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It’s Fall. Time to Answer the Big Question

15 Sep

entertainment-weekly-fall-tv-preview-2014I wish I could say it feels like yesterday since the last TV season ended, but the truth is, it feels like many months have passed since I last saw folks like Alicia Florrick, Schmidt, Mindy Lahiri, and Kevin “Mr. Wonderful” O’Leary.

What’s going to happen to them this season? Will Amanda Clarke stay on course after she learns her father is very much alive? Will Jessica Lange’s character on American Horror Story this year be more over the top than the ones she’s played in years past? Where will the Amazing Racers go? And what stories will Will McAvoy report on now?

These questions and many others will be answered in a few days’ time. Hooray! Continue reading

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A Couch Potato’s Worst Nightmare

10 Sep

Entertainment Weekly’s annual Fall TV Preview issue is out, and that can only mean one thing: It’s time to set up my DVR so I don’t miss out on any of the new TV hitting airwaves over the course of the next month or so.

Every year I get the issue and I become interested in watching many of the new and returning shows. (Not that I needed the issue to tell me I was interested, but having them all in front of me like that solidifies my interest.) It’s like Christmas for a TV fan like me.

But it’s also a challenge because there’s not enough room on my DVR and not enough hours in the day to watch all these shows — especially if I actually want to have a life outside my apartment, which I do.

So my solution is simple: I have a three-strikes rule. I’ll do my best to watch what I want to, and if I get three episodes behind on any one show, I stop trying to watch it. That seems to work just fine. And it doesn’t take very long to pick out the good shows and the bad ones, the ones I should make time for and the ones I should give up on.

This year, I may need to apply that rule more readily, what with seven shows I have slated to watch on Tuesday nights alone.

So … what shows are on my must-watch list this year? To continue my annual tradition, here’s a list of what I’m looking forward to this fall: Continue reading

Happy Birthday, EW!

27 Feb

In the new issue of Entertainment Weekly, which hit newsstands and my mailbox yesterday, Managing Editor Jess Cagle notes in his editor’s letter that the magazine celebrated its 20th birthday this month.

It’s a significant milestone, and even though my only connection to the magazine is as a reader, I still feel like celebrating.

In fact, I’ve been an EW reader since that very first issue in February 1990, and have read every single issue mostly cover-to-cover (all 1,092 of them).

During these 20 years, I’ve spent some summers away from home, and I changed my address or bought duplicate copies during those times so I could stay in the loop and wouldn’t miss anything. At one point, about 10 years ago, when I was in my hoarding days, I had actually saved every issue of the magazine, and the day my parents asked me to get rid of them (i.e.: to throw them out) because they were selling their house and couldn’t lift the heavy boxes, was a real bummer. Continue reading

One Degree Closer?

7 Jun

I was reading the new issue of Entertainment Weekly this weekend, and in a Q&A with actress Kyra Sedgwick, who is, of course, married to Kevin Bacon, I saw this exchange:

Do you pay attention to your press?
My husband is a Google Alert guy. He has one on himself and me. I’m like, Dude, I don’t want to know what people are saying.

So I just wanted to test that out. If you’re reading this, Kevin or Kyra … Hi there! How’s it going?

Still My Favorite, Week After Week

23 Jun

Entertainment Weekly is out this week with its 1,000th issue.

It’s a double issue, so it’s really the 999th and 1,000th, but the point is, EW has put out that many issues.

And what I think is pretty cool is that I’ve read every single one of them just about cover to cover.

Until last year, I didn’t read many books, but I certainly did read magazines, and since its first issue in 1990, EW has been my bible. Continue reading

Under Pressure

24 Jun

One thing I’ve come to really like about traveling is that it gives me a couple hours to get deep into whatever book I’m reading.

(Yeah, look at me, turning into a regular bookworm.)

This weekend I flew to New York for my second cousin’s bris, and by the time I landed back in Boston Sunday night, I was more than halfway done with my new book, Cabin Pressure, by Josh Wolk. Continue reading

Yaaaaaaaay A.J.!

1 Oct

For as long as I’ve been an active reader of magazines, I’ve been a fan of A.J. Jacobs. As far as magazine writers go, he’s one of the best.

I first became aware of A.J. when he was a writer for Entertainment Weekly. A.J. would write some of the funniest articles EW published, including one where he spent, if I remember correctly, 24 hours watching TV and documented the experience. (Something like that.) Long story short, when I went for a job interview at EW in the summer of 1996, part of my excitement came from the fact that I might get the chance to meet A.J. On my way out of the office, after blowing my chance to work for my favorite magazine (one of the worst job interviews I’ve ever given), I passed by his office. The door was closed. Oh well.

A.J.’s made quite a career for himself. He is now an editor at Esquire and he’s kept on writing some of these stunty-type articles. A month or two ago, he outsourced his life by hiring two assistants in India, and turned that into a great article. And actually, he turned one of his ideas into a whole book: The Know-It-All: One Man’s Humble Quest to Become the Smartest Person in the World, which came out about a year ago and is now available in paperback. It’s a great, very funny book — and I don’t just say that because I got to interview A.J. (!) and he told me it was. It’s an easy, quick read and I highly recommend it. (You can read an excerpt of the book here.)

Anyway, A.J.’s at it again. According to CNet, he’s written a story about Wikipedia, the online encyclopedia that invites readers to post entries and edit others. Call it “the people’s encyclopedia.” Essentially, since the theory is that the Wikipedia readers can collectively rid the site of errors better than a small group of editors could, A.J. thought he’d put his story — which intentionally included a bunch of mistakes about the site — on Wikipedia and see what happened. Brilliant. I love it. This is classic A.J. Jacobs.

The story is going to appear in Esquire‘s December issue. You can get a good idea of its final version by clicking here. Good stuff. Check it out. And hey, help a brother out by buying his book next time you’re in your favorite book store.