TV | If you can get through the first episode of HATERS BACK OFF! without feeling too weird or depressed or embarrassed for fictional people, you're going to laugh your way through this new Netflix series. Created by comedian/actress/singer Colleen Ballinger, the eight-episode show is based on her viral YouTube character, Miranda Sings, a delusional teenage wannabe pop star whose cluelessness is topped only by her unearned confidence. In the series, Miranda is a homeschooled teen with a hypochondriac mother (the Office's Angela Kinsey) who fuels her daughter's path to fame with the help of an unemployed but arrogant uncle (Eastbound & Down's Steve Little). The show has a Napoleon Dynamite absurdity to it, but things slowly get dark beneath the hilarity in a way I haven't seen done before in a television comedy.
BASKETBALL | For the past several years, a small group of my friends, including myself, will send texts on otherwise boring midwinter nights. "Walton is calling a game on ESPN2," they'll say. I rush to switch the channel when I get these notices, because to hear BILL WALTON call a Pac-12 basketball game is to get a lesson in history, the Grateful Dead discography, weather patterns, English literature and the human brain's capacity to tolerate annoyance (most often, the brain belongs to Walton's broadcasting partner, Dave Pasch). On occasion, Walton, one of the greatest college hoops players of all time, will comment on the game occurring on the floor in front of him, but only in the most hyperbolic of ways. Thankfully, Walton's broadcast schedule can be found on his terrifically outdated website, billwalton.com.
MAGIC | I think of DAVID BLAINE not as a magician, but rather as one of America's greatest athletes. Sure, he can do things with a deck of cards that will make you question your religious beliefs, but Blaine also does insane things with his body. He's stayed underwater for days at a time and been frozen in ice. He's put a spike through his arm. In the recent ABC special David Blaine: Beyond Magic, he decides to catch a bullet in his teeth and find a way for frogs to live in his stomach. Catch the documentary on demand or on Hulu. ♦