West Week Ever: Pop Culture In Review – 2/16/24

Happy post-Valentine’s Day! Anyone get pregnant out there? What am I saying? You wouldn’t know yet! I mean, unless you had a craving for a bagel with lox and Twizzlers this morning. But, hey, it’s too soon for cravings! My wife was sick, so our early Valentine’s festivities included watching Barbie last weekend. It was my second time, but her first, and I noticed a few things this go ’round:

  • If you watch on Max, America Ferrara’s character is only referred to as “Sasha’s Mom” in the closed captions. I actually had to look up IMDB to see if he she had a name (It was “Gloria”).
  • Had this movie been released in the mid ’00s, Allan would have gotten a direct-to-DVD spinoff, comprised of cobbled together cut footage. They did it with Get Smart and they did it with Anchorman. They totally would have done it here.
  • This movie seems to have something of a “Cat’s In The Cradle” effect on mothers of a certain age. It’ll be interesting to watch how that plays out…
  • Ya know, I hate to be some kind of MRA podcaster, but the Kens are still pretty much second class citizens at the end of the movie. I mean, it’s a step towards equality, but it ain’t there yet. I guess it’s to imply change takes time, but Barbie became a real human simply by holding hands with Carla from Cheers, so I don’t think I’m expecting anything out of the ordinary here!

Will Around The Web

Adam & I are back with our Valentine’s episode of Remember That Show? We talk about the early 90s Fox dating show STUDS, and had a great time revisiting it. I go into it a bit more here, but you can just skip to the episode itself, which is available everywhere!

Trailer Park

Girls5eva (Netflix, March 14th)

This is one of those shows that I loved, and then promptly forgot about. Season 1 was really enjoyable, as it had that Tina Fey quirk we’d all come to love. Then I, and I suppose everyone else, bailed on Season 2, prompting Peacock to cancel it. Now, in a just and sane world, a Peacock cancellation would be the end of the road. However, that’s not the sort of world in which we live, as Netflix swooped in to order a 3rd season. Leave it to Netflix to be Captain Save A Ho if the price tag is low! Too many factors bother me here. So, it’s been 2 years since Season 2 was released, and I feel like any momentum it might have had is dead. The plot is fun enough – former pop girlband attempts a comeback – but what is the endgame here? Like, that sort of thing couldn’t really make it in today’s music industry. The best case scenario is they end up on one of those NKOTB cruises, with a bunch of spinsters and unhappy wives. Plus, given its past numbers, and well as Netflix no longer really investing in things long-term, I feel like this is one of those seasons that’s “a gift to the fans”. So, hopefully that means it provides a true finale, and doesn’t dangle anything for a potential 4th season.

X-Men ’97 (Disney+, March 20th)

So, this whole thing unlocked a sense memory in me, as the original run of the X-Men cartoon was a really pivotal time for me. My very first issue of an X-Men comic was Uncanny X-Men #296, which had a cover date of January 1993. This means that it shipped around late November of 1992. This show had premiered just a month prior. Now, I knew of the X-Men, as everyone knew about Wolverine’s claws and Cyclops’s “laser eyes” (We were kids, and didn’t yet know the power of the “concussive blast”). So my comic fandom infancy is wrapped up in this show and this era. I’ll say, however, that I came to feel somewhat betrayed by the series. Just as Saved By The Bell fooled us into thinking that was what high school was going to be like, I was under the impression that the cartoon would be doing pretty faithful adaptations of the comic storylines. I thought it would serve as my Cliffs Notes to the X-Men Universe. Parallel to this, I was reading all the X-Men I could get my hands on, and I started to notice the differences. For example, Gambit, as cool as he was to a 12 year old, wasn’t present for The Dark Phoenix Saga. And that was just the tip of the iceberg. By that point, I was knee deep in the goings on in Angel Grove, and there was this new villain named Master Vile on the horizon. So, I bailed on X-Men right around when they switched studios, and the animation became ghastly. I did check out the finale, though, where Xavier does not die, but rather taken to the Shi’ar Homeworld for a cure. Based on this, I guess they failed…

Deadpool & Wolverine (Theaters, July 26th)

Looks cool. ‘Nuff said!

Things You Might Have Missed This Week

  • In the streaming world, it was announced that VUDU would become Fandango At Home. I understand wanting to unify brands, but you typically want to migrate away from a name that’s a mouthful as opposed to towards one.
  • A new Homestar Runner video went up this week (YAY!) However, it was not good (BOO!)
  • It’s the end of the road for Evil and Tacoma FD, as they’ve both been canceled – after four seasons – by Paramount+ and TruTV, respectively.
  • Don’t tell the Karens, but Judy Blume’s Forever is being adapted as a Netflix series, with a race swapped cast.
  • American Born Chinese star Ben Wang has been cast in the upcoming Karate Kid film. Got nothing snarky to say here, as I never watched that show’s underperforming, poorly marketed lone season. Hey, what do ya know!
  • Arrow‘s Stephen Amell will star in the spinoff Suits: LA, furthering the lie that people actually enjoyed Suits.
  • Arizona elementary school teacher Nkechi Diallo lost her job when the district learned she had an OnlyFans. Why is this “pop culture news”? Well, you may know her best by her former name, Rachel Dolezal.
  • It’s the end of an era, as Paramount Global announced it would be shuttering the Noggin brand, and immediately laid off associated staffers. See? I bet Byron Allen wouldn’t have done that to those poor folks!
  • Swifties are more powerful than the Gold Rush, as the Kansas City Chiefs beat the San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowl LVIII
  • BeyoncĂ© gave right wing pundits something new to be mad about, when she teased her upcoming “country-tinged” album, Renaissance Act II.
  • Katy Perry announced she’ll be leaving American Idol, in order to “feel the pulse of [her] own beat”, whatever that means. The current panel of Idol judges should never have been chosen, as they’re all *current* recording artists, and will likely never choose a winner who might serve as competition on the charts.
  • Four actors were announced for some Fantastic roles in a new movie from the House of Mouse. I’ll probably talk about that in a separate post…

When they announced that Usher would be performing in the Apple Music Super Bowl LVIII Halftime Show, I wasn’t that impressed. I mean, Usher’s been around my whole music-listening life, but was he still relevant in 2024? Ya see, my problem is I didn’t have a vagina. Women definitely still care about Usher. It’s different for men, though. Usher almost falls into that boyband category, where you can’t deny his talent, but you’re still put off by him because you know your girlfriend wants to bang him. And, as you deal with these conflicting feelings, you ask yourself “Wait – Do I want to bang him?” And the next thing you know you’re in therapy. But I digress… Anyway, he put on a serviceable, entertaining show. I’m gonna say I think everyone’s going a little overboard in their critique, as I wasn’t underwhelmed, but he could have done more. I guess I was just “whelmed”. However, the next day, we found out he proceeded to marry his longtime girlfriend Jennifer Goicoechea that same night! By the end of the week, it was reported that he was developing a TV series based on his song catalog, where he was hoping to shed light on “Black Love in Atlanta”. It was a banner week for Usher Raymond IV, and that’s why he had the West Week Ever.