Friday, September 30, 2011

Potent Notables

- Oh no.  Doesn't Hollywood know that he's not funny AND long past relevant. 

- I love when people are creative and thrifty at the same time. Plus HOBBITS!

- Not that there needed to be a Red Dawn remake but it’s been shelved for a loooooong time.  Now I want them to release The Cabin in the Woods.  Do it!

- Sometimes I'm not convinced there are enough awesome people in the world then I read stuff like this

- This could be great.  In fact it was Mortal Kombat, the original movie, that convinced me of my life's mission to prove there is good stuff about any movie.

- I shall miss ALT but Kelly Cutrone redefiines words like bitchy and snarky.  Plus I'd love to see her roll her eyes at Tyra's BS.

- How long 'til the Avengers comes out?

Trailer Park

Trailer Park Friday, y'all!  I had trouble finding some good ones so there are only 4 this week.

I know I should read this but I just haven't yet.  I will.  Probably.

I hated Valentine's Day (and not just because I'm a perpetual spinster). 
So the thought of another one of these just makes me icky all over.  Plus, Heigl (Grrrr).

I haven't seen the first two and don't plan on seeing this one either.

However, how wonderful does this look?
And now I'm crying. Dangit!

Community and Parks & Rec - Didja watch?

Didja watch Community?  If you had you would have seen:
Martin-effing-Starr as the new professor.  They better use him on this show a lot.

Didja watch Parks and Recreation?  If you had you would have seen:
Holy Ron Without a Mustache!

Plus all the Tammys?!?! I love that Ron's mom's name is Tamara but, of course, goes by Tammy.  That was beyond great. 

My only complaint about Parks and Recreation is actually a funny running gag they have and the problem is a personal one. I really shouldn't share too much about myself, right?  Oh well, here goes.  I sometimes get word OCD and a word or name will occasionally repeat in my head.  Every time they have Detlef Schrempf on there I frown because I know that most of the next day will be spent trying to pronounce his name.  Over and over and over and over...

Today in Pop Culture History: A rebel and a Rubble

We don't blame you for Franco. Promise.

30 September 1955: James Dean died in a two-car crash at the age of 24 in California. Though he'd only had major roles in three films (East of Eden, Rebel without a Cause, and Giant), his physical presence, communicating both danger and vulnerability, coupled with an unconventional line delivery, made him a paragon of teenage angst. His early death cemented him as a pop culture icon of coolness. Also, he had a thing with Mrs. Seinfeld, among others.

30 September 1952: Cinerama, a production process that combines footage from three separate cameras, debuted. Some Cinerama features include How the West Was Won, It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World, and 2001: A Space Odyssey!

30 September 1960: The Flintstones premiered. It was marketed, no doubt by those whose cultural imaginations could not conceive of South Park and Adult Swim, as a cartoon for adults.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Adaptation Angst: Little Miss Sunshine and American Psycho

Once more with . . . oh, you know.

Everything has to be turned into a musical these days. It's the "gritty re-boot" of popular theatre. The latest films to get the jazz-hands treatment are Little Miss Sunshine and American Psycho.

My concern about LMS is that part of the pleasure of the film was the understated wryness that accompanied most of the line deliveries. That, coupled with the fact that the majority of the characters were functional low-grade depressives, makes me skeptical that a musical could succeed, despite the presence of singing and dancing in the movie. It's the surprise and incongruity of that scene that provides the delight, and that would, obviously, be lost in a musical.

American Psycho, on the other hand, I think could work. Sweeney Todd proves that singing psychopaths are actually quite terrifying, and this production has quite the pedigree. Let's just hope that the adaptation will feature the music of Phil Collins.

Check out the New York Times story for more details.

ANTM, Suburgatory, Modern Family, and Happy Endings - Didja watch?

Didja watch America's Next Top Trainwreck?  If you had you would have seen:
Models on stilts.  Woo.  Also, Bye Isis!  I liked you and was hoping you'd stick around longer than Annoying Alexandra or Loopy Lisa.

Didja watch Suburgatory?  If you had you would have seen:
The poor chick on the right put up with strange suburbanites.   I kept thinking this was the Tim Allen show (I still can't think of the name of that beyond that I think it has a "Man" in it. In fact, I think 1/3 of the new shows on TV have the word "Man" in them.)  Anywhoodle I read a couple of good reviews of Suburgatory and thought I'd give it a shot.  It was fine.  I didn't laugh but there might be some potential.  I'll give it another shot perhaps.  Plus...ELTON!

Didja watch Modern Family?  If you had you would have seen:

Phil on Wire.  Have you seen Man on Wire?  Great documentary and I love that they referenced it.  Also priceless was Mitchell's freak out in the ocean but I can't find a screen cap of it.

Didja watch Happy Endings?  If you had you would have seen:
The 20s party that I wish someone I knew would throw and also invite me to.  I was hoping for a better premiere episode and I'm kind of tired of them whining as much as they do.  However, the opening with most everyone having a freak-out in the hotel room was kind of amusing.

Currently Wednesdays make me miss Tuesday and wish it was Thursday.  Anyone else having this problem?

Also, I didn't get to see Revenge so don't spoil it for me.

"Graduation Day, Part One" (Buffy 3.21): Stuff gets real

A two-part season finale penned and directed by Joss the Great? Yes, please. Graduation is approaching and  faculty and students alike are phoning it in:
Best lesson plan EVER.

Also, the Mayor is eating spiders, and Angel is putting the hot in running hot and cold. I think we need a Buffy guide to surviving senioritis and vanquishing your enemies up in here!

DO trust your instincts.
Though it's tempting to surrender to the nostalgia machine that is high school graduation, don't let it overwhelm you.
Trust us Wills, there's a good reason you weren't friends with Harmony.

DON'T be overconfident.
He's not even a demon yet, and the Mayor is walking around the Sunnydale High library like he owns the place. Sure, being invincible does help when threatening to eat Buffy in Giles's territory, but his swagger might be making him a bit neglectful of other, non-physical threats.
You won't be so demon-may-care when Faith is in a coma.

Sure, he's got Faith tying up loose ends (i.e., killing people), but mortally wounding Angel is not the same as taking Buffy out of the equation. She leaves her sweaty, shirtless, semi-ex (a superhuman feat in and of itself) to acquire the antidote to the poison arrow that's killing him . . . even though that antidote happens to be the Slayer blood that is currently coursing through Faith's veins.
I forgive you for the sewer break-up. Almost.

DO put away childish things.
Though Buff is meh on graduation itself, she achieves a different sort of developmental milestone when she QUITS THE WATCHERS COUNCIL. She'll put up with sadistic rituals and Wesley, but don't stonewall her when she's trying to save the love of her life. You won't save Angel, Quentin Travers? She'll do it her own damn self, even if she's got to shiv Faith to make it happen.
Pictured: Buffy's big-girl pants.

DO panic.
And by "panic," I mean have sex with Oz. In the midst of all this high angst and drama, Willow loses her V-chip to our favorite lycanthrope.  No better way to prepare for the coming apocalypse, I say.
A post-coital hair stroke for which I would gladly suffer an Ascension or two.

This episode leaves us with Faith gutted but breathing, Angel feverish and dying, and Oz as hot as ever. Join us on Monday for the Slayer-draining, big-snake-fighting, high-school-destroying finale of season 3!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

What Charmed could learn from The Covenant

The season 1 recap continues!

Episodes Watched
"From Fear to Eternity"
"Secrets and Guys"
"Is There a Woogy in the House?"
"Which Prue Is It Anyway?"

Into It
I like how the Book of Shadows (the sisters' grimoire) isn't a static text, but grows and changes depending on how it's needed and how it's used.  In "From Fear to Eternity," the book produces a growing spell in the girls' mother's handwriting for Prue to consult as she battles a fear demon and learns to say "I love you." Aww.  And Pheobe adds a spell in "Woogy" once she remembers her grandmother's rhyme for defeating the shadow monster who lives in the basement. It reminds me of the books in the Harry Potter universe--Tom Riddle's diary, The Half Prince's potions textbook and Beedle the Bard's fairy tales all, to different extents, "talk back" to their readers. I'm working on a paper about the ethics of reading that such books imply, and I'll have to add this to my list.

Over It
There should be more dude witches on this show. There's a pre-teen boy witch in "Secrets and Guys," but that just made it more obvious that mostly, only bad "warlocks" are male. Take a hint from modern classic The Covenant, guy witches have potential.
Especially when they're on the goddamn swim team.

Waiting for It
In "Secrets and Guys," we finally get some more Leo, but alas, he only shows up to tell us (well, Piper), that he can't stick around. As it turns out, he's a "whitelighter" (which sounds like a sort of fairy godmother for witches, except sexy, and really into windbreakers), and they're not allowed to fall for the witches they're protecting, except he has. Now, as a fervent Buffy/Angel 'shipper, I'm all for a little star-crossed loverness, but I need some more why in my why-God-why doomed relationship. Why can't whitelighters get in relationships with witches? What's at stake? What's the punishment for transgressing? It's pretty self-explanatory why Slayers and vampires shouldn't fall in love, but I'm looking forward to some more mythology.

Glee, New Girl and Raising Hope - Didja watch?

Didja watch Glee?  If you had you would have seen:

The Skanks crack a few funny 'broken home' platitudes and make me wish we spent more time with them on their requested couches under the bleachers (because smoking all day makes them tired).

Rachel and her mom, Shelby, sing an enjoyable version of one of my absolute favorite Broadway songs, Somewhere:

I love when these two sing together, even when the lyrics to the song are wildly inappropriate (ahem, Poker Face).

Didja watch New Girl?  If you had you would have seen:

Jess' obnoxious ex, Spencer, and his hair.

He's wearing a scrunchy! Also, Jess wants that shirt back.
What followed was this exchange (which, for some reason, really cracked me up even though it's pretty dumb):

  • Spencer: What happens if I don't give it back?
  • Schmidt: Schmidt happens. *slap*
  • Spencer: Ow! What was that on your hand?!
  • Schmidt: THUMB RING, BITCH! You got Schmidt on your face!
 Didja watch Raising Hope? If you had you would have seen:

A very expensive Japanese toilet.

It's a cute show and last night's episode was good but I can't remember much more than that toilet.

Today in Pop Culture History: Cheese and Cheats

28 September 1994: The 5,000th performance of Cats! Mock it if you will, and I certainly will, but it is a tiny bit entertaining, was based on a collection of poems by genius and cat-lover T.S. Eliot, and has spawned litters worth of parodies and pop culture references. It's the go-to musical to cite when you want a character in your movie or TV show to be a New York City tourist. And it's also the reason Chris from Team America: World Police hates actors.

28 September 1994: Coincidentally, the kitschy Tim Burton biopic of legendary cult-movie director Ed Wood, starring his muse, Johnny Depp, opened today.

He fought in W.W. 2!

28 September 2007: Footage from The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford leaked on the Internet weeks before the movie was set to premiere. I include this in the "downer" category not because of the piracy, but because it reminds me how bored I was by that movie. 

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

The Morning After - Terra Nova

Fox's Terra Nova  sends Earth-dwellers back in time (I think it was) 85 million years into the past in order to try again.  OK, honestly no one would write a description better than Fox's publicity department so I'll let them bore you with flowery details:
The Shannon family joins the Tenth Pilgrimage of settlers to Terra Nova, the first colony established in this beautiful yet foreboding land. Jim Shannon, a devoted father with a checkered past, guides his family through this new world of limitless beauty, mystery and terror. Upon the Shannons' arrival, they are introduced to Cmdr. Nathaniel Taylor, the charismatic and heroic first pioneer and leader of the settlement. Taylor warns the travelers that while Terra Nova is a place of new opportunities and fresh beginnings, all is not as idyllic as it initially appears. Along with blue skies, towering waterfalls and lush vegetation, the surrounding terrain is teeming with danger - and not just of the man-eating dinosaur variety. There is also a splinter colony of renegades led by the battle-hardened Mira, who is vehemently opposed to Taylor and his leadership. 

Got it?  Good.  This is one of those shows for which I had high expectations.  I mean, why wouldn't I with Spielberg and some pretty big TV folks behind it.  It was good.  Not great, but good.  The green screen (or blue, I can't remember which is the preferred) was pretty obvious at times.  The acting, especially by perpetual hard-ass Steven Lang, was pretty course.  And honestly this was the most relaxed and easy-going I've ever seen him.  He posed a lot in his overly tight t-shirts that don't belong on a man born before 1970 and I found that to be pretty annoying.  This guys almost always plays a bad guy so he's worked on this cocky, my way or the highway, military-type attitude that has worked but has not helped him develop any sort of range.

The rest of the cast is fine.  I like the husband and wife, played by Jason O'Mara and Shelley Conn respectively.  The rest of the cast did a fine job with some of the cheesy dialogue they were given and should do a fine job on the show.

There is potential here and I'm going to stick it out to see where it goes.  There's always opportunity to bring in lots of guest stars and the core group has room to develop.  Plus they've set up some interesting story lines and the pacing was great.  They moved right along, explained stuff, and gave us more to ponder.

The Morning After - Hart of Dixie

CW's Hart of Dixie is a show about a doctor in NYC who lacks bedside manner and ends up in a small town in Alabama in order to learn patient's names or something.  Rachel Bilson, who will always be Summer Roberts to me, plays Zoe Hart, the relocated doctor trying to adjust to the deep, deep South and all its stereotypes.

Is this show original?  No.  Am I still going to watch it?  Yes.  Is it because of Bilson and Scott Porter, the beloved Jason Street of FNL?  Probably, yeah. Am I going to get SUPER tired of the ex-NFL star who is now the mayor referring to himself in the third person?  HECK YEAH!

I enjoyed the show.  It's pretty standard and formulaic with no surprises but Bilson is charming and proves she's strong enough to carry a show.  Also present in the cast are Jaime KingTim Matheson (OTTER!) and Nancy Travis. Travis will be on for one more episode and will then be replaced so she can show up on Tim Allen's new show, Last Man Standing.  Nancy, I think you picked the wrong Tim. However, knowing a bit about most of America's viewing habits, I'm sure his show will have better numbers and therefore will have a better chance at season 2.  CW isn't very forgiving.  This show and Ringer are their two experiments at a bit of an older (and by older I mean mid-20s) audience and the experiment isn't going so well.

Monday, September 26, 2011

"The Prom" (Buffy 3.20): Bring the pain

I should preface this post my admitting that my devotion to and the fervency of my emotions about the Buffy/Angel relationship is that which other (normal) people feel about things like religion and social causes. Therefore, though I know that David Boreanaz was going to leave Buffy at the end of its third season and they had to do something to break the two up, I will never accept that they should be apart. It's not rational or reasonable, but neither am I, friends. So, my Buffy/Angel shipperness will inevitably inflect this, the Buffy guide to dealing with getting your heart crushed right before Prom. This is my intrepid co-watcher Jenn's favorite episode, and it should be clear why.

DON'T underestimate the capacity of formal dances to stir up all sorts of crap.
Despite Giles's pooh-poohing of Prom, it's the catalyst for emotional apocalypses aplenty in a high schooler's life. We have Anya embracing her human desire for a date, asking Xander out, and starting a rolling ball that will careen all the way through to season 6. We have Xander and Cordy hitting pause on their mutual snark-fest and remembering what they loved about each other. And we have Angel thinking that he and Buffy are on the road to nowhere, and he's getting off. More on that later. But I need to take a moment to acknowledge that though I'm hard on Xander, when he shows up, he shows up big. Using his savings to buy the newly working-class Cordy her dream dress is sweeter than sweet and cooler than cool.
Under all those shirts beats a heart of gold.

DO remember that mom isn't always right.
Joyce jumps on the down with Angel and Buffy bandwagon, and makes a special daylight trip to the Mansion to lay a guilt trip on the soulful vamp like only a mom can. She (and the Mayor, and apparently Willow) have all been thinking that a Slayer and a vampire have no future, and it's bad that he lets Buffy think otherwise. It's so serious that even Angel has a prophetic, symbol-laden dream.
Yadda, yadda, yadda, can't get married . . . more importantly, what do we think of the dress?

So, Angel, proving that even two-hundred-plus years doesn't necessarily confer emotional maturity, dumps Buffy's ass.
Before Facebook, the worst way to break up with someone was in a sewer the day before Prom.
And at the post-break-up convo with Willow, we have Jenn and I crying for the first, but not the last, time this episode.

DO kick ass.
As Buffy tells Giles, for a Slayer, kicking ass is comfort food. This is actually pretty good advice for anyone. Broken-hearted Buffy throws herself into her work, guaranteeing her friends a nice Prom by taking out a trio of hell-hounds programmed by someone who threw themselves into a different sort of work after a romantic disappointment.
Not for nothing, I would have gone to Prom with you and your little brother, too.

Poor B has to do this a lot--even after drowning, losing friends, having to kill her boyfriend who turned evil after she lost her virginity to him--she always goes back to work the next day. It's probably why the class of '99 awarded her this:
Keep your eye on that Class Protector umbrella--it's what they call a "multivalent symbol" in the biz.

And with Jonathan's heart-felt tribute, especially relevant after "Earshot," Jenn and I are crying again.

DO embrace the pain.
Might it have been easier to make a clean break with Angel, say "freak show this," and punch him in his sensuous mouth when he shows up at Prom for one last dance? Yes. But then we wouldn't have had this moment, and Jenn and I wouldn't be sobbing in a quasi-fetal position.
Grr . . . aargh. I need a hug.

TV Shows Premiering This Week!

Did you see The Good Wife and/or Pan Am last night?  I have some strong opinions about the direction The Good Wife may be going but I'm choosing not to get preachy. 

Doesn't it seem like all the shows should have been out by now?  Feel like something you usually watch isn't back yet?  You're right.  There are still more shows like Chuck, Bones, House and more that won't be back until October and possibly even November.

Tonight we have:
I've been hearing about this show for over a year. I hope it's good.
   Gossip Girl (CW)
   Terra Nova* (FOX)
   Hart of Dixie* (CW)
   Mike & Molly (CBS

Wednesday night:
   Suburgatory (ABC)
   Happy Endings (ABC)

Thursday night:
   How to Be a Gentleman (CBS)
   Private Practice** (ABC)

I'm very excited about Terra Nova and hope it lives up to its potential.  And of course I'm going to watch Hart of Dixie. It's a fish-out-of-water show starring Summer Roberts and Jason Street!

*I'll be watching and probably blogging about.

**Don't judge.  I'm giving it one last shot and if I'm as pissed off at the show as I currently am at Grey's then I'll probably give them both up.  Take that, Shonda!

Moneyball - As good as you've heard

This is one of those situations where you hear how good a movie is, notice that it has a 94% on Rotten Tomatoes, and remember somewhere in the back of your head that Aaron Sorkin wrote it.  Moneyball had a pretty great pedigree before it even came near theaters so it was sure to be a pleaser right?  Yep.  It's as good as everyone says.  And as critics have been saying, you don’t need to like baseball or Brad Pitt to like this movie.  Does it help?  Yes, for sure.  But it is not a requirement.

Back to Moneyball’s pedigree.  As I said, Sorkin co-wrote it with Steve Zaillian who wrote Schindler’s List, Searching for Bobby Fischer, Hannibal, Gangs of New York, American Gangster, and the new (reboot? cover?) The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.  The director, Bennett Miller only has one other non-documentary credit but it’s Capote and it was pretty darn good.  Plus the movie stars Pitt, JonahHill and Philip Seymour Hoffman.  If they aren’t enough for you, Andy from Parks and Recreation (aka Chris Pratt; aka Bright Abbott from Everwood) is in it too!  Also, it’s based on a true story and you know what that means? PARAGRAPHS AT THE END!!!

So the story goes like this, Oakland A’s general manager, Billy Beane (Pitt) has to put together a team on a very restricted budget.  Really, if you’ve seen the trailer, you know what it’s about.  If you’re a fan of baseball then you probably know how the season went.  Beane, instead of using the standard of picking players (RBI, looks, health) employs a model that basically accounts for every time a guy gets on base.  That’s pretty much it.  There’s more to it but they just want guys to get on base.  Don’t steal, don’t bunt, don’t do anything too risky, just get on base.  As one might expect he faces LOTS of resistance to this plan because basically it puts a lot of guys out of jobs in favor of statistical analysis (the worse kind of outsourcing).

This movie works.  In fact this movie works on many levels if not all of them.  Directing, writing, acting, etc. were all great.  Pitt, aside from personal life shenanigans, is an actor in whom I’ve never been disappointed.  Plus he’s got a great smile and looks like a ex-baseball player.  Speaking of, the guy they hired to play young Beane didn’t really look like Pitt but had his mouth and build which was just enough to squeak by.  Hill was great but Hoffman wasn’t given enough to do.  Spike Jonze even showed up in an uncredited and thankless role but did a great job with it.

There’s really not much else to say.  I could go on and on about how much I love sports movies but I’ve done that before and will probably do it again.  Plus I learned some stuff I didn’t know which I always appreciate.  Oh, did I get my beloved paragraphs at the end? You betcha!

Today in Pop Culture History: In the End . . .

26 September 1957: A gritty reboot before gritty reboots had a name, West Side Story opened on Broadway. Forty-five years later, Charlie Young would declare "I'm not Officer Krupke" on The West Wing.

26 September 1990: In a predictably boneheaded move, the Motion Picture Association of America debuted the "NC-17" rating, supposedly to remove the stigma of the "X." And what happened? Yep, NC-17 became the new X, dooming any film that includes sex scenes that makes the MPAA blanch. For a sustained and brilliant exposure of how ridiculous the rating system is in this country, see the 2006 doc This Film Is Not Yet Rated.

Somewhere In Between
26 September 1969: The Beatles release their last recorded album, Abbey Road, in the UK.

Iconic much?

Beth’s Inquiry – Two and a Half Men

One of the ideas I had while starting this blog is to not only give you, our dear, sweet readers opinions on stuff Tracy and I already watch but to also be open to suggestions.  I believe there is good in every movie (but not every TV show) and I love a good challenge.  Tracy took me to task, threw down the proverbial gauntlet and dared me to find something good to say about a movie.  I was thrilled to oblige.  Just last week my friend issued a slightly similar challenge.

My friend Beth (Hi Beth!) mentioned on my FB page that she was interested in hearing what we thought about the new Two and Half Men.  Specifically she said, "Would love to read what y'all thought about Two and a Half Men - as a general rule, I really really don't like the show but have to admit I was curious about Ashton...."  Ok, so not really a gauntlet throwing. It's not like someone saying, “Hey Alisa, I bet you can’t find anything good to say about wolf-boy’s new movie, Abduction.”  Anyone? Anyone?  Well, Beth, I too was curious about Ashton so I gladly watched the premiere episode of the new Two and Half Men.  Thankfully it was on my OnDemand so I didn't have to work too hard to find the episode.  Yes, yes, I am aware it's online but typically I can speed through commercials on OnDemand.

I have seen a few episodes of Two and Half Men but that was always while I was at the mechanic’s waiting for my car to be fixed up.  Periodically there would be laughs but mostly it was all the same joke.  Charlie Sheen was a womanizing drunk; Jon Cryer was a hapless, slightly whiney, broke dude; and then there was the kid.  Again, I'm not a regular viewer but from the few episodes I'd seen the kid didn't do much but serve up situations where normal adults would edit themselves but no, not Charlie.

Ok, so enough background.  It'd be difficult to be a fan of all things pop-culture and not know anything about Charlie Sheen's situation with the show.  I also knew that there were plans to kill off his character.  Smart move, writers/producers!  The funeral was very funny and a clever send-off.  The room was filled with Charlie's exes who all wanted their chance to spit (literally and figuratively) on the memory of the dearly departed and on the departed himself.   

The next scene was of their realtor mother holding an open house in order to sell Charlie's Malibu home. Of course this means Alan would be homeless, isn't he like an optometrist or something?  He could afford a place SOMEWHERE.  I know LA is expensive but dude, that's ridiculous that he can't support himself.  Again I'm showing my lack of knowledge because I'm sure they've explained this part of the show at some point.  Anywhoodle, some famous folks show up to view the house including John Stamos who had an awkward threesome there once and Dharma and Greg who are still married but don't seem too happy about it. (it won't let me embed the video).

Then Ashton shows up on the deck all wet after an apparent botched suicide attempt.  The funny kind of ended there and it jumped right into the same old same old.  I really did like the beginning of the show and thought they handled it very well.  However I won't be watching again, you know, until I'm back at the mechanic's.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Trailer Park Friday!

It's Friday, y'all!

This opens today. I'm such a sucker for Jason Statham movies.  Statham!

This trailer just came out this week. What is up with his accent? 
I get it but it sounds more like an impression.

How about a little JGL to get your weekend going?

I've seen this trailer a couple times in theaters and it just looks BONKERS! 
Or should I say GONZO?

Lastly we have two something that looks so fantastic. Great cast too.

Aaaaaand now I'm crying.

The Morning After - Person of Interest

CBS's Person of Interest is a show about, uh, how do I put this into a sentence or two?  One man, Ben, no  Finch, has access to information that would lead to either a victim or perpetrator. In order to do something with this information he employs a gifted ex-CIA hitman, John Finch, to do his bidding.  That sounds nefarious.  It wasn't, really.  Not after Ben, who I could refer to as his character's name but will always be Ben to me (at least I won't refer to Jim Caviezel as Jesus), explained how he came upon this information and his desire to do something with it and about it.  Taraji P. Henson is also a series regular and I really like her so I'm glad she'll be on this show.

I don't have a whole lot to say besides the fact that I enjoyed Person of Interest.  I like the idea and there are lots of places to go with it.  Both literally and figuratively.  I hope that Jonathan Nolan sticks around and writes a few more episodes.  Last night's was tight, quick paced but not too fast, and even had a tiny twist.  I wasn't wowed but so little does that to me anymore.  Person of Interest was a solid effort that was enjoyable to watch and I'll keep tuning in.  As a fan of Lost I'm thrilled to have Ben back in my life and in a less creepy capacity than before. I like Jim Caviezel and this is a good role for him.  The action was cool, a bit violent at times but still cool.  Overall it was satisfying and what more do you really need?

Potent Notables

Not a lot going on this week beyond how Netflix keeps shooting themselves in the foot.

- It started with this stuff and got even worse with the Facebook tie-in that doesn't even apply to the US. For now.

- If you like numbers and award shows then read this gem.

- I promise not to make a habit of promoting other people’s wares but these are too cool not to share

- Nicholas Sparks is going to try to make us cry every week, isn’t he?

- Oooh! My first retraction  

-Cool article about the new Dark Shadows project.  And here's the picture in case you hate links and prefer instant gratification.

 That's Johnny Depp dead center with the cane.

Community and Parks & Recreation - Didja watch?

Didja watch Community?  If you had you would have seen:
their magical, musical opening number

Poor Jeff and the monkey gas dream

Senor Chang as Campus Security? Priceless

Didja watch Parks and Recreation?  If you had you would have seen:

Mountain Man Ron.  The way Ron Swanson was meant to be.
Wasn't he only gone for a few days? Only real men grow beards like that.

And...YAY!!! I'd so vote for her.
But, poor Ben! However, how awesome is he?!?!

Thursday, September 22, 2011


Also it's Hobbit Day (yes, that's a thing) but that's nothing compared to Tracy's birthday!

Happy Birthday, Tracy!
If I could I would send Logan Echolls over with a cake.  However, this will have to do:

Or this?
But who are we kidding?

I'm making you scroll down for it

Annoying yet?

The Morning After - Revenge

This looks like the cover of most young adult novels.

ABC’s Revenge takes place in the Hamptons where "Emily" (really Amanda) has returned to take down the people who destroyed her father. I love shows that can be wrapped up in a sentence.

The Confucius quote was a bit ominous, “Before you embark on a journey of revenge, dig two graves.” Are they hinting that since Emily is on a journey of revenge she should be digging her own grave too?

This show was pretty great. It wasn’t perfect but it was pretty darn great. Guilty pleasure? Heck yeah. New York socialites at risk? Check. Lavish parties and expansive (and expensive) homes? Check and Check. This is all that (poor) Ringer should be. Ringer is just missing some sort of spark that Revenge has in spades.

The pilot was directed by Phillip Noyce who has helmed such movies as Salt, The Bone Collector, Clear and Present Danger, Patriot Games, and more.

What I Loved:
- Her starfish ring. I need one. Now.
Hers looked kinda like the gold on the left. I want the one on the right. Christmas is soon, people!

- Emily Van Camp.  She was so great on Everwood but I never watched Brothers & Sisters so I’ve missed seeing her on TV.  I think this will be a great show and she will carry it well. 

What I Liked:
- The supporting cast, led by Madeleine Stowe. Everyone did a pretty good job. One person jumped out at me so I had to check IMDB to see where I knew her from.  Turns out the girl who plays Madeleine Stowe’s daughter, Charlotte, is the actress who was the young version of Jennifer Garner in 13 Going on 30.  She also played the young version of Jennifer Garner in the travesty, Ghosts of Girlfriends Past.  Maybe J. Gar will show up in an episode of Revenge as “Future Charlotte.”  

What I Could Do Without:
(I should warn you that I am a horrible, awful person.)
- Stowe in another Herve Leger bandage dress.  It’s not for everyone.  From straight on it looked great but she made the mistake of turning sideways and breathing, which briefly made her appear to be in her first trimester.  Everyone knows you aren’t allowed to breathe in one of those.

That’s the dress and see, she’s not breathing.  You can see it on her face.  She just forgot to hold her breath during the show.  I know, I know, horrible, awful person. She's a gorgeous woman and I would never have a figure like hers in a million years. 

Anywhoodle, the show promises loads of soapy goodness so I will definitely keep watching.  Yipes!  I keep looking at that picture and I swear I'm going to have nightmares tonight where Madeleine Stowe is shoving that dress down my throat.


I spent some sizable time during the movie trying to think of clever ways to rename it but didn't like anything I came up with.  If the comments on blogger actually worked right I'd put it to you guys to supply something better than: Unhappyyou'rewelcomenomoreplease.  Because of a story told in the movie, the title would have been better if they dropped the “Happy.”  But I guess since everyone ends up happy at the end they had to stick that on there.  Ooops, hope I didn’t spoil anything with that.

HTYMP is about people facing 30 and doing stuff like living their lives in a mostly non-remarkable way.  Actually there is like one interesting thing about each of the 3 main characters played by Josh Radnor, Malin Ackerman, and Zoe Kazan.  Josh's Sam is harboring a runaway foster kid he found.  Malin's Annie has alopecia (totalis for those in the know) and throws a party to inform her friends about it (actually a fantastic idea, especially for disorders that people don't know much about). However the alopecia isn't her problem, her terrible taste in men is the big issue. Zoe's Mary Catherine is dealing with a boyfriend that wants to move to LA.  The horror!  Mary Catherine's problem seems the most basic but it gets a bit more interesting and I appreciated the way it was handled.  

Not to sound callous but the only person I cared about how they ended up was the displaced foster kid, Naheen. He was only barely better off with Sam than his clueless foster mom who left him on the subway. You see Sam is a writer and quite possibly using life with the kid as a basis for a story or novel.  This never really gets flushed out though.  And Naheen's situation was the only one with real, legal consequences.

HTYMP does get points for:
1) having an Executive Producer named Bingo Gublelmann!!!Best. Name. Ever.
2) being a writer/director combo (even if the writer/director is Ted from HIMYM). 
3) BUSTER!!! Only not Buster but a sweet, lovelorn guy who is goofy but in all the right ways.

Had HTYMP not suffered from many things, one of which was too many plots, it would have been better.  There were a couple of little funny bits.  The soundtrack was cool.  Mary Catherine had a great freak-out which was fun to watch.  However Ted, er, Sam, oops Josh Radnor is still mostly the same actor from HIMYM.  He is lost.  That man is perpetually lost. 

The little kid was cute but it seems like cheating.  Yes. I have decided that using a cute kid with a sad story in your writing/directing debut is cheating.  Whatever.  He was still really cute.

Maybe if I had watched this when I was in my late 20s I might have liked it more.  I’m a bitter, old lady now and have no patience for whiney, New York, semi-hipsters.

Modern Family and ANTM - Didja watch?

I love my DVR.  It's not Tivo but it serves me well.  I was able to flip between Modern Family and America's Next Top Trainwreck, er, Model last night.  I saw all of Modern Family and just enough of ANTM.

Didja watch Modern Family?  If you had you would have seen:
Cam's AWESOME pop-up album (millions of scrapbookers were thinking to themselves, "I could do that!") and Jay's very funny interrogation of Manny in the garage.
Sadly not a shot of the photo album but the funniest part of a great montage

Didja watch ANTM?  If you had you would have seen:

The dreaded makeover episode which didn’t lead to nearly enough tears.  Wait, did they just call them Ty-overs? Wow.  I didn’t think Tyra’s ego could get much bigger but she loves to prove me wrong.

Wait. I missed Tyra shaving Nigel's hair! Good thing I didn't delete it off my DVR so I can go home and fast forward through to get to that delicious bit of TV.  Goodbye Nigel's hair!  You will not be missed.

"Choices" (Buffy 3.19): Buffy fights City Hall

Oh crap, it's on. The Scoobies are declaring a full-out assault against Faith and The Mayor. He's expecting a box o'evilness and Buffy et. al. try to steal it back. The results? Mixed. Here's Buffy's guide to taking care of evil business, Mission Impossible style.
doo doo DOO . . . doo doo DOO. . . doo DOO!

DO keep your eye on the ball. 
In the midst of all this apocalyptic hoopla, the Sunnydale kids are making some big, season-4-affecting decisions about their respective futures, near and long-term. Willow has gotten into every school on the planet, Buff got into Northwestern, and Xander is going to make like the Beats and hit the open highway.
Oh yes. He's totally reading On the Road like many a wanna-be hipster before him.
And Cordy doesn't have a prom dress. This is going to be important later. Trust me.

DON'T eff with the Wicca.
Willow might seem like a weak link in the gang's complicated scheme to break into City Hall and lift the Box of Gavrock, but this is a post-Doppelgangland ginger. Despite being taken hostage by a way-too-into-it Faith, Will manages to stake a vamp using her patented pencil-floating technique and lift some crucial pages from the Book of Ascension from the Mayor's lair.
And she does it all wearing this truly hideous dress.

Also, as my intrepid co-watcher Jenn pointed out, with his girl is in danger, we get some super-hot evidence of how taciturn men express their dissatisfaction with any and all plans that don't involve saving the love of their lives by any means necessary.
I. Love. You. Oz.

DON'T take relationship advice from The Mayor!
Angel! This guy is in the business of messing with your mind! Don't let his somewhat reasonable points about no sunny picnics and the logistics of immortality make you second-guess your life with Buffy! During the Box of Gavrock/Willow hand-off in the Sunnydale High cafeteria, Mayor Wilkins manages to squeeze in some first-rate, really chilling manipulation that hits Angel where he lives. However, there are always ways to Make It Work, and in any case, you shouldn't let the guy who is about to (spoiler alert) EAT a box of fifty billion spiders win.
A man with moving to Los Angeles and starting a detective agency on his mind.

Next up we have an episode that will forever live in infamy for making Jenn and me cry every time we see it. It's "The Prom," baby.