Pop Rocks: 5 New Fall Network TV Shows Already Locked Into My DVR

Categories: Pop Rocks

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Creepy and comic book-y.
With the fall comes cooler weather, fewer hurricanes -- a worry for those of us along the Gulf Coast, especially -- and new TV shows. Television has become rich with quality programming over the last decade, for all intents and purposes surpassing films in practically every way. Now that cable-only networks, subscription outfits like HBO and streaming services like Netflix have entered the fray, new, outstanding shows are popping up all over the place.

The big networks may not always come strong with the kind of quirky, dramatic programming to be found on Showtime or Amazon, they still know how to deliver in a big way. It makes sense. Ultimately, almost every creative would love for his show to end up on a network. They pay the most and offer some of the largest budgets. Maybe you can't make True Blood on NBC, but Scandal seems tailor made for weeknight network programming.

With quite a few decent new shows premiering this fall, my DVR is already loaded and the big networks are well represented.

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Pop Rocks: Prince William and Kate Expecting Again...Yawn

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For the carriage.
I'm not much of a conspiracy theorist. I tend to view such things through the lens of what my father often referred to as a "finely tuned bullshit detector." But, if I were going to believe in things like faked moon landings and second shooters, I might look for ways people in power were able to disguise those events. How could they possibly keep us from knowing about mind control drugs released in the contrails of airplanes or aliens at Area 51? If I had a hunch, it would be via celebrity gossip.

Why else would an entire world sit rapt by the daily lives of the British royal family?

On Monday, it was revealed that the former Kate Middleton and her husband, the would-be King of England, were going to have a second child. Thrilling news, I'm sure for them and their family. Yet, every news outlet on the planet reported it and tweets of congratulations hit the twitterverse from Dr. Oz to the Kardsashian kids -- you think I'm joking.

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Pop Rocks: Latest Celeb Naked Photo Leak a Reminder That Data Is Never Truly Safe

Categories: Pop Rocks

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Not as safe as they thought.
It was revealed over the weekend that compromising photos of numerous celebrities including Jennifer Lawrence, Rhianna, Kate Upton and others had been swiped and posted online, mostly on the 4Chan message boards. Hackers managed to get into victims' iCloud accounts through some type of vulnerability. Prior to the latest version of the iPhone, photos were not able to be synced across devices like phone numbers, emails and notes. Now, they are and these are the kinds of things that can happen.

And this was not some vindictive ex who decided the whole world should see his old girlfriend's boobs for spite. These were hackers who deliberately wormed their way into protected databases so they could exploit people, which is why no one should be blaming the victims. It's like blaming someone who got burglarized because he forgot to turn his alarm on. He should be able to leave his doors and windows wide open all day and night without incident because the thieves are the assholes here.

Having said that, this is a cautionary tale for anyone who has ever thought it was a good idea to text a naked photo to someone or have a Skype session that includes more than just talking. Even chat transcripts can be used against you, particularly when you are famous.

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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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