Ryan Chartrand

It’s Valentine’s Day. There, I said it. Quota met for the day. I’m not going to waste my precious column space telling you whether I love or loathe the candy-coated, overpriced, sometimes disappointing holiday. Instead, I give you the first ever “Love It” short list. It’s basically Cliff’s Notes for pop culture. So grab someone who needs a cultural education, indulge in some lovely Valentine’s Day-inspired candy (anatomically correct heart-shaped chocolates, anyone?) and enjoy these ten lovable items. I hope you’ll find them easier to read than your significant other.

1. YouTube Video: “I’m F*cking Matt Damon.” Sarah Silverman shows her long-time boyfriend Jimmy Kimmel that she means business in this 4-minute serenade featuring the hunky actor. I love Sarah Silverman for even being able to get him in a room with her.

2. Comedian: Jeff Durham (ventriloquist/schizo-man) may be the comedian on everyone’s TiVo, but Demetri Martin is a comedian smart people can appreciate. Appearing on “Comedy Central Presents” and on “The Daily Show” as Jon Stewart’s “Trendspotting” sidekick, law school dropout Martin has the comedic genius to deliver quirky insights and annoyingly logical hilarity. Exhibit A: He wrote a 26-line palindrome poem and admits to adhering strictly to his own point system. We know there are people out there like him; they just aren’t funny.
3. Grammy Winner: Congratulations to Amy Winehouse, Kanye West and Herbie Hancock for ransacking the 2008 Grammys. While they’re all great musicians, the winner I was really excited about was The White Stripes. I’m a pop girl myself, but seriously, “Icky Thump” is the real deal.

4. New Artist: Starbucks tells me I should buy Sia’s new album, “Some People Have Real Problems” (you know, the one with the girl covered in Crayola) – so, naturally, I cannot buy it if yuppie housewives and trendy teenagers will, too. I’ll tell you where my remaining Christmas stocking iTunes balance will go to: Yael Naim, who’s now practically old news across the pond. Sara Bareilles is cool, too.

5. Drink: Screw fancy cocktails, Starbucks has gone skinny! Now you can order a venti “skinny” mocha with enough whipped cream and fake sugar to give you the colon cleanse you have been meaning to schedule all year. Still, if it says “skinny” I will likely be compelled to buy it (and by “likely” I mean “there’s a magnet for skinny vanilla lattes where my stomach should be”).

6. WGA Cop-out: I can only think of a handful of positive effects the writers’ strike has had on prime-time programming, one of which is Showtime’s brilliant idea to put their edgy show “Dexter” on CBS. (Another is me having time to sleep now.) For those of us who don’t get premium channels, getting a glimpse of what happens when the FCC doesn’t breathe down your neck is a dream come true (although it will be edited … la “Sex and the City”). Watch “Dexter” and you’ll wonder how on earth you could be sympathizing with an eerily warm-blooded serial killer.

7. Mid-season Show: Lots of TV shows are introduced mid-season, which leaves us wondering why they weren’t introduced with the rest of the fall family. The two shows with the most hype are post-“Sex and the City” independent women series “Cashmere Mafia,” starring Lucy Liu, and “Lipstick Jungle,” starring Brooke Shields. Produced by “Sex” cohorts Candace Bushnall (book) and Darren Star (executive producer), respectively, “Cashmere Mafia” is the most fun to watch (critics don’t agree).

8. Crazy Person: There are the crazy people you know personally (friends, roommates, siblings), the people you personally think are crazy (professors, senile grandparents), and those widely accepted as crazy (any member of the Jackson family, most crackheads). But at the moment, the crazy person who is surprisingly functional is Amy Winehouse. She wins multiple Grammys, manages to say “No, Yes, No” to rehab and can still stand up long enough to snort cocaine during a commercial break. That’s more than we can say for Britney.

9. On DVD: “Across the Universe.” Although critically annihilated, any true fan of the Beatles can appreciate Julie Taymor’s beautifully orchestrated tribute to John, Paul, George and Ringo. You’ll love Jim Sturgess as Jude.

10. In Theatres Next Weekend: “Charlie Bartlett.” An adorably precocious teen decides to set up therapy shop in his high school, prescribing and treating his angst-y peers. Anton Yelchin is a young actor to watch.

Allison Baker is an English senior, Mustang Daily columnist and pop-culture enthusiast.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *