Friday, April 18, 2014

The Week in Pop: Fave Books, TV and More

by Whitney Matheson)

(Photo: University of Chicago Press)

It's that special time again when I share all the pop culture I've been loving this week (aside from music, which I wrote about earlier). In no particular order, these go to 11:

1. Fargo. So far I'm loving the new FX series (inspired by the movie) that brings Billy Bob Thornton back to the small screen. All the blood doesn't seem as bad when characters end every conversation with "Have a nice day!"

2. Over Easy by Mimi Pond. The cartoonist's graphic memoir about working at a California diner in the late '70s is pretty close to perfect, and I was elated when she told me she's working on a sequel. Read my chat with Mimi, posted earlier this week.

3. Outside the Box: Interviews with Contemporary Cartoonists by Hillary Chute. Speaking of comics, if you're a serious fan of Alison Bechdel, Chris Ware, Lynda Barry and the like, you'll dig this new book of insightful interviews.

4. Neve Campbell. Cheers to Mad Men for bringing the actress back into my line of vision with an intriguing cameo in the season premiere.

5. Food Club. Eric Wareheim, Aziz Ansari and Jason Woliner wanna tickle your tastebuds and funny bone with their new web series. (The first ep features Top Chef fave Michael Voltaggio.)

Food Club - with your favorite comedians

6. Dame Darcy's Faeiry Food: Vegetarian, Raw and Vegan Cookbook. One of my favorite cartoonists is selling her fun illustrated cookbook on Etsy for just $10. Come for the food, stay for the fairies!

7. Pioneers of Television. The PBS show is back for another season, and I enjoyed the premiere about standup comedians who transitioned to TV. (It includes new interviews with Jerry Seinfeld, Roseanne Barr, Bob Newhart and others.) Watch the whole thing at, and check your listings for when the next one airs.

8. The new Orange is the New Black trailer. The first season was so great that I've been trying to keep my expectations modest for Season 2, but man, it looks awesome. Can't wait 'til it returns in June.

9. NBC's sitcom contest. While the idea of crowd-sourcing TV show ideas brings up several questions (including whether creators would receive much control and/or money), at least the network is realizing it needs to shake up its lackluster lineup.

10. This weekend's return of Orphan Black. I've seen a few eps of the new season, and Tatiana Maslany is such a force to behold. Each time that poor girl turns around, a new clone jumps out of a bush ...

11. Game of Thrones. Usually I can't watch this show right before bedtime, but I must admit I slept very well after Sunday's installment. Keep it up, guys (and seriously, let's see more dragons).

Have a fantastic weekend, everyone! Again, thank you so much for spending time on Pop Candy this week. I appreciate it more than you know.