Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Suburban Mom's Pop Culture Week: Entourage, Wired & a Small Film With a Kid Named Potter


-- The sixth season of HBO's testosterone-heavy Entourage premiered on Sunday and I've got to agree with a blogger from New York Magazine who said that it felt a bit dated with stuff like Vinnie appearing on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, given that Conan O'Brien has taken the reins. Ari made reference to his agency signing the star of My Name is Earl, a show that's now cancelled. "For a show that derives a great deal of its energy from the fact that it's supposed to feel recent and insider-y to viewers, these two factual slipups have us thinking that the show's creators are committed to once again running this season on autopilot," wrote Mark Graham.

That being said, it was a surprisingly mellow, low-keyed Entourage premiere, which quietly established the groundwork for the boys to finally be showing some inklings of budding maturity and no longer acting like, in Sloan's words, they live in "a frat house." It's about damned time. The women on this show always seemed light-years more mature than the men, except for E, who seemed like the only responsible boy in the bunch, though he has been susceptible to caving into pressure to be cool and go out with the dudes. (Vinnie is JUST getting his driver's license? How much arrested development does Vinnie have?) Will something like a suddenly mature Turtle change the dynamics of the show? Of course, but change can be good. Just ask the Lost people.

Additionally, I loved the Mad Men reference when Ari defended drinking the office in the middle of the day and Lloyd quipped that it won't seem so cool when the AMC show flashes forward to the 1970s and Don Draper & Co. have heart and liver disease.

-- Watched some of the episodes from the final season of Gilmore Girls that I DVRed over the past few weeks. ABC Family, which has been running Gilmore Girls repeats for years, in June finally got permission to air the final season, the one which saw Lorelai and Christopher marry, then divorce; Lane have twins and Rory graduate from Yale and turn down a marriage proposal while she went off to cover the Obama campaign. I only saw those episodes once after they were aired, so it's been nice to see them again, though the seventh season wasn't one of my favorites. Whenever I catch episodes from the first two seasons, I realize how much of that distinct, fresh, quirky something the later seasons were missing.

-- Are money and ratings the only reasons for the MLB All-Star Game to start at 8 p.m.? (Actually, the first pitch didn't happen until 8:50 p.m.) If this is supposed to be "America's favorite pastime," why is it on TV so late? Why can't it take place on a weekend day so that kids and people who work for a living can watch it? My children went to bed at 10 p.m. and only were able to catch an hour of actual play. (I DVRed the rest of it for them and they'll watch it later.) I'm completely on board with a column Stephen King wrote a while back in Entertainment Weekly lamenting this late-night practice and how TV had "ruined" baseball.

-- I'm eagerly anticipating the arrival -- via snail mail -- of Mad Men's season two DVDs. (Is it time for that show to premiere yet?) I'll be sure to post here after I've soaked it all in.


-- There's a minor movie that just came out last night, at midnight to be exact. You might've heard of it. The lead character's name is something like Palmer? Or Puddy?

My twin 10-year-olds have been literally counting down the hours until we go to see Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince tomorrow afternoon (tomorrow's the earliest when we can get someone to watch our nearly 8-year-old for whom I believe the film might be too intense). I must admit that I'm kind of psyched to see it as well. Brings out the kid in me. Here's to hoping the film's solid.

-- Over the weekend, The Spouse and I watched Iron Man with Robert Downey Jr. This was one of the films he'd added to our Netflix queue after he found the list to be too heavy with thinky, independent films, TV shows (The West Wing's on the list), romantic comedies and kids' fare. He joked that he'd injected more action-oriented testosterone into the list.

When we sat down to watch Iron Man, I fully expected to hate it, but surprisingly didn't. In fact, I found it very entertaining -- I had no idea there was an Iraq/military arms supplier backstory -- and stayed awake throughout the entire thing. (This is significant because we didn't start the movie until 10 p.m. after a long day of running around with the three kids.) The other Netflix movie sitting next to the TV: Milk. Might have to ply The Spouse with some caffeine beforehand.

-- I finally finished re-reading Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince and have commenced my second pass through Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. I'd forgotten how deeply depressing the seventh book of the Potter series is. Nothing but downer after downer. Bleakness everywhere. Kind of puts me in a dour mood. In that world, it sucks to be Harry Potter.

-- I just got the August issue of Wired Magazine in the mail and found it to be packed with intriguing stories and blurbs. (FYI: My liking it has nothing to do with the fact that Brad Pitt is on the cover.) There are pieces on the etiquette of social media -- like should you follow your boss and your boss's boss on Twitter AND friend them on Facebook? -- and a brief musing on something I'd never heard of: a single-serving web site.

What's on your Pop Culture agenda this week? You planning on seeing THE movie of the summer?

Image credit: Warner Brothers via the Examiner.

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