Homeland, Hobbits and Hanukkah: 5 Pop Culture Questions of the Moment

Talk amongst yourselves.

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1: Who will rule the December movie screens, Bilbo Baggins or Fantine and Jean Valjean?

Two huge openings are coming, Les Miserables on Dec. 25 and Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey on Dec. 14. It’s hard to imagine a pair of more different movies, one centered around 19th century France and a paroled prisoner and the other about a group of middle-earth dwarves on a journey to fight a dragon who has stolen their treasure. Up until now Ben Affleck’s “Argo” has generated the most movie chatter this year, but that’s about to change.

2: Who will be the first major Homeland character to die?

Homeland has made it this far, and has gotten this good, without killing off any major characters (Tom Walker doesn’t count). Brody’s still with us. Carrie’s still here. Saul, yep, still ticking. Brody’s friend, Mike, is still around. Brody’s wife and kids, all present and accounted for. David Estes, director of the CIA’s Counterterrorism Center, still with us. But at some point that has to change, right? Somebody’s got to go, and with only three episodes left in Season 2, who will it be?

3: With Wyatt Cenac leaving The Daily Show, who should replace him?

He’s been, along with John Oliver, the funniest person on the show this year. But his stand-up career is what he wants to grow and so he’s leaving to pursue that. It’s Comedy Central’s loss, but we expect to be hearing a lot more from him soon. In the meantime, here was an interesting Q&A The Globe did with him a few weeks ago before he came to town to tell a few jokes.

4: With Hanukkah almost here (Dec. 9), we ask: Who is the funniest Jewish comedian ever? It’s an impressive list.

Jon Stewart? Adam Sandler? Adam Sandberg, er, sorry Andy Samberg? Jerry Seinfeld? Sarah Silverman? Jackie Mason? Sasha Baron Cohen? (No, scratch that.) Mel Brooks? Groucho Marx? Gilda Radner? George Burns? Seth Rogen? Woody Allen? We forgetting someone?

5: Shouldn’t there be an age requirement before you can have a documentary done about yourself? Even if you are the one producing it?

Apparently not, because HBO has bought the rights to air a documentary about some 31-year-old singer named Beyonce Knowles, directed by a first-time director named Beyonce Knowles. Okay, we know, it’s Beyonce, but couldn’t she wait till she turned 40? 35 even? It’s not like her daughter with Jay-Z, Blue Ivy Carter, will be able to rave about her parenting skills. She’s just a baby. The Los Angeles Times first reported this documentary news over the summer, but now it’s official and it has an air date on HBO: Feb. 16. We bet that Veronica Alexander will be watching.