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Ambassador Borat, DEA guy flips out, Pickler's OK

October 29, 2006|Richard Rushfield

Talking points for the

pop culture week ahead:

What you'll be talking about: U.S.-Kazakh relations. Will they be permanently damaged by Fox's release of "Borat," Sacha Baron Cohen's prankumentary of the faux-journalist character's American tour, cross-pollinating De Tocqueville with "Punk'd"? Opens Friday.

What you should be talking about: What happens to a DEA agent scorned? On the "Weeds" season finale, he (Martin Donovan) turns into a vengeful psycho out to steal from pot mom Nancy (Mary-Louise Parker) and ruin her life. This mess will get only more complicated. Airs Monday (Showtime).

What you'll be dying to talk about: Rule Espana. "Volver," the latest gender- and genre-defying high-wire act by Spain's reigning king of the art house, Pedro Almodovar. Opens Friday.

What you'll wish you weren't talking about: "The O.C." In last season's finale, they killed off Marissa (Mischa Barton) for being too annoying and depressed and slightly British-sounding. The remaining kids will have to do their mourning in college. Season 4 of the once-hot Fox soap opera premieres Thursday. (For Jon Caramanica's take, see The Monitor, Page 21.)

What you'll secretly be wanting to talk about: The buzz is surprisingly not awful on "American Idol" finalist Kellie Pickler's debut album, "Small Town Girl." Don't be surprised if you find yourself humming along soon. (Tuesday)

What you'll wish the world would shut up about already: Master of quasi-literary romantic treacle Nicholas Sparks returns with another story of yearning love soon to be a major motion picture. "Dear John" tells the story of a soldier's summer romance in Savannah. (Monday)

What you'll never talk to anyone about, ever: "Party at the Palms, Season One," starring Jenny McCarthy, is released on DVD. (Tuesday)

-- Richard Rushfield

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