming back on Thursday after a few weeks off! And New Girl has been moved to Thursday too, where we’ll get to see Nick and Jess try to have a first date as Schmidt and Winston attempt sabotage! AND APPARENTLY MAD MEN IS BACK ON SUNDAY??? How did I not know this??? And Doctor Who is back on Saturday! SO MUCH TV YOU GUYS I CAN DIE HAPPY.

OK, well I just managed to make my own day with those last few revelations. I hope you guys find something to enjoy this week in the world of pop culture. Or in your fulfilling lives with your real jobs and stable incomes and significant others. NOT THAT I’M BITTER. Anyway. Peace out.

Top Things for 03/18/13

‘Sup. I’m back, flush with patriotism after my week-long excursion to our (well, my) nation’s capitol. And also fresh bunions. Because, in case you didn’t know, D.C. is mostly just stuff to see so basically it’s just walking for like five hours a day. So let’s get to it!

Books

There’s a new book by Orson Scott Card but really eff that guy. I don’t care about Ender’s Game, and the dude just lost an artist on a Superman comic because he’s so homophobic. So eff that guy.

Comics

This week, the most note-worthy release is almost certainly Action Comics #18, the conclusion to Grant Morrison’s rather polarizing run. While I have not been the series’ strongest supporter, I am reserving judgment until the end. Regardless of how it turns out, I’m sure it will be noteworthy.

Other notable releases: Captain Marvel, Wonder Woman, and SAGA!

Movies

This week looks like a bit of a competition to see what can be the worst release. The Croods, while likely to please the kiddos, does not appeal to me in the slightest – despite the inclusion of Emma Stone. Then there’s Olympus Has Fallen, which looks like a truly spectacular waste of time (and I can’t wait to read the racist tweets about Asians after people see it). InAPPropriate Comedy looks even worse than those terrible parody movies and includes Adrian Brody (blugh). So, for what it’s worth, Admission looks like the best option. I love Tina Fey unconditionally, and I desperately want Paul Rudd to be my best friend and/or platonic life partner.

Or, you know, go see Oz the Great and Terrible. It was pretty good. Review forthcoming.

Music

Ummm, there’s a new Brian McKnight album?

Television

Well, after this week I’m basically going to be recommending Game of Thrones non-stop, so enjoy this while it lasts. That being said I’m not really sure what to recommend! The Biggest Loser finale is on right NOW, Girls just ended, there’s no new Parks & Rec… what to do!?! I guess I’ll suggest Community, even though it hasn’t been quite itself this season. BUT it has been finding its feet, and even zombie Community is better than no Community.

Basically, Winter Is Coming, so deal with it.

The Cure for Weekly Summer Ennui

Good morning afternoon everyone! I hope we’re all feeling fit and full of vigor today, and not sunburnt and sore from an excellent but thoroughly exhausting weekend. Wait. I mean… I hope you had weekends of such intensity and entertainment, but I ALSO hope you feel fine, fresh, and fancy-free. I KNOW I DO.

Currently listening to: Monuments and Melodies, aka Incubus’ Greatest Hits album.

Music

Alright so there are a few releases this week, but most of them are SO off my (admittedly under-developed) Cool Music Radar™, I’m not even going to mention them at the risk of sounding so dangerously unhip that you all feel as little respect for my taste in music as… well… as you should. The one release I do feel qualified to talk about is John Mayer’s new one: Born and Raised. It was at some point streaming on iTunes, so a lot of y’all have probably already heard it. From what I gather, it’s more Battle Studies than Continuum, which for some (including a former roommate) is pretty much the worst thing conceivable. It’s less bluesy, and more country, and while I certainly prefer the blues sound, I’ll confess to not missing guitar solos – which I find to be both banal and showy at the same time. So strap in for some emoting, some whining, and some “how the hell am I a grown up?” I will be.

Movies

You may not know this about me, but I hate horror movies. Not because I hate being scared. In fact, I love being scared. I hate being surprised. Things jumping out at you? That’s a cheap thrill. That’s Family Guy humor. That’s fart jokes and making fun of Sarah Palin. It’s easy, and it’s been done before. I want to be scared. I want to drive home with my interior lights on. I want to need a night light. I want to think back to it years later and still look around me for monsters. I want Slappy the ventriloquist’s doll from Goosebumps. I want IT from Stephen King. I want the Truman Show. Ok that last one wasn’t a horror movie, but it EFFED ME UP FOR LIFE. So with that in mind, you should be able to figure out where I stand on this whole “found-footage” genre that really came to prominence with Blair Witch and has been succeeded by Paranormal Activity. And if you can’t, allow me to spell it out for you. N. O. No.

So this weekend sees the release of the Chernobyl Diaries, from the director of Paranormal Activity. Basically, this movie takes six college kids to the site of an old tragedy, getting abandoned, and hunted by a monster. So basically, it’s everything Joss Whedon and Drew Goddard hate about the modern horror genre, and sought to combat with the excellent Cabin in the Woods.

Then of course there’s Men In Black 3, which Will is excited about but I am not. I’m not even sure I’ve seen the first movie since the second came out. It was that bad. And honestly, I’m just over Will Smith, and not invested in the story of Jay and Kay saving the world from aliens. I’ve put all my Alien Movie Excitement Eggs in the Prometheus basket.

And finally, in case you missed it, Will went against medical advice and saw Battleship this past weekend. His review can be found on his blog if you’re interested.

Television

Monday: Eureka – a disaster preparedness drill goes wrong! But of course the bigger news is the SERIES FINALE of House. This is a show I’ve gone back and forth on over the years, ultimately getting too frustrated with the whole Status Quo is God thing, by which I mean “If House has these poignant moments of self-realization EVERY WEEK FOR EIGHT YEARS, how is it possible that he hasn’t changed in any sort of lasting way?!?” And of course the loss of Cuddy and Olivia Wilde after last season was basically the last straw for me. That being said, I’ll probably be watching to see how everything wraps up, because I was once highly invested in the characters.

Tuesday: Glee – graduation. Woo.

Wednesday: On Modern Family, Cam and Mitch look to be taking more steps in the search for a new baby. I wish this had been a more consistent plot thread this season, but oh well. Alex goes to prom, Jay and Manny watch Lily – which should be HYSTERICAL, and Hailey makes an announcement. College? Marriage? Who knows?? On B23’s first season finale, it’s James Van Der Beek (JVDB, natch) vs. Dean Cain over the size of their Dancing With the Stars dressing rooms, plus June tries to party hardy but obviously can’t. And finally on Revenge’s season one finale, it’s Emily vs. the man who killed her father. Last week’s episode was SOLID and left us on a lot of cliff hangers. I am DYING to see which get wrapped up and which are left to dangle in the summer breeze until next season.

Thursday: Awake has its (sadly) series finale. I’m still about five episodes behind, but this makes me sad nonetheless. And then it’s a night for dance fans everywhere: the SYTYCD (So You Think You Can Dance, DUH) premiere!

Friday: Nothing! Supernatural and Fringe are done for the season, so Fridays are pretty jank.

And as always, Game of Thrones and Mad Men. GoT has The Battle of the Blackwater, which is written by George R.R. Martin himself, and promises to tank the budget for the rest of the season.

Comics

DC is having a huge week, but here’s what I’m taking away from it. Batman: The Dark Knight continues the Night of the Owls event (probably along with some other books, but whatevs). Batman: Incorporated by Grant Morrison returns, which everyone says is awesome, and should begin the end phase of his six year Bat Story. Aquaman continues to look into the past of Atlantis. New Flash, plus new I, Vampire. And also, one of my favorite series: the Unwritten! I think I’m a few issues behind on that one, but I really wish I weren’t, because it has heated up so intensely it is pretty much melting my face off biweekly.

Marvel: Couldn’t find anything interesting, but to be honest I didn’t really look too hard. I’m so tired y’all.

Books

From Sword and Laser:

2312 By Kim Stanley Robinson

The year is 2312. Scientific and technological advances have opened gateways to an extraordinary future. Earth is no longer humanity’s only home; new habitats have been created throughout the solar system on moons, planets, and in between. But in this year, 2312, a sequence of events will force humanity to confront its past, its present, and its future.”
Sounds pretty sweet, though I am SWAMPED by Hyperion et al. so this may have to wait a while for me to pick it up.
And with that, I leave you. This week is, I believe, a sports post from Jordan on Wednesday, and a scrumptious food post by Griffin, so let’s get pumped for that, shall we? Now, I’m going to desperately wrestle with my conscience over whether to nap or work out, and probably compromise by watching more Mad Men with the director commentaries on.