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Which 2011 TV episodes are still on your DVR?

If you have a DVR, odds are you know the pain of returning from a vacation and discovering that it didn’t have enough space to record all your shows (especially if you tape HD channels, which take up more room). Once you’ve been burned, you become a lot more selective with the episodes you save after watching them.

So, which previously viewed 2011 episodes made your cut? I’m still holding on to Justified‘s May season 2 finale “Bloody Harlan.” (I’ve also still got its June 2010 season 1 finale “Bulletville” saved, incidentally.) In addition, I haven’t yet been able to part with Parks and Recreation‘s “The Trial of Leslie Knope” because of the recounts of Ben’s meeting with Chris (“That was beautiful, I’m literally crying and jumping” — so much funnier than if we’d actually seen him doing it) and Leslie annoyingly reopening the official record (’tis the season for a romantic snow scene).

Your turn.  READ FULL STORY

Spot Inspection: What TV show are you self-marathoning?

If you’ve been on Twitter in the last week, odds are your feed had multiple people tweeting about the TV shows they were self-marathoning. With repeats filling the current TV schedule, vacation days to burn, and a need for a break from relatives, it seems an ideal time to catch up on shows you missed or revisit ones you loved. Because we forecast this trend to continue through Jan. 2, let’s just get go ahead and get it all out here, folks. Spot Inspection: What TV show are you marathoning?

I know I wasn’t the only one hitting Friday Night Lights last week. (Thank you, Netflix.) After seeing back-to-back Taylor Kitsch trailers for John Carter and Battleship in theaters, I decided I needed to properly mourn the cutting of Kitsch’s hair for the latter. I also needed to come to terms with the fact that the FNL character I most resembled in high school was not a leading lady but Julie’s friend Lois, the one who, after Julie recounts how Kitsch’s Tim Riggins shielded her during a tornado in season 2, asks, “Tim Riggins was, like, holding you? … What does he smell like?”*

Your turn.

*If you follow me on Twitter, you already knew that.

PopWatch Confessional: What's the most ridiculous gift you received for Christmas this year?

Christmas-Story-bunny

Aside from the off-chance you received a gift as (intentionally) awful as the ones these poor kids did on account of one unseasonably cruel Jimmy Kimmel, there was bound to be at least one ridiculous present that wound up under your tree this year. (Unless, of course, you somehow know perfect gift-giver Leslie Knope.) READ FULL STORY

PopWatch Confessional: What is the oldest working piece of technology at your parent's house?

Every year, I become more and more fascinated by my parent’s house. It’s like walking into a time capsule of technology. And I’m not talking about cool, retro technology, like record players and classic Nintendo consoles. I’m talking about the dorky stuff. Stuff so bad and useless that even junk-hoarding monsters who troll eBay for nonspecific reasons don’t want it.

I’ll admit, my parents have done a lot of cleaning in the past year. The oldest piece of obsolete tech now is their VCR, and I’m sort of glad it’s there. How else would I watch all the crap I have recorded on VHS tapes that I don’t yet own on DVD? (Tiny Toons’ How I Spent My Summer Vacation, I’m looking at you.) And, in the event of a DVR death, it still records episodes of Modern Family and True Blood via timer.

But a few years ago, you would have found a giant “Macintosh” computer that only typed in chunky green text, a working dot-matrix printer, and a Zack Morris-style cell phone that, if charged, was still somewhat operational. Two of the three were in regular use by my father, the “…but it still works” man. Don’t ask me how. (Is it because technology was more durable back then? Or do parents have this magical power to make the oldest junk last forever? I’ll never know for sure.)

Truth be told, I sort of love this living-history aspect of their house — it’s a reminder of how far we’ve come as a tech-consuming society. And a reminder of a simpler time when Tamagotchis, not Farmville, ruled, and when McDonald’s chicken nuggets weren’t “all white meat.” (Also, when the ancient computer worked, I really loved playing old, blocky-looking computer games — even though they took a half hour to load.)

What about you, Popwatchers? Are your parents’ houses filled with still-working technology of yesteryears? If so, does any of it still work? And do you still use it?

Follow Sandra on Twitter: @EWSandraG

PopWatch Confessional: I watch 'shipper fan videos. Which are your favorites?

It’s not a cool thing to admit. At all. But in the spirit of PopWatch’s sacred Confessionals, I have to admit: I’ve spent a lot of time watching fan videos on YouTube lately.

This is far from a recent development. I’ve watched many ‘shipper (relationship + supporter = ‘shipper) videos in the past, but I just had a few days off recently that were spent largely following a trail of videos after my friend sent me a great one about How I Met Your Mother‘s Barney and Robin.

Once upon a time, I had an entire playlist dedicated to fan videos, but after that account was closed, I lost my comprehensive — and, frankly, dated — selections and never had the time to start it up again. I started a new one this past weekend after coming across several I loved.

That’s not meant to sound like I have that many favorites. In fact, there’s a lot of crap out there. And I don’t feel bad saying that. I saw some Booth and Bones videos set to Enrique Iglesias’s “Hero” that I refuse to admit actually exist, and am totally amazed at how many people still think “Kiss Me” is still the most romantic song ever made. But there is small, select collection with remarkably fine editing work — both in terms of clip and music selection. Bonus points go to those who find a way to incorporate dialogue or moments. And the supreme fan-vid editors can make you cry. Yes, actual waterworks.

That didn’t happen but once during my recent excursion into the world of fan videos, and yes, I felt like a corny idiot. Then I pressed “replay.”

Judge me if you will; I won’t blame you. But if you’re so inclined, share or talk about some of your favorites below. Here are a few of mine: READ FULL STORY

PopWatch Confessional: Do you read the book before you see the movie? Or after?

I must admit, PopWatchers, I broke one of the cardinal sins of the great moviegoing experiences. (And no, I don’t mean passing up on getting Sno Caps at the concession stand, because I definitely did that.) Nay, I saw the movie before reading the book. In fact, I intentionally skipped out on reading said book (for the record, it’s The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo) as I wanted to go into the movie without having unreasonably high expectations that could be shattered. (Case in point: I’m going into Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close with the knowledge that I’ll be let down in one way or another thanks to my admiration of Jonathan Safran Foer’s near-perfect 2005 novel. You’d think I’d have learned my lesson with The Lovely Bones debacle of 2009.) READ FULL STORY

'Young Adult': Is it wrong to relate to Charlize Theron's horrible character?

Phillip V. Caruso

So, I loooooved Jason Reitman’s Young Adult, which opened wide this weekend. Charlize Theron gave the performance of her career and the fantastically bleak script by Diablo Cody may even be better than her work on Juno. More so, I relished seeing such a complicated character study. There’s no redemption for Theron’s young adult author Mavis Gary. She doesn’t turn a corner or have the standard movie-plot revelation that she’s a truly vile human being and must change her ways. For me, that was an awesomely brave twist.

But as I walked out of the theater, the lingering thought in my head was, “Wow. That character was a real beast… and I kinda relate to her!” READ FULL STORY

Celebrity PopWatch Confessional: For a big guy, I cry a lot at the movies

I confess: I find myself getting more and more emotional during particular movies. Sometimes I’ve even hidden tears: from dates, family members, friends. If I’m watching Star Wars with a male friend and he sees a tear running down my cheek when Han Solo returns at the end to help Luke destroy the Death Star, how am I going to live that down? Like that’s not going to be brought up at every possible occasion. Real men don’t get misty eyed at that stuff. I bet John Wayne never welled up watching Gone With the Wind and had to tell his buddies he had something in his eye.

I was warned that I would get emotional during the beginning of Up and I thought, “I’m going to fight it. I’m not going to be manipulated.” I was welling up within 10 minutes. It happened on a date during Toy Story 3. The boy gave up his toys and that got me. We’d only just sat down. I’d heard it was a dark movie and later, when it looks like all the toys are going to be incinerated, I genuinely thought they were going to get it. I was thinking, “I cannot believe what I’m seeing. They are going to kill off these lovable toys in a Disney movie.” I was gob-smacked. I had to lift up my 3-D glasses so I wouldn’t see the tragedy as clearly when it happened. Then when they were saved, I had to put the glasses back on to mask my tears. That’s one good thing about the movies: at least it’s dark in there. READ FULL STORY

PopWatch Confessional: When has TV been a good icebreaker for you?

You’ve got to love this story: Renowned legal and political brain Alan Dershowitz recently sent the Curb Your Enthusiasm episode “Palestinian Chicken” to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu along with the suggestion that he invite Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas over to watch it, have a good laugh together, and begin negotiations. “I know that Netanyahu has received the DVD, and he was looking forward to watching it,” Dershowitz told The Current. “So it may be that Larry David will not only win Emmys, but he may even qualify for the Nobel Peace Prize, if his episode could bring together Netanyahu and Abbas, and bring Abbas to the negotiating table.”

Of course, none of us can compete with the potential of that, but I suspect we, the little entertainment-obsessed people, have all used our love of TV to spur conversation in awkward situations. READ FULL STORY

Is going to the movies on Thanksgiving as much a tradition for you as turkey and awkward family banter?

The best part of Thanksgiving (aside, of course, from all the food… glorious food) are all those little traditions we have. An annual viewing of A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving or a blurry-eyed trek (thanks for nothing, tryptophan) to your local mall at the stroke of midnight for Black Friday can be as comforting and important as the meaning of the holiday itself.

For instance, on Thanksgiving, I will inevitably sleep through the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade despite my best efforts not to (there were some exceptionally cool balloons this year!), eat until I require a pair of Thanksgiving pants, and head to the movies with my best friend right after we’ve recovered from the desert portion of the holiday glutton-fest. It’s as certain as death and taxes, PopWatchers. READ FULL STORY

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