Six Picks for the Week Ahead in Entertainment

True Blood season premiere (Sun.)

ImageNot just another small-town girl

Sink into the third season (Sunday, 9pm) of HBO's sultry, deliriously out-of-control escapist series as small-town telepath Sookie Stackhouse fights to find her kidnapped vampire fiance Bill Compton, grudgingly aided by the manipulative and powerful Eric Northman. Meanwhile, other characters grapple with fallout from last season’s zombie orgies, inadvertent murders, and identity issues -- the last of which can be especially hard for shapeshifters -- while werewolves (played by real wolves!) make their first appearance.

Watch promos, minisodes, and a summary of Season 2 on HBO’s True Blood website.

The big screen goes '80s with The Karate Kid and The A-Team (Fri.)

ImageThat haircut fits him to a T

Charismatic A-list progeny Jaden Smith stars in a loose adaptation of The Karate Kid, in which a street-smart Detroit 12-year-old has a hard time when he and his mom (Taraji P. Henson) move to Beijing for her work -- hello, globalization metaphors! The film also features Jackie Chan as the bullied Kid’s kung fu mentor. (Silly you for thinking there would actually be karate in the movie.) For more gratuitous violence -- plus explosions -- head over to Friday’s other major release, The A-Team, which stars Liam Neeson, Bradley Cooper (The Hangover), Sharlto Copley (District 9), and UFC fighter and door destroyer Quinton “Rampage” Jackson in the role made famous by Mr. T.

Extra Lives: Why Video Games Matter by Tom Bissell (Tue.)

Image Get a life

Professor, writer, and avid gamer Tom Bissell (The Father of All Things) mounts an artistic defense of videogames in these observational essays about the what is perhaps the dominant art form of the new century. The book's sharp blend of cultural criticism, journalism, and autobiography includes “The Grammar of Fun,” a 2008 article about the creator of Gears of War, and “Grand Thefts,” the author’s personal cautionary tale involving cocaine and Grand Theft Auto IV -- two addictions that do not go well together.

Learn more about Tom Bissell at the book’s official website or its Facebook page.

Tales of the Gold Monkey: The Complete Series on DVD (Tue.)

ImageA TV island adventure without time travel

Riding on the coattails of Raiders of the Lost Ark came this 1982 action-adventure series that focused on the exploits of a young American pilot in the South Seas island of Bora Gora in 1938. Despite good ratings, a swashbuckling pre-war setting, and a one-eyed Jack Russell sidekick, ABC opted not to renew the show due to high production costs, but all 21 episodes will be available Tuesday on DVD for the first time in the U.S. Creator Donald P. Bellisario is also responsible for such series as Magnum, P.I., Airwolf, JAG, and NCIS.

Add this DVD set to your Netflix queue

Another Twilight soundtrack album (Tue.)

ImageAt least the music's good

Even Twihaters may adore the soundtrack for the third Twilight movie (Eclipse), which comes out on Tuesday to prime fans ahead of the film’s June 30 release date. Like its predecessor, the album features an assemblage of often appropriately named indie artists, including The Black Keys, Beck and Bat For Lashes, The Dead Weather, Sia, and Vampire Weekend, who contribute the unexpectedly dreamy “Jonathan Low.” Stephenie Meyer faves Muse provide the soundtrack’s first epic single, “Neutron Star Collision (Love Is Forever),” and composer Howard Shore’s “Jacob’s Theme” is thrown in as an afterthought.

Check out the track list or preorder the download or album here.

Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival (Thur. - Sun.)

ImageThe other Manchester

Manchester, Tennessee’s four-day celebration of music, camping, and the arts features hundreds of entertainment possibilities spread across as many acres. Rock is the dominant force at this laid-back multi-stage festival, but there’s something for everyone: While more mainstream music fans can bob heads to the likes of Jay-Z and the Dave Matthews Band, others can groove to the diverse sounds of Jimmy Cliff, LCD Soundsystem, and The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band; trip out as The Flaming Lips perform Dark Side of the Moon; or yuk it up with comedian Aziz Ansari.

Get the full lineup at Bonnaroo's official website, or watch the festival live on YouTube beginning June 11.

Closing the book on last week

Most Popular Title on Metacritic.com
Get Him to the Greek 64 Week ending 6/5/2010
#1 Weekend Box Office (Estimated, U.S. only; source: Boxofficemojo.com)
Shrek Forever After 58 $25.3 million; 4th week at #1
#1 Album on Billboard 200 (Source: Billboard.com/Nielsen SoundScan)
Glee: the Music, Volume 3 - Showstoppers 2nd week at #1
Top-Rated Primetime Broadcast Show (Source: Nielsen)
American Idol [Wed] (Fox) 24.2 million viewers; week of 5/24-5/30

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Comments (6)

  • Mitch Tough  

    True Blood should be the show of the summer - I'm fired up.

  • Ana  

    Can't wait for True Blood!

  • Jason Kabir  

    Nothing on the videogames front? Are the folks here even aware that MGS: Peace Walker is coming out this week?

  • john  

    worst top 6 ever! i don't care about any of that stuff

  • John Shao  

    Can't wait for True Blood too.... @ Jason.... I dont think they count a great video game that releases on the psp a big thing.... psp is the worst selling system (including console and handheld) of the current gen.... however if MGS is coming out on a console then its a different story....

  • Dustin  

    True Blood would be better off on any other network. it fell off a huge cliff last season and has absolutely no business being a ramp for Treme.

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