Here are the week's best releases from the pop culture universe
DVD: American Dad: Volume Two
Family Guy creators' other TV show about a frazzled father and his brood looks similar: Talking goldfish Klaus replaces talking dog Brian, and smartass alien Roger fills in for smartass baby Stewie. But the jokes are more political here. The three-disc set includes 19 episodes about terrorists, anti-gun zealots, and Hollywood liberals. Commentaries, deleted scenes, and making-of featurettes round out the bonus material.
Still soaring from the just-wrapped yearlong 52 series, DC's new narrative travels a parallel route. Only this time, the weekly issues unfold backward, concluding with No. 0 in May 2008. A large cast of characters (including Superman, Wonder Woman, and pretty much every superhero to ever grace a DC comic) and complex storylines are nothing new for writer Paul Dini—he's penned episodes of TV's Lost.
TV: Creature Comforts
This American version of the hit Brit show shares creators Nick Park and Aardman Animations, the team behind Wallace and Gromit. The stop-motion animation is wonderfully old-school, and the bits—featuring animals that act an awful lot like humans—are frequently funny observations on everything from love to food. It premieres at 8:00 p.m. Monday on CBS.
BOOK: My So-Called Punk: Green Day, Fall Out Boy, the Distillers, Bad Religion—How Neo-Punk Stage-Dived into the Mainstream
Matt Diehl's history of contemporary punk probes all the things purists rail against: Grammy awards, major labels, corporate sponsorship. But it also gives readers a pretty good idea why the music rose from the underground and became such a surefire commodity. Hint: Teens dig emo.
VIDEO GAME: Spider-Man 3
This movie tie-in (for pretty much every console and portable under the sun) scours New York City—including its subways and skyscrapers—for action. And it features a bunch of new tricks, especially when gamers play as black-suited Spidey. The game follows the film's story, so Sandman, Venom, and the New Goblin are all available for beatdowns. Plus, the web-slingin' side missions are a whole lotta fun.
COURTESY FLUSH, PLEASE: Tyler Perry's House of Payne
Perry—the cross-dressing mastermind behind such big-screen drivel as Diary of a Mad Black Woman—created this moralizing TV show about a bustling household headed by an Atlanta fireman. (It premieres at 9:00 p.m. Wednesday on TBS.) Lots of wisecracking family members drop by. So do many black stereotypes. Payneful indeed.
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