The Priority Report: A Look Ahead at the Month of May

by Jeannine Stanley

I think it’s pretty much official: we’ve made it through the winter, my dear NoBo readers!  There’s a lobstah boat load of entertainment coming your way in May, so we’ve boiled it all down to the must-haves for the month.

Already hard at work dissecting the blockbuster movie season, there are some great choices for May, with aliens, superheroes, vampires, and then, aquatic aliens. In music, there are some great new, pop releases debuting, including new albums from John Mayer, Carrie Underwood, and the legendary Paul McCartney. Plenty of great literature will also become available in May, many of which center around the theme of identity:  whether it be with yourself, your parents, your relationships or sexual orientation.

Lastly, we’ve rounded up a comprehensive list of your favorite shows to let you know when their season finales will take place, and what will debut in the coming weeks that will help keep you entertained when you manage to get on the couch this summer.

[toggle_content title=”Film”]

The Avengers

In theaters on Friday, May 4, 2012

Here at NoBo magazine, we’ve been following this movie for almost its entire production, and its finally here!  Produced by Marvel and distributed by Disney, Joss Whedon directs a host of A-list names, including Robert Downey Jr, Scarlett Johansson, Chris Hemsworth, Jeremy Renner and Samuel L. Jackson.  All your major Marvels are here, including Iron Man, the Hulk, Thor and Captain America, but also the ones who haven’t gotten their spotlight movie yet, including Black Widow and Hawkeye.  This release is the unofficial start of Summer Movie season, and it was a great move to put it early enough in the rotation that all other blockbusters will have something to strive for.


Dark Shadows

In theaters on Friday, May 11, 2012

Whoever decided to make a campy, 1970’s dark soap opera into a feature film has likely struck comic genius.  The Dark Shadows TV show, revered by many has long deserving a comedic follow-up with a gonzo twist, and Depp is just the man to do it.

Depp plays Barnabas, a vampire buried 200 years ago in Maine and accidentally freed by his quirky present day (well, 1970s era) cousins, played by Michelle Pfeiffer and Helena Bonham Carter (as Pfeiffer’s live-in psychiatrist), among a host of fantastic characters.  Dark Shadows should please both hard-core fans of the trippy soap and new fans alike.



In theaters on Friday, May 18, 2012

Can you really make a movie out of a board game?  Hasbro has ponied up $200 million in production and hoping you can.  Aliens have invaded Earth, and more specifically Hawaii, where a rag-tag band of misfits (isn’t that always the way) battle them in the water.  Taylor Kitsch (of Friday Night Lights), Alexander Skarsgard (Eric in True Blood) Liam Neeson, and Rhianna in her theatrical debut (and if your debut is a $200 million dollar explosion ridden movie, you’re not doing too bad) take on water-dwelling aliens bent on destruction.  This promises to have lots of great explosions and special effects, so this might be a great candidate for a 3D viewing!


Men In Black 3 (MIB3)

In theaters on Friday, May 25

Agents J and K are back for a third visit, and this time we’re going back to 1969.  An evil alien named Boris (played by the Jermaine Clement) is attempting to assassinate Agent K (played by both Tommy Lee Jones in current time and Josh Brolin in 1969).  Agent K (Will Smith) has to stop this from happening and changing the course of Earth’s history, and he only has a 24-hour window to make it happen!  With a wild amount of rumored cameos from Lady Gaga to Justin Beiber, this should be a great take in, and this one is also available in IMAX and 3D.


[toggle_content title=”Music”]

Santigold: Masters of my Make Believe

Now available in stores and online

It’s been 4 years since Santigold’s unique form of dance hall meets aggressive M.I.A. style pop has assaulted our ears (in a good way!) and it has been sorely missed!  After her Superbowl performance with Madonna, she is primed and ready to release her next album, in stores May 1.  Check out single “Disparate Youth” now!


Norah Jones: Little Broken Hearts

Now available in stores and online

Norah Jones, who brought us pop-lite perfection with her first album, is back but this time with a different twist.  Working with producer Danger Mouse (aka Brian Burton) Jones has tweaked her sound further, proving that she is not a one-trick pony.  She’s collaborated with almost everyone in the music business, from Foo Fighters to OutKast over her last 3 albums, and this one, if the first single Happy Pills is any indication, this is sure to be a great record.


Carrie Underwood: Blown Away

Now available in stores and online

Her debut single “Good Girl” is blowing up, and this marks the 4th album for the amazing country singer.  The titles are stacking up for Ms. Underwood: she has won five Grammys, she is a two-time Country Music Entertainer of the year, and has sold over 14 million albums, and from those had 14 No.1 singles.  Carrie Underwood is a busy chick!  This new album is said to have a darker storyline than her previous, and will no doubt be just as successful.  Buy Blown Away Tuesday, May 1!


John Mayer: Born and Raised

In stores and available online on May 22, 2012

More mellow southern rock than college crooner, Mayer has evolved over the years from his first few albums, dealing with post-college questioning and first love.  He’s grown over the years, working with such greats at BB King and Eric Clapton to hone his sound from a strummy pop singer to a blue-eyed soul sound.  Mayer also has a NoBo connection, Mayer was born and raised in Connecticut and went to Boston’s own Berklee College of Music.  Marred by voice and throat issues for the last year or so, and being worked on by the amazing doctor that helped both Adele and Boston native Stephen Tyler, Mayer was recently forced to cancel his tour to rehab his voice.  Hopefully we’ll here more from this amazing singer in the future, but until then, we can certainly enjoy Born and Raised, out May 22.


[toggle_content title=”Television”]

2 Broke Girls

Season finale airs on Monday, May 7 at 8:30PM

This is the first year for this unique and hysterical show, and they hit the ground running.  Putting Kat Dennings, known previously for her status as an indie darling in movies like Charlie Bartlett and Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist, was a great start.  Hiring Beth Behr’s, a virtual unknown, save for an American Pie straight to DVD release was pure genius.  Sprinkle in an amazing supporting cast, including the amazing Jennifer Coolidge and you have a recipe for an amazing show.  The premise is cute and different, and the production team is top-notch (Michael Patrick King and Whitney Cummings, far funnier here than in her own sitcom).  The girls are a modern-day Lucy and Ethel with a twist, and they play off each other amazingly.  Keeping the supporting cast small was also a really great idea, with only 3 other diner patrons, they become a bigger part of the cast, and we root for them every week.  2 Broke Girls is definitely coming back, and we can’t wait!


New Girl

Season finale airs on Tuesday, May 8 at 9PM

Zooey Deschanel is our new girl, and this freshman comedy also scored high with viewers.  Zooey has been on the outskirts of indie-dom for years.  Like Kat Denning, she’s been in a handful of indie art house romantic comedies, like (500) Days of Summer and Almost Famous, but this is her first really big television role.  Although this show started off a little too nauseatingly adorable for some people, the writers started playing down the “adorkable” quality of Dechanel’s character Jess and it has been much more received by audiences.  Although Zooey is the star, the supporting cast is amazing, especially Max Greenfield, who plays loveable pretty-boy with a heart of gold, Schmidt.  Also renewed for next season and constantly compared to 2 Broke girls and Whitney, this show is the kinder gentler version of girls growing up and making it on their own.


The Big Bang Theory

Season finale airs on Thursday, May 10 at 8PM

The nerds will clearly inherit Thursday nights!  Although there is a slew of television on the peacock on Thursdays, The Big Bang Theory constantly wins out in ratings, with this year being the highest with 16 million viewers every Thursday!  Although Johnny Galecki’s Leonard is the main character, it’s Jim Parson’s Sheldon that keeps viewers coming back for more.  Whether it’s his clueless charm, doe-eyed naivety or brash and ridiculous way of treating his friends, the audience can’t get enough of Sheldon and his misadventures.  In the more recent seasons, the writers have focused more on the group and less on individual characters, fleshing out the story lines of Penny, Howard and Raj, which has been a bonus for viewers who don’t love Leonard and his whiny ways.  Whomever is your favorite nerd, they will no doubt be back next season, but TBS is running all episodes several times a day throughout the summer, so you wont be without your favorite astrophysicist for long!



Season finale airs on Friday, May 11 at 9PM

I’m willing to bet that the scientists over at the Big Bang Theory are the only ones who truly understand everything in this show, but it’s fun to attempt.  One of the only heirs to the Lost throne, this show jumps through time, space and realities with the main characters often playing against themselves in the process.  You may need a flow chart to understand what cortexifan or a Walternate is, but trust me, if you’re in it for the long haul, it’s definitely worth it.  Joshua Jackson, Anna Torv, and John Noble play off each other wonderfully, and you really are invested in their research and investigations.  Fringe has been renewed for a 5th and final season of 13 episodes next year, so we at NoBo are dying to see where it goes!


Once Upon a Time

Season finale airs on Sunday, May 13 at 8PM

The characters in Storybook, Maine are just that: exiled characters in a giant fairy tale, who are the desensitized, amnesic versions of their former selves.  Jiminy Cricket is a therapist, Snow White is a teacher, and nobody remembers their former lives after the mayor (and Evil Queen) erased their memories and banished them to a place that time forgot.  Emma (spoiler alert, Snow White’s daughter) enters the mix and tries to help these characters find their former selves, risking her life and the lives of others in the process.  Will the people of Storybrooke wake up and smell the magic?  Tune in to find out!


How I Met Your Mother

Season finale airs on Monday, May 14 at 8PM

This is the 7th season (can you believe that?) of the CBS sitcom, and it is yet another show where the main character Ted, played by Josh Radnor, is much less interesting than the “supporting characters”, which have now become not only giant movie stars (Jason Segel, Neil Patrick Harris) but viewer favorites.  I think Bob Sagat  (the voice of the future Ted, who answers the title question) is even more interesting.  That being said, over the last seven years we’ve seen the characters hook up, make up, break up, and everything in between.  They’ve been pregnant, lost jobs, had huge revelations about growing up, and every other thing that could go on in seven seasons.  Would HIMYM be a show at all without its predecessor (and NoBo favorite show of all time) Friends?  That remains to be seen.  Perhaps one of the shows we’ve reviewed or something coming next year could take the friends crown, but until then, we’ll take HIMYM!


Grey’s Anatomy

Season finale airs on Thursday, May 16, 2012

 It’s the show that everyone watches, but has nobody (save a few diehards) really hanging on the edge of their seats.  Former NoBo resident Ellen Pompeo leads the cast as it’s namesake Meredith Grey, but she leaves a lot to be desired.  What most people are really watching Grey’s for is the ridiculous premise for disaster.  In the past years, the writers have brought us giant sinkhole in the middle of Seattle, boat disasters, and horrific car accidents involving multiple series stars.  There’s talk of a main character’s death in the finale, and here’s hoping it’s not a McAnything (McDreamy, McSteamy, or McBeautiful-Eyes-Jesse-Williams).


The Simpsons

Season finale airs on Sunday May 20 at 8PM

The finale, while still under wraps, has to do with Lisa being voted Springfield Elementary least popular student.  Why this has been 23 years coming (shouldn’t Bart and Lisa be out of elementary school by now?) I don’t know, but the writers, who have some of the best and brightest in the industry, are clearly not going to disappoint.  Lady Gaga is rumored to be making an appearance, and the stops will no doubt be pulled out.  How long can the longest-running cartoon in history continue? Nobody is saying for sure.  But check on the season finale on May 20th!



Season finale airs on  Monday, May 21 at 9PM

After 8 seasons, Dr. Gregory House is hanging up his stethoscope and medical mystery solving and calling it a day.  Hugh Laurie and an amazing cast of characters over the last 8 years have challenged us with weird symptoms and personal stories (even Dave Matthews made it on as a patient) and House has solved them all in a misanthropic bedside manner that we’ve come to know and love.  They’ll be a House sized hole on Monday nights at Fox, and it will be interesting to see what direction they chose do go in after this season.


Modern Family

Season finale airs on Wednesday, May 23 at 9PM

This is season 3 of one of the most hilarious, heartwarming and poignant shows about American family.  With the term “family” coming to mean anything from a group of friends to multi-generational siblings, multiple marriages and arrangements and orientations, the one thing that stays true is that these people really love each other, and embrace the zany parts of their lives.  Standouts for this show are hard to label, there are no actors phoning in performances and everyone seems to genuinely enjoy each other both on-screen and off.   Here’s to many more years for the extended Pritchett family and their shenanigans.


Cougar Town

Season finale airs on Tuesday, May 29, 2012

The hilarious show with the ridiculous name has returned from the depths of hiatus hell, and we here at NoBo magazine couldn’t be happier.  This show has an amazing cast, many borrowed from Scrubs, and a winking, inside joke atmosphere that includes making fun of its own title, characters, and the ridiculousness of “crossover characters” from shows like Community.  Courtney Cox is one of the only “show stars” that you don’t want to throttle, and her friends are people you’d love to share a “Big Carl” size glass of wine with.  Things are getting serious on the cul de sac, Grayson and Jules are getting married, Laurie is moving on, and things are changing.  This show is definitely on the bubble as far as a season 4, so what should rabid fans send to the ABC studios?  Bottles of wine?  Pennies?  Get it going, because it doesn’t look good…


[toggle_content title=”Literature”]

Lots of Candles, Plenty of Cake by Anne Quindlen

Now available at retailers, online, or in e-stores

In a comedic and authentic take, Anne Quindlen takes a simple question, “What matters most” and cycles it through several eras of her life, both past, present and future.  Quindlen has been dubbed as “America’s laureate of real life” and often puts the major aspects of life: marriage, parenting, ‘stuff’, memories, and shows them through the perspective of our younger selves, our 40’s, and 60’s and everything in between.  Quite an amazing take on the seemingly mundane things that take up our whole lives.


Are You My Mother?  by Alison Bechdel

Now available at retailers, online, or in e-stores

A book about relationships with your mom, just in time for Mother’s day.  Alison Bechdel writes with wry humor as she outlines the relationship that she has with her mother, and answers the over-arching question “Why we are who we are”.  This was something Bechdel tackled first in 2007, where her award-winning book Fun Home tackled this topic, but with her father in mind instead.  It is said that the best writing tries to find out what makes people human, for better or worse, and Bechdel does this deftly.


Most Talkative: Stories from the Front Lines of Pop Culture by Andy Cohen

Available on Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Andy Cohen is the man behind the reality TV Empire that is Bravo television.  Not only is he Bravo’s acting executive vice president of programming and development, in charge of over two dozen reality shows, in addition to running his own show, a campy, late night talk show-esque production called “Watch What Happens Live”, which has been popular enough to earn mocking rights on SNL, among many other places.  In his spare time, Cohen has written a funny, sincere and eye-opening book, part memoir, and part essay on American pop-culture and where we are headed to next as a nation of reality-obsessed viewers.  Andy Cohen has our number, our likes and dislikes, and where his giant personality and career go next should be very interesting!


In One Person by John Irving

To be released on Tuesday, May 8, 2012

John Irving is arguably one of the finest American writers we have in our cannon.  His multitude of awards, ranging from 3 nominations (and 1 win) for the National Book Award, the O. Henry Award, and even an Oscar for best screenplay for Cider House Rules.  This novel is a provocative and tragic-funny account of a man named Billy and his quest to love himself and others in a conflicting “terminal case”, as he refers to himself.  This book serves as a tribute to Billy’s friends, and is the story of one bisexual man’s quest to make himself “worthwhile”.


Get the Best Local Distractions
Subscribe to our Daily Distraction e-mail to read our latest cover story, product spotlight, or restaurant review from across the North of Boston region!
Pretty Sweet Stuff
Want to learn how you can #GoLocal across the North of Boston region? Sign up for our Daily Distraction email to read our latest & favorite features!
Kane's Donuts - Saugus, MA
Thank You!
For Signing Up!