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The Priority Report: 1/9 to 1/15

By Jeannine Stanley and Keith Spencer

Looking for something to help fill in your entertainment calendar? Learn what to follow in television, film, music, and books with this week’s edition of The Priority Report.

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Television 

The 69th Annual Golden Globes: Sunday, January 15, 2012

Ricky Gervais is back to host the Golden Globes on Sunday, January 15, 2012 at 8PM on NBC (7PM if you’d like to see what everyone is wearing).  The golden globes are the unofficial opening of awards season, and there are a host of great movies nominated, many that have been reviewed here at NoBo in the past few weeks.  Gervais, hot off of last years berating of Tom Cruise, Robert Downey Jr, and the cast of Sex and the City (being gay and scientologist, a drug addict, and too old, respectively) is again hosting, sure to bring his trademark snarky humor.

Louder Than A Bomb: Part of the OWN Network Documentary Club

A mic, a stage, a pen, a page. This passionate film tells of the joys and pains of growing up and finding your voice. Watching the honest, heartwarming stories of each of the competitors and teams in the world’s largest youth poetry slam contest. Louder Than a Bomb had its world television premiere over the weekend on the Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN), and is now an official selection of their documentary club. To find OWN on your cable system, click here. A Louder Than a Bomb DVD coming in March, while a Louder Than a Bomb educational DVD specially designed for K-12, university, and library settings is already available.

Caged: Premieres Monday, January 9, 2012

A new MTV series starting this Monday, January 9 at 10pm follows the lives of recent high school graduates and training MMA fighters in a small Louisiana town.  With the success of such movies as The Fighter and the upcoming Warrior, the reality aspect of MMA fighting is sure to be a draw for the MTV crowd, who typically see fighting as something that Snookie from Jersey Shore does on their Thursday night lineup!

Fear Factor: Monday, January 9, 2012

2001 called, and it wants you to eat cockroaches and bull testicles again!  Bringing back the original stomach churning series to a new generation of audiences that grew up on Jackass repeats, Fear Factor (and its original host, Joe Rogan) is back on Monday, January 9th at 9pm on NBC for a second round.  Do you have what it takes to be buried alive with snakes or launched from a helicopter?  Tune in and find out, but I suggest doing so on an empty stomach!

Are You There, Chelsea? Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Starting Wednesday at 830 on NBC, the life and times of Chelsea Handler (or those stories not covered on her nighttime talk show Chelsea Lately, or the pseudo-reality After Lately, or in the similar, but not as funny Whitney on NBC) are on full display, as is most of her wild and much publicized life.  As this sitcom is based on the best seller that Handler wrote over 10 years ago at age 25, she is played by former That 70’s show actress Laura Prepon with vodka-soaked sarcasm.  Handler plays real-life older sister Sloane.  This show has a lot of potential, as long as it doesn’t drown in its own ego before its too late.

30 Rock: Thursday, January 12, 2012

It has been a long and soulless fall without Liz Lemon and Jack Donaghey.  With their January debut on Thursday, 1/12 at 8pm, they have a LOT of ground to cover (Here’s hoping for a Baldwin/Words with Friends/American Airlines joke in the first 5 minutes!  And please, please please, let Tiny Fey tackle Michelle Bauchman!) With the shuffling that NBC has done this fall with its sitcoms (what day is Up All Night on again?) this will hopefully continue to be the anchor that Thursday nights are built around.

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Movies

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

Tom Hanks and Sandra Bullock star in this novel-turned-movie about September 11th, loss and an 11 year old boy looking for answers.  Oskar is a lovable, struggling and remarkably intelligent child, challenged by the death of his father in the twin towers and a mother who doesn’t understand the relationship he’s mourning.  Oskar must follow clues around that take him throughout the burroughs of New York, weaving himself through a cast of amazing characters in his quest to find answers to the puzzle that was his father’s life.

The Devil Inside

Unless you’ve been living under a rock (or don’t own a TV, check facebook, read magazines, or drive by any billboards) you know that this creepy horror flick, out January 6th, is about the demonic possession of a woman in 1989 and her daughter’s attempt to find her and find out just what happened on that day (besides the killing of the other 3 people during the exorcism).  Abounding with creepy shots of contortionist tourture and whisper spirits, this is the first (and surely not the last) horror/ paranormal movie of 2012.

Beauty and the Beast 3D

Following the success of their recent release of The Lion King 3D, Disney is releasing its 1991 classic with newly enhanced footage and special glasses, in hopes to capture the magic of the “tale as old as time” for another generation. We’re sure it will be yet another box-office smash, and hope to once again take in the magic of it all on the big screen!

Joyful Noise

Dolly Pardon and Queen Latifah play dueling gospel divas vying for greatness.  Think of this as Glee gone gospel. It promises to be a heartwarming and humorous romp for both actresses, known for their comedy chops and big voices.

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Music

Snow Patrol Fallen Empires

The voices behind the omni-present, heartstring-pulling “Chasing Cars” are back with their 6th album of sweeping ballads about breaking up, lost love and missed chances.  Coldplay, U2 and REM are obvious influences, but there will always be room for Snow Patrol in our pop culture playlist for rainy days and breakups.

Justin Bieber and Jaden Smith “Happy New Year”

Bieber fever and the second coming of the Fresh Prince have joined forces to bring you the relentless earworm that your little sister just can’t stop playing.  Tweens everywhere and lovers of pop are certain to have this song stuck on repeat, for at least the rest of January.

B.O.B. featuring Andre 3000 “Play the Guitar”

With a beat that is both poppy and hip-hop driven, Andre 3000 of Outkast fame joins forces with B.O.B. for a track that is sure to continue blasting from radios and iPods through out the coming months.

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Books

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

The premise sounds a bit depressing for a YA novel: two teenagers battling cancer meet and fall in love.  But author John Green (Looking for Alaska, Paper Towns) portrays this love in an honest way that grabs readers, both young adult and young at heart.

 

The Flame Alphabet by Ben Marcus

Marcus has been labeled as one of the most gifted (and maniacal) author of our generation, and his latest novel does not deviate.  In a world where the voices of children literally kill adults, parents flee their children, who lack the maturity to understand that in a few years, this strange and compelling “toxic speech” will be their demise as well.

Fraternity by Diane Brady

In 1968, the country shared an enormous tragedy in the death of Martin Luther King Jr.  But whatever happened to those young people also on his journey of equality?  In Fraternity, the author examines the life of John Brooks, a professor of Theology from the College of the Holy Cross who traversed the East Coast looking for young African American boys who had the potential to succeed academically if they were provided the opportunity.  Twenty students were recruited that year, among them were Clarence Thomas, future supreme court judge, Theodore Wells, one of the nations most successful defense attorneys, and Edward P. Jones, winner of the Pulitzer Prize.  This novel has heart and depth, and shows that just one person can make an impact on dozens of people with a dream and the passion to do it.

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