By Danny McCarthy, Staff Writer
Hello! Welcome to the Countdown, where we discuss some of the things that happened this week in Pop Culture! Are you excited? Of course you are! Let’s get down to business!
I can’t believe that this is really happening. The photo was originally taken at the Taronga Zoo in Sydney, Australia. The original photo shows Prince George with dark eyes, pale cheeks and brown hair, but his Us Weeklydoppelganger blushed on the cover with rosy cheeks, and lighter eyes and hair. I know that airbrushing is not uncommon, but I feel like if anyone could get away without some tweaking, it would be a baby.
The music video for Katy Perry’s song “Birthday” was released this week, and it was … interesting. The video follows Perry as she dresses up like five distinctive characters and proceeds to ruin five separate birthday parties. She grinds up on geriatric men, eats mice and causes a car accident. But it’s all good, because in the end she revealed her true identity and everyone went cray-cray! The song definitely takes a different direction from Perry’s usual “cupcakes and sparkles” persona. The star, who recently revealed that she’s on Tinder, showed her pranking side in this music video, and it wasn’t the worst.
Aww! I love it when cool celebrities have kids together; it means that I have more cool celebrities to look forward to in the future! Sudeikis and Wilde, who started dating in 2011 and got engaged in January 2013, welcomed their first child together, Otis Alexander, this week. Wilde revealed her due date on the Golden Globes red carpet, telling Ryan Seacrest, “May the fourth be with you!” Well, it looks like baby Otis isn’t a huge Star Wars fan, because he came early! Congratulations to the whole Sudeikis-Wilde family and hello to baby Otis!
3. One Direction releases the “You and I” music video:
Another music video this week (and spoiler alert, we’re not finished). One Direction’s “You and I” music video, from their album Midnight Memories, came out and it has already stirred up some controversy. I didn’t realize at first, due to being mesmerized by Liam’s cool new beard and Louis’ gross, old-man hair, but the video is strikingly similar to Clubfoot’s “Everything You Wanted.” The use of digital effects and overall feel of the two music videos are very similar. While no one has filed for any sort of creative infringement lawsuits, Clubfoot is asking fans to tweet at One Direction with #nodirection to bring the issue to 1D’s attention. What do you think? Too similar or just too much drama?
2. Beyoncé releases the “Pretty Hurts” music video to the world:
So this might not be news if you’ve already bought the classic album, but if you haven’t, bask in the glory of “Pretty Hurts,” the first song off Beyoncé’s titular album. And since it’s Beyoncé, we think any news of hers is breaking news. The video is visually stunning and thematically powerful. It shows the ups and downs of judging yourself based off looks, and Beyoncé, who is poked, prodded and evaluated throughout the entire video, is having none of it. Beyoncé released the video in conjunction to her appearance on this year’s cover of TIME for the issue on the most influential people in the world. With the release, Beyoncé is asking all of us to reconsider what we call “pretty,” and what the word should really mean. Beyoncé, as always, you are my queen. Thank you.
The NBC hit “Parks and Recreation” wrapped up its sixth season, and it was a majestic whirlwind of emotions. Now, this one is a major spoiler alert, so don’t read any further if you haven’t watched the episode! The last few episodes of the sixth season have been impressive enough: Leslie is revealed to be pregnant with triplets, the Unity Concert is drawing closer, and Leslie’s deadline to make a decision about leaving Pawnee for a new job inches closer. In the finale, a lot of these questions are answered, and it threw me through a loop. The Unity Concert is a success (as we knew it would be), and Leslie manages to get the National Parks Service job and stay in Pawnee (and we knew she should) but then there’s a three year TIME JUMP ! That’s right! The seventh season of “Parks and Rec” will take place three years into the future, skipping over the bogging-down “Leslie pregnancy” story line and showing Leslie like she always has been: kicking ass, taking names and balancing everything. I cannot wait for the new season to start.
Three music videos, a season finale, a little prince and a little baby! Wow, what a week it’s been! I hope you had fun reading the Countdown this week, and I hope you watch all the videos and episodes I’ve talked about. Anyway, I better get going. So much to do (aka Netflix to watch), so little time. Goodbye!
By Danny McCarthy, Staff Writer
Brrr it’s cold outside, but it’s nice and toasty in Pop Culture Land. So slip under a blanket, grab some hot cocoa and read about what’s happened in the past week!
7. Ben and Jerry’s Core Ice Cream:
If this isn’t a culinary breakthrough, then I don’t know what is. Ben and Jerry’s released their new ice cream adventure, which includes “a core center of fudge, caramel or real raspberry jam.” The cores are designed to complement the two ice creams that accompany it in the pint. All I can say is that I’m going to be very fat unless someone heavily regulates me. I think that the Core could be either the best or worst thing to happen to ice cream.
At least there’s something you can depend on in this world! Michelle Dockery, who plays Lady Mary on the PBS hit Downton Abbey, revealed on a UK talk show that she has no plans to leave the show before it ends. “I am sticking with the show for however long the producers want it to go,” Dockery said, leading to a chorus of revealed sighs from Downton fans. This appears to be a valid question as Dockery’s film career has been picking up recently. She will appear in the upcoming film Nonstop alongside Liam Neeson, Julianne Moore and Lupita Nyong’o.
The Prism star and her on-and-off boyfriend of two years, singer John Mayer, have decided to call it quits again. The news comes after sparks were flying about a possible Mayer-Perry engagement. According to an inside source, it was Perry’s choice but the split was “extremely amicable.” Perry got together with Mayer after her divorce from comedian Russell Brand. But Perry appears to be moving on, sporting a jet-black blunt-bang bob and looking ferocious. Sound off below: do you think Perry has the “eye of the tiger” or is a “plastic bag drifting through the wind”?
Maybe this is why the Suits star didn’t come to the Boston University premiere! Word has just gotten out that Macht and wife Jacinda Barrett welcomed a little boy named Luca into the world on February 26! The couple, married in 2004, already has a daughter Satine, 6, and a dog named Lucky. We hope that mother and baby are doing great, and congratulate the whole Macht family on the new addition!
Their kids will be unfairly gorgeous. Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis, who played Kelso and Jackie, respectively, on “That 70s Show,” are reportedly engaged. The pair, who have remained quiet about their relationship, were spotted together with a diamond ring on Kunis’s finger. The two have known each other for years, Kutcher was Kunis’s first kiss! After Kutcher’s divorce from actress Demi Moore, he began spending more time with Kunis, showing that life can, and does, mirror art. Hopefully they have a long, happy life together.
2. Matt Peterson and Miley Cyrus:
This makes me love Miley even more. After turning down a prom date from a super fan, Miley Cyrus invited Matt Peterson personally to her Arizona show. Peterson showed up in a suit covered in tongues, and posed with Cyrus prom-style. Years ago, Peterson met Cyrus after winning a contest, and only a few months later called him out at one of her concerts. So, naturally, when the time came for Peterson to think of a prom date, he reached out to Miley. In a video that has almost one million views, Peterson recalls all of the good times they’ve had before asking Cyrus to prom.
1. Lea Michele’s “If You Say So”:
Lea Michele’s new song “If You Say So” has found its way to the Internet. The song contains the last words ever spoken to her by her boyfriend and late actor Cory Monteith, who tragically passed away in July of last 2013. The touching song is one of the only songs that Monteith never heard from Michele’s new album, Louder. The song graces over the pain of losing Monteith and the things they talked about, like growing old together. The powerful ballad is a beautiful reminder of Monteith’s legacy, both personally and professionally.
Stay classy, stay pop culture-y, and stay sharp! Until next week!
By Danny McCarthy, Staff Writer
I can’t believe it’s a new week already. But forget about those Monday blues, and focus on all the jazzy, exciting things that happened last week! Seriously, so jazzy!
7. Luna the rescued cat:
We’re starting off this countdown with an ‘awww,’ because I’m talking about an adorable little kitten and man who became her savior. The man, only known by his imgur username hiblue, found the “skin and bones” kitten, now named “Luna,” in an industrial area and decided to feed her. Before long, Luna had snuggled up to him and, in a split decision, he decided to take her home. After a lot of food, a flea bath and a melted heart, hiblue and Luna became inseparable. This good Samaritan and his adorable cat prove that there is still some good in the world.
6. “Fantastic Four” cast revealed:
The cast for “The Fantastic Four” reboot has been released, and they are looking reboot-iful (nailed that pun, am I right?). Michael B. Jordan is slated to appear as the Human Torch, alongside Kate Mara as the Invisible Woman, Miles Teller as Mr. Fantastic and Jamie Bell as the Thing.
All the actors are relatively new to the young Hollywood scene. Teller is a recent rising star in “Divergent” and “The Spectacular Now,” and Kate Mara, sister of “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” actress Rooney Mara, is a familiar, albeit at times underappreciated face. The young actors are taking up the mantle of a major franchise, so hopefully this reboot doesn’t fall flat. Sound off in the comments and let me know what you think of the cast!
5. New “Divergent” trailer:
I’m doing a little happy dance, because I love the “Divergent” trilogy, and I’m completely jazzed for the movie, set to release on March 21st. The latest trailer sent chills up my spine, watching Kate Winslet and Shailene Woodley go head to head as Jeanine Matthews and Tris Prior. Woodley has been tearing up the news lately, and will also appear in the film adaption of “The Fault In Our Stars” as Hazel Grace Lancaster. But before she graces the silver screen as the “V for Vendetta” lookalike in the John Green bestseller, she’s gonna kick some ass as Tris Prior, the “Divergent” hero.
4. “Dark Horse” music video:
Katy Perry’s sleeper hit “Dark Horse,” released as a single off her fourth album Prism, is a bit of a dark horse itself. Originally overlooked as bigger songs—“Unconditionally” and “Roar”—took the spotlight, “Dark Horse” has bided its time and risen to the top.
The music video was released on Feb. 20th and it’s…interesting, to say the least. The video is set in “Memphis, Egypt, a crazy long time ago,” and showcases Perry as a stunning reimagining of Cleopatra. Although the music video departs from the mature vibe Prism has been taking, it is classic Katy in its cotton-candy color and eccentric feel.
3. Leighton Meester and Adam Brody get married:
Two beautiful people got married to each other, and the rest of us peasants are still single! Leighton Meester (of “Gossip Girl” and “The Roommate”) and Adam Brody (of “The O.C.,” “Gilmore Girls,” and “The Romantics”) were married in a private, northern California wedding earlier this month.
The pair, who never confirmed they were even a couple, managed to keep the wedding a secret by staying off social media and venturing away from Los Angeles. It’s so refreshing to see a Hollywood couple actually get to enjoy their special day without the buzzing of the paparazzi from behind the wedding cake. Hopefully Leighton and Adam have a long, fruitful marriage, because Lord knows Blair Waldorf deserves a little peace.
2. “Camp Takota” released on iTunes:
Yes, yes, a thousand times, yes! “Camp Takota,” the movie brainchild of YouTube’s ‘Holy Trinity’—Grace Helbig, Mamrie Hart and Hannah Hart—was released online on Valentine’s Day and has found a new home on iTunes. The film is a new venture, both for the women and the world, as it marks the beginning of nontraditional media (YouTube) mixing with traditional media like cinema.
Due to the fandoms of the three stars, the film had a built-in fan base. Together, the Holy Trinity boasts at least 2.5 million subscribers, and if even half of that fan base bought the movie—$14.99 for the movie and a documentary on camptakota.com—that’s around $18 million already. The film is already on iTunes “Bestseller Chart,” alongside blockbusters “12 Years a Slave” and “Dallas Buyers Club.”
1. Michelle Obama on “The Tonight Show”:
If there wasn’t reason enough to want the First Lady of the United States as your best friend, her appearance on Jimmy Fallon’s “The Tonight Show” might convince you. She took part in a skit alongside Will Ferrell and Jimmy Fallon, who were both in drag as little girls.
Once you get over the potentially scarring experience of Ferrell dressed as a small child, you find yourself falling into friendship with the glamorous First Lady. She manage to slip in little plugs about her various charities, and you can’t help but admire someone who can go up against comedy legends like Ferrell and Fallon. Later, Michelle was interviewed by Fallon and wore a stunning black jumpsuit. Well done, Michelle, well done — she deserves a round of applause.
By Brandon Lewis, Staff Writer
Twitter’s been on a roll as of late. Last week, “the SMS of the Internet” went public and witnessed its shares rise 73 percent above the offering price on its first day in the stock market. It was a pretty amazing accomplishment, considering Facebook flopped during its public debut last year. Facebook’s shares rose only 0.6 percent.
I’m pretty sure Facebook’s top guns have put this day in the back of their minds. Since Twitter now has something to gloat about, the rivalry between the two is definitely heating up.
Twitter and Facebook are currently fighting over celebrity attention. Both want to make it easier for celebrities to create profiles and interact with their fan base. They believe a stronger celebrity presence will not only attract more users, but also engage them.
It’s important that more people sign up for accounts with Facebook and Twitter but if they’re not engaged, these users aren’t going to stay.
Twitter is often credited with breaking down the barrier between celebrities and their fans. Katy Perry, Justin Timberlake and Nicki Minaj can connect with the world by re-tweeting and favorite-ing their fans’ tweets. They could make someone’s dream come true by simply hitting the follow button on their fans’ pages.
However, it’s a different story while on Facebook. Celebs don’t have many options to address fans because their public profiles have certain limitations. They’re attempting to change this.
According to an article in Yahoo!, it looks like Facebook is going to launch a feature allowing the Jay-Zs and Lady Gagas of the world to better reach out to their supporters. Facebook hasn’t released any details on the new feature as of yet. It’s been hinted that the feature will “step on Twitter’s home turf.”
I don’t really pay attention to celebrities on Facebook, but when it comes to Twitter, I follow them religiously. I feel more connected when they tweet about their normal lives than on Facebook when their posts are more glamorized.
It’s also entertaining to watch celebrity feuds pan out on Twitter such as the recent feud between Kanye West and Jimmy Kimmel. You would never see something like this on Facebook. I love Twitter.
I’ll give Facebook the benefit of the doubt and wait to see what its new feature will offer. Whatever happens, I’m still #TeamTwitter.
By Kate Ebeling, Staff Writer
In an age where musicians are seen as pawns in the big corporate machine and songs have become so auto-tuned that you can be almost 100 percent positive the artist really doesn’t sound that good, 16-year-old Ella Maria Yelich-O’Connor, more commonly recognized under the moniker “Lorde,” has emerged onto the music scene with simply arranged, clean and sophisticated songs that wowed her native New Zealand audience and those across the pond alike.
With her latest and first full length record “Pure Heroine” out stateside; listeners can really get a feel for what Lorde is all about. On her most recognized track “Royals,” she sings of all the riches and finery absent in her life with little more than indifference. Lorde sings, “And we’ll never be royal/ it don’t run in our blood/ that kind of luxe just ain’t for us.”
What separates this 16-year-old from other young artists in the music industry and makes her so incredibly interesting to the public is her apparent grounding in the normalcy that is so rarely found in a teenager on the rise to stardom. Lorde has already turned down offers to open for Katy Perry, saying “I have a pretty good gut instinct for stuff and if it feels right I’ll do it.”
Yelich-O’Connor is seemingly grounded in her musical aspects as well, having been quoted in interviews saying that while being signed at 12, she wanted to take her career much slower than the record executives did. Lorde’s control over her music as an artist and maturity at such a young age is inspiring, especially when looking at the young artists like Justin Bieber and Miley Cyrus, who’s personal lives and choices have influenced their professionalism in their careers.
Lorde recently performed on “Ellen”, KCRW’s Morning Becomes Eclectic, “Good Morning America” and had her American television debut on “Late Night With Jimmy Fallon.” With a solid grounding, clever lyrics and a professional attitude towards her musicianship, there is no doubt this 16 year old will have plenty of time in the spotlight and a long, fruitful career if things continue as they are.
To listen to Lorde watch the video below: