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November 22, 2009

Forget "17 Again." Talk about: "Me and Orson Welles" It's been easy to dismiss Zac Efron as a Disney-reared pretty boy, but his performance as a 1930s teenager hired to star in Orson Welles' production of "Julius Caesar" in this Richard Linklater period drama suggests his potential for far more than anything we've yet seen. (Friday)

It is oh so worth talking about: "The Princess and the Frog"

Can Randy Newman -- and a timely twist on the typically passive fairy-tale princess story -- return Disney's animated musicals to their former glory? After seeing the goods, I'd say they're well on their way. Anika Noni Rose, who provides the voice for the feisty, can-do New Orleans "princess," is dazzling. (Friday)

This movie was underrated, period. Now that the DVD is out, go talk about: "Funny People"

People said that it felt like a couple of different films, that it was too long, and that it wasn't that funny. Wrong. Not only does the Judd Apatow comedy provide Adam Sandler's best performance since "Punch-Drunk Love," it reminds us that not all comedy has to look like "Couples Retreat." Which is a very good thing. (Tuesday)

Of course you should talk about Simon Cowell's favorite people: Susan Boyle and Adam Lambert. Both singers are releasing their debut albums -- Boyle's "I Dreamed a Dream" and Lambert's "For Your Entertainment." Between the two you could have one cheese-tastic weekend. Again, this is a good thing. (Tuesday)

Talk while you can about: ABC's "V"

Not so happy to see this one take a break. Yes, after the fourth episode airs, the series won't return until after the Winter Olympics. As in March. The upcoming hour is your 2009 finale. (Tuesday)

The time has come to stop talking about: "Jon & Kate Plus 8" The season finale has arrived and -- in the first and only time I'll be taking sides -- here's hoping Jon Gosselin is able to shut down filming of his overexposed kids for good. (Monday)

-- Denise Martin

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