Saturday, December 16, 2017
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What to watch this weekend: ‘Stranger Things 2’, Joan Didion documentary

Ghost bustin': Stranger Things 2 — The pop culture-filled sleeper hit of last summer finally returns for a second season just in time for Halloween. Steven Spielberg, Ghostbusters, Star Wars, arcade games and science fiction captivated the generation that grew up in the 1980s. And Netflix's love letter to that decade, Stranger Things, continues to captivate the current generation. In the first season, young nerd Will Byers vanishes, pushing his friends, family and local police into an extraordinary mystery. The Duffer brothers manage to cram secret government experiments, supernatural forces and an extraterrestrial-type girl into eight episodes of captivating television. Now it's 1984 in Hawkins, Ind. The town is still reeling from the Demogorgon's wrath and Will's friends are still trying to figure out what happened to Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown). Will (Noah Schnapp) was rescued from the Upside Down, but a more insidious entity threatens those who survived. Get your Eggos ready, Stranger Things 2 is now available Netflix.

Tampa Bay on TV: Look for this local actor on Stranger Things 2

Previous Coverage: Stranger Things is a thrilling ode to '80s sci-fi and cult horror

Premier chronicler: Joan Didion: The Center Will Not Hold — For more than 50 years, author and journalist Joan Didion has been a steadfast chronicler of the evolution of American culture. In the new Netflix

Joan Didion in a still from The Center Will Not Hold. [Netflix]
Joan Didion in a still from The Center Will Not Hold. [Netflix]
documentary, Joan Didion: The Center Will Not Hold, her nephew, actor-director Griffin Dunne, premieres a trove of archival footage and talks to his “Aunt Joan” about the historical eras she covered. Just a few, casual things she’s experienced in her life: partying with Janis Joplin, hanging in a recording studio with Jim Morrison and cooking dinner for one of Charles Manson’s women for a story. Through her writing, she brought to life New York in the 1950s and ’60s and documented the disintegration of culture in California for two decades and the political personalities of the 1980s and 1990s. Through her numerous books, she wrote on her own personal experiences as commentary on a political and cultural landscape. The Year of Magical Thinking, about her reckoning with grief over the death of her husband, won the National Book Award for nonfiction. Now 82, she remains one of the country’s most influential writers. Now available on Netflix.

Sarah Blakely in an upcoming episode of Shark Tank. [ABC]
Sarah Blakely in an upcoming episode of Shark Tank. [ABC]
Clearwater and Spanx: Shark Tank — The reality show Shark Tank is now in its ninth season and the number of budding entrepreneurs isn’t slowing down anytime soon. Sunday’s episode sees a graphic designer and a patent attorney from Washington pitch their high-tech way of making children’s story time more magical and interactive. Then there are pitches for functional paternity clothing for new dads, solutions to hairy drain problems in the bathtub and a better version of a workout device. But Tampa Bay residents should tune in for a profile of Spanx founder and Clearwater native Sara Blakely. She started her shapewear business 17 years ago and in 2014 helped open a Spanx store in Tampa’s International Plaza. She has also been touted as the world’s youngest self-made billionaire. 9 p.m. Sunday, ABC.

Spanx: Clearwater's Sarah Blakeley celebrates opening of store in Tampa

All Hallows Eve on the couch: AMC Fear Fest — Every year AMC gives viewers over a week of nonstop horror movies. This year, in the days leading up to Halloween on Tuesday, Fear Fest is full of slasher icons, horror classics and an obscene amount of Michael Myers. The crude 2003 flick Freddy vs. Jason pits two disfigured serial killers against each other. That one airs at 8 p.m. Friday. Then Saturday sees a marathon of the Leprechaun franchise from Origins to Leprechaun in Space starting at 3 p.m. Sunday has 2004's Dawn of the Dead, where zombies terrorize people trapped in a shopping mall. Then Monday gets a mega-marathon of all the Halloween movies starting at 1:30 p.m. and going until 11:30 p.m. Tuesday. That's more than 24 hours of Michael Myers. We just made your Halloween plans for you.

Halloween binge: Plan a horror movie marathon with these picks on Netflix, Hulu, Amazon and HBO

Fear in your ears: 7 creepy podcasts to get you in the Halloween spirit

Upcoming streaming releases
Saturday: Arrival (Hulu)Sunday: Catfish Season 6 (Hulu)Nov. 3: Alias Grace (Netflix)Nov. 14: Future Man (Hulu)Nov. 17: Punisher (Netflix)Nov. 21: Marvel's Runaways (Hulu)Nov. 22: Godless (Netflix)

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Adam Savage’s ‘Brain Candy Live!’ at the Straz Center: Canceled

Adam Savage’s ‘Brain Candy Live!’ at the Straz Center: Canceled

Looks like the idea of Brain Candy Live! returning to Tampa Bay in 2018 turned out to be a myth.The interactive science spectacular, co-hosted by MythBusters' Adam Savage, has canceled its upcoming North American tour, including a May 5 event at the ...
Published: 12/15/17
Here are this week’s pop culture winners and losers

Here are this week’s pop culture winners and losers

Salma HayekSalma Hayek has spoken out against Harvey Weinstein, calling the producer a "monster" who threatened her career and her life after she reportedly denied his sexual advances. Hayek said working with Weinstein on the film Frida was like "goi...
Published: 12/15/17
What to watch this weekend: ‘A Christmas Story Live,’ Star Wars movie marathon, Hollywood Christmas Parade

What to watch this weekend: ‘A Christmas Story Live,’ Star Wars movie marathon, Hollywood Christmas Parade

OH, FUDGE! A CHRISTMAS STORY LIVE!The trend of live musicals broadcast on television isn't slowing down anytime soon, and A Christmas Story Live! — based on the classic holiday movie and Broadway musical — was ripe for the next taking. Fo...
Published: 12/15/17
Harry Potter’s Nymphadora Tonks, Natalia Tena, joins A Celebration of Harry Potter at Universal Orlando

Harry Potter’s Nymphadora Tonks, Natalia Tena, joins A Celebration of Harry Potter at Universal Orlando

The bubble gum pink-haired, shape-shifting witch Nymphadora Tonks from the last four Harry Potter films is headed to A Celebration of Harry Potter next month.Natalia Tena marks her first appearance at the annual wizarding world celebration Jan. 26-28...
Published: 12/14/17
Uber Eats is delivering 'free' chicken McNuggets across Tampa Bay

Uber Eats is delivering 'free' chicken McNuggets across Tampa Bay

You'll still have to pay the delivery fee, but the 10-piece McNuggets are free.
Published: 12/13/17
What to watch this week: New season of ‘The Librarians,’ Gwen Stefani’s Christmas special

What to watch this week: New season of ‘The Librarians,’ Gwen Stefani’s Christmas special

MondaySEASON FINALE: The Gifted, 9 p.m., Fox: The team at Mutant HQ is divided on what to do next after Jace is forced to hand over something valuable to Dr. Campbell.Disney's Fairytale Weddings: Holiday Magic, 8 p.m., Freeform: A behind-the-scenes l...
Published: 12/11/17
This week’s pop culture winners and losers: Tonya Harding edition

This week’s pop culture winners and losers: Tonya Harding edition

WINNERS: Tonya Harding The once disgraced Olympic figure skater is no longer on thin ice in the pop culture world. Harding joined Margot Robbie, who is playing her in the upcoming film I, Tonya, on the red carpet this week. While Harding pleaded g...
Published: 12/08/17
Mahaffey Theater cancels Garrison Keillor performance after sexual misconduct allegations

Mahaffey Theater cancels Garrison Keillor performance after sexual misconduct allegations

The Mahaffey Theater has canceled an upcoming performance by Garrison Keillor in the wake of allegations of sexual misconduct against the former host of A Prairie Home Companion.Keillor was to perform in St. Petersburg on Feb. 5, but the show's promo...
Published: 12/06/17
Review: History’s ‘Knightfall’ will please fans of epic history, popular culture

Review: History’s ‘Knightfall’ will please fans of epic history, popular culture

Sometimes a Templar Knight dies in your field and you have to return his master sword to the temple in Paris, because God's kingdom depends on it.All that happens to Parsifal (Bobby Shofield) in the first episode of History's new period drama Knightf...
Published: 12/06/17
36 period dramas you can stream right now on Netflix, Amazon and Hulu

36 period dramas you can stream right now on Netflix, Amazon and Hulu

If you've loved period dramas for any length of time, you probably feel like you've seen them all. Not that there's a shortage of shows dramatizing any and everything from the 1600s to the '60s. But sometimes you've seen all Masterpiece and BBC curr...
Published: 12/05/17
Updated: 12/06/17