Pop Rocks: It's a Miracle Any Celebrity Marriage Survives

Categories: Pop Rocks

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Hard enough without celebrity.
When I read recently that Mariah Carey and Nick Cannon were separating, my first thought was, "I'm surprised they made it this long." If more than half of marriages end in divorce, my guess is that celebrity marriages are skewing that towards the upper end. It's frankly a miracle any married couple working in showbiz makes it longer than a few months together.

But, I don't put the blame on Hollywood's loose morality or the disposable nature of celebrity. In truth, marriage is difficult enough without the complications that accompany being famous. Billy Joel once said of people wanting to be rich and famous, "Try the rich part. See if that doesn't do it for you."

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Pop Rocks: Binge Watching Scandal Is Not a Good Idea

Categories: Pop Rocks

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Lena Dunham's SNL parody of Scandal is how I felt about 15 episodes in.
I had heard a lot about Scandal, the ABC political drama starring Kerry Washington as a D.C. fixer who is involved in an affair with the President. I was never certain if I wanted to watch it, but there it was staring my wife and me in the face on Netflix in the middle of a boring summer of reruns. And I had recently seen the hilarious parody skit on SNL featuring Lena Dunham from Girls as the confused new "gladiator," and figured what the hell.

It wasn't until I was three or four episodes in that I realized Dunham and I had the same problem.

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Pop Rocks: The Seven Emerging Genres of 2014 Fall TV Shows

Categories: Pop Rocks

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When nerds ruled the world...or TV.
Like all forms of entertainment, television can get locked into some patterns. Often times, those simply follow what has been successful recently. And while you might think that means cop shows and hospital dramas, that isn't always the case. This new fall season, as it turns out, is virtually devoid of doctors. Sure it has a bunch of crime series, but not all cop shows.

It certainly does follow some very specific and obvious trends, however. Some of them are recent, some old as TV itself and others are brand new. Let's take a look.

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Pop Rocks: Bruce Campbell Might Be the Coolest Dude Ever, the Twitter Proof

Categories: Pop Rocks

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I did not come to know actor Bruce Campbell until I started watching the show Burn Notice, the popular USA Network Miami Vice-meets-The A-Team spy show that ended its seven-year run in 2013. Cambell played Sam Axe, a former FBI agent and Navy Seal who loves beer, the ladies and kicking ass.

It wasn't until a friend introduced me to his zombie-killing role as Ash in the cult classic The Evil Dead films that I realized he also is a living horror film legend. He is in high demand at horror and sci-fi conventions and has now revealed that he will write and star in a television version of the classic horror film series where he solidified his cult hero status. Director Sam Rami, who has cast Campbell in numerous roles including The Evil Dead is also on board.

But if you think that's cool (or even if you don't), consider his Twitter feed where he routinely and hilariously responds to questions from all comers, as well as retweets posts from fans, particularly the ones who claim to have named children after him or his characters, those who have tattoos of his face and war vets, a particular interest.

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My 10 Favorite Moments from The Simpsons in Honor of the FXX Marathon

Categories: Pop Rocks

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One of the greatest shows in TV history is going on a marathon.
Next month fledgling network FXX, which purchased the rights to all 25 seasons of The Simpsons, will air the longest marathon in TV history when it shows nearly two weeks of episodes of one of the greatest sitcoms ever 24 hours per day culminating in the release of all episodes of the cartoon comedy online. All 552 episodes plus the movie will air in a row, unabated. For any fan of The Simpsons, it is enough to make you want to guzzle orange soda and down burritos like the Comic Book Guy in what we can only imagine will be the BEST. MARATHON. EVER!

I began watching the show before it was a show, when it was just a skit on the Tracey Ullman Show. At the time, it was mildly creepy and surreal. By the time it hit the air, I was hooked. I still have the body of a bass guitar I bought years ago with Bart Simpson riding a skateboard on it, painted by a good friend of mine.

The smartest thing the show ever did, however, was shift the focus from Bart to Homer right around season three. It opened the show up for adults and helped keep it interesting. It doesn't hurt that both the amazing writers and brilliant voice over celebrities have some of the best comedic timing in the business.

In honor of the marathon, here are ten of my favorite moments...whittled down from about 200.

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Pop Rocks: The Only Thing Worse Than Bachelor/Bachelorette TV Is America's Obsession With It

Categories: Pop Rocks

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Will she find it?
Standing in line at H-E-B the other day, I remarked to my wife that I had no idea who any of the people featured on the covers of various gossip magazines were. Now, granted, I'm a dude who doesn't pay that much attention to celebrity news, but still, I have enough knowledge of Hollywood to recognize Angelina Jolie or Matthew McConaughey. So when I glanced across the conveyer belt at US Weekly and the other assortment of register magazines, I had to ask my wife who the hell these people were. "That's the Bachelorette," she responded.

Every damn cover was some woman who decided to try and find love on a reality TV show with the exception of People, which had some shirtless, six-packed dude from True Blood. Amazingly, him I knew.

Now, before I dissect this phenomenon, it should be noted that I do not blame the magazines or websites that feature these pseudo-celebs. They are simply doing the job we Americans want. If there is anyone to blame, it's us. Like most publications, they are simply reporting on what their readership demands.

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Pop Rocks: Alternatives During the Most Boring Time of the Year

Categories: Pop Rocks

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ScarJo in Lucy might be one of your only decent movie options over the next two months.
Beginning July 5, we enter the worst part of the year if you want to be entertained. From the first week of the year's seventh month through approximately Labor Day in early September, prepare yourself for boredom. Sure, this is the traditional time of year that most people go on vacation or spend time with family and friends, but what about on those regular days when you have nothing going on? What about a random Wednesday? What the hell are we supposed to do?

Because, let's face it, when it comes to the world of entertainment, we are all out of luck.

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Pop Rocks: Five Reasons America's Got Talent and The Voice Are Better than American Idol

Categories: Pop Rocks

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Juan Carlos teaching Nick Cannon a move or two.
I hate American Idol. I want to get that right out of the way up front to be clear that I don't have some obsession or even passing general interest in talent competitions that air on TV. Over the years, I've never really cared for any of them for numerous reasons, the most significant of which is that they are rarely about who has the most talent but rather about who can win a popularity contest. Meritocracies, for the most part, these are not.

But, Sunday night, I flipped on America's Got Talent to watch Houston's favorite rollerblade dancer take his turn in front of the camera and the judges. After about 40 minutes, Juan Carlos had rolled his happy self off the stage, but I strangely wanted to keep watching. My wife did as well. Then, during an ad for The Voice showing off shiny new judges Gwen Stefani and Pharrell Williams, I remembered there might actually be two talent shows on TV I kinda like and I began to see similarities between the two.

And make no mistake, there are things I despise about them too like how they run roughshod over auditions, their attempts to constantly pull at heartstrings with practically manufactured stories and way too much face time for the stars. But what AGT and The Voice also manage to do is keep me entertained and I think I've figured out why.

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Pop Rocks: Eight New Summer TV Series to Avoid Like the Plague

Categories: Pop Rocks

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Yes, they are serious.
I watch plenty of TV, but even I have my limits. We all should. Every fall, lots of new shows tank badly. Some die a slow, painful death. Many are kept on longer than they should. But, that's the fall when networks put real work into finding the next big hit because kids are back in school and families are more apt to spend time around the flatscreen watching whatever crappy sitcom or recycled cop drama the networks roll out for them.

During the summer, it's a whole different situation. While a few networks like HBO actually try to debut new shows that have merit, most opt for running whatever leftovers that they thought might be good enough for the fall, but probably not. The end result is a lot of really unfortunate programming.

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Pop Rocks: Why Am I Keeping Up With the Kardashians?

Categories: Pop Rocks

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On Saturday morning, waiting for breakfast to be prepared inside a lovely beach house on South Padre Island, my friend Rudy and I sat in front of the TV, partly killing time, partly relaxing on a long weekend away from home. In a scene not dissimilar from Tommy Boy when Tommy and Richard finally settled on a radio station playing what they considered a lame Carpenters song only to be singing along minutes later, the TV landed on E! and a marathon of Keeping Up With the Kardashians.

The very show I had made fun of numerous times. The same show my wife said she would be watching when the Kanye/Kim wedding (if it ever makes it on TV like her last disaster of a marriage did) made its appearance while I laughed about her interest in the nuptials she followed from a distance via the Daily Mail app on her phone -- she actually gasped audibly when she learned Jay-Z and Beyoncé had not attended.

It never ceases to amaze me how otherwise intelligent, normal, rational human beings could be sucked in by this trite, superficial nonsense, yet here I was 50 yards from a pristine stretch of Texas beachfront rapt by Bruce Jenner's admission to Kris Kardashian that he would prefer to live in a different house from her even though he wanted to remain married.

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