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Here are the week's best releases from the pop-culture universe: 

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DVD -- American Dad: Volume Two: The Family Guy creators' other TV show about a frazzled father and his brood looks familiar: Talking-goldfish Klaus replaces talking-dog Brian, and smartass-alien Roger fills in for smartass-baby Stewie. But the jokes are more political here. The three-disc set includes 19 episodes about terrorists, anti-gun zealots, and Hollywood liberals. Commentaries, deleted scenes, and making-of featurettes round out the bonus material.

COMIC BOOK -- Countdown: Still soaring from the just-wrapped yearlong 52 series, DC's new narrative travels a parallel route. Only this time, the weekly issues unfold backward, concluding with no. 0 in May 2008. A large cast of characters (including Superman, Wonder Woman, and pretty much every superhero to ever grace a DC comic) and complex storylines are nothing new for writer Paul Dini -- he's penned episodes of TV's Lost.

TV -- Creature Comforts: This American version of the hit Brit show shares with its predecessor its creators, Nick Park and Aardman Animations, the team behind Wallace and Gromit. The stop-motion animation is wonderfully old-school, and the bits -- featuring animals that act an awful lot like humans -- are funny observations on everything from love to food. It premieres at 8 p.m. Monday on CBS.

BOOK -- My So-Called Punk: Green Day, Fall Out Boy, the Distillers, Bad Religion -- How Neo-Punk Stage-Dived Into the Mainstream: Matt Diehl's history of contemporary punk probes all the things purists rail against: Grammy awards, major labels, corporate sponsorship. But it also gives readers a pretty good idea why the music rose from the underground and became such a surefire commodity. Hint: Teens dig emo.

VIDEO GAME -- Spider-Man 3: This movie tie-in (for pretty much every console and portable under the sun) scours New York City -- including its subways and skyscrapers -- for action. And it features a bunch of new tricks, especially when gamers play as black-suited Spidey. The game follows the film's story, so Sandman, Venom, and the New Goblin are all available for beatdowns. Plus, the web-slingin' side missions are a whole lotta fun.

COURTESY FLUSH, PLEASE -- Tyler Perry's House of Payne: Perry -- the cross-dressing mastermind behind such big-screen drivel as Diary of a Mad Black Woman -- created this moralizing TV show about a bustling household headed by an Atlanta fireman. (It premieres at 9 p.m. Wednesday on TBS.) Lots of wise-cracking family members drop by. So do many black stereotypes. Payneful indeed.

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More by Michael Gallucci

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