Roundups

Morning Shots: 'The Marriage Ref,' Weekend Box Office, And Mo'Nique

cup of coffee.
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• I don't anticipate having time today to write about the heinous The Marriage Ref, which previewed on NBC last night "after" (actually "in the middle of") the closing ceremonies, so I simply sign on to this entire description. With all the things NBC has done wrong recently and how wearying it has become to write about them, I was actually pleased when, at press tour in January, I kind of enjoyed the panel presentation for this show. Jerry Seinfeld, who created it, and Tom Papa, the host, seemed to have a decent idea and a good comedic take, and I was optimistic that I'd be writing something of the "Don't assume this show is terrible" variety. But it's ... terrible.

In fact, it's so painfully bad that I cannot help but tell you that as I was preparing this post, I learned that Alan Sepinwall and I had both, independently of each other and without discussion, come up with the word "heinous" to describe it. That is serious.

• The Company Town blog has your weekend box office report, where Shutter Island dropped significantly from last weekend, but not enough to keep it from beating the new movies — including Kevin Smith's Cop Out.

• Poet David Alpaugh says, in The Chronicle Of Higher Education, that so many people are now writing poetry that you would never be able to find a good poet if there were one. As always, it is largely the Internet's fault.

More book stuff, and Mo'Nique doesn't work free, after the jump.

• One publisher is so bothered by book discounting that it is trying to stop sellers from displaying any discount prices at which they're selling its books.

• Love this affectionate look at the culture of used bookstores, why they still exist, and why they're interesting. I especially appreciated the moment where the used bookstore owner declines the opportunity to claim that e-readers will kill reading.

• For a significantly more romantic description of attachment to paper books, enjoy this piece in The New York Review Of Books.

• Mo'Nique talks, among other things, about her decision not to do a lot of unpaid work promoting Precious for awards — she's taken a lot of criticism for it, but when you hear a lady explain that she works for a living and expects to be paid when she's doing something that has a partly financial motive and stands to improve the profits for a project that has the backing of Oprah Winfrey and Tyler Perry, it doesn't actually sound that ridiculous. There's something about an actress seeing herself as still a person with a job that seems a little refreshing.

• If you're looking for that NBC good news I was hoping was coming, I will say they're renewing The Sing-Off, which turned out to be very entertaining. If Ben Folds returns as a judge, I'll be there.

• For those keeping score at home, Carly Simon has entirely predictably dismissed the completely unfounded speculating from Friday that "You're So Vain" is about David Geffen. And yes, I am saying I told you so, just slightly.

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