The Week In Entertainment, Vol. 33We discuss the songs, shows, flicks, and videos that caught our attention over the past seven days

This week, Japandroids usher in the summer months with an upbeat new single; a flute-wielding Ron Burgundy resurfaces on Conan; TBS foolishly resurrects an ’80s favorite; and the NYPD find a new way to look stupid. 

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Cigarettes & Sentimentalism: Mad Men Season 5 PreviewWelcome back to the '60s

BEFORE YOU READ THIS, you should know that I’m a pretty skeptical person. I’m the guy who subtweets insults at the #Kony2012 campaign and expects to see Tim Tebow on TMZ. Once a particular topic reaches the saturation point (townies are talking about it on Facebook), consider me a lost cause. Don’t even get me started on The Hunger Games.

I mention all of this for two reasons. First, I was latecomer to the Mad Men bandwagon. The first four seasons of the critically acclaimed series managed to fly under my radar, mostly because I had heard “you just NEED to watch this!” so many times. Eventually, the positive reviews and the show’s premise overruled my cynicism. Second, after multiple viewings of every episode, Mad Men revealed itself as that rarest of all commodities: a cultural phenomenon that lives up to the hype. I was blown away by the unwavering quality and depth of every character, every storyline.

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The Week In Entertainment, Vol. 32We discuss the songs, shows, flicks, and videos that caught our attention over the past seven days

This week, Mastodon and Feist trade tunes; two of the percussion world’s biggest badasses finally collide; a new take on Snow White looks to revive the fairytale genre; the American Pie gang return for one last slice; Aziz Ansari’s latest special feels a little too familiar; and Nick Offerman takes us on a tour of his undeniably manly woodworking shop.

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The Depths of Madness: Sweet 16After a crazy opening weekend, Justin Tasch looks ahead to the next action-packed round

Who's Elite?

WHO ELSE IS staring a hole through their bracket and seeing red?

The first weekend of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship was electrifying and unpredictable. Basically par for the course as far as the competition is concerned. This particular tournament featured a pair of history-making upsets that undoubtedly had people lighting fire to their brackets as if they were No. 23 Cavaliers jerseys.

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The Famished Gentleman: Grandma’s Carrot Fried RiceA delicious, hearty concoction of stir-fried goodness

IS THERE ANYTHING more evocative, delightful, or comforting than the smell of a beloved home-cooked meal?

Whenever my mum makes her mother’s signature fried rice, a single whiff of its sweet, fragrant scent and suddenly I’m six years old, sitting at the large circular dining table in my grandmother’s house in Singapore. My legs dangle from an ornate wooden chair, my toes barely grazing the cool marble floor below. I can hear my grandmother’s voice coming from the kitchen next door; she’s speaking in Hokkien to my mum, in Malay to the housekeeper helping her cook. I’m hungry from a day of running around in the midsummer humidity, and break into a wide grin when my grandmother emerges with the huge platter of her rice, my favorite dish. It’s difficult for us to communicate—she speaks little English, my Chinese is non-existent—but every bite, every heaping spoonful, is filled with her love and affection.

The farther I get from my childhood, the memory seems to only grow more vivid, and my love for the fried rice remains stronger than ever. It’s simple, hearty and flavorful, packed with an abundance of succulent, tender chicken and thinly sliced carrots. Nostalgia tends to favorably skew one’s judgment, but in this case, I can guarantee you’ll enjoy this dish as much as I did growing up.

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