Take 5: TV, films take on Lincoln, Biden
This week’s pop culture headlines surprisingly dip into presidential waters. Vice President Joe Biden will guest star on an upcoming episode of “Parks and Recreation,” while Daniel Day-Lewis tackles the role of Abraham Lincoln in Steven Spielberg film “Lincoln.”
Leslie Knope, the optimistic city councilwoman at the heart of NBC’s hilarious and heartfelt comedy “Parks and Recreation” (Thursdays at 9:30 p.m.), finally meets the man of her dreams next week, as Vice President Joe Biden makes a high-profile guest appearance on the low-rated but critically acclaimed show.
Knope (Amy Poehler) once described her ideal man as someone with “the brains of George Clooney and the body of Joe Biden,” so this meeting will likely provide strong fodder for the show’s writers. Viewers who love wacky characters and a comedic pathos ought to check out “Parks and Rec.”
What do you get when you combine a beloved and prolific filmmaker (Steven Spielberg) with the award-winning author of the play “Angels in America” (Tony Kushner) and mix in one of the most impressive actors of his generation (Daniel Day-Lewis) playing one of the nation’s foremost political heroes? You get “Lincoln,” a biopic about the pressure-filled months leading up to the end of the American Civil War and the 16th president’s storied life.
The film has already attracted raves from critics like Michael Phillips of the Chicago Tribune, who called the movie “Spielberg’s best in a decade.” Sounds downright presidential.
Did LaBeouf Transform?
Michael Bay once insisted that he would only direct three “Transformers” films, despite evidence to the contrary. Then he insisted that he would not be casting Mark Wahlberg in a possible fourth installment in the series, despite evidence to the contrary.
Ultimately, Bay proved to be no match for the piling evidence to the contrary, revealing this week that Wahlberg will indeed be the star of a new adventure for the Autobots and Decepticons, to be released in June 2014. Speculation has mounted that Wahlberg will play the father of a teenage son who will take the lead in future installments.
The latest in an endless string of awards shows with three-letter acronyms airs on ABC this Sunday night at 8 p.m. The American Music Awards (AMAs) are selected purely by music fans, who can vote now by logging on to www.abc.com.
As with any awards show, the show provides the opportunity for popular acts, including Taylor Swift, Justin Bieber, Usher, Ke$ha, PSY, Kelly Clarkson, Carly Rae Jepsen, Nicki Minaj, The Wanted, No Doubt and Christina Aguilera, to reinforce their ubiquity by performing live.
The broadcast will also look back fondly with clips to commemorate the program’s 40th anniversary.
No, Thank You!
This Tuesday marks the annual music industry tradition of flooding the marketplace with high-profile new releases immediately before Black Friday sales commence. “American Idol” season 11 winner and “Home” hitmaker Phillip Phillips unleashes his debut set, “The World From This Side of the Moon.”
Environmental implications aside, party rockers will be pleased with Pitbull’s “Global Warming,” featuring collaborations with the usual suspects: Usher, Jennifer Lopez and Chris Brown. The latter also makes a slightly more controversial appearance on Rihanna’s “Unapologetic,” her third album in three years.
Finally, Kid Rock’s music has arrived on iTunes just in time for a new addition, “Rebel Soul.”