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Sunday, Dec 21, 2014

Pop Rocks

A pop culture blog

Get a daily dose of crackling commentary from the minds at TBO.com and The Tampa Tribune on the things that seem to matter most to somebody or they wouldn’t be so darn popular.

Pop Rocks: ‘American Horror Story’ disses Tampa, but loves St. Pete’s snacks

Published:   |   Updated: December 16, 2014 at 02:48 PM
By Christopher Spata

We knew there would be plenty of Florida references with FX’s “American Horror Story: Freak Show” being set in Jupiter, but we didn’t know Tampa would get dissed so hard by one of the series’ main characters.

As you can see in the video above, shady freak show proprietor Elsa Mars (Jessica Lange) revealed she’d rather die than visit our city in the episode “Blood Bath” after saying she’d considered sending the conjoined twins played by Sarah Paulson to Tampa (and yes, we know this episode aired Dec. 3, but some of us have some DVRing to catch up on, OK).

The show’s characters don’t totally slam the Tampa Bay area, though. While throwing an adult fit in front of his mother in Episode 2, murderous rich-boy “Dandy” threatens to run off to “St. Petersburg, where they have real caramel corn, not that cardboard they sell at the freak show.”

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Pop Rocks: Is CMT’s ‘Party Down South’ partying in Tampa?

Published:   |   Updated: December 16, 2014 at 01:09 PM
By Christopher Spata

If you haven’t seen the CMT reality series “Party Down South,” the quickest way to sum it up is “Jersey Shore” with sweet tea.

Created by the same producers that taught us what a Snooki was, eight adults are thrown together with beer-funneling, love triangle-ing, day drinking, shirtless outside-the-bar drama, male tramp-stamp tattoos, catfish kissing, a guy named “Daddy” and lots of general sloppiness. But it’s the “South,” so the “Jersey Shore”’s neon tank tops are traded in for camouflage, and there are ATVs, boats and mud.

It’s a tried and true formula that has scored CMT its biggest hit series ever, and it looks like Season 3, premiering in February, might be set in the Tampa area. It’s worth mentioning that Pensacola sent the show packing for Athens, Ga. after a community outcry over the show being set there.

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Most popular baby names of 2014 familiar to Netflix, ‘Frozen’ fans

Published:   |   Updated: December 2, 2014 at 04:15 PM
By Christopher Spata

Babycenter.com released its annual top baby names of the year list this week, and it looks like many of 2014’s new parents are fans of Netflix, baseball and the Disney blockbuster “Frozen.”

Piper, the name of the main character on Netflix’s women’s prison dramedy “Orange Is The New Black” broke into the list of top 100 girls names at No. 68, up 28 percent from last year, while Alex, the name of Piper’s best frenemy on the series, landed at No. 72, a 16 percent jump.

“Frozen”’s reach extended to girls and boys, with Elsa jumping 29 percent, while Hans, the name of the film’s villain, jumped 19 percent in boy names.

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MTV reality show 'Growing Up Greek' filmed in Tarpon Springs

Published:   |   Updated: December 2, 2014 at 10:13 AM
By Christopher Spata

Is this the Gulf Coast or the Jersey Shore?

You could be forgiven for confusing the two after watching the trailer for “Growing Up Greek,” a 30-minute MTV reality special that was produced in Tarpon Springs.

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No tickets needed to see One Direction in Orlando

By Christopher Spata

If you couldn’t score those pricey tickets to see One Direction in Tampa last month, it may be worth taking a drive down Interstate 4 on Monday (just follow the screams, if you’re not sure how to get there).

The boy band is scheduled to perform at Universal Orlando Resort’s CityWalk as promotion for its new album, “Four,” the Orlando Sentinel reported. The group will perform as part of a dual, live broadcast on NBC’s “Today” show and Telemundo’s “Un Nuevo Dia.”

But here’s the best part: admission to CityWalk is free.

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Thousands of free video games now playable on the Internet Archive

Published:   |   Updated: November 4, 2014 at 02:49 PM
By Christopher Spata

Imagine it’s some date between 1978 and 1998, you know, back when video arcades were a thing that existed.

Now imagine you’re in one of those imaginary arcades and you’ve got quarters. All the quarters. You’ve got all the quarters in the world. Or tokens. Whatever you like, quarters or tokens. It’s your fantasy.

Thanks to a giant, new addition to the non-profit digital preservation library the Internet Archive, you can now sort of live out that fantasy if you’re the type inclined to such geeky fantasies.

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Oxford Exchange to screen documentary ‘A Film About Coffee’

Published:   |   Updated: October 13, 2014 at 01:27 PM
By Christopher Spata

It will soon be possible to drink a very good cup of specialty coffee while watching a new documentary that’s all about specialty coffee.

“A Film About Coffee” will get a special screening at the Oxford Exchange in Tampa on Oct. 29 — a fitting setting considering the craft and care that goes into making coffee at the Tampa coffee bar, restaurant and retail store.

The feature-length documentary, according to the filmmaker’s official description, “is a love letter to, and meditation on, specialty coffee,” that takes audiences “on a trip around the world, from farms in Honduras and Rwanda to coffee shops in Tokyo, Portland, Seattle, San Francisco and New York.”

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Trailer released for ‘Sex Ed,’ R-rated comedy filmed at Catholic school in Tampa

Published:   |   Updated: October 8, 2014 at 12:45 PM
By Christopher Spata

The raunchy sex comedy that was quietly filmed at an empty Catholic school in Tampa, later drawing an apology from the Roman Catholic Diocese of St. Petersburg, finally has a trailer.

“Sex Ed,” starring former “Sixth Sense” child star Haley Joel Osment in his first feature since 2003, is about an adult virgin who becomes an unlikely sex education teacher to a group of inner-city kids.

The movie was shot last summer at Sacred Heart Academy, a Catholic school closed in 2012 after 81 years in operation.

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‘Horror Story’ features another three-breasted woman from the Tampa area

By Christopher Spata

Just when we thought Jasmine Tridevil had the market cornered on (fictional) three-breasted women from the Tampa Bay area, “American Horror Story” hits us with this.

The show’s fourth season, “American Horror Story: Freak Show,” features St. Petersburg native and Boca Ciega High School grad Angela Bassett as the bizarrely busted Desiree Dupree, a freak show performer and wife to strongman Del Toledo (Michael Chiklis).

So at least one three-breasted local woman will definitely be on TV. Is there room for another?

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Ribeiro breaks out ‘The Carlton’ for a perfect score on ‘Dancing With the Stars’

Published:   |   Updated: October 7, 2014 at 10:40 AM
By Kim MacCormack

It was flashback Monday on ABC’s “Dancing With the Stars,” with the celebs choosing their favorite year — and thank heaven, Alfonso Ribeiro chose 1990.

Most dances were poignant with Lea Thompson (with partner Artem Chigvintsev) honoring her father, who died of cancer, performing to Luther Vandross’ “Dance With My Father.” Cue the hankies. Score: 39

Another tearjerker was performed by YouTube blogger Bethany Mota who pulled at heartstrings with her standing up to bullies that called her ugly, fat and stupid. Judge Julianne Hough (sister of Mota’s partner Derek Hough) was sobbing and praised her strength in the face of mean people. Julianne however did have tough words for her brother, who she criticized for not having enough rumba in the dance. Score: 33

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