People, welcome to mid-July. How did we get here so fast? I have no freaking idea. Luckily, this week is going to be action-packed on the popular culture front. From the midnight release of “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2,” to the season premiere of “Breaking Bad,” to James Franco releasing his first album, find this week’s highlights after the jump.
On the Small Screen:
- “Inside the Actor’s Studio: Jennifer Aniston,” tonight at 8 p.m. (EST), Bravo. Is it just me, or does it feel like 90 percent of the guests on James Lipton’s interview series are dudes? Since I am totally fascinated by her, I will be watching tonight’s Jennifer episode. Hopefully, we’ll get some interesting tidbits.
- “Roseanne’s Nuts,” season premiere, Wednesday at 8 p.m. (EST), Lifetime. Perhaps you already knew this, but Roseanne Barr fled Hollywood a few years back and moved to Hawaii, where she now runs a macadamia nut farm. In this reality series, we follow Roseanne on the farm, as she cracks jokes and also whips on employees who don’t do things exactly as she likes them.
- “Friday Night Lights,” series finale, Friday at 8 p.m. (EST), NBC. So last week, I curled up with a box of tissues to watch the final episode of “FNL.” And was pleasantly surprised, perhaps along with you, to discover that the finale is actually a two-parter. Thank goodness! I need more time to say a proper goodbye to the Taylors.
- “Breaking Bad,” season premiere. Sunday, 10 p.m. (EST), AMC. I’m not sure how exactly, but season four of “BB” is going to get even darker, according to creator Vince Gilligan. “There are going to be twists and turns that people will be talking about for a while to come, I believe,” he said. Yes, you have our attention.
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On the Big Screen:
- “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2,” out Thursday at midnight. Because I’ve never read the books, I am one of the few on the planet who has no idea how the saga will come to an end. Will Harry, Hermoine, and the rest of the crew be able to find and destroy the final horcruxes? Without anyone else dying? I am so excited to find out that I have secured midnight tickets for the event.
- “Tabloid,” opening Friday. In 1977, former Miss Wyoming Joyce McKinney followed a Mormon missionary she was in love with to England. According to Joyce, there they decided to get married and had sex for the first time. But she was soon arrested for abduction and newspapers claimed that she had kidnapped and raped him. This Errol Morris documentary tells both the story and how it fueled a British tabloid war. Ultra relevant in the wake of the News of the World folding.
- “Salvation Boulevard,” opens Friday. Apparently, religious thrillers are in vogue these days. This one stars Greg Kinnear as a guy who was framed for murder by the pastor of his mega church. Amazing cast alert: Pierce Brosnan, Jennifer Connelly, and Marisa Tomei co-star.
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On Your Headphones:
- Eleanor Friedberger, Last Summer, out tomorrow. You most likely know Eleanor as one half of the brother-sister duo at the heart of the Fiery Furnaces. But her solo album is less experimental and more classic storytelling than that. On Last Summer, Eleanor takes a metaphysical trip through New York in the summer, a more magical time and place I’d be hard-pressed to find.
- Kalup and Franco, Turn It Up, out tomorrow. Determined to put the rest of us out of work, James Franco has teamed up with performance artist Kalup Linzy and released his first album. We’re not exactly sure what to expect, beyond the fact that James’ spoken word will be heavily featured. Scary. But we’ll listen out of morbid curiosity.
- Colbie Caillat, All of You, out tomorrow. Colbie has always bored me to tears with her lightly lip-glossed, strolling on the beach, easy-listening rock. Thankfully, she’s taken many more chances on her new album, like teaming up with Common for the tune “Favorite Song.”
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Also on Your Radar:
- Things that make me want to move to Chicago numero one: this weekend brings the annual Pitchfork Music Festival featuring The Dismemberment Plan, Neko Case, Animal Collective, Fleet Foxes, and Cut Copy.
- Love horror movies? Jason Zinoman’s non-fiction tome, Shock Value—about how horror went from a fringe, B-movie genre to a mainstream phenomenon—comes out tomorrow.
- Get your pocket protectors ready. Wednesday is National Embrace Your Geekness Day.
- This followed two days later by Gummi Worm Day, on Friday. Bring in a bag for your officemates.
What are you most excited for this week?