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The Priority Report: 1/16 to 1/22

By Jeannine Stanley

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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Film

Contraband

Come January, we all need a good kick in the butt, even if its just at the movies.  Mark Wahlberg does what he does best as a “in it for one last time” crime/thriller story about smuggling, and bailing out family who got in too deep in some illegal activities (what Bostonian doesn’t have or know someone that’s had a similar problem at some point in time).  Doesn’t sound far from his Dorchester Although this premise sounds overdone, and it is, Wahlburg does it justice, along with Kate Beckinsale and Giovanni Ribisi.

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The Iron Lady

Fresh off her Golden Globe win for the role, Meryl Streep stars as the iconic and infamous Margret Thatcher, who took down gender stereotypes to become Britain’s first and only female Prime Minister.  This movie has been a long time in the making. While the film may not rake in hundreds of millions, it sure is to rake in the awards. Ms. Streep is sure to receive yet another Oscar nomination.

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Television

American Idol

If you are the only person in this country who HASN’T seen the 10 seasons prior to this debut (Wednesday 1/18 @ 8pm on Fox) you don’t realize that the heart of the show has moved on (the X-Factor) and that there are dozens of other singing shows available now (The Singoff, The Voice, etc).  But Randy Jackson is still there, as is the Omnipresent Ryan Seacrest, and Jennifer Lopez and Steven “Ya-ta-ta” Tyler.  Many people tune in specifically in the early weeks of the show to see the “crazies” that show up, those throngs of middle America whose parents told them they have a great voice and actually sound like a strangled cat.  If your not into the sideshow, hold on for a few weeks until we get to the top 10.

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Betty White’s 90th Birthday: A Tribute to America’s Golden Girl

She’s the last one left, she’s 90 years old, and she gets a standing ovation for simply showing up, but there is a lot of spunk left in this lady.  NBC celebrates her life on Monday at 8:30, along with Amy Pohler, Mary Tyler Moore and Carol Burnett.

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Oprah and the Legendary Cast of Roots: 35 Years Later (OWN 8pm Monday 1/16)

See what that guy from Reading Rainbow has been up to! And also, the rest of the award winning, ground breaking cast of the miniseries Roots. Oprah hosts and catches up with one of the most influential casts of all time.

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An Idiot Abroad 2: The Bucket List (Season Premiere on Science channel, Saturday at 10)

I caught the first season of this quirky documentary series on Netflix and season 2 promises to be even better!  Season one brought you Karl Pilkington (the “idiot”) as producers Ricky Gervais and Steven Merchant send him unwillingly around the globe to each of the 7 “New Wonders”.  Season 2 conquors the Bucket List, with more episodes of Pilkington transposing the globe looking for more (mis)adventures.

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BOOKS

Bossypants by Tina Fey (now available in paperback)

Out in early 2011, this best seller kept me laughing with its hilarious stories, ridiculous tangents on everything from summer camp theater to her thoughts on Italian Rum Cake (loves it!) Cruise ship travel (Fey and her husband came close to death and were emergency evacuated home!) and the other musings from the mundane to the ridiculous.  Before she was Sarah Palin, or the star of a hysterical JC Penney Mom Jeans commercial, she was and continues to be the pen-ultimate every-woman, who finds the whole ride hilarious.

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Does The Noise In My Head Bother You?: A Rock ‘n’ Roll Memoir By Steven Tyler (now available in paperback)

Sit down, take an adderall, and plunge headfirst into the brain of Tyler (the self-proclaimed “Demon of Screamin’”) and revel in all of the fights, drugs, money, groupies, alcohol, and amazing music of the last 30 years.  Amazingly reflective for what brain he must have left, Tyler pulls no punches and tells all!

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Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain.

If you are one of the one out of every three Americans that consider themselves “introverted” you know that this wild and crazy world can overlook your talents because you are not craming yourself down everyones throat.  This book covers extensively the science of introverts and extroverts.  Out January 24th.

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