Pop culture from Southern California and beyond.

The Roundup: 'Community' returns, 'Frozen Planet' premieres, Web series & more

"Frozen Planet"

Discovery Networks

This Sunday at 8pm, Discovery premieres its beautiful new series, "Frozen Planet"

The big news in TV this week is the return of "Community," the little show that could, to NBC this Thursday [*Update: Comedy Central has announced that they will begin airing reruns of "Community" in 2013 - also on Comedy Central this week is the return of "South Park," but perhaps more importantly, "Ugly Americans," beautifully drawn, surreal, and brilliantly funny, Wednesday at 10:30pm]. Sunday, Discovery launches its spectacular new series, "Frozen Planet," at 8pm. This is another beautifully shot show exploring the nature of the colder parts of our planet, both above and below the surface. Kind of ironic that this show hits the screens on the tail end of one of the warmest winters on record in North America. Sunday also brings the season finale of AMC's "The Walking Dead," a must watch, although it might be difficult to top the episode from two nights ago which had major developments.


Improv Everywhere takes over TED Conference

Improv Everywhere

Improv Anywhere performance at TED2012: Full Spectrum, February 27 - March 2, 2012. Long Beach, CA.

Improv Everywhere

Improv Anywhere performance at TED2012: Full Spectrum, February 27 - March 2, 2012. Long Beach, CA.

James Duncan Davidson/Improv Everywhere

Improv Anywhere performance at TED2012: Full Spectrum, February 27 - March 2, 2012. Long Beach, CA.

In a talk about the unexpected at the Long Beach Performing Arts Center, something apparently goes awry. Horribly, awfully, wonderfully awry.

In actuality, that's not Colin Robertson but a hero to this improv nerd right here, Mr. Eugene Cordero, who you may have seen popping up here and there, including cameos on shows like "The Office." He also performs regularly at L.A.'s Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre.

"Robertson" was introduced as "a futurist whose startup has discovered how crowd sourcing solar panel technology innovations can lead us to a new paradigm for health care reform," which the group behind it labels in a behind-the-scenes article as "basically nonsense, but nonsense that sounds interesting and innovative at first glance."

The video apparently is edited to make it slightly less awkward, as the original talk featured even more awful "OH MY GOD I FEEL SO BAD FOR THIS GUY" coursing through the audience.


The Roundup: What to DVR, listen to, go see live and buy

Today I'm unveiling an abridged version of what will be a column devoted to TV and related entertainment programming, media, and events. I've been a member of the Television Critics Association for 3 years and have been writing about TV and media for 6 years, mostly at LAist.com, BostonMagazine.com and now here at KPCC. Although I'll be referencing plenty of pop culture I tend to be a cheerleader for non-broadcast TV shows as those shows already have plenty of viewers and column-inches devoted to them every day, with the exception of comedies. This column will not be a regurgitation of the PBS programming schedule; this column will not include recaps although it may occasionally include "spoilers" which will always be precluded by a bold-italicized Spoiler Alert warning; this column will not be covering "reality" or "contest" shows unless to reference them in terms of the business of television; this column will attempt to include humor at every turn and a love of comedy will permeate the column to a ratio not-reflective of television as a whole.


Vin Scully on why he wants to work forever and touring Santa Monica and Venice Beach with comedian Bill Burr

Tom Lewis/KPCC

Comedian Bill Burr gives a tour of Santa Monica


New sketch comedy show 'Key & Peele' taping this week in LA

Key & Peele

Comedy Central's launching a new sketch show later this month called "Key & Peele," and they're taping in-studio segments today through Friday here in Los Angeles at the Nate Holden Theater.

The stars, Jordan Peele and Keegan-Michael Key, were both cast members on Mad TV. Peele also did a series of popular videos impersonating President Barack Obama.

In an interesting sign of where race is at today, after some of the usual boring meaninglessness of press materials, the official hype ends by noting that both men are biracial and saying that the show will reflect that point of view.

One of the show's executive producers is Ian Roberts, perhaps best known for his work with the Upright Citizens Brigade.

You can still get tickets to the "Key & Peele" tapings by going here; they're taping two episodes a day through Friday.