Steve Carrell
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SMART LIST: Pop culture talking points (week of Oct. 21, 2007)

By Deborah Netburn, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer

You’ll talk about:

Steve Carell, again. Can anyone root against Carell? Doesn’t he just seem nice, normal and funny -- the kind of guy who would make everyone laugh at your party without being insane and embarrassing? His latest film, “Dan in Real Life,” is a sweeping story about a lonely dad, his large family and the woman he falls in love with. We hope this does well, but we’re even more excited for his star turn in next year’s “Get Smart.” That trailer makes us laugh every time! (Friday) (Myung J. Chun / Los Angeles Times)
We’d be delighted if you talk about:

Lance Bass’ tell-all. We truly love celebrity books (although we’ve never read one all the way through). And they make great dramatic reading material. (We hear David Lee Roth’s memoir is especially good.) This week, Bass tells his life story in the book “Out of Sync” -- from the rise and fall of ‘NSync to cosmonaut training in Russia and his experience coming out as a gay man. Moving or hilarious, we welcome it either way. (Tuesday) (Associated Press)
We suppose you’ll talk about:

The unstoppable “American Idol” train. We tired long ago of chronicling the album releases of past “American Idol” winners (and non-winners), but Carrie Underwood’s new album, “Carnival,” is guaranteed to be bought and enjoyed by many people (present company excluded). (Tuesday) (Jeff Christensen / AP)
We doubt you’ll talk about:

“Mind of Mencia.” You didn’t ask for it, but you’re going to get it anyway: Season 3 of Carlos Mencia’s Comedy Central show comes out this week, and it’s . . . uncensored! There are also 30 minutes of deleted scenes! More Mencia for everyone, whether you like it or not. (Tuesday) (Kevin Winter / Getty Images)
We always enjoy talking about:

Clever marketing. Pumpkins are popping up on door stoops, the crazy people in your neighborhood have hung cobwebs from the palm trees, and once again, the “Saw” film franchise is launching its annual “Give Till It Hurts” Blood Drive. That’s right! According to the news release, the monthlong drive -- with a star-tapping event at Lionsgate Films from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday -- is a key element in the film’s franchise, just like the Halloween-ish premiere date for “Saw IV” (which will be released Oct. 26). (Tuesday)

Pictured: Betsy Russell as Jill in “Saw IV.” (Lionsgate)