Pop Culture Radar: What’s Trending this Week

By Samantha Reid
samonthetorch@gmail.com

Books
BJNovak
“One More Thing” by BJ Novak
You might know BJ Novak merely as Ryan from “The Office,” but the comedian actually got his start as a television writer and executive producer. With “One More Thing,” he makes the transition to book writing with 60 comedic short stories. For those without the time to read a novel, the quick bursts of humor are perfect for your CTA commute.

chelsea handler

“Uganda Be Kidding Me” by Chelsea Handler
The “Chelsea Lately” host’s fifth book hits stores March 4, and if her previous best-sellers are any indication, readers can expect more raunchy, real-life tales. What sets it apart from its predecessors? This time, Handler and friends are on safari. Handler is on tour to promote the book, and lucky Chicago fans can check out her live show at the Chicago Theatre on March 9.

TV

house-of-cards
“House of Cards” Season 2
Netflix series have been gaining traction for a while now, arguably none more so than the Kevin Spacey hit “House of Cards.” If you haven’t jumped on the bandwagon yet, don’t worry — the first two seasons are binge-watch ready on Netflix Instant. The politics-driven show offers a lot in terms of drama, and while it might not be an entirely realistic depiction of government, it’s definitely addictive. It’s estimated that almost 634 thousand viewers watched the entire second season in the first weekend after its release.

lena dunham

Lena Dunham hosts “Saturday Night Live”
Star and creator of HBO’s mega-hit “Girls,” Lena Dunham will host “SNL” for the first time on March 8 with musical guest The National. Dunham fans will get a double dose of comedy that weekend, with SNL on Saturday and a brand new episode of “Girls” airing Sunday night. The professional funny girl took to Twitter to voice her excitement about the opportunity: “Thank you for the ‘SNL’ love. Dream come true. Can’t wait to debut my character ‘girl who googled serial killers all night & has lots to say!’”

Movies

Catching-Fire
“Catching Fire” DVD
If anything has been trending with book and movie audiences in the past few years, it’s dystopian fiction. Arguably the largest book-turned-movie series since “Harry Potter,” the second installment of “The Hunger Games” comes out on DVD March 7. Those who missed it in theaters can now bring home “Catching Fire” for an even more action-packed, politically charged drama than the first film, with standout performances by Oscar winner Jennifer Lawrence as well as the late Philip Seymour Hoffman.

LIAM_WITH_GUN copy.JPG

“Non-Stop” in Theatres
Liam Neeson is continuing his trend of starring in fast-paced thrillers, with the latest, “Non-Stop,” being released in theaters this past week. Neeson plays a former Air Marshal who has to stop an unidentified killer from murdering one passenger every 20 minutes until the demanded ransom is sent. The movie is a straightforward thriller, but it boasts an all-star cast including Julianne Moore, Michelle Dockery and Oscar nominee Lupita Nyong’o.

Media

ronan-farrow
“Ronan Farrow Daily” calls Twitter to action
On the surface, “Ronan Farrow Daily” seems like just another news show. But the difference between MSNBC’s usual programming and the new show is the young lead. At 26, Ronan Farrow already has Yale-educated lawyer, human rights activist and U.S. government advisor on his resume. The concept for the show is that Farrow will deliver the news, but each week the show calls viewers to action in some way. For the first week’s programming, college graduates were asked to tweet a picture of themselves with a sign stating their student loan debt. With the call to action campaign, Farrow goes further in integrating television and social media.
glimpse

Glimpse the new Instagram dating app
The latest in a seemingly constant stream of new dating apps, Glimpse connects to a user’s Instagram account to create a profile. While the app looks and feels like its popular precursor Tinder, the creators claim it is more based on interests and less on looks. While online daters will have the option to choose only selfies to display, they can conversely opt to make their nine profile photos reflect their hobbies and favorite things. The app is currently invitation only but is expected to expand in coming weeks.

Music

Miley_Cyrus_Bangerz_Tour_640x360
Miley Cyrus Bangerz Tour
Miley Cyrus brings her highly controversial Bangerz tour to the Allstate Arena on March 7. If reviews of prior shows are any indication, the show is vulgar, even being billed by multiple news outlets as “X-rated.” Those in search of a spectacle can expect more of Miley’s signature leotards, drug references and all-around promiscuity. Those there for the music can look forward to songs off her critically acclaimed new album, as well as a performance from opening group Icona Pop.
girl

Pharrell Williams “G I R L”
It seems like Pharrell — and his hat choices — have been everywhere these days, from guest appearing on mega-hits like Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines” and Daft Punk’s “Get Lucky,” to providing the musical score for the “Despicable Me” franchise. In reality, Williams hasn’t released an album of his own since 2006, until now. “G I R L” hits iTunes March 3, and it’s already garnering praise from critics. The Guardian boasts that the album album is “celebrating women and aiming to highlight society’s gender imbalance.”

ETC.
devil dawgs
Devil Dawgs
Students in the South Loop looking for more late night food options can head to the new hot dog place that opened just blocks away from Roosevelt University earlier this semester. The new location joins another well-loved Devil Dawgs in Lincoln Park. The restaurant offers good, affordable food and is open until 3 a.m. Wednesday through Saturday nights. With greasy staples like hot dogs, burgers, fries and milkshakes, the new location is already attracting the college population on their way home from a night out.
lafw

#LAFW
Bringing up the rear of runway shows in New York, Paris, Milan and London, Los Angeles Fashion Week kicks off March 7. While the fashion scene in L.A. is undeniably smaller than in the previous cities, the New York Times calls the city “on the verge,” and there will undoubtedly be designers and trends worth noting. Even famed designer Rachel Zoe cancelled her show at New York Fashion Week in favor of showing her designs this March in L.A., giving fashion followers hope that the City of Angels will have big things to offer this year.

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