Your Week in Pop Culture: Yanks love Brits, and that's OK - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Your Week in Pop Culture: Yanks love British actors, and everyone is OK with that

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Damian Lewis is good at playing American soldiers. (Source: Showtime/MGN Online) Damian Lewis is good at playing American soldiers. (Source: Showtime/MGN Online)

(RNN) – Aside from the American Revolution, America and Great Britain are like international BFFs.

They are like The IT Crowd and Netflix – perfectly made for one another.

From the Beatles and the Rolling Stones to Doctor Who and Monty Python, many aspects of British pop culture have washed on our shores.

Nowhere else is this most evident than on the big screen, thanks to the popularity of the 007 series that brought Americans their love of Sir Sean Connery. But who other British actors are favorites of Americans? (Connery is given for this type of list, so he's not mentioned). Since the polling group Q Score already did a list, so YWIPC is doing its own.

Here are my Top 9 British actors Americans love:

  1. Damian Lewis – Aside from being the prettiest redhead in the world (yes, I am fan-girling), Lewis has perfected his American accent, portrayed a World War II hero in the HBO miniseries Band of Brothers, was canned too soon in NBC's short-lived drama Life and won multiple awards as a Marine sniper-turned-terrorist in Showtime's Homeland. More than anything, he looks like he's a lot of fun to hang out with. And who doesn't love a redhead with a British accent (looking at you, Rupert Grint)? It's like seeing a beautiful Pegasus in the wild. And look at him schooling David Schwimmer in a paratrooper uniform. OK, I am going to stop fan-girling now. 
  2. Dame Judi Dench - Active since the mid-1950s, Dame Dench's resume speaks for itself.
  3. Benedict Cumberbatch – Good qualities: his striking features make him a nerd girl's dream, and Cumberbabes (the name of his female fan base) enjoy him as the latest BBC version of Sherlock Holmes. Bad qualities: He's in so many movies in 2013, he might quickly become overexposed, and he portrayed Julian Assange in the worldwide bomb The Fifth Estate and had to wear a white, platinum blond wig. His eyes could pierce your soul, though.
  4. Dame Maggie Smith - Her career is so powerful, she's made Downton Abbey a hit.
  5. Idris Elba - He's kind of a pop culture icon now in the U.S., with his rugged good looks and charming accent, his roles are as diverse as his incredible acting ability - he's been in everything from The Wire to The Office - and many fans want him to be the next James Bond.
  6. Hugh Laurie – For most, he's Dr. House, but for Millennials everywhere, he is the dad from Stuart Little. Also like Damian Lewis, his American accent is stellar.
  7. Henry Cavill – Have you seen what he looks like? And he's Superman.
  8. Daniel Radcliffe – You know Harry Potter himself had to pop up on the list at some point, right?
  9. Tom Hardy - Because I said so, and because his role as Elton John in the future biopic Rocketman could be as great as Jamie Foxx as Ray Charles - just saying'.

Honorable British mentions: Sir Anthony Hopkins, Colin Firth, Daniel Day-Lewis, Tom Hiddleson, Liam Neeson, Helena Bonham Carter, Ewan McGregor, Sam Palladio (Nashville), Charlie Hunnam, Alan Rickman, Daniel Craig, Gerard Butler.

POP CULTURE BEAT: 'Selfie' beats 'twerk' for word of the year

At least twerk didn't win.

Oxford Dictionaries announced that the term "selfie" is the Word of the Year 2013.

The official definition: a noun, meaning "a photograph that one has taken of oneself, typically one taken with a smartphone or webcam and uploaded to a social media website." It can also be spelled "selfy" and the plural is "selfies." Another popular version is "delfie" - a drunk selfie.

Selfie beat out twerk, and we thank Oxford Dictionaries for a somewhat articulate choice.

Other words that received honorable mention include bitcoin, olinguito (a newly recognized species), show rooming, schmeat and binge-watch.

TV: SNL'S cold open of Rob Ford is their best sketch so far in 2013

Bobby Moynihan as Rob Ford is exactly why Rob Ford should continue being the crack smoking mayor of Toronto.

Material this well done has been hard to come by this season for Saturday Night Live, with most of the better sketches coming from their last two episodes, hosted by Kerry Washington and Lady Gaga.

But Moynihan's portrayal of the embattled mayor is the new Tina Fey/Sarah Palin. The quality speaks for itself.

MUSIC: An Outkast reunion at Coachella '14? Praise the hip-hop gods

Fans of hip-hop greatness, rejoice – the southern rap duo Outkast could be added to the list of acts that reunite at the California hipster revival known as Coachella in 2014.

The gals who write the music column brought joy to my heart when they reported that Andre 3000 and Big Boi could be reuniting at Coachella 2014. This is fantastic. The reunion would be a perfect way to dedicate the 20 years since their debut album, Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik, was released. Spin magazine made it seem like more of a likelihood Wednesday, when longtime Outkast collaborator Sleepy Brown posted the news on his Instagram account.

Let's celebrate the potential of this happening by listening to Outkast, because if Goodie Mob can squash beef with CeeLo Green and reunite, nothing should stop this train.

More heartwarming music news: Nine Inch Nails front man Trent Reznor Facetime'd with cancer-stricken photographer/journalist Andrew Youssef during a Nov. 16 show in Las Vegas. Youssef has been battling stage IV colon cancer for two years, and continues to be a concert photographer and writes a weekly blog about his battle. Nine Inch Nails is his favorite band, and the lead singer dedicated In this Twilight to him. Gather some tissues and check out more of the story on BuzzFeed.

Jam of the week: Lady Gaga featuring R. Kelly – Do What U Want (from Saturday Night Live) - This is perhaps the best pop song on Gaga's latest album, Artpop, and she pulled R. Kelly out of hiding. How Gaga did that, I don't know. But fans of catchy pop that gets stuck in your head are pleased.

MOVIES: 'The Best Man Holiday' nearly takes out 'Thor'

Not sure which is worse – that movies with nearly all-ethnic casts have low expectations (thanks, Tyler Perry) or that when they do well, film critics and moviegoers are surprised.

Well, people were surprised when The Best Man Holiday, on its opening weekend, nearly took out the Thor sequel, and even beat it on Friday night, according to box office numbers.

Here's last weekend's Top 5, according to Box Office Mojo (listed next to previous week's ranking and weekend gross):

  1. Thor: The Dark World (1) $36,586,016
  2. The Best Man Holiday (NR) $30,107,555
  3. Last Vegas (4) $8,439,544
  4. Free Birds (3) $8,106, 151
  5. Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa (2) $7,421,536

In theaters: Nov. 21

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire – The sequel to the blockbuster and the second in the trilogy of novels picks up with Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) and Peeta Mellark (Josh Hutcherson) becoming targets after their victories in the 74th Hunger Games – and fighting through a rebellion. The film also stars Liam Hemsworth, Woody Harrelson, Donald Sutherland, Elizabeth Banks Lenny Kravitz, Stanley Tucci, and Jeffrey Wright.

Delivery Man – Talk about type casting - Vince Vaughn plays an underachiever with a hot girlfriend who finds out his donations to a sperm bank produced more than 500 biological children. This might be Vaughn's best movie ever, and Owen Wilson is nowhere in sight. The film also stars Chris Pratt (Parks and Recreation and he's married to Anna Faris) Cobie Smulders (How I Met Your Mother) and Bobby Moynihan (taking time out from perfecting his perfect Rob Ford impersonation and Drunk Uncle).

Also in theaters: Philomena, Gori Tere Pyaar Mein, Is the Man Who Is Tall Happy?

SPORTS: Keith Olbermann beef gets the Tupac treatment

Sports announcer Keith Olbermann is used to a little back-and-forth. He's been around the block, to say the least.

But his latest beef is with New York sports radio hosts Mike Francesa, Boomer Esaison and some other meat head sports radio guy at WFAN in the last few weeks. Why? Because Esaison and the meat head called Olbermann and long time ESPN pillar Chris Berman bullies in the initial fallout of the Richie Incognito/Jonathan Martin Miami Dolphins scandal.

In the weeks following, Olbermann has eviscerated the three WFAN employees in his World's Worst segment on his new ESPN 2 program, Olbermann.

With drama comes parody. YouTube user Will Scheichert spliced Olbermann and Tupac's hit Hit 'Em Up – much like the folks at Late Night with Jimmy Fallon mashed rap with news anchor Brian Williams – and it's the best thing in the sports world this week.

Other sports news: In a monster trade, ESPN reported on Wednesday that the Detroit Tigers traded first baseman Prince Fielder to the Texas Rangers for second baseman Ian Kinsler, plus $30 million. Fielder, in the middle of a nine-year, $214 million contract, had a limited no-trade clause attached, so it's assumed he chose the Rangers. Kinsler was at the end of a five-year deal with the Rangers.

Get your barbeque pits ready, Texas - Prince Fielder is coming.

A little something from YouTube: Puppies trying to howl is the best 3 minutes of your week

There is nothing sweeter than a puppy – their breath, their little paws; even cleaning up after their accidents and throwing away chewed up shoes is a little precious.

But a puppy harnessing their inner wolf and learning how to howl – priceless.

Prepare to go "aww" – a lot.

Honorable mention

28 times Adam Levine proves he was the 'Sexiest Man Alive'BuzzFeed

Rantankerous: How to make football perfect - ditch the kicker – Raycom News

Toddler naps with puppy; photos go viral – CNN

Woman takes photo of man after he allegedly punches herPhiladelphia Magazine

Pit bulls in party hats is the best sub-Reddit ever – Reddit

Zach Galifianakis says everything you want to say to Justin Bieber right to his faceThe Atlantic Wire

(Dis)honorable mention

Dead wrestler of the week: Chris Benoit - Gawker

'Ford Nation' canceled after 1 episode – CNN

Walmart has food drive for employees – Raycom News Network

Police: George Zimmerman arrested after pointing shotgun at girlfriend – Raycom News Network

Cheating prank backfires when girlfriend reveals she's cheating IRLGawker

A Colorado man posted a selfie with his infant daughter on Facebook before shooting her - BuzzFeed

Follow me on Twitter @TanitaG_RNN.

Copyright 2013 Raycom News Network. All rights reserved.

  • Online Poll

  • Who is your favorite British actor?

  • Thank you for participating in our poll. Here are the results so far:

    Damian Lewis
    18%
    28 votes
    Benedict Cumberbatch
    27%
    40 votes
    Hugh Laurie
    11%
    16 votes
    Henry Cavill
    3%
    4 votes
    Daniel Radcliffe
    0%
    0 votes
    Tom Hardy
    8%
    12 votes
    Sir Anthony Hopkins
    3%
    4 votes
    Sir Sean Connery
    16%
    24 votes
    Have another one - list it in the comments below or tweet me @TanitaG_RNN with your Brit of choice
    14%
    20 votes
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