Saturday, September 11, 2010

New Blog!

In case you haven't noticed, I don't post here anymore....But I do have a new, delightfully witty blog, Lifetime Movie Reviews, at Even if you never watch Lifetime, check it out and tell me what you think!

Friday, July 31, 2009

TV as Background Music

I've always defended my parents' decision to let me watch a shitload of television as a child, with the reasoning that they also made sure to involve me in lots of other activities, including getting me outside and to the library. And I became an editor, so you can't really say it decreased the amount I read or decreased my cognitive ability.

However, one thing I have noticed as someone who routinely did her homework while watching the telly is that I often leave the TV on for background noise. I'll turn it on when I get home and leave it on until I go to bed (go ahead, be horrified). Unless it's a particularly good episode of Intervention, however, I'm probably not paying too close attention.

I've noticed that some shows make better background shows than others--Law & Order and the Golden Girls, with their familiar lilt, make it easy to only half pay attention. Yappy shows like Family Guy will just be distracting. When I've had easy freelance work to do (and back when I was doing homework), I liked to watch a favorite movie, so I could relieve myself from the tediousness of the work by keeping myself entertained at the same time.

Luckily for me, my college roommate was also someone who grew up watching tons of TV, and so is my boyfriend. We're happy to turn on the tube, then talk all night. It's ok, we're not really paying attention to it.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Heroes: Hopefully if we forget the past we aren't doomed to repeat it

I sat down to watch Heroes last night with my boyfriend, who hadn't seen the show since the second season. "Don't worry," I said, "nothing much happened last season." I then sat in vain trying to come up with a single thing he needed to know to understand the current season. "A bunch of people died...." I said. But then when I started listing off Nicki's husband, the painter guy, etc., he pointed out that all those people died in the last episode of the first season.

Finally I hit upon something. During a commercial break when it seemed Noah was in jeopardy, we had the following conversation.
Him: Eh, I don't care about him anyway.
Me: No, he's good now. He did all this stuff last season...uh, to take care of Claire and stuff.
Him: Oh, so he's paid his dues and we're supposed to care about him now?
Me: Mm-hmm.
Him: OK.

Yep, I guess that pretty much sums it up. Unless I want to get into the twins, and Claire's boyfriend (what happened to him again?), and Peter losing his memory, and Hiro in the ancient past, and Ned Rierson, and a whole lotta other plot points that apparently don't matter anymore.

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Advice to Bristol Palin and Jamie Lynn Spears: You're never too young for Bloomingdale's

Perhaps this is the reason for the demise of America's teenagers--no, not abstitence-only education--they don't have Mrs. Garrett to show them the way.

Friday, August 29, 2008

The Best Episodes of the Shield

Anyone who's read much of this blog won't be surprised to hear that I'm practically hyperventilating over the season premiere of the final season of The Shield on Tuesday. In celebration of the best show ever made, here are my 5 favorite Shield moments.

Warning: for anyone who hasn't seen all six seasons, MAJOR SPOILER ALERT!, as they say.

5. “On the Jones” (season 6)

One of the interesting things about The Shield being on FX—away from major sponsors trying to reach millions of people—is that it moves organically: it doesn’t try to cram into one huge “special television event” what should really take a few episodes to tell. After season 5’s finale in which Shane kills Lem, last season’s premiere finally closed the chapter on the chilling Lieutenant Jon Kavanaugh (played by Forest Whitaker, who in between seasons won an Oscar). After Kavanaugh has what can only be described as a Macky-induced meltdown, Vic visits him in prison and tells him, “You’re stepping onto a whole new playing field; hope you know the rules.” Vic no longer has his posse (except for Ronnie), but once again he’s come out on top.

4. “Back in the Hole” (season 4)

There are so many good episodes from season 4 (“Tar Baby,” featuring Dutch singing “Hungry Like a Wolf” comes to mind), but this one, which takes place mostly at the Barn, is my favorite. The strike team does something unusual and tells (their version of) the truth about Shane’s involvement with Antwon. The scenes with Glenn Close grilling Anthony Andersen (now on Law & Order!) show how a well-done TV show can actually be better than a film. Meanwhile, Vic tells the team to go find out what really happened to the dead little girl—“and make sure you get some collateral this time.” Unfortunately, that collateral comes in the form of a bag of heroin…that makes its way straight into the hands of IAD. And in Aceveda we have one character on the show who decides he’d like to stop the downward spiral, as he “breaks up” with the prostitute he’s been having a destructive relationship with. The only bad thing about this episode is Vic’s unfortunate choice of t-shirt for most of the ep, a plain blue blob that Michael Chiklis says on the DVD’s commentary “makes me look like a blueberry.

3. “Scar Tissue” (season 2)
Now here’s Mackey in a hot t-shirt—a tight, bright green hold-over from the previous ep with “Shamrocks” written on it (and the episode ends with him getting some much-needed lovin’). But that’s not the only reason it makes my list. After Claudette makes her first chink in Vic’s armor (talking to his ex-wife),Vic prepares to pay the consequences for…well…one of his crimes: burning Armadillo’s face on the electric burner of his stove—a scene seared (sorry, I couldn’t resist) into the memory of every Sheild fan. Of course, he’s only because he feels he owes it to the newly disfigured Ronnie, and before he can confess, Lem and Shane cop a deal with a former inmate with a grudge. Best scene: Danny confesses to what was then the only other female officer that she almost kissed Dutch after solving an assault-with-bug-spray case. As they’re talking, Armadillo gets stabbed to death in the cage, which ends up being a defining moment in Danny’s career.

2. “Slipknot” (season 3)

The first episode Michael Chiklis directed is one of confessions: Acaveda finally confesses to his wife that he was sexually assaulted (her chilling reply: “how could you let this happen?”), Cassidy confesses that she’s the one who keyed her mom’s new boyfriend’s car, and Mara confesses to Shane that she stole the $7,000 from the money train stash. Though much of season 3 set up the relationship between Shane and Mara, this scene is the turning point: when Shane realizes that his actions are now going to have consequences for someone other than him. (We won’t get to see the destructive whirlpool these two wallow in again until season 6, when Mara yells at a beaten, sobbing Shane, “You want to shoot me? You want to shoot yourself? Do it.”) The end of the episode shows one of the best quintessential Strike Team moments: the boys taking back the streets, which somehow involves busting into a house and flipping over the dining room table.

1. “Circles” (season 1)
And TV show that begins with a riot and actually gets more exciting is one you know is good. There are plenty of characteristically awesome Shield moments in the episode—Vic busting through a fence in pursuit of a suspect, Shane telling Vic he’ll kill Gilroy for him—but the one that gets me is when Vic calls home and finds out Gilroy is there. More than ever before in the amazing first season, the viewer can kind of see how Vic backs himself into a corner and makes decisions he thinks he needs to make for the greater good. While he allows Acaveda to take credit for bringing Gilroy in, he has what is perhaps one of his first tear-his-heart-out moments. His reaction to his family leaving him is simultaneously hard to watch and impossible to turn away from.

p.s., if this still isn't enough Shield for you, check out hulu's Shield page, which has all sorts of interesting interviews with the cast.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

From the archives

While I'm waiting for my cousin to get here, I thought I'd finally get around to scanning a couple of things I found at my parent's house last year. Both are from my third grade file....(click to englare)

If you're wondering, "neon" is still my favorite color, and jogging suits are still my favorite thing to wear. Also, I believe "Dady Davedo" is "Danny DeVito," star of such 80s classics as Throw Momma from the Train and Twins.

This one is one of the "Week in Review" essays we had to write each week. Apparently, just as now, sometimes a TV show was one of the most exciting things to happen to me all week. And to my teacher.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

RIP Tree

They finally chopped the old dear down

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Grey's Anatomy Sexcapades: A helpful chart

(Click to enlarge)

In honor of tomorrow night's return of Grey's Anatomy, I've updated my helpful spreadsheet of the intricate social network of Seattle Grace. Print it out and reference during the show, or give to friends who've just started watching. It's color-coded for your convenience!

I hadn't updated it in six months, so I had a lot of Alex's squares to fill in--he's now head-to-head (pun intended) with George in the interhospital bangs race. I had to introduce a new color (orange) in an attempt to define Derek and Meredith's ridiculous relationship (which everyone is so sick of that the creator of the show has promised to get them together for good). But most surprisingly to me, the only red ("in a relationship") square on the current chart is Dr. Bailey and Mr. Bailey's, in which I was forced to note "in trouble." This, of course, means there are dozens of possible couplings. Here are my predictions:

The sure things
1. Hahn and Sloane
2. Derek and Kissyface (afterwards, he will reunite with Meredith, of course)
3. George and Lexie

My dream hookups
1. Karev and Izzie (um, again)
2. Derek and Addison (afterwards, he will reunite with Meredith, of course)
3. Cristina and anyone—when is that girl gonna get laid already?

My nightmare hookups
1. The Chief and Bailey
2. George and Bailey
3. Callie and Bailey (actually, I would love that one, but if people start crossing the fence it's really going to screw with my spreadsheet)

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Best TV pilot ever

Owen Wilson as a talking motorcycle
Jack Black as his rider/a former astronaut
Ron Silver in his best role since Rhoda

How had I never heard of Heat Vision and Jack?

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Friday Night Lights (the kids call it FNL)

Well, I just finished watching season one of Friday Night Lights on hulu. It's joined the ranks of Six Feet Under, Lost, Heroes, and The Shield as TV shows I've binged on. And yep, I guess it's the latest show I'll try to get you to watch. After watching 20-odd episodes in 3 days, here were some of my thoughts:

1. Kyle Chandler is fucking hot! I imdb'ed him and it turns out he's the dude from Early Edition—remember that show? where the guy gets a newspaper from the future every day? I didn't remember seeing anyone this hot on the ads for that show, so I checked out the archival footage. Sure enough: not hot (it's the 90's leather jacket!), BUT I did discover that it also starred Fisher Stevens! (??!). So I'm hoping maybe, after Fisher's successful turn on Lost, he can go guest star on Friday Night Lights? But I digress.

2. It's a constant shock to me how little nudity there is on this show! How is it possible we haven't seen Riggins' ass yet?! I didn't realize NBC was so prude...but maybe they're trying to make it a "family" show? In any event, I'm mad I don't get to see the Coach follow through on this bedroom eyes.

3. Hulu needs to get some more corporate sponsorships. At the beginning of each episode, I would cross my fingers and say, "Please not Chili's!" Their 15-second spots invited the viewer to "Pepper in some WOW!" with their "big-mouth bites." In the 30-second spots, a bunch of 20-somethings are in a car trying to decide what to do. Then one of the girls (who were thin as a rail and twice as attractive as their male counterparts) gets the AWESOME idea to go to CHILI's to get their "Smokehouse Bacon Burger," (follow that link, you won't regret it) whose tagline is literally "the thickest strips of bacon you've ever seen." Ironically, the company that has the best ads is Cisco (and one of them even features the executive phone!)

4. Have I mentioned how sexy Kyle Chandler is? I've never found football remotely interesting until now. Suddenly I find it kind of hot.

5. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe this is the first TV show to ever portray a wheelchair-bound person in such a major role. I have no idea what I would think if I was in a wheelchair, but the writers seem to do a good job with it. As soon as I thought, "wouldn't Mexico be less handicap accessible?" Jason can't get over a curb. I should also mention that Scott Porter, who plays him, is excellent, as are all the other no-name teenage actors on the show.

6. ...the actresses, on the other hand, I can't decide if I like or not. (And could Layla look any less like her parents?) I also don't get why there are no awkward, unattractive, or really smart women on the show.

7. Tim Riggins = white trash Baby Dayliner

8. Every time someone refers to linebacker "Smash," I think of LT Smash from the Simpsons: "That's right, Leuitenant LT Smash."