'Shark Week' has a lot to chew on and more

2 months ago 19
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(CNN)Three things I am most afraid of: sharks, sharks in water and the thought of water containing sharks.

Like, seriously, freaked out. I trace it back to seeing a trailer for "Jaws" when I was a little girl.

    My mother assured me there were no great white sharks on the East Coast where we lived. Yet years later, I remember reading about one being spotted in New Jersey waters, not far from my hometown of Baltimore.

      Mom, I know you are reading this and, while I know you would never knowingly lie to me, I wonder ...

      Anyway, that's why I am shaking a little bit writing this week's Pop Life Chronicles, but let's gooooooo.

      Three things to watch

      'Shark Week'

      A great white shark is shown in a scene from Discovery's "Shark Week."

      For those who DO love sharks, "Shark Week" on Discovery is like multiple Super Bowls.

      Seriously, the network has something for just about everyone.

      Don't believe me?

      This year's rundown includes Tiffany Haddish hosting an episode. We learn from Haddish that "her fantasy was to uncover the secrets of shark sex, sailing on the fanciest yachts surrounded by friendly sea creatures and pampered by a handsome merman." There is also the "Jackass Shark Week Special," starring Johnny Knoxville, Steve-O and the crew, and a Bill Shatner-hosted "Expedition Unknown: Shark Trek."

      Yes, THAT William Shatner. There are tons of other celebs who appear as part of the week, including Brad Paisley, Snoop Dogg and "Sharknado" stars Ian Ziering and Tara Reid (naturally).

      "Shark Week" runs Sunday through July 18 on Discovery and Discovery+.

      'Gossip Girl'

      (From left) Evan Mock, Thomas Doherty, Emily Alyn Lind, Eli Brown, Jordan Alexander, Savannah Lee Smith and Zion Moreno star in "Gossip Girl."

      Is there anything better than being a wealthy teen growing up in New York City?

      Sadly, I have no point of reference. But the new "Gossip Girl" can at least help us pretend, maybe?

      The reboot of the teen drama that ran on The CW from 2007 to 2012 is updated to include the development of social media, but there is still plenty of mystery, like with the original.

      "Gossip Girl" is streaming on HBO Max, which shares CNN's parent company.

      'Black Widow'

      Scarlett Johansson stars in "Black Widow."

      Come through, Natasha Romanoff!!

      The Marvel canon is expanding with this film, starring Scarlett Johansson as Romanoff, aka Black Widow, a member of the Avengers who hasn't shown us any superpowers but has plenty of fighting skills.

      Trained as a Russian spy and assassin, Romanoff as played by ScarJo offers plenty of action, with the added benefit of Florence Pugh as her Red Room sister (and fellow killer) Yelena Belova.

      "Black Widow" hits theaters and Disney+ on Friday.

      Two things to listen to

      Jimmy Jam (left) and Terry Lewis (right) attend the National Museum of African American Music's "Celebration of Legends" benefit concert in Nashville, Tennessee, June 17.

      What time is it?

      Superproducers Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis are bringing a ton of talent for their new album, "Jam & Lewis Volume One."

      The former members of the group The Time, who went from being Prince protégés to helping craft the career of Janet Jackson, have some real heavy hitters on their debut album, including Mariah Carey, Mary J. Blige, Toni Braxton and Usher.

      You read that right: After more than 40 years in the music industry, this is the duo's first album.

      "It's crazy to think we're about to release our debut album after all these years," Lewis told Variety. "This is going to be a very special moment and we are grateful to have this team behind us."

      "Jam & Lewis Volume One" is out Friday.

      Eric Roberts (left) and Elisabeth Röhm (right) are featured on a new podcast.

      True crime junkie that I am, I couldn't have been more excited for "Killer's Vault."

      Narrated by actor Eric Roberts and hosted by "Law & Order" alum Elisabeth Röhm (that just feels right, doesn't it?), the new podcast features "more than 10,000 never-before-seen intimate personal letters, hundreds of hours of private and extremely vivid phone recordings, profound artwork and journal excerpts, and unpublished books from America's most notorious serial killers, including John Wayne Gacy, Charles Manson, David Berkowitz, Richard Ramirez and more."

      That sounds like a treasure trove of terror right there.

      "Killer's Vault" is currently streaming on Spotify and Apple.

      One thing to talk about

       Homecoming" event at Villa Magna Hotel in Madrid in 2017.

      This week's one thing feels connected to what I wrote weeks ago about Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck reuniting.

      That's because recent paparazzi photos of "Spider-Man" costars Zendaya and Tom Holland reminded me of Lopez's 2002 music video "Jenny From the Block," which costarred Affleck.

      In it, we see photographers getting shots of what appeared to be Lopez and Affleck, then a couple looking tense, with Lopez wiping away tears. But further watching of the video reveals it's actually an eyelash in Lopez's eye.

      The entire theme of the video is the invasion of privacy and how not every scene is what it may seem to be at first glance.

      Enter "steamy" photos of Zendaya and Holland published by Page Six, which appear to show them getting hot and heavy inside a car. People have been theorizing for years that they are a couple -- despite Holland denying it -- but we really have no idea what's going on with the pair.

      Until they confirm they are more than just friends, our Spidey senses can tingle all they want -- and that goes for all celebs trying to have a private life in a very public industry.

      Something to sip on

      Nick Cannon attends the third annual MBJAM19, presented by Michael B. Jordan and Lupus LA, in Hollywood, California, on July 27, 2019.

      We as a society seem to spend lots of time in women's wombs, so let's give Nick Cannon some equal time.

      The TV host/occasional rapper has recently become a father a few times over, sparking buzz.

      But digging into past interviews with Cannon, there is evidence that we shouldn't be surprised by his, ah ... fruitfulness.

      "I come from a tribal mentality," he told VladTV in 2018. "You should have as many kids as you can take care of and really provide for them and be the best provider you can possibly be."

      At the time, he discussed his relationship with model Brittany Bell, with whom he now shares two children. He said he's very up front with the women he's involved with and will never have to deal with "baby mama drama" because he's a "straight shooter."

      Cannon said on his Power 106 Los Angeles radio show this week that the children he welcomed in the past year were planned.

        "Trust me, there's a lot of people that I could've gotten pregnant that I didn't," he said Wednesday. "The ones that got pregnant are the ones that were supposed to get pregnant."

        Stop snickering at that and appreciate that Cannon also said he "loves to take care of women." That's probably very reassuring to the women he shares children with.

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