Just a few things:
I just finished watching season 4 of Dexter. It was quite good. John Lithgow as "Trinity" is genuinely creepy and the contrast between him and Dexter really makes the story this season interesting. It is interesting to me that things that seemed so shocking in the first season, like Dexter's ritual killings, are almost mundane now. The season wraps up with a satisfying and startling conclusion. As always, Dexter is highly recomended.
The only current tv show that I'm watching (besides 30 Rock) is Caprica. I wasn't interested at all until I saw it was available on Hulu. I decided to check it out and was instantly hooked. It is really cool how they present this society that is just like ours with a few subtle tweaks. For one, almost all of the social norms that we have picked up over the years for no other reason than the predominance of Christianity are not present in the world of Caprica. Polyamory, homosexuality, and many other things are presented in an almost casual way, which I think is fascinating. The story is really soap opera-y instead of space opera-y but in the best possible way. It does that same thing that Battlestar did in that the people are the important parts. Really neat and highly recommended.
There are two movies that you should totally see; Moon and Black Dynamite. Moon is a fantastic sci-fi movie about a man minning energy form the moon. It manages to never devolve into an action or horror movie, which is rare, if not outright unique. Black Dynamite is a modern satire of 70's blacksploitation movies. I have just two words for you: Karate Nixon. See them both.
On the darker side of things, there was the whole hubub the other week about the Infinity Ward/Activision firings. My one and only reaction to this actually has nothing to do with the firings themselves, but of the anouncements afterwards. Basically they are going to Guitar Hero Call of Duty to death. If Activision continues to make descisions like this I guarantee that they are not long for this world. My guess is that within three years we will see the complete crumbling of Activision and Blizzard will either break off or take over the managment of the company.
Shoot 1up came out on XBL indies a few weeks ago. It is good. There are several mechanics of interest in it that actually remind me of Bit.trip.void. To achieve a large multiplier, you have to spread out your formation and risk losing ships. In Bit.trip.void your ship got bigger as you absorbed dots and your score was based on how many dots you banked before you released, scored, and shrank. Shoot 1up also has multiple paths through stages and an interesting shielding mechanic. It is also only a dollar so please give it a shot.
I am about 20 hours into Final Fantasy 13 and enjoying it. It feels like all the cool kids want to hate on it. I can see where they are coming from, but to me it takes the few things that Final Fantasy has always been good at, story and battle mechanics, and dumps all of the things that it has been terrible at, like towns and exploration. The combat system does take a while to really get going but I was pushed forward so relentlessly by the story that i hardly noticed. Every time that I was getting bored by the combat they add something new so for me the pacing was just right.
My favorite FF's have been 5 and 12, and it surprisese me that I like this one so much. It is especially surprising because I could not make it through 10 and I kind of hate 7. Part of that is that the combat reminds me a lot of both 12 and 5 and part of it is that the story pacing is so fast that I cna forgive the linearity.
I know it is apparently cool to hate Vampire Weekend but since I am completely unplugged from any music press, marketing, or professional hipster haters, I can just enjoy it. I was a music major for a while in college and worked as a giging musician for about 3 years so all of the musically geeky things going on in their songs really get me. Polyrhythms for the win! Contra really took me by surprise because it is so different from their first album. The more I listen to it though, the more I like it.
One last thing, Sleep is Death looks amazing. There is a great article on it over at M. You can preorder it for $10 and get it 2 weeks early or pay $15 when it gets released.