What to check out this week


Clever brands come and go, but here’s hoping a new Miami-based lifestyle collection is going to hang around a while. Abnormal Ariginals, a whimsical mix of “welcoming abnormality and appreciating what is original,” includes a line of look-at-me T-shirts. The creations of De’Hollie Wood and Anthony Shaw, the T-shirts are vibrant, bold and abstract. One features the image of a woman’s glossy red smile and a lime-green shirt is emboldened with “Queen Kong.” The pair plan to expand the collection to include more apparel and shoes. AA shirts, ranging from $25 to $80, are available at abnormalarginals.com .


Oh, no, laundry day again. Feel good using Vaska on your duds. It cleans without harming people or the planet. Take its Herbatergent, which contains real lavender; the Herbasoft fabric softener with botanicals that leave no trace of wax or chemicals; or Spotoff, an all-natural stain remover with no dyes or fragrance. Perfect for the messy kiddos. The collection is from $9.99 at Target. vaskahome.com.


Fans who enjoy the sex and gore on Starz’s Spartacus won’t be disappointed when the show returns with Aussie hunk Dustin Clare taking the reins as lead gladiator. Producer Steven DeKnight told the AP “there are some deaths that are so incredible you just have to rewind and watch again because you can’t believe what you just saw.” Spartacus: Gods of the Arena, debuting 10 p.m. Friday, is a prequel to the first season, in part to write around the fact that ailing star Andy Whitfield could not return; he’ll make a brief cameo, though.


The ninth season of 24 should have been starting just about now — except, of course, the hit ended (sob) last year. There may be a movie someday, but in the meantime, bereaved fans may wish to consult Gideon’s War, a novel by Howard Gordon, the show’s executive producer. The 49-year-old TV vet (Beauty and the Beast, The X-Files) began work on this thriller during the 2007 writers strike. It’s about two brothers — one supremely good, the other not — whose lives were forged by the horror of their parents’ murder-suicide. The kicker: Gideon Davis is the anti-Jack Bauer, a pacifist who can’t even look at guns. A sequel, Allegiance, is due out next year.


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