Pop Culture Radar: What’s Trending This Week

By Samantha Reid

‘Life After College’
Ever wish there was a manual for how to become a fully functioning adult? Well, there kind of is. Life coach Jenny Blake wrote a comprehensive guide to everything from career to dating to health, helping to make the postgrad transition a little bit easier. Not many people can afford their own personal life coach, but this motivational guidebook is the next best thing.


Joshua Max Feldman’s ‘The Book of Jonah’
This isn’t the average biblical retelling. It starts in modern day New York City, where lawyer Jonah Jacobstein has a seemingly perfect life. Perfect, that is, until he has a vision of the city being destroyed. This throws his life onto an entirely new trajectory, which lands him as an aimless traveler of the world. Chock full of twists and turns, Feldman’s novel certainly never leaves readers bored.


MTV Movie Awards
Get the popcorn ready, because Sunday, April 13 marks this year’s MTV Movie Awards, and there’s a lot to see. The excitement will start early during the pre-show with an exclusive clip of the highly anticipated film “The Fault in Our Stars.” Leo may not have gotten his Oscar this year, but he could still get a golden popcorn for his work in “Wolf of Wall Street.” Other notable nominees include Jennifer Lawrence and Amy Adams for best kiss in “American Hustle,’ the cast of “Anchorman 2” for best fight and Benedict Cumberbatch for best villain in “Star Trek: Into Darkness.”

mad men
‘Mad Men’ Final Season
The beginning of the end for AMC’s hit “Mad Men” also airs on April 13. Similar to the final season of “Breaking Bad,” AMC split season seven of the story into two parts, with seven episodes airing this spring followed by the remaining seven in 2015. The season promises a lot of drama, as season six ended with complete disorder in Don Draper’s life. Viewers can tune in Sunday to see how Jon Hamm’s character deals with his suspension from work and separation from his wife.

‘Hateship, Loveship’
Kristen Wiig can do funny better than almost anyone, but in this film, she tries drama for the first time opposite Academy Award nominee Hailee Steinfeld. Also starring Nick Nolte and Guy Pearce, the movie follows the story of Steinfeld as she sparks a faux romance between her addict father and her new nanny, played by Wiig. “Hateship, Loveship” will see a limited release on April 11.

the hobbit
‘The Hobbit’ on DVD
“Lord of the Rings” fans can finally take home “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug” on DVD and Blu-ray April 8. Reviews after the theatrical release were mostly positive, with the Los Angeles Times saying it put the entire Hobbit series “back on course.” It did so well, in fact, that it made the top 25 highest grossing films of all time. Even for those who aren’t LOTR superfans, the film has action, dragons and Orlando Bloom, making it worth a watch.

Jared Leto on the cover of Flaunt
Jared Leto and his enviable ombre locks have been seemingly everywhere lately. From his heartfelt Oscar speech to the cover of Flaunt magazine’s April issue, Leto is a Hollywood force to be reckoned with. The actor and frontman of Thirty Seconds to Mars clearly has no fear in taking on high-drama roles, telling the lifestyle mag, “I’m willing to risk everything. I don’t say that with any conceits. I say that as a fact.”

Tired of Flappy Bird and looking for a new Internet game time-suck? Online and mobile game 2048 was created just this past March by 19-year-old Gabriele Cirulli, and it’s already taken off. The original version asks players to slide numbered tiles, combining them with the ultimate goal of creating the number 2048. But less number-oriented versions are springing up everywhere — there’s Doctor Who 2048, multi-player 2048 and, best of all, Doge2048.

Ingrid Michaelson ‘Lights Out’
Indie-pop singer-songwriter Ingrid Michaelson has a new album release coming April 14. The first single, “Girls Chase Boys,” came out in February, and her tour to promote the album will begin in late April. Critics have called the first song off the album a “a darker, more complicated side of the singer” who rose to fame with happy hits like “Be OK” and “The Way I Am.” Michaelson herself has promised a more experimental vibe to the new album, but with some of her old sound mixed in.

John Legend in concert
Famous crooner John Legend will perform at the Cadillac Palace Theatre in Chicago on April 9. The nine-time Grammy winner will take the stage to sing songs from his latest album “Love in the Future,” largely inspired by model wife Chrissy Teigen. Fans who attend the show are promised an “up-close-and-personal experience” in the intimate theatre setting, and Legend is sure to perform his chart-topping hit “All of Me.”

Chris Sale
Bacon and baseball
Ever been at a baseball game and thought, “This experience needs more bacon?” The White Sox are meeting that need with their new menu and then some. This season, park patrons can order from an extensive new concessions menu that includes a bacon mac and cheeseburger as well as bacon on a stick. For dessert fans, the franchise is also boasting a 12-scoop ice cream sundae that weighs in at a full three pounds, as well as a chicken-and-waffle sandwich. One thing’s for sure: regardless of how the team does, fans at U.S. Cellular won’t be going hungry this season.

boat tour
Boat tour season has begun
It’s only just begun to warm up in Chicago, but spring has sprung for boat tours. Both the cruise ships on Navy Pier and the tour boats on the Chicago River have held their 2014 inaugural trips, and they will continue rain or shine (or freezing cold). Cruises off Navy Pier can be pretty pricey, but offer dinner, drinks and dancing all with an unparalleled skyline view. The Wendella architecture tour may seem like it’s just for tourists, but it takes even natives to see the city from a new viewpoint. Word to the wise? Check sites like LivingSocial and Groupon for the best deals.

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