You Could Have Lived The Rest of Your Life In Blissful Ignorance and Died A Happy Pansexual Imp

Some random thoughts and links for your weekend internet-perusing pleasure:

  • I miss Ricky Gervais.  I miss him (like I know him).  I miss the outrageous things he says and his crazy, squealy voice.  I miss him berating Karl and laughing with Stephen.  I miss his adorable little cartoon self and the hilarious conversations between him and Stephen and Karl.  I MISS HIM.
  • Currently reading The Postmortal, which is about a pre-apocalyptic America in which a genetic “cure” for aging has been discovered.  What do you think will lead to the apocalypse: climate change…a pandemic virus…earthquakes and hurricanes…the wrath of God…flesh-eating zombies?  My bet is on flesh-eating zombies.  (More on that later.)
  • Hosting a Halloween party again this year and the theme is: Villains.  Thinking of dressing as Samara (from The Ring).  Who’s your favorite villain?
  • I’ve never felt any desire to go girl-on-girl, but if, suddenly, I did, I would stalk Katey Sagal until she succumbed to my powers of seduction.
  • Zooey Deschanel played the cutest, somewhat flaky but super charming sweetheart of a gal way back in Almost Famous.  And remember her in Elf?  How cute and fun and aloof (a prettier word for flaky?) and oh-so-charming she was!  Oh yeah, then in Yes Man, she was sweet and funny and quirky, albeit a bit breezy, and just the cutest!  Then came (500) Days of Summer, in which she played a slightly unusual, carefree, terribly charming…oh, wait.  That’s right.  She played Zooey Deschanel, the only character Zooey Deschanel seems capable of portraying.  New Girl?  Should just be called Zooey Deschanel.
  • This is pretty much exactly what I expected.
  • If you aren’t watching Happy Endings, here’s a reason to start.  Eliza Coupe is hilarious, but, of course, we already knew that.
  • Boiled denim and rum ham?  Seriously, guys and dolls, how is it that we haven’t talked about this???  My sincerest apologies, mon amies.  More on those crazy Philly cats soon, I promise.
  • Oh, Thursday night, where once you were sad and lonely, now you are whole.  (Well..nearly whole.  I’m talking to you, 30 Rock.)  It doesn’t say anything about me that I’ve longingly missed NBC’s Thursday night line-up, does it?  I didn’t think so.
  • Kudos to Community for starting off the season with some stellar guest appearances, the likes of which include John Goodman and Martin Starr.  That show is slowly winning me over.
  • Confession: I harbor INTENSE feelings for John Goodman.
  • Loving The Office so far this year, even though Robert California broke my heart last night when he said: “There’s something about the underdog that really inspires the unexceptional.”  It wouldn’t hurt if it wasn’t true. :(

Have an inspiring weekend.

~Nikki

Misty Water-Colored Memories, Of The Way We Were

We’re now two episodes into the third season of Glee, and I’m feeling the need to eliminate this show from my DVR scheduler. Unfortunately, due to my many neuroses, I’m pretty much chained to it, by a pair of invisible Nielsen handcuffs.  Here’s my “I Wish I Could Break Up With You” love letter (er, novel) to my current least-favorite show:Dear Glee,

Why do I still watch you?  You aren’t funny anymore.  At all.  I still don’t understand how you were nominated for best COMEDY at the EMMY’S.  Regardless, I used to love you.  Like, luuuuuuuuuve you.  A long time ago, you would consistently make me laugh, cry, give me chills, goosebumps, and make my heart soar with your awesome musical numbers.  You have some extremely talented, interesting characters who had (or so I thought) many layers to their personalities.

You had soooo much going for you.  You took a storyline about a woman FAKING HER PREGNANCY and made it not only believable, but understandable. (Can’t believe I just typed that last sentence) I sympathized with the evil, crazy bitch that was Terri Schuester.  I laughed when she acted like a spoiled brat, but I also felt bad for her plight of just wanting to be closer to her hubby.  I hated what she did to Will, but I got it.  And to tell a story like that, successfully, takes skill.  The scene where Will discovers the truth was like, hardcore for a musical show, and about as real as you’ve ever been.

The music = magic.  It’s always been another cast member, and you treated it as such, and helped make each song your own.  You mixed up current hits, pop culture standards, indie favorites, and tons of show tunes.  You took a shitty Kelly Clarkson song that I hated desperately and turned it into something I now belt at the top of my lungs.  This awesome love profession montage happy-on-steroids scene made that happen for me.  You used to be able to do work this voodoo on most songs you attempted.  See: “Halo/Walking on Sunshine” mashup, “Defying Gravity”, “Don’t Stop Believin'”, “Bad Romance”, “Total Eclipse of the Heart”, pretty much the entire Madonna episode… the list goes on.

BUT:  With the start of last season, you kind of went off the rails.  Your songs lost their enchanting quality.  The only ones that stuck out were Blaine’s “Teenage Dream” and the Kurt/Rachel duet of “For Good.”  I found myself, as each episode aired, going, “meh.”  I know your cast works really hard, and it seems like everybody’s having a great time, and giving it their all, but you gave up one key point to making a story be, um, any good.  Continuity.

There is LITERALLY. (Chris Traeger voice) NO.  CONTINUITY.  BETWEEN.  CHARACTERS.  OR.  STORYLINES.  NONE.  I no longer care who is dating who or who is joining which club or quitting which club or going to nationals or trying to destroy the club because you have taught me that IT DOESN’T MATTER.  EVERYTHING WILL BE 100% DIFFERENT ON NEXT WEEK’S EPISODE.

You brought in Gwyneth Paltrow, whose “Holly Holiday” made me bored and cringey.  You hooked up Lauren Zizes with Puck, and while I appreciate the sentiment, (and wished things like that happened in real life) it just didn’t make sense.  You made us believe, in a really touching move, that the kids singing at Sue’s sister’s funeral showed the promise of a truce or at least a bit more respect for the club on Sue’s part (and Lynch is more than up for the challenge), but NO.  New season, same old one-note hatred.  Honestly, how many times can we be expected to watch as she “tries to shut the club down.”  It’s getting OLD.  Old as time, and we’re only on season three.

Don’t even get me started on Will/Emma.  You took a marvelous potential relationship with heart and soul and obsessive compulsive disorder and just abandoned it, for no reason other than “they can’t be together this soon in the series.”  Now that they’re “together” (seriously, when did that even happen?!?!  At episode one last week, I was like, huh?  Did I miss something?), I no longer care.

The only thing I’ve enjoyed from you has been anything having to do with a gay character.  Chris Colfer continues to be one of my favorites, and the addition of Blaine as his boyfriend is probably the smartest thing you could have done.  Darren Criss is a phenomenal performer who makes my heart (and panties) swell with happiness at the sight of him.  I find their relationship to be kind of inspiring – they’re certainly the healthiest couple amidst a sea of dysfunctional wackjobs.  The only storylines last year that had any true depth and realism were Santana coming to terms with her bi-sexuality, and the (seriously scary) drama regarding the closeted Karofsky harassing Kurt.

Please, for the love of EVERYTHING HOLY, stop doing a complete 360 of every single storyline for every single episode.  Make your characters stay true to who they are.  Quit flaunting in magazines that certain kids are leaving, then changing your mind.  The kids have to graduate, but we can still follow them in their new lives – the show can have more than one set, ya know.  Stop being so damned silly.  This is not a kid’s show.  You want us to take you lightly enough to believe the hare-brained schemes and jokes, yet seriously enough to touch on real-life issues facing kids today (and adults for that matter), and that’s a tough tightrope to walk. You need a better balance pole.

As much as I want to – I’ll never stop believin’ – so please give me somethin’ to believe in                     With love (reluctantly),                                                                                                                                  ~Annie

I Can’t Wait (Halloween Series, Part 1)

In honor of the upcoming (and my most beloved) holiday, I thought I’d share with you, my lovelies, the new flicks and television shows that have me writhing in anticipation.  Of course, I will be at the theater or in front of my TV, ready and waiting for the premieres of every one of these spooky thrillers, but if I had to choose, I think I’m most anxious for American Horror Story.  It looks deliciously weird and creepy and unlike anything else on television right now.  Which of these (or any others) are you excited to see?

This seems to be the year of remakes, which usually leads to disappointment, but sometimes can be surprising.  Though no one could replace the eternally adorable Kurt Russell, Ramona Flowers -whoops, I mean Mary Elizabeth Winstead- just might bring something fresh to this flick, which looks like it might be as bad-ass as the 1982 gem.

What can I say?  I’m a sucker for haunted houses.

Even more of a sucker for zombies…

It looks like Micah Sloat isn’t in this prequel and I, for one, am grateful.  Listening to Katie whine “Micah!  Micah!” was enough to make me root for the malicious spirits.

Oh, man – I CANNOT WAIT!!!

~N.

You Beautiful, Naive, Sophisticated, Newborn Baby

I have now seen two episodes of the new NBC comedy Up All Night, and while I really, really reallllllllllly want to love it, alas, I do not.  I laughed out loud, hard, eight times while watching the season premiere of Raising Hope.  For Up All Night, the laugh total was zero. I didn’t even feel that amused thing in your tummy where there’s a little ball of joyful emotions, but no sound comes out.  Truly, all I felt was embarrassment, and annoyance.

It’s clear NBC is pumped for Up All Night – the commercials are so shiny, the production value is obviously very high.  Aside from the big-name stars (Christina Applegate, Will Arnett, Maya Rudolph), the look of the show is very crisp.  So far though, the writing is poor.  I adore Arnett and Rudolph (I hope she hears my plea to be BFFs).  They are both mentally insane-funny.  They have that unstable aura – at any moment they’re gonna do something WHACK.  But here, they are frenetic, and it’s tiresome.  Rudolph’s character, talk-show host Ava, (kinda like Oprah) is supposed to be hilariously out of touch with the real world, and in love with herself, yet so far none of that has elicited an actual laugh from me.  Applegate and Arnett’s energy and spasticness is bugging me.  Watching them spank each other and dance lamely in front of a window because they thought their new neighbor couldn’t see them (oh surprise, he totally saw) was just gross and stupid beyond belief, not funny. I found the premise of this show (happily married couple unexpectedly has a child in their early 30s) to be really promising, and the promos were hilarious, but it’s not gelling for me – yet.  The thing is, I like the stars and the idea enough to keep watching; that is, if others do the same and NBC has enough faith to give it a little time (which I’m going to assume it does, given the shit-ton of ads I see constantly.  Sidenote:  I always feel bad for the slew of shows that networks don’t promote.  They’re like little abandoned babies).

Comedies take time to find their “groove.”  Some will never find it, for others it comes quicker (The Office, 30 Rock), but my point is, it’s never immediate.  The audience needs to become familiar with the characters and situations, and also the particular kind of humor a show is offering up – broad, niche, raunch, family friendly, etc.

I think Parks & Recreation is a perfect example of this phenomena.  The first season felt (to me, at least), like it was trying to be The Office in a government building.  The second season had the storylines and characters finding and solidifying their footing, while the third absolutely blew my mind.  I can no longer imagine my life without the delightful absurdity of Tom Haverford and Ron Swanson – two of my favorite TV characters, possibly of all-time, folks.  At the show’s infant stages, they were simply weird dudes.  But now, knowing their personalities and what to expect from them, glory is achieved weekly, people.

I’m soooo forever grateful NBC stuck with P&R, and I’m hoping they’ll do the same with Up All Night – as long as the latter is up for the challenge of coming into its own.  It has all the DNA of a quirky, zany comedy – maybe 30 Rock spliced with Modern Family?  If it can find that sweet spot, it’s all win.

PS: If you have ever agreed with me on anything I have mentioned on this site, do yourself a favor and go watch Parks & Rec (from the beginning, DUH).  The whacked title of this post is a direct quote from last night’s season premiere, to give you an idea of the awesomeness.  Your life will never be the same. :)

~Annie

Message To Adam Sandler: You’ve Peaked, It’s Over…Please, Please Stop

Have you seen previews for the latest in the horrific onslaught of miserable Happy Madison movies, gaggingly entitled Jack and Jill?  Go ahead.  Give it a look…

Kind of makes you wish for the assassination of Adam Sandler, doesn’t it?  Why couldn’t he have found some egg-headed, dark-haired actress to play his sister?  Casting yourself in both leads of a comedy crosses a line, Adam.  I hope you know there is no turning back.

You don’t know how it pains me to say these things.  Really.  I once LOVED Adam Sandler with an unhealthy passion and still, after the slew of steaming pig manure including (but certainly not limited to) You Don’t Mess With The Zohan, Grown Ups, and Just Go With It, I just want so badly for him to be the man we all know he could be.  You know the guy.  The one who wrote Big Daddy.  The guy who charmed us nearly to tears as Robbie Hart in The Wedding Singer and made us fall in love with him over and over again in 50 First Dates.  Whatever happened to that guy?  I miss that guy.

I know what you’re going to say.  His humor has always been goofy and cheesy and juvenile.  Billy Madison proves it, right?  Well…sort of.  Yes, his comedy has always showcased his silly adolescent side but in his best movies, it was balanced evenly with the heartfelt and endearing.  And the characters in those flicks were people we cared about and rooted for like they were close, personal friends of ours.  Now, in flicks like Zookeeper and the most recent box office bomb, Bucky Larson: Born To Be A Star, there is nothing BUT the absurdities and cheap jokes.  The characters are boring and stupid and the story lines aren’t interesting enough to give a crap about.

And, let’s face it, we’ve all gotten older.  Sandler included.  His audience isn’t made up of teenagers anymore.  We’re in our 30s now and we want more substance to the plots and characters we could actually relate to and humor that may be a bit silly but is also SMART.  You can’t appeal to the kids of today, Mr. Sandler.  They’re busy being entertained by Justin Bieber and the Twilight kids.  Those of us who’ve watched you since your SNL days have aged right along with you.  We’ve finished high school, and college, and gotten careers and families and we want more from you.  Please.  For the love of everything that is holy, give us something better or retire and spend the rest of your days basking in the life of the multimillionaire that we’ve helped you become.

-N.

So Say the Words I Long To Hear…2011 Emmy’s Recap

My random, rambling, errant thoughts on last night’s Emmy’s broadcast.

The opening number was stupid.  Jane Lynch is lovely, classy, joyful, and a blast to watch, but who writes this shit?  It is so gaggy and lame to view just sitting on my couch, I can’t imagine what all the “cool” hollywood people think as they’re forced to watch that crap, like the Clockwork Orange.  Also, the EmmyTones?  Are you fucking kidding me?  What a great group of actors, singing the stupidest things ever, to awkward silences and forced claps.  How they even managed to stand up there and get the words out, I’ll never know.  *Shudder*

How fun to get to watch Modern Family sweep the first 20 minutes of the show.  Gag me as Steve Levitan talked about his kids walking in on him and his wife “doing it” and how that was inspiration.  It came off as smug and creepy.  Listen, it’s a good show.  I watch it, I laugh.  But it’s not the best comedic show on television, goddammit.  In my well-informed opinion (I faithfully watch every nominee), Parks & Recreation was the most consistently funny, crazy, awesome comedic show this past year.  The others are all gravy, but P&R blew it out of the park.  Oh, oh, and somehow Phil and Claire Dunphy BOTH get to win?!?!  Those two characters are annoying as shit, stupid and lazy, and my least favorites on the show.  I do not think they’re the best male and female comedic supporting actor/actresses on TV.  Julie Bowen’s physique is terrifying, and while Ty Burrell sure seems like a swell guy, nobody makes me laugh like Jane Lynch and Eric Stonestreet.

For Lead Actress in a Comedy series, I loved how all the ladies stood up onstage together.  All I could think was that I wanted to hang out with them.  Martha Plimpton’s dress was FANTABULOUSO and damn did she wear it well.  I was also a huge fan of Laura Linney’s black shirt-dress, I thought it was flattering and sexy.  It was really adorable to watch everybody be so happy for Melissa McCarthy for her surprise win (pretty sure she mouthed ‘holy shit’ when her name was called) and while I do really freakin’ love her (shout out to Sookie!), didn’t they kinda give this to her cuz of Bridesmaids?  Is Mike and Molly really that great? (I don’t watch it, so my judgement here is completely crap – feel free to let me know if I’m wrong)

Charlie Sheen time-out!  WTF?  He seemed well put together, and like he meant what he said, but oh holy shit seriously?!  Dude, you talk about drinking tiger blood and how you’re a warlock and then you’re all normal, wishing CBS well??  HUH?  I’m confused.

Jim Parsons MORE THAN deserves his award, in my Big Bang Theory-lovin’ opinion. Sheldon is one of the most original, insane, awesome characters on TV and he’d be nothing without Parsons’ delivery.

Peter Dinklage is awesome, he’s my favorite male character on Game of Thrones.  His speech was great; I got a little teary when he told his wife how much he loved her and that she was awesome.  I know these people are winning an award for acting, so who the hell knows if they mean it, but hearing them profess their love always gets me all weepy.

Julianna Margulies doesn’t need to keep winning for The Good Wife, if only so we don’t have to keep hearing her thank her “spectacular” husband for the umpteenth time.  I am going to start throwing up on instant sight of her.  (Random love professions are sweet – see:  Dinklage.  Incessant, bi-yearly gushfests are nasty – see:  Margulies)  Biggest snub of the night was not giving the Lead Actress in a Drama to Connie Britton.  Why not do another hubby/wife winning duo and give it to Coach Eric AND Tami Taylor?  A gross error.

And on to Coach Eric, ah, Kyle Chandler,  you wondrous creature.  I had goosebumps and got teared up when Drew Barrymore and the new Charlie’s Angels (one of whom was Minka Kelly, a former FNL cast member) were so flipping excited and screamed his name, that was cute as shit.  He was clearly stunned, so gobsmacked that he forgot to thank his real life and on-screen wives, but I can’t care cause he’s amazing and adorable and perfect in every way, I’m-sure of it. *flashes crazy grin*

As much as the young guys singing “Hallelujah” did a beautiful job, it was awkward to have people singing live during the in memoriam. :/

Definitely want to have sex with Jeremy Piven. *Shiver*

Can I just say how HAPPY I AM that Downton Abbey was recognized?!  Shit you guys, that show was AWESOME!  Do yourself a favor and watch it.  While I’m at it, also the Masterpiece Sherlock Holmes with Benedict Cumberbatch and my lovely little British Bilbo hubby Martin Freeman. (PBS is da bomb, ya’ll) I wish I could have seen the Entourage guys hand Minerva McGonagall her award for Best Supporting Actress in a Miniseries though. :( But dammit, I was happy Maggie Smith won, cause she was delicious as the Dowager Countess.  Mental note:  Need to start saying “Dowager” more often.

Also, Kate Winslet is incapable of NOT being goddess-like.  What does one have to do, to become so fabulous?  I couldn’t love her anymore unless she had given birth to me.

Random scary moment:  What the FUCK was with the Lonely Island montage/medley?  I just don’t understand the reasoning there…. it was so, so batshit, and in a scary bad way.  I felt awful for Michael Bolton, I was so humiliated, I could hardly look at the screen.  I don’t understand why they needed Ed Helms to play Justin Timberlake, and there was a huge American flag, and Akon, singing the “I Just Had Sex” song…it seemed like what would go on in a crackhead’s brain.  Woof.

Final thoughts:  Sweet Christ, I watch a lot of TV.

~Annie

Have No Fear

It comes down to this: I liked it.  I didn’t love it.  I didn’t hate it.  I merely liked it.  If I had seen it back when I was 10, I probably would have adored it.  It may have even ranked up there with Gremlins or Pet Sematary.  You know, those movies you looooooved as a kid, the ones that scared you giddy, the ones you watched repeatedly and talked about endlessly until your parents told you to give it a rest.  Then, 15 or 20 years later, you re-watch them and suddenly notice holes the size of the Mariana Trench in the plot and performances that embarrass even you.  Not that any of that matters to you; you loved them then, you love them now.  You’ll love them always.

The problem with Don’t Be Afraid Of The Dark (for me) is that last Saturday when I saw it, I wasn’t 10.  I was 30.  So the gaping holes in the plot and the appallingly bad acting did not escape my attention.  I even laughed, a couple of times.  In all fairness, I also jumped, a couple of times.  And there was some decent acting (maybe it seemed decent in comparison to the garbage delivered by Guy Pearce) by the movie’s leading lady, Bailee Madison and even, at times, Katie Holmes.  The creepy creatures lurking in the dark got a few scares and were eerily menacing.  The true main character of this remake was the house in which it was set.  A century old mansion with poor lighting and a garden big enough to get lost in and a hidden, blocked-off basement  – it stole most scenes.

Overall, I’d give it 3.5 out of 5 stars for the average adult, and probably 4 stars for those bold youngsters who love the horror genre as I did, back when I was just a lowercase g.

Just to satisfy your curiosity (because I’m sure it’s burning relentlessly), here are a couple clips of those scary movies that have stayed with me for the past 20 years or so (good, god)…

One more…

Have a great weekend.

~Nikki