Reluctant Townie: Stuff I almost watched on Netflix: A review

Some nerd once said you can't judge a book by its cover. (That nerd has clearly never read "100% One Direction: The Unofficial Biography.") But nobody ever said you couldn't judge a movie by its cover.

Top of the morning, Jan. 24, 2014

Brrrr. Double brrr. It's time to hunker down (Loren Tate term) and catch up on your favorite comedies, dramas and awards shows. Speaking of Loren Tate (Way), why isn't the honorary street designation being extended beyond 10 years? In TOTM's mind, once you name a street for somebody, you keep that name forever.

TV news from consumer electronics show

Last week, we test drove the International Consumer Electronics Show. This week, we drive CES home.

The major nongadget action at this year's show in Las Vegas concerned TV, mainly 4K Ultra-High Definition TVs.

Ex-prof has big stake in Super Sunday ad

Homemade Doritos commercial is finalist for $1 million prize

On Super Bowl Sunday, when you're glued to the tube and your fingers are sticky and orangey from salty snacks, you might look up to see a familiar face.

Look Back: Highlights from Melissa Merli on the week that was

A week or so ago I went to The Iron Post, Urbana, to hear Condition Blue, a pickup group of talented local jazz players. The play the music of the early '60s Blue Note period — hard bop that feeds out of the music of Art Blakey, Horace Silver and other greats of the mid- to late '50s. Condition Blue didn't make me and others in the bar feel blue, though. Instead we felt uplifted.

Ask 'Mimi' Jan. 19, 2014

This from Richard Mohr, Urbana: Is the C-U public sculpture program a case of too much of a good thing not being wonderful? The cities are starting to look like sculpture graveyards, not sculpture gardens. And what's up with all the silver ones? Does the committee think we are magpies and will leap at anything spangly?

UI well represented in 'King of the Nerds'

Here's an odd statistic: Three out of 11 nerds are former or current University of Illinois students. That small sample is taken from the composition of "King of the Nerds," a TBS reality show that returns for a second season on Thursday night.

Top of the morning, Jan. 17, 2014

Nothing like cold and snow to make you question your life priorities. For example: Is my television viewing experience optimized?

UI's Keys handicaps Golden Globes

For a best guess on the winners of tonight's Golden Globes awards, we turned to Henson Keys, head of the acting program at the University of Illinois.

A member of the Actors' Equity Association for 40 years, Keys has acted in or directed more than 120 productions in New York and at professional theaters nationwide.

Bob Asmussen's choices for People's Choice Awards

The People’s Choice Awards are coming this week, and we wanted someone to break down a few of the 58 categories that will be awarded. Staff writer Bob Asmussen is a person, so here are his choices in 10 areas:

Favorite Movie

Nominees: "Despicable Me 2," "Fast & Furious 6," "Iron Man 3," "Monsters University," "Star Trek Into Darkness"