Cultural News Bytes

A Look at the news of Today in Short Form

Television

A little memo to the CW: I appreciate you renewing Veronica Mars, but I really wish you’d stop piling on the obstacles to the show getting a fourth season.

“Reality series Pussycat Dolls Present: The Search for the Next Doll, in which nine women compete for a spot on the hit singing group, will air for eight weeks starting March 6, Tuesdays at 9 ET/PT. Veronica Mars, which now airs in that spot, will take a breather then return for five non-serialized episodes — a first for that series — to finish out the season.”

Now, we knew the hiatus would be happening, but the “non-serialized” part scares me. I think the show can work without a serial plot, but I’m going to look in the direction of Alias on this one. Its fourth season was designed to be less serial, and it suffered greatly for it. I really hope that they at least apply enough personal drama to make the episodes work individually, and it should be an interesting challenge, but it’s clear that the network is not entirely behind the show. They already cut the episode order to 20 from 22, and now they’re testing out to see if it’s the serial nature of the show that’s the problem. Let’s hope, whatever happens, it survives.

(Also of note: Worst. Reality. Show. Ever. And I have no idea how they think it’s going to survive out of the Gilmore Girls lead-in,)

Box Office Update

Wooo! Man, my first weekend taking a stab at box office predictions and I don’t do half bad.

Friday Box Office Estimates (c/o BoxOfficeMojo.com)

  1. 1. Stomp the Yard – $3.75 Million
  2. 2. Night at the Museum – $3.050 Million
  3. 3. The Hitcher – $2.8 Million
  4. 4. Dreamgirls – $2.25 Million
  5. 5. The Pursuit of Happyness – $1.93 Million

None of the major box officer predictors were putting Stomp the Yard in the #1 spot, so go me! The Hitcher just wasn’t resonating with audiences in my mind, and I felt that Stomp the Yard would follow the lead of films like ‘Step Up’ and continue to perform well over multiple weekends. My predictions will likely be a tad bit too high for The Hitcher, but my placement should be fine.

As far as limited releases go, Pan’s Labyrinth performed extremely well in limited release with $1.3 Million. I really need to get out and see that, especially since Meryl Streep liked it.

Video Games

Quick note on Wario Ware: Smooth Moves (Wii) that just came out this week. I spent some time with Lucas’ copy on Wednesday, and “beat” the game in about 4 hours.

I’m glad I didn’t buy it, in the end. I think it’s a whole lot of fun, contains some moments of brilliant game design, but there just isn’t enough here. I am hideously disappointed in multiplayer, also. They killed Survival: One miss and you’re out? What the hell is that? It kills any chance of casuals getting into the game any further, and even the Lifeline mode that allows everyone to play never gets as hectic and the “winner” is quite random.

Speaking of which, where the frack are my stats? Does Nintendo have something against competition here, if they’re seriously not letting us keep our stats of how often we win in multiplayer?

The single player was solid, definitely quiet ingenious (The Dancing is every bit as amazing as YouTube promised), but nothing that got my overly excited. But really, compared to MegaParty Games, there isn’t enough depth to multiplayer (Although Bungie Buddies is a lot of fun). You have to have people of comparable skill level for Bomb/Balloon/Survival to work, and that just isn’t possible in a party game.

A little underwhelmed overall, but it’s definitely something I’ll go back to for multiplayer when people are around and Lucas is willing to part with it. It represents a solid step towards solid Wiimote functions, and I think it is therefore a solid addition to the Wii Lineup.

However, to get back to that dancing video, let’s head to YouTube to check it out. You play as the dancer in the back, and you have to follow all of the dance moves involved. Yes, all of them. It is insanely fun. And totally ridiculous.

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Filed under Box Office, Cinema, Television, Veronica Mars

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