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Dark Shadows on the horizon

What's coming up in the week ahead

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"You don't need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows," but these days, a guide through the seemingly endless flurry of pop culture is just what we need. With that in mind, here is what's on the radar screen in TV, music and film for the coming week.



Big release: Dark Shadows (May 11)

Big picture: Finally. A centuries-old vampire infatuated with someone his own age, not a teenage girl. Johnny Depp plays Barnabas, an 18th-century man cursed to be a vampire by a seductive witch (Eva Green), and buried alive for two centuries. When freed in 1972, Barnabas finds a changed world, and learns his eccentric ancestors have their own grave problems. An immortal bloodsucker in the drug-addled '70s? That's a lot of second-hand pharmaceuticals for one poor vampire to handle. Based on the campy '60s TV soap, Dark Shadows goes for laughs as much as it goes for gothic action. While his instinct may be to go for the jugular, Barnabas is more likely to connect with the funny bone.

Forecast: Depp playing an awkward, misunderstood, but lovable weirdo in a film directed by Tim Burton? Sounds familiar, doesn't it? Their collaborations can be moving masterpieces (Edward Scissorhands) or eye-popping but emotionally empty (Alice in Wonderland). But when it comes to the ghoulish, nobody serves up more tricks and treats than this Hollywood creative duo. Barnabas may not have a soul, but we're betting his movie will.



Big event: Desperate Housewives series finale (May 13, ABC/CTV, 8 p.m. )

Big picture: A two-hour farewell to the small screen's most desperate ladies. Expect sex (of course), a wedding, a birth, and a possible death (murder?) -- basically, more of the same for the denizens of the drama-laden Wisteria Lane (I always thought it should have been called Hysteria). Farewell Susan (Teri Hatcher), Lynette (Felicity Huffman), Bree (Marcia Cross) and Gabrielle (Eva Longoria). After eight seasons and 173 episodes, I can't exactly say we hardly knew you. Apparently, dead characters will also make appearances in this swan song (I'm hoping in zombie form).

Forecast: My guess for the shocking, final reveal? We find out that all the housewives have been dead since the beginning, and the whole saga has taken place in some kind of bizarre purgatory. (Actually, this would explain a lot).



Big release on Tuesday: PS I Love You (Death Dreams)

Big picture: The noise-rock duo from Kingston, Ont., follow up its critically lauded debut album, Meet Me at the Muster Station. Musicians Benjamin Nelson and Paul Saulnier are more experimental and unpredictable on Death Dreams. Saulnier has said the title stems from recurring dreams about his own demise, but there's nothing sleepy about the band's music. Don't Go -- an intense, buzzing, drum-battered number -- could bring the dead back to life.

Forecast: This is one of the best Canadian alt-rock albums of 2012. PS I Love You offers rousing, vivid Death Dreams in a week beset by Dark Shadows. (I think Barnabas would approve.)

Honourable Mention: Royal Headache (Royal Headache): A throwback to dirty, raw, '70s garage rock, this band's debut oozes with sweat, sin and self-destruction. From start to finish, these uptempo Australian rockers embody grit. They have the hipness of The Strokes or The Hives, but ooze with more authentic swagger.

-- Postmedia News


Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition May 6, 2012 ??65525

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