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Saturday Pop Culture Notes


  • When Larry Wilmore’s “Nightly Show” was canceled, it was bittersweet for me. On one hand I thought Comedy Central did the humane thing by putting the show–which never found its footing–out of its misery. On the other hand it did have its moments and I wanted good things for its cast. And I will go to my grave reminding people that Larry Wilmore is a national treasure. So I was trepidatious about the new show filling its spot–“The Opposition.” I shouldn’t have worried; it’s terrific. Whereas “The Nightly Show” always felt vaguely awkward and unfinished, “The Opposition” read as a well-oiled machine from the moment it debuted. It’s fast-paced, funny and Jordan Klepper may have been born to play an oddly-likable Alex Jones. The rest of the pleasingly diverse cast is superb as well. In a addition to springing fully awesome from the mind of its creators it’s also at times elicits honest-to-gosh belly laughs. Comedy Central has a winner on its hands. I’m a fan.
  • “Brooklyn 99” is humming along nicely in its fifth season, as a charming and silly and good-natured as always.
  • Stop what you’re doing and begin bingeing “The Good Place” –an off-kilter, surreal look at “Heaven”– immediately. It is such a fascinatingly good-weird show, and after the first episode of season 2 I genuinely have no idea where the show is going and I feel giddy about it. And–I know I always say this–but the cast is SO GOOD. Like criminally good.
  • *Takes a deep breath*…*exhales*….Uh…I don’t know how to break this to you but KellyClarkson’snewalbumislit. Whew. Glad to get that off my chest. Anyway, cat’s out the bag. Kelly Clarkson co-writes some of her songs, but let’s face it–when it comes to my girl, KC, it’s all about bursting windows with that voice. It’s about making the high notes her bitch. And the writers and producers who work with her know just how to highlight her amazing vocal acrobatics. “Meaning of Life” is another manipulatively flawless collection of instantly catchy pop/R&B/rock songs. It’ll get ya…whether you want it to or not.
  • I highly recommend giving the title track and “Love So Soft” a listen, though the album has very few low points.


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