Pop Culture Radar: What’s Trending This Week

By Samantha Reid
samonthetorch@gmail.com

Books
blood will out

‘Blood Will Out: The True Story of a Murder, a Mystery and a Masquerade’
In a true story of murder and intrigue, writer Walter Kirn tells the unlikely story of his 15-year friendship with an imposter of epic proportions — Christian Gerhartsreiter, better known by his alias Clark Rockefeller. Described as “an ‘In Cold Blood’ for our time,” Kirn’s true-crime memoir is a must for anyone who loves a good mystery story.

the divide

Matt Taibbi and ‘The Divide’ in Justice
An editor for Rolling Stone magazine, Matt Taibbi is the author behind a compelling new book that investigates “American Justice in the Age of the Wealth Gap,” as the book’s subtitle reads. Critics have given it nearly unanimous praise, and the LA Times calls it “advocacy journalism at its finest.” The book explores disparities in the justice system between rich and poor offenders, and its conclusions serve as a scathing indictment of the current justice system.

TV
bad teacher
‘Bad Teacher’ hits the small screen
Fans of the 2011 Cameron Diaz flick have a new summer show to look forward to. A television adaptation of the movie premieres April 24 on CBS. This time, the “bad teacher” is played by comedic actress Ari Graynor, known for smaller parts in films like “Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist” and “The Sitter.” While the original film is fairly raunchy, the TV version promises to be more family friendly.

parks and rec
‘Parks and Recreation’ finale airs April 24
NBC is pulling out all the stops for the season six finale of its hit show, “Parks and Rec.” In the final episode, which airs April 24, Amy Poehler and the team will host a very special visitor — Michelle Obama. FLOTUS signed on to do the episode last February, making this one of the most highly anticipated finales in the 2014 TV season. After last season’s appearance by Joe Biden, it seems the White House is taking over Pawnee. Fingers crossed that Barack’s cameo is up next.

Movies
the other woman
‘The Other Woman’ debuts
In the first of a slew of summer chick flicks, Cameron Diaz, Leslie Mann and Kate Upton star as an unlikely trio who come together as friends when they find out the same man is playing all of them. Less a story of romance and more one of revenge, the plot follows the women as they scheme to get back at their mutual cheater. The film offers audiences the age old “hell hath no fury like a woman scorned” story, but with comedy at every turn.

brick-mansions-paul-walker
Paul Walker’s ‘Brick Mansions’
Fans of the late Paul Walker are getting another chance to see him on the big screen. In his usual post as action hero, Walker stars in “Brick Mansions” as a detective trying to defuse a dangerous hostage situation. The movie features plenty of eye-popping fight scenes, slow-motion acrobatics and a healthy dose of suspense. “The Fast & The Furious” fans will even get to see Walker partake in some signature car chases.

Media
lupita nyongo
Lupita Nyong’o on the cover of Marie Claire
Hollywood’s got a new it girl this season, and it’s Oscar winner Lupita Nyong’o. After a critically acclaimed debut performance in “12 Years a Slave,” Nyong’o took the entertainment industry by storm with her eloquent acceptance speeches and show-stopping red carpet style. It’s no wonder, then, that she’s on the cover of Marie Claire’s “Fresh Faces” May issue, on stands now. Also featured are starlets Elizabeth Olsen, Kate Mara, Elle Fanning and Emilia Clarke.

tom hardy
Shirtless Tom Hardy for Esquire
Esquire might be billed as a men’s magazine, but no shortage of ladies will be rushing to pick up a copy of the May issue. British actor Tom Hardy, known by American audiences mostly for his roles in “The Dark Knight Rises” and “Inception,” graces the cover this month. In the interview, Hardy opens up to the magazine about his insecurities and his rocky past. The action star’s next big U.S. release will be “Mad Max: Fury Road,” which hits theaters in May 2015.

Music
asher roth
Asher Roth drops new album
Rapper Asher Roth might forever be associated with his instant hit “I Love College” from his 2009 album, but fans insist he’s no one-hit wonder. Roth drops his sophomore album “Retro Hash,” featuring the likes of Vic Mensa and Chuck Inglish on April 22. According to Roth, the new album will stick with the original style his fans have come to appreciate. “It’s a record about freedom,” he told XXL magazine. “About trusting yourself and being yourself.”

iggy-azalea-fancy-music-video
Iggy Azalea is ‘The New Classic’
Australian hip-hop artist Iggy Azalea has been gaining quite a following in the states, bolstered recently by her “Clueless”-inspired music video for her hit single “Fancy.” Not your average rapper, the leggy blonde doubles as a model. MTV called “Fancy,” the latest single off the album, “a spectacularly sass-filled ode to the glam life,” and fans have a lot to look forward to with the next single, as well, which is co-written by Katy Perry and featuring Rita Ora. Azalea’s full album, “The New Classic,” is now available on iTunes.

ETC
Zooey-Deschanel-Tommy-Hilfiger-Collection-Tom-Lorenzo-Site-2
Zooey Deschanel collaborates with Tommy Hilfiger
Audiences love her as Jess on “New Girl,” and now shoppers can dress like Zooey Deschanel. Thanks to her designer collaboration with Tommy Hilfiger, Deschanel’s signature adorkable style is now subject to mass production. “To Tommy From Zooey” channels the star’s usual retro looks into the collection of traditional dresses. Deschanel herself has described the look as “modical,” a mix between mod and nautical.

outdoor seating
Outdoor seating season arrives
On select days in Chicago, the sun has begun to shine again, signaling the beginning of outdoor patio seating at local restaurants. Chicagoans can now thaw out from the hellacious winter on any number of rooftop or sidewalk patios. RedEye has done the legwork, providing an interactive map on their website of all outdoor seating areas within city limits. The map is even color coded, differentiating which spots are currently open and which are still holding out for the end of possible snow days.

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