Marc Hirsh

Marc Hirsh lives in the Boston area, where he indulges in the magic trinity of improv comedy, competitive adult four square and music journalism. He has won trophies for one of these, but refuses to say which.

He writes for the Boston Globe and has also been spotted on MSNBC and in the pages of Amplifier, the Nashville Scene, the Baltimore City Paper and Space City Rock, where he is the co-publisher and managing editor.

He once danced onstage with The Flaming Lips while dressed as a giant frog. It was very warm.

[Ahoy, there be New Girl spoilers ahead, through the most recently aired episode, "Mars Landing."]

A few weeks ago, New Girl neared the end of its third season the way it began it: by admitting that it doesn't know what it's doing.

Fox said goodbye to Raising Hope in March when it announced that the series wouldn't be renewed for a fifth season, and the rest of us get to say goodbye Friday night, when the final episode airs. But even though the gleefully goofy spiritual successor of My Name Is Earl (both were created by Greg Garcia) was technically canceled against its will, its end doesn't feel premature. Nor is it way overdue.

Each year's Grammy Awards offer their own questions and controversies based on how the nominations pan out, but there are a few points of contention that come up year after year. There's the difference between Song Of The Year and Record Of The Year. How a song can be eligible for nomination this year when the album it came from was nominated last year (or vice versa). The precise eligibility requirements for Best New Artist, a category that can be (and has been) won by performers several albums into their careers.

This is a big week for Mystery Science Theater 3000, or as big a week as can be had for a show that's been off the air since the waning days of the 20th century. The show first aired a quarter of a century ago this past Sunday, and the 25th-anniversary volume (XXVIII, if you're keeping Roman score of the ongoing DVD releases and not the anniversaries) hit shelves on Tuesday. Meanwhile, Thursday marks the return of an MST3K Thanksgiving tradition, the Turkey Day marathon.

Stagecraft does not come naturally to Katy Perry. She does very well by candy-colored fever-dream videos; shooting whipped cream from her cupcake boobs, throwing cartoonishly out-of-control neon-'80s ragers and becoming a B-movie jungle queen all fall quite comfortably within her skill set.

The closer we get to the end of Breaking Bad, the less I want to read about it.

I'm not calling for a moratorium on Breaking Bad content from now until the finale (and not only because of ... you know, futility.) From now until then, I expect an avalanche of recaps, interviews, think pieces, retrospectives, speculations and so forth. That's exactly as it should be with any show coming to a close, let alone a show as great as this one.

As The Voice returns to NBC this week for its fourth season, viewers are seeing two new, if quite familiar, faces as Shakira and Usher occupy the coaches' seats vacated by Christina Aguilera and Cee Lo Green. Its talent-show rival over on Fox, The X Factor, will also see two new judges when (if? no, "when," surely) it comes back in the fall.

So why does The Voice seem so healthy and The X Factor so wobbly?

Whether this week's announcements that both ABC's Don't Trust The B- In Apt. 23 and Fox's Ben & Kate are being yanked from the schedules mark the beginning of the Great Sitcom Massacre of 2013 remains to be seen. It almost certainly means the end of two strong shows whose casts were clearly having a blast making them.

You Can't Do That On Film, an independently made 2004 documentary about Nickelodeon's '80s-afternoon staple You Can't Do That On Television, comes out today on DVD. It's got a treasure trove of interviews from an impressive number of the show's kid stars (Alasdair! Hey, Moose!), now adults who, almost to a person, look back on the sketch show with nothing but affection.

Are you one of the fans who have ponied up dough for a meet-and-greet with a favorite band or pop star, as is becoming an increasing trend these days? Have you ever purchased an elusive record or song on the Internet, rather than scouring used record stores and flea markets until you hit pay dirt? Did you once decide to skip a concert, confident in the knowledge that if something truly unexpected happened, you'd be able to catch it later on YouTube?

If so, then Caroline Sullivan would like you to know something: You're Doing It Wrong.

In this week's installment of the A.V. Club's "We're No. 1" series, which reexamines chart-topping albums from times gone by, Steven Hyden takes a look at Prince's Batman semi-soundtrack. While he acknowledges that it's minor Prince, hinting that it's the man's least-important 1980s release, he's surprised to rediscover that it's actually pretty good, in its way.

If there's one thing that HBO's The Newsroom is especially good at, it's portraying journalists who aren't especially good at journalism.

Well, maybe that's not fair. The fact is, they haven't had much opportunity to engage in journalism, since every major story that's come their way has been cracked not through know-how, persistence and telephonic grunt work but through the fortuitous involvement of people with whom the fictional News Night staffers happen to already be good buddies.

Everything I've ever written about Sam Phillips has been a cheat.

On June 19, a week and a half ago, Fiona Apple released a brand new album, her first in seven years. The entire album had been available for streaming by NPR Music for a week and a half by then. Three days later, my copy arrived in the mail. It hasn't left my desk since.

I still haven't listened to it.

As the networks are currently rolling out their plans for the future courtesy of their upfronts, it just so happens that they're also winding down the current season of shows, the ones that they touted last year at this very time. It's a good time for television viewers to reevaluate the investments we've made in the shows we bought into at the beginning of the season.

Earlier this week, James Cameron made a rather bold statement in the New York Times, effectively swearing off any and all non-documentary filmmaking that doesn't take place within the fictional world he invented in 2009's Avatar. Here is the quote:

  1. Ryan Seacrest's double/triple/quadruple fakeouts. Our host used to screw with the contestants by teasing the results before throwing to a guest performance or commercial. Now he gives those results using sentences so convoluted, with so many double-backs and twist-arounds, that you need a white board to diagram them and unpack their actual meaning. Frustrating the singers, yes. Confusing them entirely, no.

If you've had an eye on pop culture recently, chances are you've seen Admiral General Aladeen, the subject of Sacha Baron Cohen's upcoming movie The Dictator.

You might have seen him on this weekend's Saturday Night Live, trading quips with Seth Meyers (and prisoner Martin Scorsese!).