Your Weekly Pop Culture Mandate: Sept 13

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Five things you must not miss this week, including albums from Weezer and Les Savy Fav, and Ben Affleck robbing banks.

MUSIC Hurley, Weezer

Hurley - Weezer

So much has changed since Pinkerton. To give but one example, Rivers Cuomo was “Tired of Sex” on that album; now, the forty-year-old singer asks “Where’s My Sex?” But Cuomo’s bedroom confessions are one of the few constants in his band’s discography, and Weezer loyalists will be glad to know that this album does not suck; in fact, it’s good. No, it’s not another Blue Album (get over it), but Hurley’s catchy, smarter-than-your-average-bear pop puts it pretty near the green one. A consolation prize, sure, but still a prize. September 14

BOOKS Room, Emma Donoghue

Room, by Emma Donoghue

After spending his young life in one room, the five-year-old Jack learns from his mother that there’s a world outside of it. And though the premise of Donoghue’s debut novel isn't exactly new (variations have included Plato’s cave, “The Yellow Wallpaper,” and The Truman Show, to name a few), Room is artful and distinct enough to earn it a spot on the shortlist for this year’s Booker Prize. September 14

MUSIC Root for Ruin, Les Savy Fav

Root for Ruin - Les Savy Fav

Les Savy Fav, the OGs of hipster Williamsburg, used to “rock the party that rocks the body.” But that was 1999, before their raucous revelry faded into riff-laden reflection. “I’m sick of going out, and I’m feeling so damn old,” Tim Harrington mourns on “Dear Crutches.” Like a scruffy version of LCD Soundsystem’s slick This Is Happening, Ruin is jaded and sexy. As the lustful “Let’s Get Out of Here” notes, “We’ll all fade away, but we’re here today.” In certain parts of Brooklyn, that’s as romantic as it gets. September 14

TELEVISION It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, FX

It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia

Sunny tends to feel like a live-action South Park, confronting society’s hot-button issues with gleeful irreverence. But liberal sympathy usually betrays South Park’s satire, whereas the opportunistic gang of bartenders in Sunny hold nothing dear. Barreling into its sixth season, the sitcom continues to prove that humor really is nonpartisan. September 16

MOVIES The Town, Ben Affleck

Rebecca Hall and John Hamm in The Town

While Cambridge enjoys its tenure as a cinematic habitat for intellectual underdogs (Affleck's Good Will Hunting, 21, The Social Network), Boston has become a seedy playground for underprivileged hoodlums (Mystic River, The Departed, Affleck's Gone Baby Gone). Continuing this trend is The Town, a star-studded caper in which bank-robbing Massholes (Affleck, obviously, and Jeremy Renner) wrestle with federal enforcement (Jon Hamm) and local allegiances (Rebecca Hall, Blake Lively). September 17