The Week In Culture

Monday, August 22

Given the way people engage with their favorite TV shows these days, AMC is making moves that put it ahead of the curve -- from releasing all of "Mad Men" on Netflix Instant to now starting their first web-based series, "The Trivial Pursuits Of Arthur Banks." The show stars Adam Goldberg as a a successful playwright/director who is working on his latest play, based on his own, messed-up life. His therapist is George Bluth, er Jeffrey Tambor, so if all else fails, you still have a reason to watch. We're betting all else won't fail though. The three-part series is filmed in black and white, and going off on its website, they've spent some time to class it up in both content and delivery. Plus, this is the kicker for the first episode, titled "I Pulled a Polanski": "Playwright Arthur Banks awakes in the bedroom of a girl he suspects is underage. Panicked, he flees out the window and makes a phone call." This is problematic for the obvious reasons, and also because he has a live-in girlfriend. Arthur, what have you done?! Tune in today -- whenever you want -- on or

Tuesday, August 23

Pavement frontman Stephen Malkmus has come out of the woodworks with his band The Jicks for a new album, "Mirror Traffic." Pavement diehards have no doubt been counting down the days for the Beck-produced album, but it's worth the more casual fan counting down this last day and picking up the record tomorrow. If you need convincing, watch his video for "No One Is (As I Are Be)" here.

For all those who boycotted "The Beaver" just because Mel Gibson is in it, you can continue not watching it tomorrow when it comes out on DVD. For those who just missed the "Beaver" boat, hi! Here's what you need to know: It's about a man who forms a second personality through a beaver puppet he found in the trash. Critics were somewhat divided, with a slight tilt in the film's favor. Can you be convinced of this human-beaver relationship? Put that question to rest once and for all on Tuesday.

Friday, August 26

The 1973 ABC made-for-TV film is getting a reboot this Friday with Guillermo del Toro's "Don't Be Afraid of the Dark." His name on the poster is a little deceiving, since he didn't actually direct it, but co-wrote it. The actual director, Troy Nixey, is a comic-book artist with not much in the way of film in his repertoire. We love the underdog, so this makes us more intrigued to see how he fared with the material, and gives us illogical hope that half the film will be an illustrated interpretation. If all else fails, Guy Pearce is in it.

Sunday, August 28

The circus is rolling into town this Sunday. That's right folks, it's VMA time! Gaga is opening, and will perform alongside Adele, Bruno Mars, Chris Brown, Lil Wayne and Young The Giant. Vote now, or forever be OK with Katy Perry beating out The Beastie Boys for best video.