All the Below Posts were published in USAToday.com Pop Candy Blog Feature.
Today’s Pop Five: Kate C.’s top heroic scoundrels
These are some of the men who were mostly good, but a little bad. Or maybe they were mostly bad, but good enough. It was sometimes conflicting to cheer for them — but you did it anyway!
Pop Five Heroic Scoundrels:
1. Star Wars, Han Solo. “I love you!” “I know.” Han Solo looks out for one guy: himself. Well, OK, he’ll help you out, but Chewbacca and he are certainly going to act all tough about it before they do. Women love him and men want to be him. The perfect heroic scoundrel.
2. Pirates of the Caribbean, Capt. Jack Sparrow. Did you want him on your side? You bet. Did you want to take him home to family dinner? Probably not. Awful teeth paired with a great sense of style earned this pirate respect from the gents and blushes from the ladies. Capt. Jack had enemies whose numbers rivaled the stars in the sky, yet he was near impossible to dislike. Selfish, dirty, untrustworthy and charismatic made him awfully wonderful.
3. Torchwood, Capt. Jack Harkness. When he gave those first 12 children to the destructive alien race, he thought he was saving mankind. A few for the many. He certainly died a little inside, but he delivered the innocent to something worse than death. The second Capt. Jack on this list can be as cold as he can be hot while saving the earth, and he saves the human race on an almost daily basis. Harkness hates himself more than anyone else ever could, and it makes you love him more.
4. Dirty Harry, Harry Callahan. Sometimes a man has to take justice into his own hands. Harry Callahan was the epitome of that creed. He was taking out guys you wanted to see punished, but he wasn’t exactly abiding by the law to do it. Excessive force was his cup of tea. He showed us that the proper way to truly stop a robbery: Drive through the store front, shoot the robbers first, ask questions later.
5. Sweeney Todd, Sweeney Todd (The 1973, 1979 and 2007 versions). Though I considered giving this spot to Royal Tenenbaum, it really belonged to the Demon Barber of Fleet Street. He was a delusional, psychopathic serial killer. Yet your heart strings always tugged and felt for him: He was crazy over the loss of his love and their daughter. And who didn’t want to see the Judge get his comeuppance? Todd was sent to a penal colony for 15 years on false charges just so the judge could rape Todd’s wife. His revenge puts the Demon Barber on the fine line of heroic scoundrels.
Today’s Pop Five: Kate C.’s top office spaces
There’s no better way to get into what you do for a living then to enjoy your workspace. Since so few of us have a workspace we actually like looking at let alone spending most of our waking hours in, I was inspired to create the Pop Five TV Show Workspaces:
1. IT Crowd — IT Department office. Every time I watch that show it’s like a Where’s Waldo of wonderful geek stuff. Their IT basement offers desks coated in Space Invaders, multiple videogame systems, a plethora of comic and pop culture toys and posters, and Noel Fielding in a bizarre, rarely entered side closet. It’s the perfect working environment!
2. The Simpsons— Mr. Burns’ office. From the giant stuffed polar bear to the trap doors, the multiple TVs in the wall … Mr. Burns’ office is one of undeniable evil, but it sure seems like fun. Also, it comes with Smithers and you can’t beat that kind of devotion in a lackey.
3. Glee — Sue Sylvester’s office. Intimidating? Yes. Are you good enough for it? Probably not. Loaded with supplements, trophies (the Victory Case) and a treadmill, Sylvester’s office is the perfect combo of intense and winning. Also there’s a mouse pad, but no computer on her desk. What else would you expect from the Chuck Norris of gym teachers?
4. 30 Rock – Liz Lemon’s office. A mixture of toys and pathetic stereotypical woman stuff (we all know Liz used the hand weight on her desk maybe twice) Liz Lemon’s office is often where hilarity ensues. The perfect place for her to have breakdowns and Jack to belittle her. And who isn’t obsessed with that framed picture of a messy plate of food?
5. The Cosby Show – Dr. Huxtable’s basement office. It was rarely seen, but super gorgeous. Cozy, neat objects you wanted to touch, but knew you weren’t allowed to, and lots of pictures of his family members … who were right upstairs. Obviously making a good living for being able to afford such a sweet brownstone, Dr. H didn’t seem to be at work too often. The only thing he coveted more then his private workspace was his hot sweater collection.
Today’s Pop Five: Kate C.’s top animation/puppet voice actors
Pop 5 Animation/Puppet Voice Actors:
5. Patrick Warburton — Whether you’ve come to love him as Brock on The Venture Brothers or as the Caboose in The Little Engine That Could, Warburton’s voice is a screen gem. Heard most recently and regularly as Joe Swanson on Family Guy, Warburton has also performed the voice of Buzz Lightyear in the television series Buzz Lightyear of Star Command, the animated film The Emperor’s New Groove, and Bee Movie, among many others. He’s got a great tough-guy, yet nonthreatening way about his speech. Of course, upon hearing his voice in anything I immediately remark, “That’s Puddy!”
4. Tress MacNielle — What would The Simpsons be without their Crazy Cat Lady? Animaniacs without Dot Warner? MacNielle even lent her voice to Chip and Gadget of the Rescue Rangers! Pinky and the Brain, Princess Mononoke, The Smurfs, Tiny Toon Adventures – MacNielle has performed for all. She’s done dozens upon dozens of voices on Futurama (an instant win in my book) as well as voices for Disney and Nickelodeon television shows, video games and movies. And I’m barely scratching the surface of her voice-over career.
3. Mel Blanc — He was Bugs Bunny. He was Foghorn Leghorn. He was Pepe Le Pew, Porky Pig, Sylvester, Tweety, and even Yosemite Sam. Mel Blanc’s voice was that of a lot of well-known characters, but most importantly he was essential to any happy Saturday morning I had as a child.
2. Phil LaMarr — If you’re unsure of who Phil LaMarr is, I recommend you check out his time as Cowboy Curtis in Pee-wee Herman‘s HBO special. As far as his voice work goes, his resume is quite extensive. I first fell in love with his voice abilities from watching Samurai Jack, but it was the 56 (!) characters and counting he has voiced on Futurama that really sold me on his vocal talent. He’s been on many of my favorite shows including Harvey Birdman, Invader Zim and Star Wars: The Clone Wars, to name just a few. At a mere 44 years old, I can only hope his career will be a long and creative one.
1. Frank Oz — Easily the greatest voice in the business to me. Sure, he was Miss Piggy, but he was also Aughra and Chamberlain of The Dark Crystal. Perhaps most importantly he is Yoda. And that’s not to mention being the voice – and soul – of Bert, Cookie Monster, Grover, Fozzie, and, my personal favorite, Sam the Eagle. Sure, there are others, but there’s just not the space available here. I adore the sound of Oz’s voice, though I’m fairly certain I’ve never heard his real one.
Today’s Pop Five: Kate C.’s bad product placement songs
Pop Five Product Placement Songs That the Products Want Nothing to Do With:
1. Shout stain remover and Shout by Tears for Fears — The lyrics just don’t conjure images of Moms getting grass stains out, at least not the way Shout would want their ads to do so: “They gave you life, and in return you gave them hell. As cold as ice, I hope we live to tell the tale, I hope we live to tell the tale.”
2. Maybelline cosmetics and Maybelline by Chuck Berry — Exactly what the cosmetic creator wants to be associated with: a loose woman who’s been cheating on her man again, is skipping out on the relationship and trying to leave town. “Maybelline, why can’t you be true? Oh, Maybelline, why can’t you be true? You done started back doing the things you used to do.”
3. Cadillac automotive and Brand New Cadillac by The Clash — It’s not exactly derogatory to Cadillac, but it doesn’t really send the best message either. Good song, though. “I said, ‘Jesus Christ, where’d you get that Cadillac?’ She said, ‘Balls to you Daddy.’ She ain’t never coming back.”
4. Vaseline and Vaseline by Stone Temple Pilots — “Punch drunk and without bail. Think I’d be safer alone. Flies in the Vaseline we are …” The Flaming Lips did a song called Vaseline that’s far cuter then STP’s tune about a slightly crazy, but adorable girl and Ice Cube did a song called Out of Vaseline (something I’m sure Vaseline really doesn’t want to be associated with).
5. Orange Crush soda and Orange Crush by R.E.M. — It was hard to choose between this and the Manic Street Preachers‘ Ocean Spray, but at least the Ocean Spray in the MSP song is meant to be a drink. I know as I child I always thought of this when having a refreshing Orange Crush on a hot day: “High on the booze in a tent, paved with blood, nine-inch howl. Brave the night. Chopper comin’ in, you hope.”
Today’s Pop Five: Kate C.’s bad TV babysitters
My husband is a social worker. It’s from his work that I was inspired to write this list:
Pop Five TV Coaches/Babysitters Who Probably Shouldn’t Have Been Allowed Near Children:
1. Charles (Charles In Charge) — Why was he in charge of a household of kids, the oldest of which was just a couple years younger then he? He was supposed to be 19! And what employer would allow their nanny to have a friend over as often as Buddy was there? In reality, Charles and Jamie Powell would have … well, I mean, really.
2. Coach John McGuirk (Home Movies) — This character was responsible for such quotes as “Life sucks, Brendon. That’s your lesson. Go enjoy it.” and “… there’s nothing wrong with lying to women. Or the government. Or parents. Or God.” McGuirk would have been the perfect date for Mrs. Krabappel.
3. Tony Micelli (Who’s the Boss?) — More of a child then a caretaker, Tony rarely seemed to have things under control and never seemed too bright. His daughter Samantha had to constantly remind him how to behave. And besides, who could have possibly concentrated with Angela coming on to everything with a pulse?
4. Joey (Full House) — Yes, that was his post in the Tanner household, to take care of the kiddies. He wasn’t related to anybody, just friends with Uncle Jesse and really quite the child himself.
5. Fran Fine (The Nanny) — A character primarily made out of stereotypes and hair so big it put Peggy Bundy to shame, Fran Fine struggled to keep her own life together let alone caring for children. Almost every episode revolved around her getting caught in a lie and using sex appeal to weasel out of punishment. When summed up like that, you wonder how the series lasted six seasons.
Today’s Pop Five: Kate C.’s top Totally Screwed Up Sidekicks
They weren’t helpful as much as they were just totally sick and twisted. Sometimes you just wonder why some people hung out with them in the first place.
Pop Five Completely Screwed-Up and Bizarre Sidekicks:
5. Duela Dent/Harlequin — Always freaking out — whether laughing or crying — Harlequin’s life was as messed up and convoluted as she was. Was she really the Joker’s daughter? Or the Riddler’s daughter? Was she a member of the Teen Titans or the Titans East? Was there anyone she wouldn’t betray? She didn’t even seem to know herself.
4. Edie Sedgwick — Muse my a–. Warhol needed her for one thing and one thing only: self-destruction.
3. Sir Guy of Gisbourne : The Sheriff of Nottingham’s right hand man, Gisbourne was bloodthirsty, demeaned by his boss, and deprived of love. On top of all that, he had a terrible first name, which I imagine only added to the chip on his shoulder.
2. Tim Tom and Kevin — As if midgets dressed up like moppets weren’t enough, these boys have an unhealthy obsession with knives and Dr. Mrs. The Monarch. “I like huggin’ you in your new costume, mum.”
1. Walter Sobchak : I spent half this movie expecting Walter to spin around and kill The Dude — or anybody — just because he could. You could never date Walter; God forbid it didn’t end well, I don’t want to think of the ways he would most certainly take his vengeance.
Today’s Pop Five: Kate C.’s top normal, lovable sidekicks
The key word here is “normal.” Granted the fact that these characters are sidekicks immediately makes them better then the rest of us who are neither main characters nor sidekicks, but they are essential and ordinary. And, yes Waylon Smithers is totally extraordinary, so he’s not on the list.
Pop Five Completely Normal and Essential Sidekicks:
5. Pokey (Gumby) — Pokey showed Gumby support and gave him advice. He was dubious of situations and asked questions, counteracting Gumby’s naïveté. He was the best clay donkey a green dude could ask for.
4. Wallace (Scott Pilgrim) — Wallace got it from the beginning. He knew what had to be done and spurred Scott to do it, though cheering on a warrior is always easier then doing the fighting himself. Wallace gave it to Scott straight and babied him rarely, playing well the fine line of cold, hard honesty and sympathy.
3. Linus van Pelt (Charlie Brown) — Often the conscience and sense of Charlie’s world, Linus, though always connected to his own blanket, frequently showed more courage and thought then his balding neighborhood comrade. Similar to the friendship shared by Gumby and Pokey, Linus is the patient philosopher of the group and, while he doesn’t have his sister’s insane emotions, he does carry his heart on his sleeve.
2. Cameron (Ferris Bueller’s Day Off) Perhaps no sidekick served his friend better then Cameron. In a single day he supported, taught and learned from Ferris Bueller, as well as doing a little growing himself. Tall, handsome, goofy and single Cameron was perfect in every way.
1. Paul Pfeiffer (The Wonder Years) — He didn’t get the girl, he didn’t make the team and he was never, ever picked first. Except, of course, by Kevin Arnold, who found Paul’s presence to be indispensable. And unless you count his incredible allergies to just about everything on earth, Paul had absolutely no superpowers. He was great just the way he was.
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There’s a new Lego Movie trailer. I’m an unabashed fan of the Lego games, yet I still feel a little sheepish stating that I’m actually looking forward to the Lego Movie. It looks pretty funny, it’s got a number of my favorite comedic actors in it, as well as Liam Fucking Neison. That being said, he was also in Battleship, so…ugh. That being said, I couldn’t be more excited about a Will Arnett Batman. Here’s the newest trailer for Lego.
Also in movie news, Ender’s Game came out this past Friday. The author of the series, Orson Scott Card, is staunchly anti-gay and has given to numerous anti-gay causes. He’s written numerous essays and articles stating his often violent views toward homosexuals and those who would support them, including “If the Constitution is defined in such a way as to destroy the privileged position of marriage, it is that insane Constitution, not marriage, that will die.” Naturally, this has caused some concern amongst those interested in seeing the film or reading any of his further works. Is it possible to separate the man from the art or will doing something as simple as attending a movie, feed his bank account and therefore views that are aggressive in their inhumane intent toward a particular people? In light of this, Buzzfeed has written an interesting article on boycotting films and whether or not they actually ever work as intended.
As far as human rights go, a member of Pussy Riot has been moved to a different penal colony in Russia. She had faced attacks and subsequently undertook a hunger strike in protest to her incarceration. Apparently 23 year old Nadezhda Tolokonnikova was moved to a more secure prison on October 21st and her family was told they would be informed of her new whereabouts within 10 days. As of November 2nd, her husband reported that they had still not been told of her new location. Pussy Riot is a feminist punk rock group that has frequently criticized bigotry in Catholicism as well as Vladimir Putin. For their participation in a protest, two members of the group were sentenced to two years in a penal colony. At the time of sentencing Tolokonnikova stated “Our imprisonment serves as a clear and unambiguous sign that freedom is being taken away from the entire country.”
And because airports are unsafe and annoying as hell already, an alligator was found in O’Hare this past weekend. Illinois is of course the most perfect climate for gators. And he was stuck under the escalator no less (I’m sure there’s an escagator joke in there some where, but I refuse to touch it). Luckily it was only a baby, think Elvis from Clarissa Explains It All. In light of recent events, I would much rather grapple with a wild animal than a human.
A paleontologist at Mount Holy Oak believes he has proof that the Kraken was a real sea beasty. Listen, it’s something like 90% of our oceans are undiscovered wastes of terror and possible Kraken homes, sure, and I’m well aware that Moby Dick was based on a true story (want to be horrified? Look up George Pollard Jr. and his Essex to find out more on pain and whales and cannibalism), but I’m still leaning toward rational explanations for all sea myths and legends. I’m also afraid of open ocean, so maybe my fear makes me biased…
NBC loves them some Tina Fey like fat kids like chocolate cake. It’s been announced that they’re ordering another sitcom from the comedy maven and, while details are sparse, 13 episodes have been ordered for Fall 2014. If you need to have your memory jogged of the absurd, TheDailyBeast has some of the best moments from 30 Rock, including my personal favorite: That time Liz had a threesome with James Franco and an anime body pillow.
In a recent interview for SciFy, Neil Gaiman, Lord of Dreams, Master of Mine, revealed the origins of Sandman for its 25th Anniversary. This was a comic I used to buy so much as a kid that my parents actually limited the amount of money I could spend from babysitting and my allowance on. Naturally, I then started spending the surplus on drugs. Good work, guys.
And in the vein of anniversaries, just a friendly reminder: The trailer for the 50th anniversary Doctor Who special will hit on November 15th.
* So…The Hobbit is going to be 3 movies. There isn’t a script yet…or a budget…but, yeah, 3 films. [GeeksOfDoom]
* Global Warming opponents can go to Hell – and those in Oklahoma may very well be headed there. According to new reports, the current freak heat wave they’re experiencing is causing the street lights to melt. If we’re not going to alter our climate changing ways, we’ll have to at least tweak “Hot as balls” to “Hot as melting balls”. Naturally. [Inquistr]
* There have been a lot of talk about another Ghost Busters film claiming to be official. The newest comes from Cinema Blend stating that Bill Murray is officially out of any kind of future sequel. Granted, this story quotes Dan Aykroyd, but I’m still only taking it with a grain of salt. The only person who can say whether or not he’d be in is Murray himself, and even he wembles – it’s a word; look it up in the Fraggle Dictionary. The fact of the matter remains: These men are old. Like Indiana saving relics from the Nazi’s, perhaps this story should close completely. Can’t Hollywood come up with some new ideas, not simply “new-ish”? [CinemaBlend]
Photo Credit Inquistr
* The next X-Men movie has a name and it’s not “Second Class”. The next X-Men film, expected, will be called X-Men: The Days of Future Past, which to me is wordy and a bit Doctor Who-y. It’s also a fairly well known storyline of the comic book, making it a bit of a spoiler alert. This comes on the heels of set photos and video from the set Wolverine 2, which is currently filming. [HotOffThePresses, Hollywood Hills]
* There are rumors afoot that Jimmy Fallon may be in talks to host the 2013 Oscars. Lorne Michaels is expected to produce. Think he can get through any funny bits without giggling? I’m a fan of Jimmy Fallon, truly, and feel he’s definitely come into his own as a talk show host on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon. [LATimes]
* Will Ferrell is super upset about Kristen Stewart cheating on Robert Pattinson, y’all. Like, super upset. Even calls BitchFace a TRAMPire. Oh, that “bitchface” thing? She’s got super bitchface, it’s just a matter of fact. Listen, if you want me to get all girly about it, no one should be so pussy whipped that he’s willing to dip his pen in the same ink at the same time as another man. Also, she’s shit for acting, also just matter of fact. Don’t let losers drag down your own rising star. Boom. What was I talking about again? [Inquistr]
* First of all: Horse Riding Fitness ACE POOOOOOOOOOWER!!!!!
Okay. I feel better now. Super fit…or at least super something.
* Netflix added the next season of Breaking Bad to Watch Instantly this past weekend. Naturally, my marriage has been put on the back burner until all episodes can be watched.
* Wired interviewed Neil Gaiman and his wife, Amanda Palmer. It’s all fine and good and funny and interesting. Whatever. All I really got out of it was that I am not Neil Gaiman’s wife, and I should be. At least I’ve believed I should be since the age of 13. [Wired]
* If you haven’t heard by now, you should know: There’s a guy in the hills of Utah dressing and behaving as a goat. Some are speculating that he’s a hunter. I am speculating he’s a man dressed as a goat with 99 problems and hunting ain’t one of them. [WebProNews]
* Every time you start to think you’re cool, just remind yourself that you’re not Patrick Stewart. You are not Patrick Stewart, and you never will be. You’ve never had the accolades he’s earned from doing Shakespeare while simultaneously doing voices for Seth McFarlaine and being the Captain of the Enterprise. And you won’t run the olympic torch across London while looking super awesome doing it. [Blastr]
* And, finally, Peter Jackson debuted the newest Hobbit journal at Comic Con. Whoot!
I’ve been playing Red Dead Redemption and I’m totally obsessed. More than anything, I want to compile a collection of a bunch of the hats from John Marston’s unlockable outfits. Also, I’m a wicked good shot. Wicked good. I’ve just gotten a bit stuck on bagging a cougar with a stick of dynamite – but I’m sure I’ll get it soon.
And none of that has anything to do with this post, except for the fact that I “totes” don’t need any more hats; I already have an adorable collection that doesn’t get worn info.
Back to nerding out on real stuff.
It’s almost time. My Netflix subscription will finally pay off: New episodes of Arrested Development start filming in a mere 4 weeks! According to Netflix’s original statement, all new episodes will be uploaded for streaming all at once. Speaking of which, I’m going to have to re-watch all the old episodes stat. All original members of the cast are on board with this project, making it all the more exciting. [BuzzFeed]
Photo Credit That’sWhatSheaSaid
So, a Twilight fan was killed after being hit by car at Comic Con yesterday. When I first read that headline my first thought was “Oh, no! That poor 12 year old girl!” Only it wasn’t a young child; it was an adult woman over 50 years old. An adult who made the decision to run into on coming traffic to score a spot in line to see teen heartthrobs. No, she absolutely did not deserve to die and this is 100% a tragedy. I just feel our desire for escapism as Americans is a bit out of touch right now. [LATimes]
<Begin super thick sarcastic tone now.> Wow. I’m so surprised. Hey, everybody, Hollywood has decided to make Mockingjay, the final of the Hunger Games trilogy, into 2 movies. Wow, totally didn’t see that coming. <End sarcasm.> I am a fan of the Hunger Games books, I truly am. I felt, however, that Catching Fire and Mockingjay, based on their content, would need to be only 2 movies. It might have to overlap a bit, bringing some of the third book into the second part Catching Fire. While the second installment is exciting, there’s not much to it until…well, if you’ve read the book then you know. If you haven’t, I’m not spoiling it. In other words, there’s enough content there for 2 movies, but not any more than that. I just hope the next installment isn’t filmed likeThe Blair Witch Project again. But who are we to complain: We are the movie studios cattle, herding to pay over priced tickets for movies with budgets that are out of control. Ans we do it with smiles on our faces.
A 30 second clip has been released for The Dark Knight,airing on Jimmy Kimmel Live.
As the nerdiest of us know, it’s the 25th anniversary of TNG (that’s Star Trek: The Next Generation). Now, granted, the first season started off a bit rough, what with Riker’s super chin dimple and that Tasha Yar nonsense. Be that as it may, TNG quickly developed into the best Star Trek series, second only to TOS (that of course being The Original Series). To celebrate this, a number of movies theaters across the US are hosting an anniversary event showing two first season TNG episodes on the big screen. This is a one time thing on Monday July 23rd at 7pm – and, Austonians/Austinites, be aware that the Alamo Drafthouse will NOT be showing this. I know, I’m shocked, too. You can find out were to see this in your state on Fathom Events.
The Batmobile was designed in the late 1930’s. It’s one of those iconic cars that is instantly recognizable to this day, no matter how it’s updated. And it’s the standard to which every car lover out there compares their current ride to. It’s only fitting, and about time, that the creation and evolution of the Batmobile finally gets its own documentary. It will air Monday on the CW (whatever the hell network that is) at 8pm eastern time. Don’t expect amazement here, however: All six versions of the Batmobile are supposedly touched on, but the special is a mere 30 minutes in run time, so 22 when you subtract all those fantastic ads. Holy Bull Sh*t, Batman. [SuperHeroHype]
Tom Baker, the 4th inception of the Doctor and quite possible one of the most memorable with his incredible scarf, will be returning to Doctor Who for it’s 50th anniversary event. There is little to no additional news released on this event other than this will also serve as Matt Smith’s last moment as the character. I have been hesitant with each new inception of Doctor, hating that time for them passed so quickly and now I would have to work through the adventures with someone new, yet every time I’ve been more and more blown away. I had never been so surprised by an inception than with Matt Smith, who I feel managed to encapsulate the Good Doctor all too well, making his departure all that more rough. [Buzzfeed]
When I was young, I thought Xena was…well, not cool, per say, but one of the tougher women to look up to given my options as a child of the ’80’s. I find it interesting that now, 17 years after the short-lived television show aired, her “armor” is serving as inspiration for real life combat in the U.S. Military. I get the importance of properly fitted combat gear; a soldier must be protected while being able to move in a stealthy manner in order to complete their duties and survive. I just hope they dispense with curly golden designs on the tits. I don’t think those really aided to camouflage. [TheInquistr]
And, though it’s a month old, Peter Jackson has uploaded his 7th behind-the-scenes Hobbit movie journal to his YouTube page. What better way to end this out than with a little Hobbit enticement?