Pop Culture Radar: What’s Trending This Week

By Samantha Reid
samonthetorch@gmail.com

Books
eleanor and park
Rainbow Rowell’s ‘Eleanor & Park’
It may have been released a year ago, but Rainbow Rowell’s book is still receiving a lot of buzz. So much so, in fact, that Dreamworks just bought the rights to turn the story into a movie that will begin filming in 2015. For those who haven’t read it yet, “Eleanor & Park” is part traditional teen love story, park awkward coming-of-age story. Fans say what sets it apart is the realistic characters that keep readers coming back for more.

good luck of right now

Matthew Quick’s ‘The Good Luck of Right Now’
Fans of “Silver Linings Playbook,” rejoice: Matthew Quick is at it again, this time with his new novel “The Good Luck of Right Now.” This one’s got a wacky but heartfelt premise of a grown man who’s just lost his mother/best friend and has to learn how to live on his own. He does so by sending a series of eccentric letters to Richard Gere. No word on whether this novel will lead to a film with Oscar buzz like Quick’s last hit, but it’s certain to tug at readers’ emotional heart strings as well as their funny bones.

TV
awkward
‘Awkward’ Premiere
MTV’s hit show “Awkward” returns April 15 for Jenna Hamilton’s senior year. Much like the first three seasons, things are about to get “awkward,” with a slew of boy problems, the stress of preparing for college and a pretty new girl at school who poses serious competition. Viewers looking to relive a more scandalous, MTV version of high school can tune in for plenty of drama and sassy one-liners. Have to miss out on the first episode? MTV.com has full episodes and trailers available online.

scandal
A ‘Scandal’-ous Finale
April 17 marks the season three finale of “Scandal,” ABC’s smash hit starring Kerry Washington and Tony Goldwyn. The show’s season has been cut back to accommodate Washington’s real-life pregnancy, but will return for a full season four in the fall. The political drama’s finale has Washington’s character Olivia Pope coping with the impending election as well as issues with her mother. With showrunner Shonda Rhimes at the helm, fans should be prepared for anything to happen.

Movies
transcendence-johnny-depp
Johnny Depp stars in ‘Transcendence’
It seems as though Johnny Depp has played almost every role out there, but he’s trying out something new with “Transcendence,” which hits theaters April 18. The sci-fi thriller also stars Morgan Freeman, and Christopher Nolan of “The Dark Knight” fame is one of the film’s executive producers. Depp plays Will Caster, an intelligence researcher determined to create a machine capable of collective intelligence — a task that gains him enemies in the process.

philomena01
‘Philomena’ on DVD
Those who missed the “Philomena” buzz during Oscars season can finally catch up when the DVD comes out on April 15. Dame Judi Dench stars as the title character, a woman on a 50-year search for her long-lost son. She befriends a journalist who writes her story, exposing the dark world of the convent that gave away Philomena’s baby without her knowledge. Based on a true story, the film takes viewers on an emotional journey about family and enduring love.

Media
miley-cyrus-elle-cover
ELLE’s Women in Music issue
The May issue of ELLE magazine celebrates women in the music industry, so Miley Cyrus was a naturally newsworthy choice. Looking demure on the cover in a sparkly bodysuit that leaves everything covered up, the critical success of Cyrus’s Bangerz album certainly earned her the spot. Aside from Miley, the magazine features female powerhouses Cher, Lykke Li, Ariana Grande, Kacey Musgraves and Lily Allen.

swish selfie

‘Swish Selfies’ help kids in need of dental care
Selfies are so prevalent these days that they’re even the inspiration for hit songs. Whether people like it or not, the selfie is here to stay, so why not use its power for good? Elizabeth Banks, star of movies like “Pitch Perfect” and “The Hunger Games,” has partnered with Listerine, and for every selfie posted to the company’s Facebook page, Listerine will donate $5 to the Oral Health America’s Smiles Across America program. So, the next time a friend snaps a selfie, let them know to add it to the page, in addition to their Instagram, and the proceeds will help those in need.

Music
jason-derulo-talk-dirty
‘Talk Dirty’ with Jason Derulo
At bars and parties across the United States, the past few months have been a constant stream of Jason Derulo’s contagious hit “Talk Dirty.” On April 15, Derulo is reissuing his last album “Tattoos” under the new name “Talk Dirty,” including some brand new material and collaborations with producers like The Cataracs and Timbaland. The album also features fellow rappers Snoop Dogg and Tyga. Derulo bills the album as “upbeat, feel-good music,” so fans of his hit single should stay tuned for more like it.

Green-Day-Demolicious
Green Day’s ‘Demolicious’
Green Day has definitely proven their staying power over the years, and on April 19 the band will release their latest project, “Demolicious.” A compilation album, it features 18 demos and one previously unreleased track recorded in 2012 entitled “State of Shock.” Fans can also look forward to an acoustic version of “Stay the Night.” The band timed the album’s release with Record Store Day, and “Demolicious” will be available on vinyl, CD and cassette.

ETC
Kate-Moss-for-Topshop-Spring-2014
Kate Moss for Topshop
“The Icon is Back,” according to Topshop, whose new collaboration with supermodel Kate Moss hits stores on April 30. For budding fashionistas who can’t wait until the end of the month to buy the collection, the entire lookbook is now available online, and Moss modeled one of the outfits on the May cover of Vogue. Designer collaborations are a great way to take runway looks to campus on the cheap, and it’s undeniable that Moss is one of the biggest names in the fashion game. The collection preview describes the pieces as “boho” and “festival inspired,” so the timing will be perfect for summer concerts.

m burger
M Burger Secret Menu
Thrillist Chicago devotes a decent amount of time to exposing various secret menus around the city, and one of the most recent is M Burger, a fast food chain with locations all over Chicago. The normal burgers alone are delicious, but the secret menu offers artery-clogging options like the Roman-Style burger, which substitutes buns for whole grilled cheese sandwiches. Meat lovers can ask for a barnyard burger, which includes beef, chicken, bacon and turkey.

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