Dr. Horrible not horrible at all

I'm so stoked Mr. Popped Culture is on break because A) he really, really needed to take some time off to clear up those arson charges, B) it means the return of Brown Eyed Girl to the blogosphere (dude, I thought you were dead. Is it too late to take back that charitable donation I made in your name?!?), and C) it gives me another venue to harp about my new favourite pop culture phenomenon: Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog.

If you haven’t heard of DHSAB yet (seriously, what’s wrong with you?), it’s the latest creation from the obscenely twisted mind of Buffy creator Joss Whedon. Separated into three, 13-min episodes, the series stars Neil Patrick Harris, Nathan Fillion and Felicia Day, and trust me when I tell you: it’s made of awesome. The always hilarious NPH plays a wannabe villain who’s trying to prove he’s evil enough to be admitted into the Evil League of Evil, while at the same time, woo the sweet girl from the laundromat.

Yes, it’s a musical (hence the “Sing-Along” in the title), but anyone who’s seen Whedon’s spectacular “Once More with Feeling” episode of Buffy won’t let that scare you away. The songs are hilarious tongue-in-cheek treats that move the story along -- not to mention get stuck in your head for days. (Who knew Doogie Howser had that voice?!?) Buffy fans familiar with Joss’s delight in dangling bliss in front of our faces before brutally ripping our hearts out should see the tragic twist coming a mile away -- though to be honest, it blindsided me like a little sister named Dawn who shows up in the middle of nowhere to ruin a show.

I’m sure you’re all now itching to watch the series (of course you are -- I’m very persuasive). As a matter of fact, you’re probably heading over to YouTube right now. Well, hold up, Bucko! That’s not the point of this little online experiment. Joss is hoping to actually make money off this stupidly entertaining show (crazy, I know). He streamed it for free for one week, and now it’s only available on iTunes ($1.99 for each act, or you can download the whole thing at once for the low, low price of $3).

Next up, they’re planning to release it as a DVD, complete with a ton of extras, including an all-musical commentary (hilariously titled Commentary!) If this works and they actually make money off this thing, they’ll make more. (There’s already a rumoured sequel on the horizon.) Trust me, it’ll be best $3 you’ll spend all week. Don't do it for me. Do it for Dr. Horrible, 'cause he's got a PhD in horribleness.

Scandal Sweetie works at Dose.ca, where she likes to pretend that the only reason she watched Camp Rock is because "it's my job!!" She has an irrational crush on Keanu Reeves, despite his box office history. Her biggest fears include whales, Tom Cruise and Miley Cyrus' teeth.

i Heart Montreal

Our regular author is sady incapacitated due to an IRI injury (ouch!), I've offered to step back into the blogosphere after many years absence for a quick post...

Four and a half years ago I left New Brunswick to move to Toronto and I’ve never looked back. In February of this year, work asked me to “temporarily relocate” to Montreal for a year or so. Six months into the relo, I’m still pretty homesick for my life in Toronto and try to get back several times a month.

But I have to admit, it’s not all bad being in Montreal. Aside from the obvious perks of having a house in downtown Toronto and a beautiful pied-de-terre in a trendy Montreal neighborhood (the Plateau), Montreal has a lot more to offer than just a second closet far from the judging eyes of my boyfriend (Is that new? Did you need another pair of shoes?).

A few months ago I discovered that underneath the mounds snow in my backyard that I had not only a lovely lilac bush (favorite flower), but a beautiful magnolia tree in the middle of my private, fenced-in backyard. Then I started to spend some time discovering my neighborhood and found that it is full of adorable clothing stores and great restaurants (hello, five-course gourmet meal + BYO wine + no corking fee = $50. No, really). I slowly started to warm to the city.

And then the weather really warmed up and festival season was upon us. It was Nuit Blanche in my neighborhood and Grand Prix Weekend (Old Port & downtown) and I talked my boyfriend into spending the weekend walking the streets of the city. We loved it.

Then the mega festivals started – the Jazz Festival (largest in the world apparently) where me and tens of thousands of people crowded the Saint Catherine street stage to watch the Leonard Cohen tribute show (free!). Next was the Just for Laughs festival, where I saw the “South Park Live” show featuring Trey Parker and Matt Stone. Hilarious. Amazing.

Each week, although I miss Toronto no less, I’m definitely enjoying Montreal much more. Be it dinner and drinks at great restaurants (for half the cost of the same in Toronto), experiencing the fantastic indie music scene (can you believe that Radiohead tix in Montreal are not yet sold out?), or going to cool events like the Fantasia Film Festival (Asian films) or DJ Battles (as also seen at the Toronto Press Club this weekend) – Montreal is growing on me.

I suspect that once the summer fades away and snow is again on the ground, I’ll be ever more homesick and looking forward to moving my life back home to Toronto. But I doubt anyone will accuse me of not appreciating the city…

Author bio:
Brown Eyed Girl is a lapsed blogger that spends her time bouncing between cities, going to shows and films and pestering friends and family with invites to visit Montreal.

Rejected Cartoons

It Saturday Night, I am getting ready to go out and its Youtube time!....
Mr Poped (hehe) Culture has let me post to you all ..

Tonight I am going to share this vid ....i am sure you have seen it but here we go again ..


I hope you all enjoy it....its brilliant...and better than what my girlfriend wanted to post...Planet Unicorn.......don't ask.



The Art Is Strong With This One

Classic works of art with a Star Wars spin from Worth1000.com, my favourite photoshopping site.

I'm going offline for a couple of weeks, but there will be an number of guest editors adding their pop culture wisdom. Play nice.

It's Time To Get Things Restarted

The Muppets may be testing the waters of their popularity, with the release of several sure-to-go-viral clips o YouTube over the past couple of weeks. There are rumours of a new film on the horizon or perhaps a return to TV. Either way, I'd love to see them back, especially if they can recapture the pre-Disney, Jim Henson anarchic joy of the originals.

For now the Swedish Chef, Beaker, Gonzo and Sam the Eagle have all set up YouTube accounts and are creating original clips. It's funny stuff and I'd be satisfied with that alone.

One of Statler and Waldorf's exchanges sums it up perfectly:
Waldorf: The internet is a completely different culture, isn't it?
Statler: You said it. Everything here is immediately followed by sarcastic comments and nasty responses
Waldorf: Yup. We're finally where we belong.
Here is Beaker's version of Ode to Joy to give you an example.

Steven Page Has Drugs In His Pocket

In honour of Barenaked Ladies front man Steven Page and his recent arrest for snorting coke through a Candian bill while at his girlfriend's, roomate's apartment in Syracuse, NY, I present La La La Lines. (Cocaine slang starting with L from Argot and apologies to Sesame Street's Bert and Ernie.)

Hello Steve.

Steve: Oh. Hi Ed. Someone left these lines here and I don't know what to do with them.

Ed: Why don't you put them right in the middle of your nose?

Steve: Yeah, thanks.

Ed: No, I'm just kidding. They're not my lines. Um, I was thinking though, you could sing like a "La La La" song.

Steve: Yeah, that sounds great.

Ed: No, I'm serious. You could sing some "La La La's" and then some pretty words that start with "L." You'd have a nice little song there.

Steve: Oh you mean like "La La La?"

Ed: No, come on, give it a try.

Steve: La, la, la, la... lines
La, la, la, la, Line cocaine

Ed: I guess.

Steve: La, la, la, la, Lady snow. This is fun.
La, la, la, la, leaf marijuana

Ed: I think we're almost there. I just, I was thinking more sort of, you know, loverly lilting words that start with "L." Like this...
La, la, la, la, Love affair

Steve: Uh-ha.

Ed: La, la, la, la, lace

Steve: I see.

Ed: La, la, la, la, lady

Steve: Ahhhhhh!

Ed: La, la, la, la, lights in the sky.

Steve: I got one. You are going to love this one!

Ed: I love it already. Let's hear it.

Steve: Here we go...
La, la, la, LEGAL TROUBLE!

Ed: *Sighs* Listen to me
'Cause, "L" is such a lovely letter
For words like Lady caine and lace
The lines lights up your face
So why not la, la, la, la, laaaaaaaaaaaaah...

Steve: La, la, la, la, laaaaaaah...

Both: ...with me!

La, la, la, la, lines
La, la, la, la, Love affair
La, la, la, la, Lady snow
La, la, la, la, Line cocaine

I Love Counting to the Number Four

Feist's reworking of 1234 for Sesame street has been leaked on YouTube and it makes a seamless transition to a children's song. It reminds me a lot of R.E.M.'s Muppet version of Shiny Happy People. Fun, light stuff.

Anything I Can Do, My Friends Can Do Better

You'd think that being surrounded by such great talent, some of it would rub off on me. Here's a roundup of what some of my friends are up to in culture and online:

Karen Henricks has designed Canada Post's stamp for the 2008 Beijing Olympics. It had never occurred to that there are designers for stamps, but it makes perfect sense to me now. Karen — do you get to go to the Games now?

Nikki Stafford has recently returned from giving a keynote address — Don't You Forget about Buffy: Why Joss Whedon's Masterpiece Captivates Us Still — at an academic conference on Buffy the Vampire Slayer. As the author of books on Buffy, Angel, Lost, Alias, and Xena, she is passionate about TV and has recently penned a great post defending the study of the idiot box.

Another university friend, Richard Gilmore, is part of the photography exhibit 21 Days of Black Rock City until Aug. 3 in Petaluma, CA. Ricky is a fabulous photographer and often shoots fire-dancers. You can see examples of his work here.

Last, but not least, two of my friends have been named to NxE’s Fifty Most Influential ‘Female’ Bloggers list. Amber MacArthur of commandN (among other things) and Rachel Sklar, the editor of Huffington Post's Eat the Press have both deservedly made the grade.

Congrats to all of you!

Olé: The Bored Matador

Bullfighting is a deranged, gratuitously cruel blood sport, but the craziest label is reserved for those who take part in the running of the bulls.

Skittering down a narrow cobblestone street, pursued by a dozen 2,000-pound angry beasts, you pretty much deserve what you get. And this year the bulls are up 13-0, trampling multiple people who don't have the sense to get out of the way. Nobody has been killed so far — the bulls won't be so lucky.

But what caught my attention while putting together a gallery for work was the bored dude leaning against the wall having a smoke as bulls toss runners left and right. His ennui is preternatural.

Art Grand Slam

What does one of the world's top athletes do once they've retired from their sport? Create Jackson Pollock-esque art, of course. Former World No. 1 woman's tennis player Martina Navratilova has created her own spin on painting, serving up paint-soaked tennis balls and firing them at a canvas.