Friday Five – Haley

1. The Hunger Games in Entertainment Weekly

A friend of mine recommended the Hunger Games series to me sometime last year and then let me borrow her copies to ensure that I actually read them. The premise is unbelievable and pretty hard to make sound appealing, but once you’re a quarter of the way into the first book, you’re hooked. I’m really looking forward to the movie, but wasn’t sure about the casting of the two lead male characters. I’m not the biggest Liam Hemsworth fan (I mean, really? His biggest role has been as Miley Cyrus’ real-life boyfriend.) And I liked Josh Hutcherson in The Kids Are All Right, but could he really do justice to the role of Peeta? Obviously these things are still up in the air – but from the looks of these images, they are both going to nail it.

2. Falling Skies on TNT

Let’s be honest for a second. Summer television isn’t great. However, in the past few years networks and cable channels have both tried to take advantage of the lack of quality scripted programming during the summer months by creating original television shows with “mini-seasons”. The great thing about this is that a) episodes are new each week and b) if the show does well in the summer, it’s likely to get picked up for a full season. This year, TNT teamed up with Executive Producer, Steven Spielberg to deliver a twist on the standard alien invasion genre. And it’s good. Plus, bonus points for casting Noah Wyle! The season finale is this Sunday, but you can catch up on recent episodes on TNT.

3. Friends with Benefits (the television show)

I know what you’re thinking. That you’ve never heard of this. Well, that makes sense. An addendum to the idea that summer is a launching pad for new series, it also has the potential to be the dumping ground for shows that were never put on the schedule during the regular television season. (Case in point: Love Bites.) I remember reading about Friends with Benefits around this time last year when the networks announced their new shows, but since there was an influx of Friends-wannabe half-hour comedies this past season, I’m not surprised it never made it on the schedule. I haven’t even seen previews of the show, but it stars Veronica Mars and Party Down alum, Ryan Hansen – and that’s enough for me. It premieres tonight on NBC.

4. Horrible Bosses

I know, I know. It’s been out for a while. But it’s the funniest R-rated comedy that I’ve seen all summer – and that deserves a place on my list. (And yes, I saw Bridesmaids and The Hangover Part II.) You know the premise, so I won’t waste my time recapping. Let me just offer this. Much has been said about the horrible bosses – Kevin Spacey, Colin Farrell and Jennifer Aniston. But, to me it’s the the three leads and their hijinks (Jason Bateman, Jason Sudeikis and Charlie Day) that make me want to pay to see this again. (But yeah, this is actually Aniston’s best role in years. And you can tell she knows that.)

5. Grantland.com

I tweeted this last week: “Grantland.com is making pop culture seem intelligent. And honestly? Pop culture intelligence is my favorite kind.”

Grantland is a website started by ESPN reporter and podcast host extraordinaire, Bill Simmons. I’ve listened to Bill’s podcast for a while now and was excited for him to launch this website. Its contributors include Chuck Klosterman, who is of my favorite authors. The section that I spend most of my time in is Hollywood Prospectus. What I mean about it making pop culture intelligent, is that many of the contributors use really big words when talking about The Bachelorette. What I love about this website is that it combines two of my favorite things: pop culture and sounding smart. Here are links to some of my favorite posts:

JT, Madonna and the Pop Star as Comedian
Bury the Lead: Colin Farrell Comes Out as a Character Actor
The Movie Star

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Haley Bragg loves, reading, writing and arithmetic-ing. Except for that last bit about math. She is a leading actress in the movies that play inside of her head, but you wouldn’t have seen those. You can follow her on Twitter or be her friend on Facebook, and sending her money would definitely put you on the fast track to best friendship. Read more posts from Haley.


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