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Consumables #132: Watching Lightning Round

I used to have a friend that would rarely call me back when I called her (shush now, grandma is talking about ye olde times before texting when we talked on the ringer to each other). On the off chance that I did get to talk to her, she would say that she didn’t want to call or email me because time had passed between the last time we had talked (as it tends to do) and she felt overwhelmed with the idea that she would have to catch me up on all of the many, many happenings in her life that had piled up in that time period and the thought would EXHAUST her enough that she would be like “eh, fuck it” and just not do it. There was a part of me that understood that impulse, but the bigger part of me couldn’t help but notice that in addition to this “too overwhelmed to dial the phone” story, this lady seemed to come up with all sorts of reasons to not interact with me. Like, she would come up with every dang excuse in the book (the Excuse Book, by Hunter X. Squeeze-Me). Reams of ideas on how she could not talk to me, like ever. So busy! Phone calling is so overwhelming! Coming to your house is so far! Hosting you at my house- eek, my house is too messy! Meeting up for coffee– oops I have a very important trip to the post office I forgot about. But you’re one of my besties though! Love you, mean it! Yeah, that girl did not like me. I am embarrassed to tell you how long it took for me to figure that out.

ANYWAY. I have been feeling a little bit of the blog back ups (gross) because there are so many things I could tell you about, so many pop cultures I have partooken in, that I don’t even know where to begin when I think about writing something. I promise you that this is because I want to tell you so many things, and not because I am like my ex-friend and I secretly don’t want to talk to you ever again. I would not do that to you. I promise you that if I break up with you I will do it right in your face. I won’t tell you it’s because I have to go to the post office over and over.

Ok, lightning round to catch up!

Obvious Child- Jenny Slate being Jenny-dorable.

Interstellar- the most waterworks astronauts in the galaxy, you guys. I mean, SO MUCH CRYING. Granted, if you launched me into space I would be boo-hooing too. There were many things to like about the movie, but when the only female astronaut tries to save the day and they make her do the old running-running-slip-fall-down-hurt-leg GO ON WITHOUT ME routine I was kind of over it. LADIES CAN’T RUN AND SAVE PEOPLE EVERYONE KNOWS THAT THEY WILL FALL DOWN AND START CRYING. Ugh, shut up Interstellar.

Skeleton Twins: As much as I love that Kristin Wiig and Bill Hader did a serious movie, and as much as I think they totally killed it (I did), the best part of the movie was when they were silly and lip syncing Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now.

Game of Thrones: Everyone just be walking around, looking for stuff. Walk walk walk. Look look look.

The Good Wife: You know who is having a good day on The Good Wife? NOBODY

Birdman: Going from being a movie star to an artiste is harrrrrrrd. Also, wives, girlfriends, daughters, critics, and colleagues are all major jerks.

Happy Friday everyone!

Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now, by Starship

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Consumables #125 Watching: Bowl de la Super

This weekend was the Superbowl or something, I don’t know if you heard about it, but some people in my town were maybe into it. The last Superbowl I watched in its entirety was probably when I was in elementary school and it was starring Joe Montana (yes, I said “starring” because this is how my brain works). This year, just a few hours before the game was supposed to start I heard that Missy Elliott was going to be there and I was like OH PAPA SIGN ME UP so I fired up the half time show and ended up watching the last half of the game. I had fun watching it, and I feel like, if I could find people who watchy the sportsball in the same way I want to, I could get into it. Here, I give you my sporty spice pros and cons, special Super Bowl Edition. Maybe I’ll find my sport watching clan if you can stand these things about me.

1. Pro: Competition! Teamwork! Physical feats! Grit! I was a dancer, I am down with every last one of these things.

2. Pro: Shiny knicker-like pants. I vote yes.

3. Pro: Strategery! I like football because of the design of it all, the choices to be made, the way the pieces fit together.

4. Con: Fan uniforms. I do not wish to wear team colors, or brandish team paraphernalia in any direction. This is a dealbreaker, so no sports dress up or it is dunzo, kaput, bye Felicia.

5. Con: Sports-team-based jingoism, pbbbbbbt. A player on an opposing team- we want to punch him in the face! We want him to contract scabies in the athletic supporter region! We are the best and you are the worst! This makes me tired. Why do we hate them again? You’re going to have to keep reminding me.

6. Con: unsportsmanlikeishness. Did we learn nothing in peewee football as children? If your team loses, being belligerent and/or pouty should not be a thing for grown ass people. Sad I get. Asshole behavior though? Come on, guys. Get it together.

7.  Con (more for you than for me): I am one of those people who can’t stop thinking about sports corporatism and player concussions and domestic violence enabling and performative masculinity and all those pesky type things, so if you get mad about people bringing that up, then you need to tell me to talk to the hand.

So, 3 pros and 4 cons. Let’s tip the scales: if you invite Missy to play a medley every game, I’m good.

Let’s argue about whether Adam is Snapey

Since Girls is back on the air, my friend over on the Twitters mentioned that she thought that Jessa, had she gone to Hogwarts, would have been in Slytherin. From this comment, I give you the rest of my thoughts on the relationship between Girls and Harry Potter.

Hannah, Moaning Myrtle

Shoshanna, Luna Lovegood

Marnie, some chickie who attends that bullshit French wizard school where Fleur came from

Laird, member of GRYFFINDOR (patronus: turtle)

These are the extent of my thoughts on the subject. You guys, it’s been a tiring week.

Consumables #110 Watching: Lightning Round

Lots to catch up on!

The Missing Picture

The director of this documentary is a survivor of the Khmer Rouge atrocities in Cambodia, and a sculpture artist. Using archival footage, an eerie first person narration, and (stay with me now) miniature clay recreations of wartime scenes, he retells his story. Made me think: how the ways we represent things have power, and how we can use this idea to try to reclaim power.

Particle Fever

Documentary about the buildup toward turning on the “power” switch of the Hadron Collider, which is a totally banaynays machine that busts up particles, which in turn causes big-time nerdgasms. There are lots of shots of physicists writing formulas and equations on chalkboards Matt-Damon-in-Goodwill-Hunting style, and the end of the movie is surprisingly touching, all of a sudden. Made me think: that when the scene rolls around where a bunch of scientists, presumably some of the best on Earth, decide to dance around and do a science rap, that I am a big stick in the mud because all I could think of was NOOOO YOU SHOULDA KEPT IT CLASSY DR. POINDEXTERS DO YOU THINK NEWTON OR MADAME CURIE OR MARIE DALY WOULDA PULLED THIS CRAP and I know: who am I to rap-block anyone?

The Voice

This is nothing more than people who can sing really well doing karaoke songs. I wish they would let them sing their own songs or something. Plus I find every last judge, except Blake Shelton, to be completely insufferable (Pharrell with his Living Your Best Life Yoda speeches is theeee worst), but a kid with a pretty voice is going to sing Ordinary World by Duran Duran to me? YES FINE SIGN ME UP. Made me think: not much, actually.

Dancing with the Stars

What if I told you that Tommy Chong made me cry last week? Not that I am saying that. Just, whatever. Made me think: GODDAMNIT I LOVE A TANGO AND A PASO

Brooklyn Nine-Nine

You know an ensemble comedy has finally come together when you start having arguments with yourself about which character is the best/funniest/most favorite. My current vote: Andre Braugher. Ask me again next week. Made me think: I still wish they would do more with Santiago and I’m gonna keep wishing it until it happens.

Happy watching, and happy Monday!

Ordinary World, Duran Duran

Consumables #101 Watching: Nashville

I ran myself ragged last week to the point where I woke up Saturday morning and there was no other way to describe how I felt other than hungover. So bad. Hung over hung over, send advil right over. My head hurt, I had that totally dried up feeling, and I ached everywhere. I hadn’t had a drop to drink, is the thing though. I managed to conjure up the feeling of hungoverness without actually getting into my cups whatsoever previous to that. Just from working and thinking and running around. Does that not seem unfair? I spent Saturday morning in my pajama bottoms and this old sweatshirt I have that I wear when I am sick that I’ve had for eons and eons- it belonged to an old boyfriend and there is nothing more pathetic that I own. I downed some ibuprofen and got horizontal on my couch and rehydrated and watched lots of episodes of Nashville. Just pitiful. That show seems obviously made to make people feel sicker, but it had the opposite effect on me somehow, although the power of Tami Taylor diminishes inch by inch with every episode, like a sun setting below the horizon. Connie! How could you have done this to us? And by us I mean me and my work hangover? She walks around being torn up in knots over several cheesy fellas who clearly do not deserve her and the songs they give her to sing are just godawful, you guys. Connie’s Guy #1 is her ex-husband who had fake pregnancy times with the girl from the Father of the Bride movies and Guy #2 is Head-To-Toe-Denim-Outfit-Man and Guy #3 is a country star that has a messy ponytail in hazy flashbacks. She used to have Guy #4 who was at least lovely to look at but he left Nashville for the Khaleesi in Game of Thrones so that’s a bust. I’m convinced he left because they kept making him wear doofy scarves. Meanwhile Hayden Pantene-pierre tries to remain feisty despite the fact that Lucky from General Hospital is so in love with her that he cries constantly in such a way as to make it look like his entire face is a squishy, boggy mire with eyes in the middle. Then there is Scarlett who has a serious case of baby voice and a mean momma who pinches her and causes her to have fits. Scarlett does not like Nashville and wants nothing to do with it at all and keeps threatening to leave but she never has the gumption to just go already. Meanwhile there’s a Ken doll looking closeted gay cowboy singer (OF COURSE THERE IS) and smarmy record executive Oliver Hudson and a beautiful ingenue named Zoey who has to act like it’s not obvious that she’s the only person of color for miles and miles and miles around.

It’s really not a good show, at all. Like…at all. But I watched a bunch of them and they cured my hangover so. What can I tell you? I’m betting that it was the power of Connie Britton’s hair alone.

Like a Diamond in a Pie

My writing, arting, creativity spigot has turned off for today, in every sense. Just nope. Not going to happen. I had the day off to do nothing but create something and all of my efforts went kaputs. Sometimes it just ain’t flowing.

I did have a lovely breakfast outing with pal K8 and we got talking about old Sesame Street segments, as you do. So the day wasn’t a total waste.

To bring these two things together: Sesame Street plus feeling creatively stifled equals: Don Music. We’ve all been there, Don. Am I right, guys?

Happy Friday, all!

Consumables #96, Fall TV Lightning Round

Started watching fall tv last week. I could write a thesis on each thing I watched, but instead, I shall share quickest of quick thoughts about as many as I can think of. Go!

The Good Wife

No one can make me want to wear pencil skirt suits like Alicia Florrick. Is it dysfunctional that after watching the season premiere all I did with my spare time all week long is worry about Cary? After what those writers put us all through last season, DO NOT HURT CARY. I mean, Yeezus, Mary, and Yosef, people.

Dancing with the Stars

They had Smokey Robinson and Aloe Blacc on there and they were both so chill I think my heart rate went into bradycardia.

Castle

I don’t watch this, but I think I might like it if I did. Does that automatically kick me up into old lady status?

The Mindy Project

Let’s just have the whole show be Danny doing dance numbers. Who’s with me?

The Mysteries of Laura

The first episode of this had the effect of four sleeping pills on both Fixy and me. I mean, it lulled us both into immediate blankie time. New parents, when your kid won’t go to sleep, have them watch the first ep of Grace being a cop.

Black-ish

AIN’T NO WAY LARRY FISHBURNE IS OLD ENOUGH TO BE THAT DUDE’S DAD. Come on, Morpheus.

Nashville

Juliette Barnes giving herself a hysterical sobbing hair trim was the perfect illustration of why people watch that show. MY HEART IS BREAKING SO I SHALL GIVE MYSELF A GENTLE TWO INCHES OFF THE BOTTOM RESULTING IN A REJUVENATION OF HAIR BODY WAAAAHHHHHH MY HEART

How To Get Away With Murder

Glad to see that there weren’t nearly as many speeches in this one, because my least favorite thing about Shondaland is the speechifying. And look at Dean Thomas from Harry Potter! I mean, Rowr, right? Is that wrong? He was just a kid in Harry Potter! But that was then. And now? Hello guvnah.

Parenthood

Let’s try and get through just one single episode where Christina does not get weepy this season ok? That lady is the most misty eyed actor since Pa Ingalls. Someone sneezes wrong and she wells up. Also, it seems like I spend my whole life watching Lauren Graham on tv being in a relationship with the wrong dude. WHY CAN’T SHE EVER HAVE THE RIGHT DUDE? Luke Danes was the only one who was ever worthy of her.

Transparent

Oh, the feelings I am having watching this one. So good. I thought I would binge watch it but I have been doling it out slowly because I can’t take more than one per sitting.

Outlander

I DO NOT HAVE STARZ AND I WANT TO WATCH THIS SHOW. Humph.

Happy watching, all!

Consumables #93: Read, Watch, Listen

A hodge podge clean up sort of day to round out the week!

First of all, Dancing with the Stars is back! This is like the return of football season for some of us. You guys, Carlton is on it! I really shouldn’t need to even sell it beyond saying that.

Second of all, I discovered a delightful picture book for kids that just came out called This Day in June, by Gayle E. Pitman. It’s a cheerful celebration of a book that talks about Pride parades, and it’s so well done. Sweet illustrations, inclusive language.

Third of all, I read this monster tome of a book called Far from the Tree: Parents, Children, and the Search for Identity, by Andrew Solomon. In it, Solomon discusses the experiences of parents who have children with significantly different identity markers than themselves. He defines this broadly– he talks about families with children who are deaf, who are prodigies, who are little people, who have Down syndrome, who are transgender, and much more. There are lots and lots of personal stories of individual families that Solomon talked to while researching the book– in fact I would say those stories are most of the book. These stories paint a picture of diversity but also of such love that unites these families. There were many passages that made me think, and some that I wrestled with. It’s a daunting read (nine HUNDRED pages), but it reads quickly.

Fourth of all, IT IS FRIDAY, FOOLSSSSSSS

Class Historian, by Broncho

Consumables #92, TV: Dance Academy

I have been doing a re-watch of Dance Academy and trying to figure out what the heck I love so much about it, because I looooooove it.

The show is set in a fictional national ballet school in Sydney, Australia, (thing #1 to love about it– Os-try-lian accents ivery-wheah!), where 15-year-old small town Tara shows up, a newbie student in the big city. She meets free spirit Kat (Rayann Graff without the drama), imperfect Sammy (The Geek from Sixteen Candles, but not so pervy), dreamboat Ethan (Ben from Felicity, but not a jerk), mean girl Abigail (Blair Waldorf but less inaccessible), and outsider Christian (Dylan McKay, but less, ugh, Dylan McKay-ish). It has all your teen show tropes, but a touch sweeter and a shade less glossy than American teen shows. I believe the kids are actually kids, for one thing (instead of teens that act like 30-year-olds. I love you teen dramas, but your shows are full of Olds). It also doesn’t have any dumb dance movie weirdness (sorry, no one is going to drive their motorcycle into a ballet like in Center Stage, because suckah please), and I am not saying that Dance Academy is a documentary series or anything, but at least it gets the feeling of a dance school right. There are classes, and auditions, and tiny dorm rooms, and physical therapy, and parent visits, and stern teachers, and tight friendships.

I don’t know, maybe I am just predisposed to liking a half-way decent dance school show because it makes me nostalgic. Probably true. But it’s also true that if you like teen shows, and you want to watch one that is charming and a form of tv-comfort food, I am telling you: Dance Academy. Get on it.