Six Picks for the Week of October 18-24

  • Comments: ↓ 6 user comments
  • Publish Date: October 17, 2010

Fallout: New Vegas (Tue.)

ImageIf the fallout doesn't kill you, the buffets will

This semi-sequel to Fallout 3 (out Tuesday for (360, PS3, and PC) is set in a post-nuclear-apocalypse version of Las Vegas. No characters re-appear from the previous title; instead, the action-RPG New Vegas places you in Nevada as a courier who has just survived an assassination attempt. To add to the Vegas authenticity, there are gambling mini-games scattered throughout the open world, which includes a vast desert area in addition to the mostly intact Vegas strip. The vocal cast includes Zachary Levi, Felicia Day, Danny Trejo, Kris Kristofferson, Matthew Perry, and Mr. [New] Vegas himself, Wayne Newton.

Test your survival skills at the official game website.

Comedy Central's Night of Too Many Stars benefit (Thu.)

ImageNight of too many Steves

Comedy Central and Jon Stewart's biennial benefit to raise money for autism education -- which was taped October 2nd at New York's Beacon Theatre and will air Thursday night at 9:00pm -- is once again hosted by The Daily Show star himself. This year, he's joined on stage by an impressive roster of comedy performers, including Chris Rock, Ricky Gervais, Steve Carell, Stephen Colbert, Jimmy Fallon, Tina Fey, Sarah Silverman, Joel McHale, and John Oliver, while other celebrities will be standing by (live) to field your calls.

Read more about the participants -- or donate to the cause -- at Comedy Central's official site.

New series Luther on BBC America (Tonight, repeats Thu.)

Image The good guys

Fall hasn't brought many notable new shows, which explains why TV critics weren't all that effusive after getting a preview of the season during the summer press tour. One show a few of them did enjoy, however, was the new six-episode psychological crime drama Luther, which has already aired in the U.K. and now comes to the U.S. via BBC America. Premiering tonight at 10pm and repeating Thursday at 9pm, the series (which, if critics are to be trusted, improves as it progresses) stars Idris Elba, best known for playing Stringer Bell on The Wire, though here he doesn't have to suppress his English accent. Elba is on the other side of the law this time, playing a tormented cop who must track down a murderer who is revealed to the audience at the beginning of the episode.

Check out the official BBC America site, or read what UK television critics for Telegraph and The Observer had to say about the program when it aired in May.

Paranormal Activity 2 (Fri.)

ImageBaby's first word: "Eeek!"

A surprise hit, last year's no-budget ghost story Paranormal Activity 68 took The Blair Witch Project's amateur-reality-video format (though, thankfully, without all the shakiness) and achieved Blair Witch-like results, racking up nearly $200 million worldwide. So it's hard not to be a little frightened that this week's sequel could be another Blair Witch 2-style disaster. In theaters Friday, Paranormal Activity 2 features a new director (Tod Williams, stepping in for Oren Peli) and a slightly bigger budget, but retains the creepy-things-on-surveillance-camera format. Will it work a second time around?

Get spooked at the official site, or catch a handful of clips from the film at EW.

Vanquish (Tue.)

ImageTime to start shooting

Sega's Vanquish (in stores Tuesday for PS3 and 360) is that rarest of things: a videogame that isn't part of an existing series or based on something else. A new, futuristic third-person shooter from Shinji Mikami, best known as the creator of the Resident Evil series and now working with Platinum Games, Vanquish tasks the player with leading an American military effort to recapture a solar energy-harvesting space station after Russian forces seized it and used it to annihilate San Francisco. The new title plays like a cross between Gears of War and Platinum's previous title, Bayonetta; expect a lot of crazy, frenetic action. In space.

Take a shot at the game's official website.

Come Around Sundown by Kings of Leon (Tue.)

ImageIt's good to be the Kings

Over the course of four albums, the Tennessee family band (consisting of three Followill brothers and a cousin) has steadily progressed from Southern-styled garage rock to U2-esque arena rock, developing a bigger and bigger following around the world. Coming on the heels of 2008's Grammy-nominated Only by the Night 63 is Kings of Leon's fifth album, Come Around Sundown (in stores Tuesday), which returns producers Angelo Petraglia and Jacquire King. It might not be a bold artistic statement or offer much in the way of innovation, but fans of the band's recent work should be pleased.

Watch an interview with the band and get more information at KoL's official website.

Closing the book on last week

#1 Album on Billboard 200 (Source: Billboard.com/Nielsen SoundScan)
Toby Keith: Bullets in the Gun 70 1st week at #1
Top-Rated Primetime Broadcast Show (Source: Nielsen)
Dancing With The Stars (ABC) [Mon] 19.9 million viewers; week of 10/4-10/10

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Comments (6)

  • Tim Gardner  

    "This is for all the men going home in PINE BOXES!!! ...VANQUISH!!!" (Said in a gravelly Christian Bale Batman voice) Awesome. No seriously. That has to be the best (as in worst) voice acting since the original Resident Evil. Watch the trailer to 'Vanquish' to see what I'm talking about.

  • Liam Alexander  

    I plan on losing the next 2 weeks or so to Fallout New Vegas, and loving every minute.

  • Jordan Langer  

    And who is the target market, Danny? Who is the demographic for a website like this? People who care about the artist who sells 20,000 records? Uh, I think it's for people looking to be critically informed. Most of the world will hear Kings of Leon without this site--Metacritic isn't doing anything to boost their fan base.

    By the way, Sufjan and B&S are pushing out quite a few records. Both within the top 50 best sellers since release.

  • Danny  

    @Maat: More people listen to Kings of Leon. There are plenty of bands that are great, but they sell 20,000 records in their career. It's all about appealing to the target market.

  • Mitch Tough  

    Luther looks bad-ass. Stringer Bell lives!

  • Maat  

    Seriously you spotlight the new Kings of Leon album (which is getting marginal reviews) over the new Sufjan Stevens, Belle and Sebastian and Antony & the Johnsons. All which are getting solid reviews. Whats the point of spotlighting an album you claim that only fans of their recent work would like?

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