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Pop Culture Thanksgiving: 10 Reasons To Give Thanks

November 17th, 2011 1:00pm EST

beyonce Thanksgiving is a time to reunite with families and be grateful for the good fortune and of course, maul your fellow man for a ridiculous deal on a plasma television. As a lover of pop culture, I’d like to look back on the gems of entertainment that I’m thankful for from 2011.

Beyonce’s Pregnancy

Just when we thought singer Beyonce couldn't be any fiercer, she wordlessly and fabulously revealed her pregnancy at the 2011 Video Music Awards. Since the announcement and the bizarre rumors surrounding the validity of her bump, Beyonce continues to push the fashion envelope and has established herself as a truly glam mother-to-be. I’m thrilled for Sasha Fierce and rapper-mogul husband, Jay-Z, and I can’t wait see how fierce Hollywood’s youngest diva will be.

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“Snow White And The Huntsman” Teaser Trailer

Fairytales are the new black. Television networks like NBC and ABC are reimaging the classics in shows like “Grimm” and “Once Upon A Time,” and an epic battle on the silver screen will commence in 2012 when Relativity Media and Universal Pictures release their cinematic takes on Snow White within months of each other. “Snow White And The Huntsman” struck a might blow by releasing a teaser trailer earlier this week. With stunning imagery, thrilling battle scenes and Oscar-winner Charlize Theron in full-on evil camp (Chris Hemsworth (“Thor) plays The Huntsman and “The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1's” Kristen Stewart as an armor-clad, sword-wielding Snow White), this movie is definitely more Brothers Grimm than Disney and looks undeniably badass.

I’ve been a little underwhelmed Stewart’s talents as an actress after suffering through her gawky performance in “Twilight,” so I’ll be the rooting for The Evil Queen.

“General Hospital”

It’s a depressing sign of the times when soap operas are viciously axed by networks and replaced with talk shows that will never have the rabid fanbase of their predecessors. Thus, I am exceedingly thankful for the new and improved “General Hospital.” After several murky, mob-heavy years, the revamped “General Hospital” emerged with better storylines, the severing of tired alliance of mobsters Sonny Corinthos (Maurice Benard), hitman Jason Morgan and their shared dame, Carly Corinthos-Jax, and more hook-ups, thanks to new head writer Garin Wolf. While I’m not confident that ABC won’t cancel their only remaining soap in the coming years (Rumors that Katie Couric’s talk show will replace “General Hospital” in 2012 still circulate), I’m loving every moment soapy goodness, especially the much-needed development characters in the once-boxy Jason Morgan (Emmy-winner Steve Burton) and former hacker Damian Spinelli (the underappreciated Bradford Anderson).

Adele

As much as I championed Lady Gaga’s meat-dress-wearin’ creativity and over-the-top theatricality, I found myself suffering from a nasty case of Gaga fatigue as the Mother Monster geared up to release her second studio album, “Born This Way.” I found reprieve in Adel’s stripped-down, wistful album, “21. It has already moved an astounding 4 million copies in the U.S., and continues to break records. “Glee” used an artful medely of “Someone Like You” and “Rumour Has It” for the show’s 300th musican performance in this week’s episode, “Mash-Off.” Sadly, Adele recently underwent surgery to repair a hemorrhaged vocal chord, according to Entertainment Weekly. With the Grammy Awards just a few months away, I hope Adele will recover in time to enjoy the festivities, collect a few dozen golden phonographs and maybe even take the stage with Lady Gaga.

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Justin Timberlake and Jimmy Fallon’s “History of Rap”

It’s time to just admit it: Justin Timberlake is one of the most charismatic, prolific and all-around awesome celebrity in Hollywood. When he’s not honoring America’s servicemen by attending the Marine Corps Ball with Kelsey De Santis’ brave Marine who asked him via Youtube, he’s creating viral gold with pal Jimmy Fallon and the crew from “Late Night With Jimmy Fallon” with “History of Rap.” In all three segments had Fallon and Timberlake busting out spot-on and comical impressions of Snoop Dogg, Beastie Boys, and the late Heavy D. With Timberlake—who won four Emmys for his work on “SNL”—on a painful five-year hiatus from music, I’ll take what I can get. See why Fallon and Timberlake were named Showmen Of The Year in this month’s issue of “GQ” in the video above.

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Kelly Clarkson’s “Mr. Know It All”

I have a thing for divas who can sing their faces off, so it goes without saying that I’m a huge fan of original American Idol, Kelly Clarkson. “Mr. Know It All,” the first single off Clarkson’s new hit album “Stronger,” is addictive and motivating rock anthem about independence, self-worth and harnessing one’s own power. Times are bleak, and yet this catchy track and Clarkson’s awe-inspiring voice makes me feel like I can conquer the world. Be sure to tune into Kelly Clarkson’s “VH1 Unplugged: Kelly Clarkson” airing Nov. 17 on VH1.

Bravo’s “The Real Housewives of Atlanta”

“The Real Housewives Of Atlanta” is back for a fourth season, and I couldn’t be happier. NeNe Leakes is one of my favorite characters out of all of Bravo’s Housewives installments. Already incredibly tall, she stands high in her Louboutins, brags about her Trump checks (from a villainous stint on “The Celebrity Apprentice”), and picks a fight with anyone and everyone to gain air time. The other wives don’t disappoint. Songwriter, musician and sex-toy enthusiast Kandi Burruss still approaches everything with lighthearted straight-forwardness. The other housewivs are entertaining in their own divalicious ways. Southern belle and entertainment attorney Phaedra Parks provides us with hilarious country antidotes and gushes over her love of pomp and circumstance as she plans to open a boutique funeral home. Kim Zolciak suffers through her last month of pregnancy with her sexy and sweet boyfriend Atlanta Falcons defensive end, Kroy Biermann (the couple wed on Nov. 11). And supermodel Cynthia Bailey smolders as she starts her modeling school. This season is still young and promises baby shower smackdowns and more addictively quotable one-liners. Tune into the catty madness Sunday nights at 9 P.M. EST on Bravo.

Kim Kardashian’s Divorce

I used to be one of the passionate haters of Kim Kardashian. Who was this girl with sextape, nasally California girl monotone, no talent and enormous family, and why was she being shoved down my throat? After doing some investigating—damn you, Sunday afternoon marathons of “Keeping Up With The Kardashians”—I discovered that Kim and Ko. are shamelessly business-savvy, willing to turn everything, even incontinence, into a business deal.

A carnival fortuneteller could have predicted that Kim’s marriage to NBA baller Kris Humphries wouldn’t last three months, despite a million-dollar wedding seemed more like a business transaction with E! Channel and California florists than nuptials born out of true love. The backlash Kim’s 72-day marriage inspired has been swift and furious. Scathing news articles, "SNL" spoofs, and roasts by late night talk show hostss have kept me remorselessly entertained. The Kardashians live nearly every second of their lives in front of a camera crew and any publicity equates to millions in the bank (According to the Huffington Post, they earned a dumbfounding $65 million in 2010), so I’m sure somehow, mad scientist and momager Kris Jenner will figure out a lucrative way to capitalize on the divorce. Maybe she'll create Dash Stilettos With A Detachable Heel for stealing away from your dufus husband in the middle of the night. I’d buy...or not!

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The Internet

A few weeks ago, I stumbled upon a high-quality video of one of badass pop star, Pink’s impromptu performance at “Sleep No More” (with a starstruck Stella Sinclair) in New York City mere hours after it happened. And I was nothing but grateful for the World Wide Web to share and publicize priceless moments like this. The new mother had laid low during most of her pregnancy and the months after little Willow’s birth in June, but her unique voice is pristine as are the screams of the delighted audience. Bless you, uncensored interweb!

“Happy Endings” Wednesdays 9:30 P.M. EST on ABC

It’s surprising when a comedy without a laugh-track can make me laugh, so it’s downright amahzing that ABC’s “Happy Endings” can reduce me to tears. The fast-paced show about the relationships and careers of six thirty-something friends cleverly blends absurdist humor with snarky self-awareness and pop-culture references. My favorite characters are “SNL’s” Casey Wilson as the hopeless, slightly insane hopeless romantic and “The Other Guys” Damon Wayans Jr. (who I find more talented than his father). Refreshingly, all of his friends actually acknowledge that he’s black and even joke about it. But the other four stars, including “The Girl Next Door’s” Elisha Cuthbert, shine in their own unique and hysterical ways.

Related: Adele, Beastie Boys, Beyonce, Bradford Anderson, Casey Wilson, Charlize Theron, Chris Hemsworth, Damon Wayans Jr., Elisha Cuthbert, General Hospital, Happy Endings TV Series, Heavy D, Jay-Z, Jimmy Fallon, Justin Timberlake, Katie Couric, Keeping Up With the Kardashians, Kelly Clarkson, Kim Kardashian, Kim Zolciak, Kris Jenner, Kristen Stewart, Lady Gaga, Maurice Benard, NeNe Leakes, P!nk, Phaedra Parks, Saturday Night Live, Snoop Dogg, Snow White and the Huntsman, Steve Burton, The Real Housewives of Atlanta, The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 1, Starpulse Exclusives, Relationships, Weddings, Controversies and Scandals, Births & Pregnancies, Splits & Divorces, Hookups & Breakups, Video, Reality, Comedy, Sexy Celebrities, Fashion, Successful Celebrities, ABC, MTV, BRAVO, WENN Photos

Photo Credits: PacificCoastNew.com; PR Photos; WENN.com; NBCUniversal.com; American Broadcasting Co.

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