Monday, June 30, 2008
I was all excited when my tv guide indicated that AMC (American Movie Classics...scoff) would be showing Big Business. The 1980s classic comedy starring Bette Midler and Lily Tomlin as two sets of twins that get mixed up and separated. One Bette and Lily are raised in Manhattan by their high-power stoke-broker parents, and one set of Bette and Lily are raised in the sticks. When the rich Bette and Lily's company decides to strip-mine the town of poor Bette and Lily (Juniper Hollow, natch), hijinks ensue!
Anyway, this movie is comedy gold, and is the source of my dream to always stay in the Plaza Hotel in NYC one day. So imagine my shock when I sit down to watch the movie on my DVR and instead I am given....Caddyshack. Don't get me wrong. Caddyshack is a great flick. But I was really hoping that it would be Big Business. My DVR list even TOLD me it would be Big Business.
Why you gotta do that to me, AMC? Bastards.
Friday, June 20, 2008
Besides, many of the sketches would probably confuse the average child. Goodfeathers (two words: pigeon mafia) was obviously a send-up of Goodfellas, and how many eight year olds are familiar with Martin Scorsese films? Chicken Boo was a triumph of surrealist humor (a six-foot tall chicken slaps on a fake mustache and becomes a Civil War general ... and no one notices). Producer Steven Spielberg (that's right, the Steven Spielberg) is quoted as saying Animaniacs utilized "humor of social commentary and irreverence ... inspired by the Marx Brothers."
I suppose Animaniacs is redeemed by its educational segments. If you're cramming for a geography exam, check out Yakko's World and Wakko's America. And who could forget the lessons we learned from The Wheel Of Morality?
People in glass houses should dress with the lights out.
Thursday, June 19, 2008
Last week, on a lark I checked out the beta version of the website. I logged in, gave them my email and yesterday I got an email back saying I had been approved to check it out. Now, I knew not to expect much – after all it was just a beta version of the website. There were limited shows available and even more limited episodes but it got me excited. I as able to catch up on an ep of The OC! I just wish there was more to see now. There are some fun, albeit simple games to play, mostly trivia based. The most exciting part though was an “under construction” tab with several “Originals.” I don’t claim to know what that exactly means, but it seems webisodes are here and are making a huge comeback.
All I can saw is, I’m logging forward to seeing The Frog this Fall!
Wednesday, June 18, 2008
And with good reason. Not to put too fine a point on it, but ... the girl is hot. Her scrunchy little nose, curvy body, and that adorable way she smiles with her tongue out. In a word: rawr. She continues to demonstrate how delectable she is in the new-to-US show, Secret Diary of a Call Girl (originally aired in the UK September 2007, it premiered this side of the pond last Monday on Showtime).
genius - Piper can go from Girl Next Door to Sex Kitten in ten seconds flat. The one thing that worries me is that in some of the promotional materials Piper looks awfully skinny. I would hate hate hate it if she lost weight for the role, for motives both altruistic (she has struggled with anorexia) and selfish (she looks better with some meat on her bones).
Sadly, I do not get Showtime. All I can do is add Secret Diary to my Netflix queue. Availability... Unknown. *pout*
Point of interest, "Belle" uses the same blog template as I do. Of course, she doesn't have a big goofy picture of her family as the header. I win.
Monday, June 16, 2008
But Selvi had never seen them before! And I had to feed my inappropriate crush of Zac Efron!
But here's the thing. I forgot how really bad these movies are. I mean some of the songs aren't bad (You Are The Music in Me) and some are catchy (What I've Been Looking For), but most are REALLY bad. Like painfully bad. As is the acting. Except for Zac (who can do no wrong shut up I am not listening to you la la la) and Ashley Tisdale as Sharpay who is my favorite character, it's shit. But this is Disney Channel! What do you expect?
Things I was NOT expecting were a) the blatant homosexual context to the I Don't Dance number.
b) the blatant allusions to incest between Ryan and Sharpay. They always play the leads in the school plays, you know.
c) how embarrassed I was for everyone involved in the project. I literally had to avert my eyes during the Bet On It number because I was so embarrassed for Zac dancing around the golf course. Oy.
Thursday, June 12, 2008
Tuesday, June 10, 2008
But, you know, not really. I think the things that I have been crying at have been genuinely moving and it's not like I have a heart of stone. So maybe it's not all me. Maybe I have just been watching some hard-core moving stuff lately. So I am going to stand by my crying.
First there was the latest episode of Battlestar Galactica last Friday. When Roslin told Adama that she loved him....waterworks, y'all. And he had perhaps the best response to someone saying, "I love you" ever....."About time."
Then, there was Gilmore Girls. I have been slowly making my way through all of Gilmore Girls, and when Luke and Lorelai FINALLY hooked up at the end of Season 4, I was psyched. AND THEN. Middle of Season 5 hit and shit went down. So when Lorelai tearfully called Luke and asked him to come over because he was her best friend and she needed her best friend...here come the tears again.
Finally, we get to Doctor Who. I suppose rewatching Doomsday was not the best idea when I knew I was so emotionally fragile, but it still happened. Sigh.
Rose: I.... I love you.
The Doctor: Quite right too. And I suppose, if it's my last chance to say it: Rose Tyler...
Here's hoping for a less nerve-racking television experience next week!!
While I could go on and on about this episode, I was struck by a couple things while watching the earlier episode “Triangle.” This one was written and director why series creator Chris Carter, and like Joss Whedon, Carter often directed the season openers, finales and “fun” episodes in-between. You might miss it on first viewing, but the entire episode is an homage to Alfred Hitchcock! Each scene – from c-break to c-break – is one long shot. Before the West Wing walk-and-talk became popular, Carter was doing these long single-shot takes (according to tv.com there are actually 34 cuts cleverly hidden). But what an incredible feat! The main thing that struck me was this: why are there so many homages to The Wizard of Oz?
Don’t get me wrong, I’m as much of a fan as everyone else. I grew up watching the movie on TV every year or so. I never did read Baum’s original book, nor did I ever see the musical adaptation. A few years ago I read Wicked, and liked it, and although I still haven’t seen the musical I’ve heard some of the tunes, and I respect the opinion of those who have seen it and loved it. But what’s so special about The Wizard of Oz that everyone is re-telling the story (Tin Man) and doing an homage to it ( I may be alone on this but I think Michael Chabon’s new book Gentleman of the Road is also an homage with one of the main characters constantly described as a scarecrow).
“Triangle” quite consciously references Oz, from its opening scene of Mulder in the water near a shipwrecked boat, appropriately named Lady Garland, to its closing scenes where Skinner mentions “his little dog Toto” and Scully where she tells Mulder to close his eyes and think “there’s no place like home.” Let’s not forget how the Lone Gunmen reminds one of the Scarecrow, the Tin Man and the Cowardly Lion; nor the fact that everyone on the boat is someone Mulder knows from “back home.”
X-Files is not the only show that did this homage. Another of my favorite shows, and actually one of my favorite episodes of that show, is also an homage to Oz. Check out what Zach Braff does in the 100th episode of Scrubs, titled “My Way Home.” There is no disguising the Oz references here, from the opening scene using the music of Toto, JD’s voice-over connecting Carla, Turk and Elliot to the Cowardly Lion, the Tin Man and the Scarecrow. And to top it off, Ted’s band singing “Over the Rainbow” – Iz-style!
There are many more subtle references, and I’m sure there are other TV shows that have done homages to The Wizard of Oz. Obviously I love these shows and these episodes but it makes me wonder, what is it about The Wizard of Oz that makes so many fine storytellers want to tell and re-tell this story. Is it indeed that America has no defining mythology and there is something in here that has tapped into the collective consciousness and which makes people come back to it time and again, plumbing its very depths for new fun and new meaning. Or am I just making too much out of something.
Sunday, June 08, 2008
Acerbic wit and a keen sense of the ridiculous? Check.
No sense of shame to speak of?
What more could a woman (or man) need in a Secret Boyfriend of the Week than The Soup host Joel McHale? Absolutely nothing.
It should come as no surprise that my blogging style is inspired, in part, by The Soup. This show takes everything that is wrong with television today and turns it into 30 minutes of pure comedic gold. For those of you not familiar (what is wrong with you?), The Soup is a clip show on E! that mocks reality TV, talk shows, movies ... basically everything and anything in entertainment worthy of derision. It makes watching all those terrible, terrible shows okay, because you're just doing it as social commentary. McHale makes it all the better with his self-deprecating humor and - dare I say it? - humility.
"Sometimes I feel like I'm doing the Lord's work," said McHale in a recent A.V. Club interview, possibly with a straight face. Amen to that, buddy.
For those looking for your first helping of Soup, or if you just want to get in line for seconds, check out these videos on the E! website. Or, you know, one of the eighteen billion weekly re-runs. Actually, check the E! channel right now - it may well be on as we speak. Er, as I blog. Whatever.
Saturday, June 07, 2008
Turns out, Nathan is filming a new tv series for 2009. It's called Castle, and here's the description from the show's website:
Castle is a witty drama based on a famous mystery novelist who helps the NYPD homicide department solve crimes.Ok, so wait a minute. Does that mean that James Patterson, Sue Grafton, and Stephen King will actually be in the show? Because that would be pretty awesome. And everyone loves some good old fashioned UST.
Nick Castle [Nathan Fillion] had grown weary of having it all, “fame, fans and females”, until he was approached by the attractive Detective Kate Beckett [Stana Katic] of the NYPD to help catch the copy-cat killer staging murders based on scenes from his novels.
Castle’s approach to solving the crimes conflicts with Beckett’s conservative approach leading to much tension and a hint of romance.
Keeping Castle grounded are his mother, teenage daughter Alexis [Molly C. Quinn], poker playing friends James Patterson, Sue Grafton, and Stephen King and his ex wife Gina who is also his editor.
I see that ABC is the corporation behind the show....while that doesn't necessarily mean it will air on ABC, I am going to advise Nathan to avoid FOX at all costs. Let's just say he and FOX don't have the best track record.
Friday, June 06, 2008
Wednesday, June 04, 2008
Let me admit my bias: in my opinion, 'intelligent design' is not science. Because its definition includes the existence of a supernatural being, it cannot be proved or disproved. Therefore, I do not think it should be published in scientific journals or taught in science classrooms. According to Stein this makes me part of Big Science, a vast left-wing conspiracy to quash independent thought and refute the existence of god.
Expelled has all the elements of really good propaganda. The proponents of 'intelligent design' are interviewed by Stein sitting in their homes, local coffee shops or outdoors, using natural lighting and flattering camera angles. Scientists, on the other hand, are shown answering questions in darkened offices or laboratories, usually standing up and facing the camera. Ominous music plays in the background every time one of them questions Judeo-Christian doctrine. Stein visits concentration camps and relives the dark days of eugenics, essential equating evolutionary biologists with Nazi 'scientists.' I so wish that was an exaggeration.
This movie would be hilarious, if it wasn't so painful to watch. Not because it makes you question evolutionary theory or think critically about 'intelligent design' (trust me, it does neither). But because a smart, funny man is exposed as nothing but a shyster, a fake.
For more information, check out Expelled Exposed from the National Center for Science Education.
House: I think this one takes the prize for best finale. While some have called this season uneven, I have to disagree. Even as a relative new-comer to the show, I was becoming bored by the formulaic episodes, and I thought shaking up the cast was brilliant. But the finale, with the trippiness of House's hallucinations, the slo-mo bus accident, and the aftermath of Amber's injuries and death, was fantastic. I don't often cry at tv shows, but Robert Sean Leonard and Anne Dudek knocked it out of the park and left me a quivering mass of tear and snot.
Supernatural: OMG they went there. I thought it was inevitable that Dean would get dragged to hell, but I never thought we would actually see the hellhounds rip him to shreds. I don't think I have ever squirmed so much during a television show. And once again Supernatural proves that little children are always evil. ALWAYS.
Bones: I am a very casual Bones viewer, but WTF? Zack is evil? And has his hands burned off? LAME.
Lost: People are raving about this finale, but for me it was somewhere between "very good" and "meh." Which I guess means it scores an "it was alright." The story certainly moved forward, as the Oceanic 6 finally made it off the island, and there were of course more mysteries set up for next year, such as where did the island go, but overall. Eh. Even the death of Jin lacked emotional resonance for me because we already knew he was dead and the cause (i.e. the freighter exploding) seemed the most likely culprit. I will say the most genuine moment of shock for me came when Penny appeared on the boat and she and Desmond had their emotional reunion and kiss. I thought for sure this plotline would get dragged out for years, but no! We actually had some resolution! And it was happy! Yay! Also, Claire was effing creepy in Kate's dream.
Desperate Housewives: I started watching this show this season because Nathan Fillion got added to the cast. While I found most of the characters insufferable (Susan and Gabriella, looking at you), I hung in there, and I am glad I did. The finale was exciting, unexpected, had a lot of action, and emotion. I think the shot of Katherine's mother kneeling before the toppled bookcase and Dylan's arm sticking out from underneath it is one of the most disturbing things I have seen and was truly shocking. But it wasn't gratuitous; the show had been building to the reveal of something horrible having had happen, and that certainly fit the bill. Also, Nathan Fillion came back. So, yay! As for the 5 year flash forward, meh. After Battlestar Galactica used it so awesomely, it just feels like a cliche now.
CSI: Is anyone really surprised Warrick got killed off? After the actor's drug bust and wife-beating allegations, it was only a matter of time.
The Office: Oh, boo, Toby is gone. I loved him. And curse you Andy for stealing Jim's chance to propose! The tag at the end with Angela and Dwight engaging in some carnal knowledge of one another would seem to argue against her actually marrying Andy, but who knows with this show. And will Pam be moving to New York? And whose heart did not break when Jan told Michael the baby was not his? God, this show is so good.
Ugly Betty: I don't for one minute believe that Betty would pick Gio or Henry. She is totally going to have an "I choose me!" moment, just you wait. Having said that, I am totally in the Gio camp. Henry had his time and made his choices. See you in Tucson! Also, "the blink and you'll miss it" LiLo cameo was kind of dumb, but it sounds like she will be coming back for a few episodes in the Fall. Oh, and Hilda? You really want to get involved with a married guy? REALLY? He is pretty hot though. Sigh. No easy choices in Betty-land, eh?
American Idol: Don't watch and don't care. You want a recap of that, harass Caroline.
Tuesday, June 03, 2008
It’s not that Friday’s night episode was bad. I would not go so far as to say that even when BSG is bad its better than 90% of everything else on TV (maybe 75%).
Of course, the episode had its moments, but really…. Lee as president. I saw that coming from a mile away. In the past Lee has been my favorite character (please Maggie, no comments from the peanut gallery), but every since the “hooker” episode and the fat suit I’ve been less dubious. It seems the writers have tried hard to give him an arc but they kept flailing around searching for the “right” moments. Badger-Nomo is absolutely right, Lee keeps falling into the leadership rolls he has by virtue of his…. virtue. But I’ve felt for a long time that Lee’s (tough to call him Apollo outside of the Viper) destiny is tied up with Starbuck’s. Where does this feeling come from? From watching seasons 1-3 the last three weeks! Even Dee sensed it in the boxing episode. The showdown between Lee and Badger-Nomo was nice, a great throwback to the episode when we first meet Tom Zarek, and it reminded me why I still like Lee, but it still begs the question: what happened to BSG?
The character stuff with the Admiral was better, but once again we saw this coming. Adama finally admits his feelings towards Roslin. Erin Fox at TV Guide has a nice recap about the Adama scenes so I won’t waste time on them.
Two things that bugged me and were never really addressed: 1) If the primary problem with Zarek was not being supported by Adama (it was never really about him not being supported by the military), then doesn’t the idea of Lee as President loose its teeth when Adama steps down. Maybe our favorite acerbic, secret Cylon commander would not be opposed to Zarek. And 2) Tigh and Six are having a baby!!!!????!!!! What does this mean for the evolution of Cylons?
And for all those interested parties, I found a great link about the theology of the show, including a terrific interview with Ron Moore. Check it out on Beliefnet.com.