Welcome to Crush This, your weekly guide to what’s new in movies, music and TV. We’ve navigated the inner reaches of our entertainment-obsessed brains in search of all the pop culture landscape has to offer. This week, one of the anticipated sequels of the summer, Iron Man 2 might be taking over all our conscious thoughts, but there’s also the thoughtful National Geographic film Babies in theaters, along with new music from two members of the Dixie Chicks and Winter Olympics Canadian singing sensation Nikki Yanofsky and two powerhouse series returning to TV: Friday Night Lights and Real Housewives of New Jersey.
Movies: Iron Man 2 hits theaters on Friday. Need we say more? Okay. Robert Downey Jr. is a billionaire-turned-superhero, Mickey Rourke is his crazy nemesis. Scarlett Johansson plays a love interest/rival superhero and Gwyneth Paltrow is RDJ’s trusty assistant. Prep yourself by watching the original Iron Man, then try not to think so hard about Don Cheadle replacing Terrance Howard. Not into action? Check out National Geographic’s Babies, or Jay Baruchel as a high school student in The Trotsky, which is out on limited release on Wednesday.
TV: “Clear eyes, full hearts, can’t lose.” If you don’t have DirecTV, you’ve been waiting a long time for Friday Night Lights to return with its fourth season. It will debut on NBC on Friday night, with a theme of starting over. Coach Taylor is starting over at East Dillon High, working to build up a football team at the underfunded school, which will undoubtedly add new characters who will replace those young actors who graduated and left the show. If you haven’t been watching, it’s also a good time to jump in, and meet the old and new actors on the show. Need a recap? Here’s a pretty in-depth one.
And do we even need to remind you that Dina, Caroline, Teresa, Jacqueline and Danielle — aka The Real Housewives of New Jersey — are back on the air tonight? We didn’t think so.
Music: 16-year-old Canadian crooner Nikki Yanofsky knocked our socks off with her amazing pipes at the opening and closing ceremonies of the Winter Olympics in Vancouver this February. She’s releasing her first original album, Nikki on Tuesday, and she worked with some pretty big names to come up with this set list full of reworked jazz favorites and originals, including legendary producer Phil Ramone and Feist, who wrote an original song for Nikki. Also on Tuesday, Court Yard Hounds, a duo made up of Emily Robison and Martie Maguire of The Dixie Chicks, is releasing a self-titled album and — for nostalgia’s sake — Carole King and James Taylor are releasing Live at The Troubadour, a CD/DVD package that coincides with their tour.