Labor Day weekend looms this coming Friday, earmarking the end of summer (boo!), but also the beginning of frat parties, campus hook-ups, and the simulateneous pre-playoffs home stretch of pro baseball and overall ramping up of pro football (yay!, yay!, and yay!).
So even though you’ll be celebrating hard work by doing nothing in the days ahead, here are some prime options to lead you through plasurable labors during the week at hand, enabling you to party hard before earning your extended weekend of leisure—and more partying.
Here are the 13 best reasons why this week won’t suck.
Emmy Awards Hosted by Seth Myers
Weekend Update anchor turned Late Night funny-host Seth Myers emcees the primetime TV industry’s annual big trophy handout. Aside from actresseses in slinky designer ware (remember Tina Fey’s oops-tastic pop top at last year’s ceremony?), the 2014 crop of nominees is especially loaded with guy-friendly tube fare, dominated by Breaking Bad, True Detective, Fargo, Mad Men, Brooklyn Nine Nine, and our favorite women-in-prison production this side of a 1970s drive-in movie theater, Orange Is the New Black.
U.S. Open 2014 begins
Homeland hardbody Venus Williams takes on Japan’s Kimiko Date-Krumm at Arthur Ashe Stadium to kick off this year’s U.S. Open, which runs all week before tournament winners get crowned on September 1. Defending men’s champion Rafael Nadal is out, as is women’s favorite La Ni, two question-mark factors in what’s shaping up to be an unpredictable series of contests (unpredictable except for cute pantie flashes peeking out from short skirts throughout the female matches: those occur like clockwork).
Nationals at Phillies
Division leaders versus basement dwellers often (although certainly not always) can make for an interesting match-ups. Just such a lopsided matchup is on tap Monday night at Citiens Bank Park, with NL East first-placers the Nationals marching into Philadelphia. Starter Tanner Roark leads the D.C. crew, coming off a seven-inning no-hitter last Wednesday. For the Phils, A.J. Tanner takes the mound, leading 2014 baseball in walks, with 76 in 171 innings. Things might get ugly—or beautiful, depending on whose cap you don.
Chelsea Lately (Series Finale)
Seven years after redefining previously hard-held ideas regarding TV gabfests and whether or not hot chicks can be funny, let alone filthy funny, Chelsea Handler wraps up Chelsea Lately with a live broadcast spectacular featuring celebrity guests, boob jokes galore, and lusty leers from (and toward) her taquito-sized sidekick Chuy Bravo. Among the stars lining up are Miley Cyrus and 50 Cent, who will each perform, along with Jennifer Aniston, Justin Theroux, Ben Falcone, Melissa McCarthy, Joe Manganiello, Leah Remini, Selena Gomez, Gerard Butler, Minnie Driver, Kristin Chenoweth, Trace Adkins, Avril Lavigne, and more. From there, Handler is headed to a Netflix talk show. No word on whether she’ll take advantage of the online network’s loose restrictions on nudity and profanity, but count on finding out fast.
Jersey Shore Massacre (Blu-ray Release)
When it comes to modern B-movies, the irony-gushing Age of Sharknado continues to overwhelm Red Box rentals and online downloads with the arrival of Jersey Shore Massacre, wherein a parody of an ’80s slasher film meets a parody of the MTV “guido” phenomenon of more recent years past. The hair is high, the gorillas are juice-headed, and the CGI gore splatters like so much body spray mixed with marinara sauce as the cycle of “gym-tan-laundry-die” plays out repeatedly with happy abandon. Beyond the stereotypes and creative kills, watch for Ron Jeremy as a pothead landlord and one truly noteworthy credit: “Executive Producer – JWoww”.
Tosh.0 (Series Premiere)
Season seven of Tosh.0 beats the September rush of TV debuts Tuesday at 9pm, with yet another reliable round of dumb video clips and wickedly hilarious commentary from funnyman Daniel Tosh. It’s followed by a new sports-themed episode of Drunk History featuring Jason Momoa, Zach Gifford, and Emily Deschanel.
J Mascis – Tied to a Star (Album Release)
The once and present guitar monster and frontman of grunge legends Dinosaur Jr. powers down in terms of volume and fury on his new Sub Pop long-player, but he still delivers a disc of intense, witty, and gripping music from end to end. Guest players include Chan Marshall, Black Heart Procession’s Pall Jenkins, Mark Mulcahy and Ken Maiuri from Young@Heart Chorus. Following in the stripped-down footsteps of his fellow sludge-monger Buzz Osborne of the Melvins, Mascis has announced that he’ll likely support this new album with an acoustic tour showcasing just himself, his unplugged six-string, and his flowing white wizard mane.
National Dog Day
The official 24-hour tribute to man’s best friend reaches its ten-year milestone. Pet author Colleen Paige established National Dog Day “to show deep appreciation for our long connection to each other – for [dogs’] endearing patience, unquestioning loyalty, and for their work, their capacity for love and their ability to impact our lives everyday in the most miraculous ways.” So dish out a little extra love to the pooch of your choice today, and maybe drop $5 in the direction of a nearby animal shelter. Whether or not you hump anyone’s leg in full canine tribute is wholly optional.
Arcade Fire at United Center (Chicago, IL)
Still out there conquering arenas in support of their 2013 triumph Reflektor, Arcade Fire heats up the Windy City with back-to-back shows and a tease of surprise music possibilities. In addition to their standard dazzling stage production, Arcade Fire has been busting wild card cover tunes of late. Occasionally, venues have dictated the song selection, as in when the band played INXS’s “Devil Inside” while in Australia, but for the most part it’s been an anything-goes tour highlight that has included “Been Caught Stealing” by Jane’s Addiction, “Girls Just Want to Have Fun” by Cyndi Lauper, “The Last Time” by the Rolling Stones, “Maps” by the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, and “The Power of Love” by Huey Lewis and the News.
Will they do a song by hometown heroes Smashin Pumpkins or maybe a classic rock anthem by the band Chicago? Only thousands of cellphone cameras that get whipped out on Wednesday night will be able to tell us for sure.
New England Patriots Cheerleaders at Vista Donuts
Attleboro, Massachusetts’ Vista Donuts is a popular late night sugar-and-caffeine crash space for beer-drinkers and wicked pissah raisers in nearby Providence, Rhode Island. Our advice, then, is to wake up early or, better yet, keep the party going extra late as the New England Patriots Cheerleaders add their own sweetness and heat to Vista with a personal appearance this Wednesday at 11am.
The November Man
Pierce Brosnan made a dapper, serviceable James Bond from 1995 to 2002, and now he’s easing into the current Liam Neeson-led phenomenon of gray-templed action heroes with equally suave but no less tail-kicking finesse. Brosnan stars as an ex-CIA agent living peacefully in Switzerland until he’s jolted out of retirement to protect exotic hottie (and former Bond babe herself) Olga Kurylenko. Catch The November Man in theaters Wednesday night before the Labor Day madness ensues, and just see if you don’t find yourself partying with a touch more class this weekend.
Denver Broncos at Dallas Cowboys
Peyton Manning and Tony Romo duke out the waning days of August football with the former’s Broncos stampeding into Texas on a 2-0 preseason records versus the latter’s 0-2 standing. On any given Thursday night at the end of summer, of course, anything can happen.
Texas A&M at South Carolina
(Aug 28 | 6:00 PM EST | SEC Network)
Real Football is back! Real football is back! And while unfortunately the first noteworthy game is only going to be available on the SEC Network (or the WatchESPN app), the good news is that you can go to your local bar to watch it.