Sunday, December 23, 2007

Greatest Holiday Movies Of All Time

Since my "best of 2007" list is basically a copy-and-paste of Maggie's (give or take Lost and Aliens in America), I thought I'd share my list of greatest holiday movies.

1. Nightmare Before Christmas - I know what you're thinking. "Sri, isn't this a Halloween movie?" Well, yes. But it is also a Christmas movie, and beneath its purposefully grotesque exterior lies a powerful message. Growing up, I felt like an outsider because my family didn't celebrate Christmas. Eventually my parents gave in to the begging and we started to observe an inauthentic parody of the holiday - tiny fake tree, present, cards. It wasn't until I was in college that I realized... caroling and cookies do not a holiday make. Not to say there's anything wrong with caroling and cookies, because I still love both. This movie articulates the realization that we can enjoy the holiday spirit and season while staying true to our own traditions.

We are all unique little snowflakes. Har.

2. Love Actually - So many amazing story lines, so little time! And while everything ties together, not every ending is happy one - things are messy, like Christmas. Like love. *cue sappy violin music* It doesn't hurt that the cast list reads like page 47 of my diary, "British Celebrities I Want To Make Out With." Colin Firth, Hugh Grant, Kris Marshall ... pretty much everyone except for that little blond kid, because that would just be gross.

Thomas Sangster says, "Ew."

3. A Christmas Story - Bet you didn't know that this movie was directed by the man behind Porky's (the O.G. teen sex romp) and Black Christmas (slasher flick about a psychopath terrorizing a sorority house over winter break). The same disregard for delicate suburban sensibilities that makes for good smut/horror serves Bob Clark well in this off-beat holiday comedy. Ralphie, for all that he is the product of 1940's middle-class middle-America, is one twisted little bugger. And that is why we love him.

Can you blame them for not wanting to arm this kid?

4. Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer - Rudolph's story began with a poem penned in 1948 by Robert L. May as a promotional gimmick for Montgomery Ward department store. Shortly thereafter Johnny Marks (May's brother-in-law) put the poem to music, and it became an instant holiday hit. In 1964, NBC aired Rudolph for the first time - and a stop-motion classic was born. Expanding on the song with such characters as Yukon Cornelius and Hermy the Misfit Elf, this movie basically takes a fun idea and runs with it. While the sequels (Rudolph TRNR and The Island of Misfit Toys, Rudolph's Shiny New Year, Rudolph and Frosty's Christmas In July) never faired as well, Rudolph definitely deserves a spot on anyone's best-of holiday list.

So cute, I just had a brain aneurysm.

5. While You Were Sleeping - Call me cheesy, but I'm a sucker for a romantic comedy at any time of the year. Plus, this movie resonates with anyone who has felt lonely during the holidays. The flip side of all this Christmas cheer is that people who aren't surrounded by loved ones feel all the more isolated. Sandra Bullock does a great job as a woman tempted to marry a man she doesn't love, all to bask in the loving warmth of his quirky family. And isn't that what the holidays are all about?

Awww... Wait, what?

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Maggie's Best of 2007

Ok, time for the Best TV Shows of 2007. Actually, it's more of a Maggie's Favorite TV Shows of 2007, since there is no accounting for taste.

Let me be clear. I am not saying these are the best written, directed, acted, or in any way best made tv shows. But they are the ones that I can't miss. These are the shows I watch as they air, or within 1 or 2 days after, DVR, schedule, and god willing. And since it is for 2007, I am only counting shows that aired new episodes in either the spring or fall seasons. Also, since tv shows are like my children, I cannot play favorites. Therefore, the list is in alaphabetical order. Let's get to it!

1. Dexter

2. Doctor Who

3. Friday Night Lights

4. Heroes

5. Lost

6. The Office

7. Pushing Daisies

8. Supernatural

9. Ugly Betty

10. Veronica Mars (RIP May 2007....sniff)

Honorable Mentions: Project Runway, Battlestar Galactica, America's Next Top Model, Mad Men, Damages, and Robin Hood (BBC America rulez)

What have I learned about myself through this process? That I am a giant nerd. Who likes shows with cute boys. The end.

Jay MacCarroll and I have the same brain.

Because when Project Runway aired its Tiki Barber episode , I thought the same thing he did regarding Sweet P's disaster of a shirt. Specifically:

sweet p creates a gordon gartrell for her model. please tell me you remember the gordon gartrell episode on the cosby show where lisa bonet makes this wacky ass shirt for theo.!!!!

In case you don't remember that epsiode, here is a pic:

And here is Sweet P's shirt:

OMG! Sweet P is a Cosby show fan! You can find Jay's thoughts about PR this season here, on his Elle magazine online blog. Hilarious stuff.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007


Ok, so y'all know we here at TV Sluts love Top Model. The catiness, the clothes, the (drugstore) make-up, the fake tans, and the weaves. Oh god yes, the weaves. And the busted, stank models. But this season...oh, I'm sorry, this CYCLE, it was just off. Basically, the whole thing was rigged. The girl who wins just HAPPENS to have attended Tyra's school for young ladies or whatever her T-Zone crap is. And she just HAPPENS to "spew rainbows" as my pick for the win, Jenah, so aptly put it. And she just HAPPENS to kiss Tyra's ever-expanding ass at every opportunity.

I mean, give me an effing break. Tyra and Company aren't even trying to make this show legit anymore. They pick girls who are like 5'8 and tell them they have a shot at becoming a model. They have the one token "plus size" girl and then rag on her for having low self-confidence while she is surrounded by skinny bitches all day who eat water and air. Their "runway show" in the season (cycle?) finale had an audience of four. And 500 Chinese extras on stilts. And remember the ghost brides runway from two cycles ago? GHOST BRIDES Y'ALL.

And I don't really have a problem with Saleisha, the winner. She's pretty. Seemed like a nice girl. But, a top model? No. The producers of this show, and by producers I mean Tyra, take themselves way too seriously. I feel like she must be surrounded by yes men, who just tell her everything she says is brilliant. "Ghost brides? Awesome idea, Ms. Banks!" "Photo shoots where the girls pose as high-fashion gargoyles in spandex? Genius!"

But here's the thing. I like Tyra. I think she's a strong woman who has basically succeeded in every thing she tried, except for that whole singing career. Shake your body body body, y'all. But anyway, she's kickass. But also kinda detached from reality. But that's ok. It's endearing. Kind of like Forrest Gump. I think she genuinely believes she's making the next great American model and that it's the winners' faults for not becoming the next Tyra Banks. When really it's because they appeared on a reality show that did nothing to prepare them for an actual career in the fashion industry.

Basically, Top Model has now become a caricature of even its cartoonish self. Compare it to something like Project Runway that prides itself on its integrity and makes a real impact on the fashion world. But there's room for both. As long as Top Model realizes its place in the world as mindless entertainment. Think of it as the crazy bipolar gold-digging chain-smoking aunt of Project Runway, and we'll be cool.

Tootie FTW!

Saturday, December 15, 2007

It's A Love/Hate Relationship

Sci-Fi channel, you know I love you. You show things like Doctor Who, Firefly marathons, and late-night anime (which I support largely in principle). Good stuff, no arguments here.

But then you do things like this: Showdown at Area 51. Two alien species decide to wage war, and hey! Isn't Earth, the BFE of the known universe, the bestest place? Of course it is. Besides the fact that this has already been done (in the case of Alien vs. Predator), the potential cheesiness is cringe-worthy.

Am I not getting it? I can't imagine someone green-lighting such monstrosities as Chupacabra: Dark Seas, The Poseidon Adventure, Man-Thing, and Basilisk: The Serpent King. Are these movies intentionally terrible? I would not call them Awesomely Bad, which can only be attained when a movie has the potential to hit Awesome but somehow misses. In contrast, Sci-Fi movies seem to just ... suck.

I'm not one to rant, but it's late and I've had to watch approximately 80 ads for Showdown at Area 51. Come on, Sci-Fi. Deep in your heart of hearts you know that no one wants to watch that shit. Give it up already.

Obviously, I need to go to bed ... right after "Bushwhacked."

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

I, like most youngish people, enjoy variety. It's the spice of life, and all that jazz. So I often sit here at work and set my Ipod on shuffle and see what happens. The results can be awesome, but they can also be really, really funny. Just now, that old classic, Shape of My Heart, by the Backstreet Boys came on. Remember when you couldn't turn on the radio in 2000 without hearing that song? So, anyway, it struck me. Shape of My Heart + Mylar = BEST FANVID EVER.


Don't believe me? Check out these lyrics:

Lookin' back on the things I've done
I was tryin' to be someone
I played my part, and kept you in the dark
Now let me show you the shape of my heart

I'm here with my confession
Got nothing to hide no more
I don't know where to start
But to show you the shape of my heart

I'm not a slasher, and even I know that is too perfect. Although you KNOW someone has already put that shit up on youtube.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

This post contain mature language.

Or immature language. I guess that depends where "fuck," "cocksucker," and "cunt" fall on your personal vernacular spectrum. Because if you're watching Deadwood, pretty much every other word out of someone's mouth is "fuck." I mean, honestly, I had no idea its uses were so varied and it's ability to modify other words was so impressive. And I swear like a sailor. And I was gobsmacked.

It's easy to start watching Deadwood and become disgusted. As noted previously, it's full of the foulest language, and also has violence that makes The Sopranos look tame. But here's the thing about it: it's actually a really complex and really ambitious television show. The language is peppered with more than just profanity, it contains metaphors and sayings straight out of the 1800s. So imagine watching a Shakespearean play where every thee and thou is a fuck and all the characters are really really dirty, not just in language, but in actual filth.

So what is Deadwood about, you ask? The show takes place in post-Civil War times. Deadwood is a town in the Nebraska territory that was on the brink. When the show starts, it's known as a place with no law and gold in the hills. So, naturally, it attracts people who like that kind of thing. After HUGE gold deposits are found, the feds and other legit folk start to get interested, so the town begins to grow and local saloon owners (a.k.a. mobsters) are forced to wrangle with politicians, businessmen, and form an actual town government. It's a snapshot of a particular time in American history, when hypocrisy was as prevalent as prospectors in the hills, and it was impossible to tell the good guys from the bad.

But, in all honesty, the best thing about this show is Ian McShane. As Deadwood's resident top badass, Al Swearegen, the owner of the Gem Saloon, Ian McShane owned the show. His character had a unique moral code (as one character put it, "when Al's not lying, he's the most honest man I know) and in the course of one episode could slit a throat, appointed the town's mayor, sheriff, and fire marshall, and delivered a stunning monologue while receiving a blowjob from a hooker. Did I mention that his bar also was a whorehouse? The fact that McShane only received a Golden Globe during the show's second season is criminal, in fact, the entire cast was Emmy worthy. Which I realize is not the benchmark it once was, but you know what I mean.

Very few things in life scare me. This guy does. Yikes!

The surprising thing about Deadwood is how cerebral the show is. I mean, you figure drinking, hookers, murder, sounds like a good time-killer. Not so much. This show is The West Wing in the Old West. You know how West Wing was the kind of show you had to actually watch and not wander around your house while it was on? Imagine that show with LOTS of profanity, political maneuvering you don't understand, and so many plot threads that you often have no idea what the hell is going on. But it's so good, so deftly handled, and the characters and actors are so damn charismatic, it's worth the effort to translate. Oh, yeah Timothy Olyphant is really hot. If that's what it takes to get you to watch it, I'll do it.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Strike Watch, Episode IV

If you're like me, you're a big fan of the comedy folk rock genre. If you're not like me, order Flight of the Conchords on Netflix and you'll be an instant convert.

Scruffy and Adorkable

This whimsical comedy chronicles the adventures of Bret (facial hair) and Jermaine (glasses), the eponymous musical duo, as they try to make it in New York City. Interspersed with wild adventures involving low-budget music videos and shrinking leather suits are musical interludes that showcase FotC's true talent - a finely tuned appreciation for the absurd. Songs such as "Humans Are Dead" and "The Most Beautiful Girl In The Room" would make the show worthwhile, even if the rest of the writing sucked. Which it doesn't! So everybody wins.

Rounding out the cast are the group's number one-and-only fan Mel (Kristen Schaal), their long-suffering manager Murray (Rhys Darby), and token half-Indian chauvinist friend Dave (Arj Barker), along with a number of comedians in guest roles. Check out the songs and videos on this fansite (much more interesting than even the HBO website, IMHO). My personal favorite is "Hip-hopopotamus vs. the Rhymenocerous."

They call me the Rhymenocerous,
Not because I'm fat.
Not because I've got birds on my back.
Because I'm horny, I'm horny!
They call me the Hip-hopopotamus
Cause I got flows that glow like phosphorous
Poppin' off the top of this esophagus.
Not because I'm a water dwelling mammal from Africa called a hippopotamus,
I'm not a hippopotamus, I'm a hip-hopopotamus!
Where did you get the preposterous hypothesis that I was a hippopotamus?
Did Steve tell you?
What's he got to do with it?
Bloody Steve!