Friday, December 31, 2010
We've made it to the final Holiday Pop!
From Snoopy, Woodstock and all of us here at Please Welcome Your Judges (ok... that's just me...), have a wonderful (and safe) New Year's Eve. Enjoy your champagne, avoid watching the MTV Snooki ball drop at all costs and get ready for an amazing 2011!
Image courtesy of Fox Searchlight
Ladies and gentlemen, we are mere hours away from welcoming 2011 and starting a brand new year. And as Oscar season really revs up, it's time to look at the best of the best of 2010.
Here's my list of the Top 10 movies of the year. Some of them critical darlings, some of them box office flops and some of them are just plain fun. Check out the list after the jump...
Thursday, December 30, 2010
Deciding on plans for New Year's Eve can be a tricky ordeal. Do you stay in or go out? Go to a house party or black tie event? Watch Anderson Cooper or Ryan Seacrest? And most importantly—what is the perfect music to get yourself hyped up for the new year?!
Back in Season 1 of How I Met Your Mother, Ted decided to create the perfect New Year's Eve by renting a limo to escort the group to five different parties. While the night doesn't go exactly as planned (unless a gun-wielding Not Moby is your idea of a good time), we did get adorable Marshall and Lily-ness, a disappearing Russian date for Barney and a Ted/Robin kiss.
Throughout the episode, we were treated to a particularly amazing New Year's Eve music mix courtesy of one Mr. Stinson. Take a look, and I dare you resist the urge to do The Robot.
Wednesday, December 29, 2010
May all of you have a When Harry Met Sally moment this New Year's Eve, dear readers!
I love that you get cold when it's 71 degrees out. I love that it takes you an hour and a half to order a sandwich. I love that you get a little crinkle above your nose when you're looking at me like I'm nuts. I love that after I spend the day with you, I can still smell your perfume on my clothes. And I love that you are the last person I want to talk to before I go to sleep at night. And it's not because I'm lonely, and it's not because it's New Year's Eve. I came here tonight because when you realize you want to spend the rest of your life with somebody, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible.
Tuesday, December 28, 2010
2011 is almost here, which means it's time to take a look back at all things 2010—TV, movies, politics and, of course, music.
For the fourth year in a row, DJ Earworm has delivered his mashup of the top 25 songs of the year: the United State of Pop. This year's installment is titled "Don't Stop the Pop."
Monday, December 27, 2010
What better way to countdown to 2011 than with a great version of "Auld Lang Syne"?
The song, which toasts to days gone by and is always sung at midnight on New Year's Eve, has received many covers. One of my favorites comes from last year's The Hotel Cafe Presents Winter Songs album that featured holiday songs by singer-songwriters including Ingrid Michaelson, Sara Bareilles and KT Tunstall. For this track, they brought together an army of artists, including some of my favorites: Bareilles, Michaelson, Joshua Radin and Greg Laswell!
Check out the song after the jump, and start thinking about your resolutions!
Sunday, December 26, 2010
First of all... HAPPY BOXING DAY!
I am neither Canadian or British, and yet somehow my family has found a way to make Boxing Day a particularly festive day anyways. Unfortunately for Holiday Pop, pop culture tends to ignore this holiday, so instead of featuring a lame cartoon of Santa with boxing gloves on, let's just get one more Christmas gem in, shall we?
Here's a video that circulated the internet a few years ago and still makes me laugh, "The 12 Gays of Christmas." Check out the video—and those splits!—after the jump:
Saturday, December 25, 2010
Merry Christmas, dear readers!
I'm going to keep this short since I'm just coming down off of 6 (or 7...) mimosas and am ready to settle into the couch to watch The Royal Tenenbaums (your welcome, sister-in-law) and Cougar Town Season 1 (thank you, Santa!).
Of course I saved the very merry Holiday Pop Christmas entry for my ultimate favorite Christmas song—Mariah Carey's "All I Want for Christmas is You." The first song I play after Thanksgiving dinner and the one that trumps all others.
Check out the video and have a very merry holiday...
Friday, December 24, 2010
While I'm tempted to write today's Holiday Pop post about my birthday (Happy Quarter Century to me!), I'll keep it more universally themed.
My all-time favorite holiday movie is The Muppet Christmas Carol (click here to read why), and one of the many reason is because of the wonderful songs laced throughout the classic Dickens story. So on Christmas Eve, it is only appropriate to feature the song "One More Sleep Til Christmas," sung by Kermit the Frog as Bob Cratchit.
Check out the video below:
Thursday, December 23, 2010
The holidays are a time for loved ones to gather and share their affections. But what about the unrequited lovers? Those who cannot share their love?
All we have to do is turn to Love Actually (one of my favorite holiday movies), in which Mark finally expresses his love for Juliet (his best friend's wife). The best part is that he does it "without hope or agenda," just for the sake of Christmas spirit.
Check out the video:
Wednesday, December 22, 2010
Image courtesy of Bravo TV
Top Chef: All-Stars has quickly become one of my favorite shows on TV right now. It's been great to see my favorite chefs return to duke it out, and so far the challenges and eliminations have been dramatic, suspenseful and just plain awesome. These chefs are the best of the best, forcing them to bring their A-game every week or face shameful knife packing.
So who better to ask for some holiday cooking tips than the All-Stars themselves? TV Guide recently sat down with some of the cheftestants to ask them "What tips do you have for creating a great holiday meal?" From twists on classic recipes to good ol' fashioned green bean casserole with soup from a can, see what they had to say:
Tuesday, December 21, 2010
Image courtesy of The Weinstein Company
We take for granted that our leaders are excellent public speakers. Though some are better than others, our presidents, senators and representatives are all expected to be able to stand behind a lectern and dazzle us with well-crafted rhetoric on television and online. So when thrust onto the throne of a country on the brink of a world war, King George VI's speech impediment becomes a very serious matter.
Starring Colin Firth in what promises to be an Oscar-winning role, The King's Speech tells the story of Britain's king working with speech therapist Lionel Logue (Geoffrey Rush) so that he may address Britain and unite them against Hitler and his attempts to conquer the world.
Check out the trailer:
We all love when our favorite artists grace us with some holiday cheer—Whitney, Mariah, Barbra, Celine and even Heidi Klum spread the joy of the season with songs you can play with your family on Christmas morning.
But what about those artists with more... erm... provocative tastes? How exactly does Ke$ha celebrate the holidays? College Humor asked the same question, and gave us a glimpse as to what might happen if Ke$ha invaded your family's Christmas celebration...
Monday, December 20, 2010
We all know and love her for having endless children, modeling lingerie and hosting a little show called Project Runway. But did you know Heidi Klum is also a recording star?
Sunday, December 19, 2010
Image courtesy of Logo TV
To celebrate the holiday season and, as always, to do a little bit of self-promotion, RuPaul released this holiday card parody of the Burlesque movie poster.
And, as always, she looks fierce.
Season 3 Greetings!
Saturday, December 18, 2010
Back in Season 2 of How I Met Your Mother, we had to not only deal with Lily's return from San Fransisco after breaking up with Marshall, but also look back at what happened over the course of the summer she was gone. It all came to a head around Christmas when Lily heard an old voice mail from Ted in which he called her a "grinch"... or something.
Take a look at this clip from "How Lily Stole Christmas"....
Friday, December 17, 2010
Although Season 2 featured a special Halloween episode ("Are you trying to get candy or Japanese businessmen?"), Modern Family gave us an especially hilarious Christmas episode last season.
To refresh your memory: Phil and Claire threatened to cancel Christmas after finding a hole burned in the couch, Manny and Gloria yearned for a traditional Colombian Christmas while Cam and Mitchell got the mall Santa fired and Cam was harassed by his former caroling group.
One of the best moments of the episode, and today's Holiday Pop, came when The Greensleevers started caroling outside Cam and Mitchell's house. Instead of turning on the sprinklers, Cam learned a valuable lesson of forgiveness from fired Santa. Check out the video after the jump...
Thursday, December 16, 2010
Image courtesy of Fox
Well, fellow Gleeks, a lot has certainly changed for our beloved New Directions, hasn't it? Season 2 of Glee has welcomed new members (notably the ever-shirtless Sam), cried tearful good-byes to old members (Kurt, take off that blazer and come back!) and continued the incredibly important conversation of bullying in our schools. Of course, all the while there has been phenomenal singing and dancing and displays of pageantry. We even fell in love with Gwyneth Paltrow despite our best efforts and judgment!
One thing that hasn't changed is the sacred tradition of awarding the best of the best of Glee! Last year, I awarded Fall Superlatives, Spring Superlatives, and the Season 1 Thunderclap Awards. So let's keep it going for Season 2 and take a look at the best of the fall...
True confession: I am not a crafty person. When it comes to homemade decor for the home, I am pretty much useless. The paper/glitter/yarn ornaments I made in nursery school that still hang on my parents' Christmas tree might be among my greatest crafts of all time.
Luckily for us, Will Pulos is bringing crafts into the 21st century with his fantastic (and hilarious) web series "Millennial Crafts." For today's Holiday Pop, let's take a look at Will's easy steps to making a Gingerbread Facebook Wall (because "...many of us don't live in houses, we live in apartments that look like crack dens and we couldn't exactly make a gingerbread crack den, could we? Because that would take too much frosting.").
Check out the video after the jump...
Wednesday, December 15, 2010
Image courtesy of MuppetWiki
Last year, I compiled a list of my favorite holiday movies. Coming in at #4 on that last was the made-for-TV classic A Muppet Family Christmas. In the hour-long special, the Muppet clan decides to spend the holiday at the country home of Fozzie Bear's mother, who due to a wild winter storm is forced to stay with the Muppets instead of spending Christmas alone on the beach.
One of the greatest scenes in A Muppet Family Christmas is Kermit and Robin's journey to the basement where they meet the Fraggles and learn how they like to give, and not receive, gifts. Of course, this is all explained through song. Check it out...
Tuesday, December 14, 2010
Image courtesy of NBC
Finding the spirit of the holidays can sometimes be difficult amongst the barrage of mega-sales and "bah humbugs." Last week's episode of Community dealt with just that issue as Abed yearned to find the true meaning of Christmas.
And in true Community fashion, Abed's journey sent him into a delusional world of Rankin/Bass stop motion animation. In an effort to get Abed to "snap out of it," the gang tricks him into a therapy session in "Winter Wonderland."
Check out the clip below:
Image courtesy of The Weinstein Company
This morning, the nominations for the 68th Annual Golden Globe Awards were announced. And while the Hollywood Foreign Press Association doesn't tend to follow the same track as Academy voters, it's still an exciting part of the awards show season.
Check out the list of nominees after the jump:
Monday, December 13, 2010
Image courtesy of IngridMichaelson.com
Last Friday, indie pop singer-songwriter Ingrid Michaelson took NYC's Highline Ballroom by storm for her fourth annual Holiday Hop concert. And after performing some of her greatest songs (including a duet with Greg Laswell!), Ingrid ended the night with some cheerful holiday tunes, including this rock medley.
Check out the video below as we celebrate another day of Holiday Pop:
Image courtesy of Wick-Quoting
This year's Despicable Me was an unexpected joy to watch (fine, I saw it twice). The story of anti-hero Gru transforming into the cozy father figure of three orphan sisters was clever, heart-warming and down right hilarious.
The breakout stars of this animated gem? Gru's yellow, gibberish-speaking Minions. Heck, they even became the mascots of IHOP this summer! And when Despicable Me comes out on DVD tomorrow, the Minions return with 3 new animated shorts of their own.
Check out a preview of one the shorts (and this week's Magical Monday Moment), "Banana":
Sunday, December 12, 2010
One of the classic scenes from one of the past decade's most iconic comedies also happens to be a wonderful display of holiday cheer.
Choreographed by now-estranged Janis Ian and performed since middle school, The Plastics' version of "Jingle Bell Rock" in Mean Girls is beyond inappropriate for a high school Christmas talent show. That, of course, doesn't mean we can't love it.
Saturday, December 11, 2010
Image courtesy of SimplyStreisand.com
It's no surprise that some of our best Christmas music comes straight from the divas we rely on for greatness the other 11 months of the year. And, of course, Barbra Streisand is no exception.
Friday, December 10, 2010
As any Gleek can tell you, there's nothing like a good mashup. But don't think that New Directions invented the genre. For today's Holiday Pop, let's take a look at a classic holiday mashup recreated by two of today's comedy giants.
Thursday, December 9, 2010
Image courtesy of Facebook.com/emmawatson
Now that Hanukkah has ended, it's time to put away the menorah and get out the jingle bells. Actually, I'll be keeping my menorah out because it's particularly pretty, but I'll be focusing these daily Holiday Pop posts on Christmas.
It's certainly been a big year for Emma Watson. Well, make that ten years. From being an unknown English girl to star of the movies of one of the world's most beloved franchises, we have all watched Emma grow into a beautiful young woman. Hermione Granger was always one of my favorite Harry Potter characters (and will probably stand the test of time as one of the great literary characters of our time) and Emma brought her to the silver screen with incredible poise and grace.
Images courtesy of ABC
After a week of reruns, our favorite families and drinking buddies returned for their final episodes of 2010. Vampire children, secret custodial love affairs, candlelight vigils and sinking ships—new episodes in 2011 can't come fast enough!
Before I go tape my Real World audition tape (peace), let's take a took at last night's best moments.
Tuesday, December 7, 2010
Tonight, Glee aired a holiday special that was funny, tear-jerking, touching and, simply, "A Very Glee Christmas."
One of the ultimate highlights of the episode was the duet between fellow Warblers Kurt and Blaine, "Baby It's Cold Outside."
Image courtesy of RabbitHoleFilm.com
Sadness: an emotion that we try to avoid at all costs. An emotion not easily portrayed by an actor. And yet, when pulled off, sadness can be one of the most mesmerizing feelings to witness on the silver screen. Every time I watch Revolutionary Road, I have a feeling of emptiness and sorrow, but am left in absolute awe of the brilliant performers who brought me there (all hail Winslet and DiCaprio!).
I have a feeling I'll be saying the same about Rabbit Hole.
In less than two months, a living legend will once again join us in our family rooms every Monday night.
Yes, that's right. It's time for RuPaul's Drag Race to return for our yearly dose of cutthroat drag queens duking it out to become America's Next Drag Superstar.
Last month, I posted some details about the upcoming season (including new judge Michelle Visage) and yesterday a new promo video was released with a first look of what we should expect.
Monday, December 6, 2010
Image courtesy of Comedy Central
Stephen: Hanukkah huh? I've never really thought about it.
Jon: Well, you could do worse.
Image courtesy of ReverbNation
YouTube has become a place for undiscovered talent to get their music out to the public in hopes of becoming viral and making it big. Just ask Darren Criss, former Disney princess song cover singer and now current Glee sensation.
Or now you can ask Katie Gavin.
Sunday, December 5, 2010
Saturday, December 4, 2010
For Day 4 of the Holiday Pop series, let's take a look at the wonderful world of holiday commercials.
Normally around the holiday season we are subjected to endless commercials that take the holiday spirit and slap a big ol' dollar sign on it. They are outlandish, embarrassing to everyone involved and, more often than not, about Christmas. So why shouldn't the Jews join in on the shame?
Apparently the folks at Snuggie, America's favorite blanket with sleeves, asked the same question.
Friday, December 3, 2010
Image courtesy of Telltale Games
Hot on the heels of last month's release of the 25th Anniversary Edition DVDs/Blurays of the beloved trilogy, gaming publisher Telltale Games is releasing Back to the Future: The Game.
Yesterday, Telltale released the first official trailer of the game. Check it out:
It's no secret that when radio stations start playing 24/7 "holiday" music, it really means they are playing non-stop Christmas jams. Not that I'm complaining, but it'd be nice if the Jews could get a little airtime now and then, right? Then again, how many times can you play "I Have a Little Dreidel" and "Oh Hanukkah," which apparently are the only two Hanukkah songs on the face of the Earth.
Thank goodness for Barenaked Ladies and their song "Hanukkah Blessings" from Barenaked for the Holidays.
Thursday, December 2, 2010
Now that the first night of Hanukkah is a distant flickering candle of the past, it's time for Day 2 of the Holiday Pop series.
And just in case you are still a little unclear on the history and traditions of Hanukkah (even though the Rugrats did a pretty excellent job of explaining), I've enlisted the Yeshiva University Maccabeats to throw down some informative beats with their parody of Taio Cruz's "Dynamite" entitled "Candlelight." Hit it, fellas...
Images courtesy of ABC
Since last night's Modern Family and Cougar Town were reruns, it allows us to catch up on last week's episodes, which gave us so much to be thankful for—modern medicine, text message breakups, oyster allergies and Rastafarian mind thoughts.
So before you check your App App for what you want for dinner (thanks, Zach Braff!), let's take a look at the best moments from last week's episodes.
Wednesday, December 1, 2010
Image courtesy of TVTango.com
Happy December, dear readers!
In celebration of this month full of celebrations, I am starting a daily series called Holiday Pop, which will feature a holiday gem from TV, movies and music each day. And since my celebrations aren't limited to one religion, you'll be getting a fair share of Hanukkah/Chanukah, Christmas, Boxing Day, Festivus and, perhaps, a little birthday celebration for yours truly.
So let's get started with Holiday Pop Day #1....