Brought to you by asap and The Associated Press, The Slug tastes pop culture for you — just in case it's been poisoned. E-mail us at theslug@ap.org.


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Friday, March 30, 2007

Favoritest Photo of the Week: Halle Booty

033007halle (AP Photo/Michael Sohn)

Halle, what were you thinking!? Don't get The Slug wrong. You have a loverly behind, but why would you turn around and pose like that in front of a movie poster featuring your giant head? It's like soooo much Halle that, uhhh, we love it! Congratulations, you're our Favoritest Photo of the Week. We didn't even mention the fact that the name of the movie is "Perfect Stranger" and every time we see the trailer or poster we think of Balki Bartokomous and he makes us smile. The original caption:

U.S. actress Halle Berry poses in front of a film poster during a photo call to promote her new movie 'Perfect Stranger' in Berlin, Germany, Friday, March 30, 2007. (AP Photo/Michael Sohn)

Rocky Falls Off "Survivor: Fiji"

033007james (AP Photo/HO/CBS)

Finally! Now that loudmouth James "Rocky" Reid was knocked out of "Survivor: Fiji," maybe we could possibly get into this somewhat dull season. We're most interested to see what's gonna happen with the Hidden Immunity Idol that Yau-Man Chan uncovered and that faux idol that he planted. Jeff Probst did promise us the idols would be used this season and so far they haven't. We pray to the Fijian gods that a castaway finds Yau-Man's horrible fake and attempts to use it at a Tribal Council. How embarrassing would that be!?

Thursday, March 29, 2007

"Lost" Diamonds Aren't Forever

032907lost (AP Photo/HO/ABC)

So let's get this straight. The folks behind "Lost" introduced the forgettable Nikki and Paulo so they could devote an entire Hitchcockian episode to the griftin' lovebirds? While The Slug thoroughly enjoyed last night's episode, we think this is a clear sign the writers are stalling because that entry didn't push the narrative of "Lost" forward whatsoever. Sure, it's nice to stop and wax nostalgic, but not when the writers know fans are increasingly frustrated — and they soooo do what with all that "Who the hell are you?" business. We doubt the pair will have a "Carrie"-like resurrection in the next episode, but we won't be surprised if they show up next season for pure shock value just like this season's Cindy cameo. Because, as we know all too well now, that's how far "Lost" is willing to go.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

What's in the Trunk?

032807circus (AP Photo/Derrik J. Lang)

Wowie zowie. What a night. The Slug spent part of the evening in the back of a pickup truck driving down 34th Street in Manhattan, in front of an elephant. The 137th edition of the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus is coming to town. And it's become an annual tradition for the circus elephants and horses to be paraded into the city through the Queens-Midtown Tunnel and over to Madison Square Garden. We were in the back of the truck shooting footage for an upcoming asap video series about a real-life circus family. The father is an animal trainer. It was without a doubt the most insane New York traffic jam we've ever been in.

Blake Lewis Lures Us In on "Idol"

032807blake (AP Photo/HO/Fox)

Well, Blake Lewis. Well. Well. Well. Just when we thought this thang was gonna be a diva battle royale, you go and sing a Cure song — on "American Idol" of all places! Not only that, but you didn't butcher it, you left your insipid beat boxing on the cutting room floor and you were the best dressed. (Ugh. Why didn't Gwen Stefani give out fashion advice instead of singing advice!?)

Maybe this season won't end with the Lakisha Jones vs. Melinda Doolittle finale like everyone suspects. Maybe Paula Abdul is right. (No, we can't believe we just typed that sentence either.) Maybe Blake has a real chance at this. Maybe this is the year that personality trumps singing ability. Or maybe Blake just heard what we thought about blonde dudes on reality TV shows.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

"Heroes" and "Top Model" Going Mobile

032707top (AP Photo/HO/The CW)

We're vibrating with excitement! The Slug learned today that "America's Next Top Model" and "Heroes" are being turned into mobile games. In the "ANTM" game from Artificial Life, players will train an avatar representing one of the ladies from the cycle 8 to become a top model. When that girl is eliminated, her avatar will be removed from the game. Harsh! And mini-games based on the show's modeling challenges (walking? connecting with the camera? uh, walking?) will be unlocked each week.

Meanwhile, in "Heroes: The Mobile Game" from Gameloft, gamers will be able to play as superhumans Hiro, Matt, Peter or Niki. (What?! No Claire?!) Interestingly, the press release says the game’s action, penned by writers from the show, will be based on "events from the electrifying first season as well as the hotly awaited second season." Hmmm. We're hot that this could possibly mean Niki will be included in season two. Both games will be available later this year.

Steve Sanders for the Win

032707stars (AP Photo/HO/ABC)

If you've ever read The Slug before, you may have noticed we tend to champion one person in reality TV competitions. (Taylor Hicks in "American Idol," Dilana Smith in "Rock Star: Supernova," Janelle Pierzina in "Big Brother," Nicole Richie in the fourth season of "The Simple Life.") Well, after watching the second episode of "Dancing with the Stars," we're getting behind Ian Ziering this time around.

We know. We know. Joey Fatone is probably the safer choice, but we think Ziering wants it more — and his partner Cheryl Burke, the two-time "Dancing with the Stars" champ that kinda reminds us of Karen O from the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, seems to have been blessed with the ability to teach has-beens to shake their groove thangs. Besides, don't blondes have more fun?

To "Prison Break" and Beyond

032707break (AP Photo/HO/Fox)

Last week, we said we couldn't imagine what the greenlit third season of "Prison Break" would be about, but after last night's penultimate second season episode, The Slug has formed a hypothesis. Here we go: While it looks like Agent Kellerman is going to save Sara as the key witness in her trial (boy, the justice system in "Prison Break" is fast!), we know Paul Adelstein has been cast on that "Grey's Anatomy" spin-off.

So, considering that likely departure, Sara will probably be sent to maximum security — wait for it — prison. Michael, feeling guilty for putting her there, will spend the third season helping her escape, making the show's title once again relevant. Meanwhile, Lincoln will either reconnect with L.J. (or be killed in next week's season finale, whatev) and T-Bag will start a line of (one) handmade purses.

Friday, March 23, 2007

A Whole New "World Series of Pop Culture"

032207pop (AP Photo/Derrik J. Lang)

Today we had the honor of popping in on the quarterfinals for Entertainment Weekly and VH1's 2007 World Series of Pop Culture as spectators — not competitors. Like last year, the popular tournament features 16 three-person teams answering pop culture related questions such as "What was Monica Gellar's nickname when she when she was a goalie for her field hockey team?" until only two remain and then those teams battle it out for $250,000. ("Big Fat Goalie" was the answer.) From what we saw, this year's competition is gonna be a doozy! Lots and lots of tiebreakers. Tension!

From our balcony seat, we were rooting for the all-girl team Fragily ("Fragily. That must be Italian!") who were clad in matching hoodies. Although The Slug participated in a version of the contest last year, it didn't compare to the real thang. When contestants step up to the mic, a huge light sitting in the audience blasts them while a crane camera continually swings overhead. And there's lots of stopping and starting for production purposes that must only add anxiety. See who has the knowledge and the steel nerves when the 2007 World Series of Pop Culture airs on VH1 in July.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Easter Eggs

031807tmnt (AP Photo/Reed Saxon)

If you loved the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles in the late '80s and early '90s like we did and/or you're interested in the brand-new "TMNT," be sure you download our asap podcast, dude. It's all about Ninja Turtle nostalgia. Oh, and we couldn't fit this in the podcast, but "TMNT" writer-director Kevin Munore personally told The Slug about four things he hid for die-hard fans within the animated flick. Sorry, Vanilla Ice fans. No "Ninja Rap" included. See if you can spot them. "TMNT" slices into theaters today.

1.) Some of the turtles' dialogue is lovingly lifted from the comic books, especially a scene between Raph and Casey Jones.

2.) The turtle's sewer enclave includes a shelf full of relics from their previous adventures, such as a canister of ooze and time-traveling lantern. It's easy to spot at the end of the movie.

3.) Some of the computer-generated New York storefronts were modeled after those from the live-action trilogy.

4.) There's a sculptural shoutout to the nasty Triceraton Empire inside the movie villian's lair.