Got a question about pop culture? This afternoon I’ll be answering a bunch of them, and I welcome more at email@example.com. (Just refresh to see new replies.) Let’s go ahead and get started:
I wondered if you plan to attend BEA next month? — Liz P. in Grand Haven, Mich.
I was tempted because BlogWorld is happening at the same time (and in the same place), but I’m passing on BookExpo this year. As far as conventions go, I can’t say I get as much out of it as I’d like. Also, every time I’ve been I end up carrying a huge load of books — and being on my feet for a long time — and physically, I’m just not up to that sort of stress these days!
Where has Top Chef been? Don’t the three Top Chef series run end to end? — Ryan A.
Top Chef was renewed for Season 10, and I sure hope it’s better than the endless, tedious Season 9. It started casting in February, so we should see it later this year. In the meantime, Bravo is touting its new food series Around the World in 80 Plates, which is kind of like Top Chef crossed with The Amazing Race.
There are some shows that I DVR and wait to see if they’re picked up before watching a single episode. I do this to avoid the disappointment of getting into a show, then finding out that it’s not returning. I’ve done this with Awake, and despite the fact that it’s been canceled, I find myself still wanting to watch the episodes that the network airs. Will I be disappointed if I watch this series? Are there many unanswered questions? — Justin P.
That’s probably a smart tactic, since so many shows don’t make it past the first season. Personally, I had my doubts about Awake from the start — it’s a difficult premise to sustain.
Creator Kyle Killan says “it wasn’t intended as a series finale” but he thinks “the finale is very satisfying.” I’d take that to mean there might still be some loose ends. The series finale airs May 24.
My boyfriend and I recently decided to watch all of the Star Wars movies, as we’ve only ever seen bits and pieces of them throughout our lives. We’d love any advice from you and the other readers of Pop Candy to prepare ourselves for watching all of the movies. Is there anything we should specifically pay attention to? — Jessica T.
The main piece of advice I have is to definitely start with Episode IV (i.e. the 1977 film), or else you’ll become so bored you won’t even make it to the good stuff. I don’t know that you need to take serious notes or anything while watching — the films aren’t that hard to follow, and you should have fun with them above all else.
Others may disagree, but really, I think it’s fine if you decide to skip the prequels and just focus on the earlier (and better) trilogy. Hayden Christensen can be quite a buzzkill.
Who is your favorite superhero and why? — BIG BUSINESS in Cleveland
I was asked this on camera a couple weeks ago and I really stumbled — it’s a tough one. I don’t read a lot of superhero comics, so I can’t really base it on the books … if I did, I might have to say Swamp Thing or Animal Man. If we’re looking at pop culture as a whole, I’d have to go with Batman. If you ask me, he has the most interesting back story, the best costume and an appealing dark side. (Though I know the Avengers are really popular right now, I’ve always leaned more toward DC superheroes than Marvel.)
If you could play a character on The Walking Dead, would you like to be a) one of the heroes who saves someone from a walker; b) a victim of a walker; or c) a walker? — Frank Y.
Oh, I think it would certainly be the most fun to be a walker and see myself in zombie makeup! That said, I still haven’t finished watching Season 2 of The Walking Dead. At some point, I realized the series had stopped entertaining me, so I let it go. Eventually, I’ll go back and catch up.
Several years ago, you did a list of the top books for teens. Is there any way you would consider redoing that list with updates, or just re-posting the original? I have purchased several books over the years that I thought would be a good fit for my son (and me), and he always loved your choices. To have the original list with your signature stamped on it might get him off the computer and back to reading a bit more. — Renee B.
Thanks for that compliment. Unfortunately, over the years some of my work has been lost to site redesigns, the implementation of new software, etc. (As you can imagine, I’m less than thrilled about this.) Anyway, I think that’s what happened to my feature about the best books/movies/etc. for teens.
I’ll consider revisiting it, but for now I’ll throw out a few of my all-time fave YA books: The Perks of Being a Wallflower (esp. before the movie comes out), The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, The Fault in Our Stars, Hairstyles of the Damned, The Astonishing Adventures of Fanboy and Goth Girl, Geography Club. Maybe those will give him something to do this summer …
Kevin Smith’s new mantra is “podcasts lead to broadcasts,” referring to the success of the AMC show Comic Book Men that sprung from a podcast. With his launch of a YouTube channel, along with the likes of Felicia Day having done the same, do you believe they are trying to land “real” TV deals from the YouTube channels? — Rich B.
I don’t know that every person with a YouTube channel is trying to land a TV deal; some stuff just works better (and can be more profitable) on the web, and Felicia Day is an example of a person who understands this very well.
As for Kevin Smith, he’s not one to shy away from many media opportunities, so I think, yes, he wouldn’t mind if more of his properties headed to TV. Personally, I don’t think Comic Book Men is a very good show, but it does hit upon the “nerdy white boy” demographic, which seems to be quite fashionable at the moment.
What is the best album you have listened to over the past three months? There has been lots of great music lately. — Ruven S.
The disc I’ve probably played most often is the one from Santigold, Master of My Make-Believe. But I think Sharon Van Etten‘s Tramp is also one of the best records of the year. (Caveat: Still haven’t spent time with the new Beach House record. Once I do, that will probably go into heavy rotation.)
Finding myself searching for some good radio stations that broadcast decent quality streams. Someone long ago suggested WMVY radio out of Martha’s Vineyard, but I’ve been searching for some other options. Any suggestions? — Mark V. in New York
My 6-year-old daughter is a new reader and has just begun choosing her own books from her school library. Today her choice was a graphic novel (Babymouse), and I am so proud! Do you have any suggestions for others she may enjoy? — Amanda P.
Sure, although if she likes Babymouse, note that there are several books in the series. For a 6-year-old, I’d recommend Bumperboy, Owly, Fashion Kitty, Johnny Boo, Moomin, stuff from Toon Books, Big Fat Little Lit and even the epic Bone, which you could read together. You may want to head to your local comics shop for more ideas!
On that note, I think it’s time to have some lunch. Thanks for all the questions this week! If I didn’t get to yours, I’ll try to address it in the next Candy Mailbag.