week in review

10 Pop-Culture Questions Answered by Vulture This Week

Every week, Vulture faces the big, important questions in entertainment and comes to some creative conclusions. This week, we evaluated the artistic merits of Kanye’s new music video, translated some Ja’mie slang, and defended The Food Network (sort of). You may have read some of these stories below, but you certainly didn’t read them all. We forgive you.

Q: What did Jerry Saltz think of Kanye’s new music video for “Bound 2”?
Saltz thinks it represents a sensibility he calls the New Uncanny. He elaborates by writing, “’Bound 2’ tells me that empirical observation, obsessive introspection, creativity, cravenness, ego, and id are combining in new uncanny ways, and that a segment of the population that has the means to embrace this total merging is evolving in strange ways.” Translation: awesomesauce. 

Q: What did you think of James Franco and Seth Rogen’s parody video, “Bound 3”?
Jody Rosen puts their parody this way: “It’s not a joke; it’s the equivalent of a guy explicating the punch line of the ‘Why did the chicken cross the road?’ joke for four minutes twenty seconds.”

Q: How is American Hustle?
There is still an embargo on reviews, but Kyle Buchanan suspects that the film will be an Oscar contender. Oh right, and Amy Adams and J-Law kiss. We know that’s all you really wanted to know.

Q: I don’t understand some of the things that Ja’mie is saying on Jai’me: Private School Girl. Can you explain it to me?
Ugh, you’re such a bogan.

Q: How did the Food Network become so bad?
Jesse David Fox writes that the Food Network broke in a new generation of “foodies,” but instead of following that trajectory, they took a step backward. But now, he finds himself enjoying the channel again. He writes, “Like a diner meal, I forget each bite as soon as it’s chewed; the sustenance comes simply from being in a setting at which I can zone out and then leave feeling strangely relaxed, even if I’m not sure why.”

Q: Isn’t this thing where Will Ferrell is going around as Ron Burgundy getting a bit annoying?
A: Maybe if you have read about just one or two or three of his events plugging Anchorman 2 in character. But when you take into account how many times he’s done it this year, it becomes a very committed performance.

Q: Is Homeland absolutely ridiculous this season, or is it just me?
A: Critic Matt Zoller Seitz is kind of with you — as a result of season three, he is now calling Homeland the smartest and dumbest cable TV drama he’s ever seen.

Q: How much changed between the original, Korean version of Oldboy and the new, Spike Leedirected version?
A: Several things, though the main story remains pretty much the same.

Q: Where have past Daily Show correspondents ended up?
A: Some have become TV and movie stars in their own rights. And then there are the others.

Q: Is Peeta kind of a mess in The Hunger Games: Catching Fire?
A: Yes. Yes he is.

The Week in Vulture: November 25–November 29