Movable Type 3.2
January 31, 2011
Morning Coffee (1/31/11)
It's Monday, but I'm home with some sort of icky stomach bug, so let's see what I can find for you in between wanting to barf!
The SAG Awards were last night. Here are the winners. Nothing particularly surprising, I guess.
Your new Superman: Henry Cavill. Yes, this means Superman, Spider-Man, and Batman are all British. And yummy.
Taylor Kinney of The Vampire Diaries will guest star on CSI: New York.
January 30, 2011
SAG Awards Liveblog
I was considering just tweeting, but there's been some interest in a liveblog/chat on Twitter, so hey, why not? Chime in! We'll start with the red carpet at six.
SNL: Eisenberg/Samberg/Zuckerberg, and Bachmann
I've got to hand it to SNL. I didn't watch live - there were, oddly enough, two other things I cared more about TiVoing in that timeslot - but this is pretty much the first time ever that they've gotten so much buzz on Twitter that I've looked up not one but two videos first thing Sunday morning.
First, a meeting of the Zuckerbergs:
And the Michele Bachmann cold open:
Morning Coffee (1/30/11)
Happy Sunday! The SAG Awards are tonight. Wheee. The Fug Girls will be liveblogging the Red Carpet, so I recommend stopping by.
Pop culture piece of the week: The Social Network Gang Is Like a Boy Band: Who's Your Type? Seriously, someone needs to put "of the emo Garfield persuasion" on a t-shirt.
Taylor Momsen sings "Wonderwall," and, you know, it could be worse.
Ten Oscar-Nominated Movies That Would Make Good TV Shows I really, really want numbers 5-8 to happen. Get on this, someone.
Brannon Braga regrets not having gay characters on his Star Trek shows. My impression is that many people regret many things about Brannon Braga's involvement.
January 29, 2011
Morning Coffee (1/29/11)
Happy Saturday! There's tons of pilot and casting news today, so let's do that first. I'll put it all in a row, so if you don't care about TV news, skip down to the next paragraph break.
Okay! Whew! IN OTHER NEWS:
Oh no! They killed some Girl Scout Cookies! But not any of the good ones.
"Ride-In Daleks"? Whoa.
I still kind of can't believe that this is the actual new NBCUniversal logo.
Hugh Jackman will be presenting at the Oscars. In case you were concerned.
Mark Zuckerberg may - may! - appear with Jesse Eisenberg on SNL tonight.
January 28, 2011
More New Music from Peter, Bjorn, and John: "Second Chance"
Is this "ooh ooh" stuff at the beginning going to be the new whistling? Is this going to be in every ad and TV show all spring and summer? SAVE US. (I do like the song in general, though.)
Song of the Day: "Please Mr. Postman"
Gladys Horton, lead singer of the Marvelettes, has died in California.
Morning Coffee (1/28/11)
Happy Friday! Finally. I know I'm inconsistent about the amount of real news I mention here, but there's so much going on that I think we need a quick roundup, and I'm giving you links all from the Times because it's quicker that way: There's unrest in Egypt and the Internet and cell phones have been "turned off." Tunisia's interim government is purging the Cabinet. Rahm is back on the ballot. Mike Pence is not running for President, but may run for governor. And pretty pretty Jay Carney is your new White House Press Secretary.
That Burn Notice prequel movie? Sounds like it's coming THIS SPRING. Whee!
This will be useful to bookmark as we head toward the spring: TV Renewal Scorecard
An interesting read: The Lessons You Learn When You Write About TV For Money. Actually, I have learned many of those lessons while writing about TV for no money.
Wondering why Toy Story 3 is an adapted screenplay or Hailee Steinfeld is a supporting actress? Answers are here. And here's a great Best Picture Cheat Sheet from NPR. And If Best Picture Movie Posters Told the Truth.
Kristen Stewart as Snow White? I could be convinced.
It's looking more likely that the O author is Mark Salter.
Patti Smith is . . . writing a mystery novel? Okay then. I just want to know how she knows it's exactly 68% done.
Vampire Diaries fans: This guy may be playing Klaus. MAYBE. Other sites say it's way less of a done deal than this makes it sound.
January 27, 2011
Between this and Red Riding Hood, Shiloh Fernandez is having quite a spring, huh? I can be kind of hit or miss with the "angsty, indie darling" genre - I generally prefer the flat-out depressing type - but this one seems worth a look.
And seriously, if they don't use Neon Trees' "1983" in an ad campaign, they're missing out. (Warning: this video is not for those overly prone to motion sickness.)
Catch VD? No thanks.
The Vampire Diaries comes back from its winter hiatus today, and as anyone who's spent much time here knows, I love this show madly. What I don't love, though, is the new ad campaign with which the network is heralding the show's return. It's . . . unsavory, to say the least.
First, the billboards: They started out as black backgrounds with just the words "CATCH VD." And they're being replaced by images of the actors - with the same tagline.
Next appeared the promo and a poster version of the billboard:
Now, the "Got Wood?" tagline, on its own, would probably make me roll my eyes but not be particularly upset. But "Catch VD"? No no no. There are any number of reasons why this is bad: It's completely illogical, since obviously the proper response is to turn and run in the other direction. It helps ensure that the show will never be taken seriously. It cheapens the image of hard-working actors whose images are linked with it. It makes even parents who are themselves fans of the show feel weird about watching it with their kids. Fans call it TVD, anyway, and fan sites like Vampire-Diaries.net have deliberately encouraged that abbreviation to avoid things like this. (For that matter, what is this, 1970? STD is the commonly-used term now anyway.) It has certainly created buzz among people who already watch, but a totally unscientific poll of my Twitter followers indicated that people who have never seen the show are just turned off by it. In addition, it has nothing to do with the show itself. (That's where I think it's different from the controversial Gossip Girl OMFG ads a few years ago. Those were at least relevant, and not misleading.) I mean, really, of all the dangers inherent in a visit to Mystic Falls, I think STDs are pretty low on the list of things to worry about.*
But here's my real problem with it: This ad campaign uses a very real, serious health issue as a cheap joke in order to sell something. If someone made an ad campaign that said "Cancer is awesome and sexy!", people would be up in arms. (Now that I think about it, Alzheimer's is the disease that's probably played for laughs the most, and that drives me crazy too.) Disease - no matter what kind - is not funny, or risque, or alluring. That's it.
Does this change how I feel about the show? No, of course not. But it adds yet another caveat to my usual spiel when I defend the show and the fact that the CW is worth watching, even for adults, and it means more potential viewers who will never be convinced.
* Since I have been told that I "don't get the joke," let me just point out that that sentence was facetious. I get the joke. I just don't think it's funny.
Song of the Day: "Rise"
Castle fans might want to pay particular attention - this is the song that was playing in the last few minutes of this week's amazing episode. I love it in general, but the lyrics are also perfect for those scenes. So. New musical obsession! (Although it's Glen Hansard, so it's not really that new to me, I guess.)
Morning Coffee (1/27/11)
Happy Thursday! I'm trying to convince myself that I'm not getting sick. Really! There's no reason why I slept for hours longer than normal and feel vaguely awful this morning!
Your big big news of the day: Bradley Whitford will guest star on In Plain Sight. If he and Fred Weller are on my TV at the exact same time I might faint. Just to warn you.
Excited about The Vampire Diaries coming back tonight? Watch Carina MacKenzie's great interview with Ian Somerhalder about what's coming up for Damon. Word of the day seems to be "deflect."
Dennis Kucinich is suing the House cafeteria because he bit into an olive pit. Man, I love Kucinich.
Here's Alyssa on the Red Riding Hood/wolf stuff I was talking about the other day.
Hunger Games release date: March 23, 2012.
Naomi Watts has joined J. Edgar. Is it just me or does this movie's cast just keep getting more amazing?
The incomparable June Thomas on why Hawaii Five-0 is so popular.
The Mad Love premiere has been moved up to Valentine's Day, if you care.
Here's some more on Sarah Michelle Gellar's new pilot. Plus some other pilot pickups that sound interesting, as opposed to the plethora of pilot pickups that just made me shrug: S.I.L.A. (crime, law enforcement, and politics...something), Poe (the author as detective), and, somewhat improbably, two shows about 1960s auto racing.
Battlestar Choclactica - almost certainly more satisfying than the actual show!
Springsteen will guest on the new Dropkick Murphys album.
Jay-Z is producing the Willow Smith Annie, and I have many concerns, but I will wait until more details emerge and I can determine whether my concerns are justified.
Forever YA has an awesome review of Anne of Green Gables.
Remember how last week I was hoping that The Decemberists would top the charts this week? They did!
January 26, 2011
Not that I expect pop songs to be particularly original . . .
But doesn't "Maybe" by the Sick Puppies . . .
. . . sound kind of astonishingly like "Whatever It Takes" by Lifehouse?
Morning Coffee (1/26/11)
It's the morning after the State of the Union. I am tired. And I just discovered that Blue Valentine is disappearing from the one semi-local theater it's at on Friday, so I guess I know what I'm doing tonight!
They're going to film Jersey Shore in Italy, and . . . man, I don't even know what to say. Actually, I'll say this: at lunch yesterday, one of my coworkers said "Snooki's not even Italian. I don't know what she is, but she acts Irish." My response: "As someone who is both Irish and Italian, I don't even know on what level to be offended."
Did you watch that great Castle episode on Monday? Here's an illuminating interview with the writers.
They had me at "Jane Espenson" and "Britain's greatest ghost detective."
Diagnosing dead people - always fun!
Did you notice Rebecca Traister's book on Gossip Girl? Huh.
Ooh, exciting history scandal! Lincoln document was altered.
What is your state worst at?
January 25, 2011
New Music from The Mountain Goats: "Damn These Vampires"
I mean, how can you not get pulled in by a title like that? But the song is actually good, I promise. You can listen to it (and download) at Stereogum. The Mountain Goats are a band I've always meant to start listening to properly - I don't know tons of their music, but I've always liked what I've heard, and it seems like they have a lot of song series, internal mythology, etc. and the listening experience would (probably) be improved by understanding it. (And one of their albums was used in the homework for my cataloging class in library school, so I know random stuff about them!) The album is out in March.
Pilot Review: Being Human
So, a vampire, a werewolf, and a ghost get an apartment together . . . no, it's not a joke. It's the premise of the new SyFy channel show Being Human. And it's better than it sounds, really. It's a remake of a British show by the same name, and so my hopes weren't overly high, although in this case I haven't seen the original so I was going into the pilot blind. And it was delightful! In one of the first scenes, the vampire actually talks about Byron, and honestly, they had me right there. He and his werewolf buddy are both trying to stop hurting people, but you know, they're not saints. So they decide to team up, get an apartment, and help each other. The apartment, of course, is already inhabited by the ghost of a young woman who died there. The show would be enjoyable as just a slice-of-life of these three trying to make it in the human world, but it looks like there are some bigger things going on, too. There's some sort of vampire overlord who wants to pull our vampire back into his gang, for one thing. And our werewolf doesn't exactly seem to have the sunniest past. And the ghost? All she wants to do is stop haunting the freaking apartment, but she's afraid that if she leaves she'll lose everything she once had. It looks like Being Human will have the perfect mix of humor, heart, and supernatural action. I'm in. You can catch up for free online at SyFy Rewind.
Morning Coffee (1/25/11)
Happy Tuesday! The Oscar nominations will be announced this morning, and then tonight is State of the Union! It's like Christmas! Ahem. I'm a little excited.
The nominations will be announced at 8:30am Eastern, so I won't be able to post immediately, but if you go to Oscars.org you'll be able to see them, and I'll post some thoughts tonight or tomorrow. My main thought at the moment: I hope they do that handy printable checklist again. That was awesome.
I don't know if any of you are as excited about the Anything Goes revival as I am (hi, Mom!), but I was on a call with Jessica Walter about Archer yesterday, and it turns out she's playing Hope's mother! Awesome. Rehearsals start today!
I'm not an audiobook person, but Cassie Clare announced some news so amazing that it will cause me to actually seek out her next audiobook: Ed Westwick (Chuck from Gossip Girl) and Molly Quinn (Alexis from Castle) will be reading it!
Wondering why liberals think conservatives don't care about the poor? Reasons like this.
The many historical issues with The King's Speech
Newsweek's Oscar roundtable always has some interesting stuff. Apparently your James Franco Project of the Day is a sex tape he made at 19.
Rafael Nadal with baby penguins. The end.
January 24, 2011
Bones 6.10: "The Body in the Bag" (at TheTelevixen)
Head over to TheTelevixen.com to read my recap of Thursday's Bones.
Edison also continues the practice of having the intern act as a sort of Greek chorus (or stand-in for the audience) on the subject of Booth, Brennan, and Hannah: he comments that "the potential emotional fallout could be cataclysmic," but that his "money's on Doctor B and Booth."Read the whole thing to hear about one of the most disgusting corpses this show has ever seen - and that's saying something.
Pilot Review/Comparison: Skins
The new MTV show Skins is a copy - "remake" implies more creativity than is displayed here - of the popular British show of the same name, so I decided to watch the pilots of both shows back to back in order to more easily compare them. If you've somehow managed to not hear about this, Skins is a drama about a group of teenagers drinking and doing drugs and having sex. And it's amazing how two shows with almost identical content could have such different tones. The British version never quiet loses sight of the fact that, behind all their crazy behavior, the characters are people who actually care about things, and care about each other. (Plus, it's funny.) The MTV version, on the other hand, feels almost clinical: it has cut out the heart and the humor both, and what's left is a dull catalog of bad behavior. MTV is getting a lot of heat for the "immoral" content of the show, but I wasn't scandalized or offended by this pilot. I was just bored.
Morning Coffee (1/24/11)
Good morning! It's very cold. About -9 F at the moment. I am not looking forward to going outside in this.
HitFix's Final Oscar Predictions before the nominations are announced tomorrow.
This documentary about Elmo sounds fun, although I agree with Fienberg that Elmo has always seemed like something of a usurper to me.
Olbermann split came after years of tension. You don't say!
A look inside a Chinese factory making royal wedding memorabilia. (Plus I love Damian Grammaticas's name.)
Drew McWeeny really didn't like Kevin Smith's new film, and I can assure you that reading his review is a better experience than watching the thing would be.
I can't believe no one at MTV thought about whether Skins was illegal before they filmed and started airing it.
January 23, 2011
Morning Coffee (1/23/11)
I woke up around 6:30 completely panicked that I hadn't set my alarm, and then remembered that it was Sunday. It was very nice.
Aaron Sorkin talks about The Politician and his upcoming HBO show.
This art forger story is long, but a really interesting read.
January 22, 2011
Pilot Review: Fairly Legal
I watched USA's new legal-ish drama Fairly Legal last night, because as I've said, I like pretty much every show USA makes. And so far, this one seems . . . fine. Kate Reed (Sarah Shahi) is a lawyer-turned-mediator with a complicated family life and a really annoying habit of being late for everything. I know a lot of people were excited about Shahi getting a show, but I'm not sure I'd ever seen her in anything; for me, the draw was Michael Trucco of Battlestar Galactica and Castle, who plays Kate's ex-husband. The cast is solid all around, and Virginia Williams as Kate's maybe-not-so-wicked stepmother was an unexpected delight.
But as far as the plot . . . meh. The legal issues dealt with in the pilot weren't particularly interesting. But I'm not sure that's the point. They did provide a good basis for establishing the characters and the dynamics of their interactions, which is more important for a pilot, at least to me. I'm intrigued enough by these characters' stories and how they all work and live together to keep watching. It just occurred to me that USA's "Characters Welcome" motto probably explains a lot of why I like all their shows. I want compelling characters who have complex, multi-level interactions with each other. If the cases of the week are interesting too, well, that's a bonus. Kate Reed and company aren't as compelling as the Lawson brothers or Neal Caffrey or Mary Shannon yet, but they have potential, and I'm willing to give them some time to get there.
Can we talk about Michael Buble?
Does anyone else find Michael Buble's new single "Hollywood" to be kind of . . . baffling? I'm mean, it's just so judgy for something coming from A BIG FAMOUS POP STAR. I mean, sure, he's not exactly a teen idol, but he's not a toiling unknown who eschews commercial success, either. It sounds so bitter and un-self-aware that I started wondering if it was aimed at some particular ex-girlfriend or something, because seriously, so much contempt. But then I watched the video:
And it really does seem to be talking about . . . alternate versions of himself? So I guess I'm just back to being confused. What I am not confused about: Please grow a beard like your Western alter ego, Michael Buble. That's a good look for you.
Movie 3: True Grit
Title: True Grit
Comments: A teen girl, a U.S. Marshal, and a Texas Ranger track down the girl's father's murderer in the Indian Nations in the late 1800s. (For the record, this is a remake, but I haven't seen the original.) I'll admit that the premise didn't really grab me, but I enjoyed this way more than I'd expected. Jeff Bridges gives a masterful performance, of course, but the real standout is newcomer Hailee Steinfeld (and yes, I could see her as Katniss in The Hunger Games). Her character is somewhat historically improbable (though of course not impossible), but she completely sells it. And Matt Damon gives a really interesting, nuanced performance as the cocky Texas Ranger who's also looking for the killer. Actually, now that I think about it, this movie reminded me of nothing so much as a grittier - sorry - version of the Little House books, which I've realized as an adult are really more terrifying than I'd ever thought. It's a cliche, but frontiers are really, really scary, and this movie did a great job of reminding us of that.
Fans are crazy, 2011 Edition, Part 2
Actress Ashley Greene tweeted about her dogs while boyfriend Joe Jonas's dog was in surgery. OH NO. Seriously, people. I mean, aside from this particular issue being rather silly to start with, there seems to be a trend of assuming that if someone hasn't said something publicly, they haven't said it at all (or don't agree with it). Let's take a deep breath and try to give people the benefit of the doubt, okay?
Trailer: Perfect Sense
This looks like my kind of end-of-the-world movie: fewer big flashy disasters, more sad people. Wheee.
Morning Coffee (1/22/11)
Happy Saturday! I am eating a bowl of honeydew. It is delicious. I know, you care.
Big news: Keith Olbermann is out at MSNBC.
Here you go: The first image of Renesmee from Breaking Dawn.
I got all excited about this Pedro Almodovar news and then realized I was, as usual, conflating him with Alfonso Cuaron in my head. But, you know, still interesting.
They're remaking About Last Night.... I still haven't seen the original, but obviously the young actors that look the most like Rob Lowe are Chace Crawford and Ian Somerhalder, right?
I suppose news of an Angry Birds TV show should not be surprising, but it kind of is. Really? No one has any better ideas?
Florence + the Machine will play "Cosmic Love" live on Gossip Girl on February 7. Can't wait.
Headline of the Day: See Katy Perry Hanging Out With Mark Zuckerberg, for Some Reason
This Steampunk Palin comic book is baffling.
Brace yourself: Damon Salvatore is getting a bedroom.
CBS ordered more Flashpoint. I keep meaning to watch that show and then completely forgetting it exists, for some reason.
Cuteness of the day: Baby Dolphin Meets Baby Penguin
Johnny Weir has a single out. Color me . . . not at all surprised, actually.
January 21, 2011
Should Red Riding Hood Be Her Own Wolf?
Honestly, I am so excited for this movie. There's a new, longer trailer:
And Alyssa points out that based on these trailers, it's (almost) perfectly plausible that Red Riding herself is the wolf. (I say almost because it appears that there are a few scenes in which Seyfried sees the wolf.) I'm torn, because that would be a fascinating take, and I'd be really impressed if they did something so daring. But I also like the traditional symbolism of the wolf as the combined danger and appeal of sexual awakening. Which, sure, it could also be if it were Seyfried herself, but I'd almost rather they directly take on the idea of girls being told to think of men they like as dangerous monsters. Underlying this discussion, of course, is the fact that director Catherine Hardwicke also directed Twilight, and we all want her to use Red Riding Hood either to somehow repudiate Twilight or to at least show some sort of movement in her portrayal of adolescent girls and sexuality. In Twilight, men are literal monsters who will choose to make themselves utterly safe if and only if they are provided with a pure, innocent empty vessel worthy of adoration and protection but not agency. In Red Riding Hood, I think it would be enough growth if the wolf would just stay complicated and a little dangerous and the girl grow up to be mature and complex enough to meet him as a real partner.
Obviously Sam the Sham and the Pharoahs is essential listening here:
As are a few songs from Into the Woods:
And "I Know Things Now" wouldn't embed, but here it is. "And though scary is exciting, nice is different than good. . . . Isn't it nice to know a lot? And a little bit not."
Book 3: Blood Promise
Blood Promise by Richelle Mead
Blood Promise is the fourth book in Mead's Vampire Academy series, and I'm hesitant to say anything about the plot, because basically anything I said would give away what happened in the previous books. And I care about that because . . . I think I'm still recommending this series. More or less. This one was a lot weaker than the previous volumes, but I have two more to read, so I won't decide for sure about the series until then. This one had Rose, the main character, going on an Epic Quest that, to be honest, got a little boring at times. The world is less coherent and well-drawn when she leaves the school at the heart of the previous books. And her Epic Quest means that she's away from the other main characters for most of the book; she has a psychic connection with one, but using that to allow the reader to follow what was going on with different groups of characters just started feeling like a lazy device. I wish Mead had dropped her commitment to having this be in the first person and just used an omniscient narrator instead. And Rose herself got really annoying in this one, much as I liked her in the first book. Bleh. I kept wanting to tell her to just get over herself, which isn't really the reaction the reader is supposed to have to an Epic Quest.
Some bright points: Mead revealed more about the way the world works, and the reader got to learn along with Rose, which worked well. Some of the other characters - especially Adrian and Christian - continue to be delightful, even if they weren't in this book enough. And it at least kept me curious enough about where the plot's going to make me want to read the rest. Eventually. I need a break.
If you're curious about the premise of the series, here's what I wrote about the first book.
Morning Coffee (1/21/11)
Happy Friday! It's snowing here. Again. Of course. Movies opening today: No Strings Attached, The Company Men, The Way Back.
Breaking! RonReaco Lee of The Good Guys has joined the cast of the Burn Notice prequel.
TV development news: NBC ordered the pilot of Ron Moore's "Harry Potter for grown-ups" and USA Network ordered two new series I'll undoubtedly watch. The legal one sounds . . . like a USA show. The football one sounds interesting but confuses me, because I can't figure out what kind of therapist she's supposed to be. Mental health? Physical therapist? Massage therapist? I'd first assumed physical therapist, but now that I think about it, it's probably a psychology/mental health thing.
Alex Pettyfer may or may not have been offered the role of Jace Wayland in the Mortal Instruments movies. You probably have no idea what any of those proper nouns mean, but trust me, if my Twitter feed is anything to go by, if you care, you care deeply.
Martin Sheen and Emilio Estevez are writing a memoir.
TLC is planning a whole week of royal wedding coverage.
Amy Chua's daughter speaks.
Did this story make anyone else want to dig out their old copy of The Face on the Milk Carton?
I'm no particular fan of Condi Rice, but really, Piers Morgan? REALLY?
Will Smith wants to remake Annie with his daughter starring. Which . . . could be interesting, or awful. Hm.
The "British Schindler" gets a movie.
Spoof of the day: The Most Emailed New York Times Article Ever
January 20, 2011
Trailer: Water for Elephants
Would you like to see Robert Pattinson kiss Reese Witherspoon? Here you go:
It has been noted that Pattinson does little but stare at things and kiss people. Hey, maybe he's found his niche. Seriously, though, he's much more attractive here than in the Twilight movies, and I'm eager to see what he does with a more "serious" role. I've been meaning to read this book for years, so I really should do that before the movie comes out. (April 22. Hey, my parents' anniversary!)
New from Peter, Bjorn & John: "Breaker Breaker"
Remember that time a few years ago when that one Peter, Bjorn & John song got stuck in all of our heads for like six months straight? Ah, memories. Anyway, they have something new with which to torment us. Although this one has no whistling, so maybe there's hope. (Their new album comes out in March.)
TV Trailer: BBC's Outcasts
JAMIE BAMBER. Ahem. No, really, this is a serious show about post-apocalyptic, um, something. JAMIE BAMBER. io9 has the details. Although "Could this series finally fill the void that the end of Battlestar Galactica left in our hearts?" made me giggle, unless by "void" they mean "blind rage."
Bones is back, plus some spinoff news (at TheTelevixen)
Excited for Bones tonight? Click on over for my little preview of what's coming up, plus news on the first casting announcement for the spinoff.
Morning Coffee (1/20/11)
Happy Thursday! Bones and Community come back tonight! Everyone excited? (Note: Bones is now at 9 rather than 8.)
Don Kirshner has died. NPR has a nice retrospective.
England is considering changing the law of succession.
Rob Thomas, creator of Veronica Mars, has a new pilot about Little League families. Oh, yes, please.
Michael Steele: "I know exactly how Caesar felt." Yup.
The Coachella lineup sounds awesome, but even better: The State of Current Musical Fame According to the Coachella Poster
Cake has the new lowest ever sales numbers to hit number one on the charts. I'm pulling for The Decemberists next week. I did my part.
Shocker: Alcoholic whipped cream is gross. One of my cousins showed up with some on Christmas but I couldn't bring myself to inflict it upon my lovely dessert, so I didn't try it. Also, because it sounds gross.
Eric Balfour will guest star on No Ordinary Family. Yay! I guess now that Haven is getting a second season we have to stop calling him "show killer Eric Balfour," huh?
This review of No Strings Attached makes me even more eager to see it.
A trilogy coming out in consecutive months doesn't exactly count as serialized, I don't think. And romance series have been doing this for years!
Here are Jason Segal and Amy Adams dancing while filming The Muppets. Oh my gosh, I can't wait for this movie.
Anne Hathaway and Tom Hardy will be in the new Batman movie.
Here's the PaleyFest lineup.
Headline of the day: The team behind The Social Network readies its next flick: Sex On The Moon
January 19, 2011
Trailer: Scream 4
I don't really do horror movies, and I've only seen the first Scream, and I think I made someone play Magic with me while "watching" so I wouldn't really pay attention and get scared. But that was before I realized that Kevin Williamson is a genius who I will obey in all things, and anything he writes is required viewing. And also, the cast includes Adam Brody and Mary McDonnell and Alison Brie and Kristen Bell and Brittany Robertson and Aimee Teagarden and Lucy Hale. So I'm going to have to catch up on the others via DVD, because God forbid I watch something out of order, and then I'll go see this - probably at 11 am or something to try to keep it as unscary as possible - and not sleep for days. Because, seriously, the man is responsible for The Vampire Diaries and Dawson's Creek.
And I wish to God I were kidding about pretty much any of the above, but alas, every word is true.
Book 2: Paranormalcy
Paranormalcy by Kiersten White
Evie is a regular teen (more or less) who can see through the glamours of paranormals, so she's more or less adopted by the International Paranormal Containment Agency and forced to help them catch various paranormals in order to protect society. But when weirder-than-usual things start happening, and a hot shapeshifter shows up, she starts to realize that she's being used as a pawn in a bigger game than she realized. Either that or she's at the center of a faerie prophecy. Or both. Will she figure out what's going on? Who are her true friends? Will she get to go to prom like a normal kid?
Paranormalcy is the first in a series, but it doesn't really feel like it, and that's both good and bad. The world White has created is complex and compelling. But there were a few times when past events were referenced in a way that made me flip back to see if I had missed something, and I hadn't. Specifically, Evie's history with a particular faerie is made much of, but I couldn't get enough of a handle on what had happened to figure out how it was affecting her current decisions.
Other than that, though, this was a fun read, and I will definitely be continuing with the series. (Next one comes out later this year.) And the shapeshifter, Lend, has totally made it onto my list of literary boyfriends for the year. You should also read White's take on the criticism she's received that her main character is too girly. And seriously, so many main characters in YA (especially in fantasy and paranormals) are either self-identified tomboys or make a big deal about how they're nerds who don't care about clothes and stuff, and I assume that's partially due to audience demand and demographics, but reading about a heroine who loves watching teen dramas and wearing pink was a really refreshing change.
Yes, I'm enough of a How I Met Your Mother fan that I will probably go see this when it comes out. And I actually really like Josh (and Ted), unlike, it seems, most fans. I am a little suspicious of how seriously this takes the "universe is abundant" nonsense, but other than that, this looks pretty good.
Also, any movie with a line like "My great shame as a writer is that I'm just this suburban kid with good parents. Hardly Dickensian" basically has me at hello.
Pilot DNF: Harry's Law
I tried to watch the pilot of Harry's Law last night. I really did. But I hated every moment and turned it off in disgust after five minutes. I like Kathy Bates in some roles - she made a great Miss Hannigan, for example - but here she was supposed to be funny, I guess, and just . . . wasn't. Call me a boring stick-in-the-mud, but opening with a scene of a supposed adult watching cartoons and smoking pot in her office is not the way to make me have any sympathy for her or the show. She's supposed to be a brilliant patent attorney, but she's suddenly decided that she's bored of her perfectly good job and nice lifestyle and so, unlike the rest of us who manage to show up at our jobs every day, she should be able to do whatever she want. Oh, boo hoo. (Is this really the economic climate in which to make a show about someone choosing to throw away a career?) It's WAY too Elizabeth Gilbert for me. And then, still within the first five minutes, someone trying to kill himself by jumping off a building lands on her and then she gets hit by a car, and she's totally uninjured. That is a level of nonsense up with which I will not put, and I didn't even get to the part where she starts a law practice in a shoe store. I just can't do it. Not even for my darling Nate Corddry.
Morning Coffee (1/19/11)
Welcome to Wednesday. My throat hurts and I have discovered that I'm out of Cream of Wheat. This is clearly a tragedy.
Let's start with a few items of actual big news before going to our usual frivolity: The FCC has approved the NBC/Comcast deal, with a bunch of conditions that sound more or less reasonable to me, but I'll be the first to admit that I haven't been following this as closely as I should have been.
Add to the retirement list: Kent Conrad.
Would you like some rage with your coffee this morning? Here you go: The Daily Mail has published some nut (who has a book to sell) saying depression is fake and people should get a grip. And Buzz Bissinger, who brought us Friday Night Lights, has decided that violence is the only fun part of football after all and so we should stop worrying about safety. (On the other hand, please, please read this piece in Slate about different kinds of concussions and brain damage among kids playing football.) More about this later, I think, because I started writing about all the things wrong with the Bissinger piece and realized it should be its own post.
Blind item! (Ooh, fancy.) Which Good Guys actor/actress is headed to Colombia to join the Burn Notice prequel?
The news that there's going to be a new "official" Sherlock Holmes book would usually not particularly excite me. But. It's being written by Anthony Horowitz, creator of Foyle's War. I'm in.
I shall join the host of people improbably defending a Bush and say that Matt Yglesias is complete right here. And re: his last paragraph, actually, one of my great-grandmothers was an Italian Argentine.
Do pianos need more keys? I'm unconvinced.
That other leaked version of Jennifer Lopez's new single was not the finished one. Here's the real thing. It's, you know, fine, but not really interesting or exciting in any way.
The Baby-sitters Club: Where Are They Now? Heee.
Hilarious headline of the day: Robert Pattinson Says 'Breaking Dawn' Sex Scene Was 'Like Doing Twister'
January 18, 2011
My New Favorite Commercial
I have no particular love for Freschetta, but my God, this is the best illustration of faceted search and guided navigation I've ever seen.
Out Today: The King Is Dead by The Decemberists
I've liked things The Decemberists have done in the past, but I listened to this whole album (via NPR) and loved it. It has both a folky and a classic rock feel at times, and it keeps up their trademark obscure references while feeling more accessible to the casual listener. And there's a sea shanty. Of course. And Gillian Welch! Really, give it a try. (I just noticed the CD is only $6.99 at Amazon at the moment!)
Morning Coffee (1/18/11)
Happy Tuesday! I'm blithely pretending that this snow-turning-to-freezing-rain will not affect my commute in any way. How are you?
Today is the birthday of two friends. Happy birthday, Liza and Jack!
Headline of the day: Caligula's tomb found after police arrest man trying to smuggle statue
New album from the Strokes (and not, as I originally typed, the Storks): March 22
Saving rare map of New York
Chris Christie is not running for president. Today. Right now. Yet.
They're cloning mammoths. Just to warn you.
All I want in life is for my Target to start carrying groceries.
Steve Jobs is taking medical leave from Apple. Get well, Steve!
If this rumor about Jake Gyllenhaal and Camilla Belle is true . . . God, I don't even know. Well, I guess Belle can continue to get attention for dating Taylor Swift's exes and Swift can keep writing songs about it, so everyone's happy?
Ryan Murphy says Anne Hathaway is coming to Glee, but I don't trust stories about Glee anymore, even (especially?) when they're from Murphy himself.
Star Trek 2 may be in 3D. Or not. It's totally unclear.
Starbucks is unveiling a new 31 oz. size, and because I am everything wrong with America, I was really excited about this until I realized it's only for a few specific cold drinks that I never order anyway.
Your new Spartacus: Liam McIntyre
Hear the Jurassic Park theme slowed down 1000%. You know, if you want.
January 17, 2011
Roundup of Golden Globes Coverage
Okay, here goes . . . Actually, first, if you just want to get to the point, a list of winners.
CW stars aren't invited to such things, of course, but Nina Dobrev went to an afterparty and here she is. Cute, if a bit weave-it-yourself!
Jezebel: A treasury of celebrity facial expressions, How Did The "Elite" Ladies Of The Globes Fare?, the only two speeches you must hear, Fashion: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly, a roundup of Brangelina's PDA, red carpet liveblog, liveblog
Daily Beast: Funniest Moments video
The Awl: live chat
Gawker: Watch Giuliana Rancic's most annoying moment. Which is, you know, saying something.
TV Guide: Top Moments
Salon: The Golden Globes of hatred
NPR Monkey See: liveblog
Castle Recap: "Poof, You're Dead" (at TheTelevixen)
There's no new episode of Castle tonight. Sob. But you can read my recap of last week's "Poof, You're Dead" over at TheTelevixen.
What's the plural of Prius?
I think this video is completely adorable, but then, I've been discussing this question for years, so your mileage may vary.
Morning Coffee (1/17/11)
'morning. Grumble. It was a late night with the Golden Globes, and it's going to be another late night as I try to clear room on the TiVo to record a White Collar marathon tomorrow. But I realize the latter is more of a just-me problem than the former.
Globes: If you missed my liveblog, you can read it here. I'm happy that Social Network got so much recognition, but I also kind of wanted The King's Speech to win everything, so I guess I was destined to be unsatisfied. Off the top of my head, I'd say best dressed was Olivia Wilde and worst dressed was Helena Bonham Carter (does she even count?), but I reserve the right to change that decision after I look at pictures of everyone. I'll round up links for you and post more about the Globes tonight.
TV premieres tonight: Skins, Being Human (both of those are British remakes, actually), and Harry's Law. I'll try to have pilot reviews for you within a few days.
Never fear! There will in fact be William and Kate tea towels.
Did I ever post the SAG nominees? Here you go.
January 16, 2011
Golden Globes Liveblog!
Melissa and I will be starting in about an hour. Head right over here.
Pilot Review: Lights Out
Don't avoid Lights Out because it's about boxing. It isn't. I promise. Sure, there's boxing in it, but at its heart it's a family drama, and the story of one man trying to just keep going after his moment of fame and glory has passed. Lights Leary retired from boxing when his wife told him she wouldn't put up with him getting any more concussions - and may I saw HOW GLAD I am to see concussions treated seriously here? - and now, five years later, he's put her through med school, his brother through business school, and his three daughters in private school, and all his money's gone. The years of concussions are catching up with him, too, so he has to decide what he is and isn't willing to do to support his family.
The whole cast seems great, especially Lights himself and his brother and wife. (You know I have a thing for Brothers Who Will Do Anything For Each Other.) Lights is a complex character from the get-go, so I have faith that the other characters will become more multidimensional as the season progresses. None of the three daughters annoyed me, and that's saying something, because I'm often not wild about kids on TV. The writing was good if a bit exposition-heavy, as you'd expect from a pilot, and the whole thing is nicely produced and has a serious and gritty but not dull or overly depressing tone.
Please, please, try this show! If you missed the pilot, FX is replaying it tonight at eleven. New episodes are on Tuesdays at ten, and they rerun a few times, which is good because everything is on Tuesdays at ten this season.
Morning Coffee (1/16/11)
Happy Sunday! Don't forget to join us at our Golden Globes liveblog at TheTelevixen tonight! And don't forget there's a new episode of Downton Abbey tonight too.
Giffords has been taken off her ventilator.
Flo Gibson, who recorded over 1000 audiobooks, has died. A retrospective of last year's Golden Globes: Best/Worst Style and Best/Worst Moments. I couldn't quite remember if I'd actually watched last year until that article reminded me about the endless Scorsese speech. Also: The Ten Best Things Ever Said at the Golden Globes Did you miss Miss Arkansas's yodeling ventriloquism last night? LePage needs to stop answering everything with "My son is black." Not a free pass to do whatever you want and not be questioned!
Flo Gibson, who recorded over 1000 audiobooks, has died.
A retrospective of last year's Golden Globes: Best/Worst Style and Best/Worst Moments. I couldn't quite remember if I'd actually watched last year until that article reminded me about the endless Scorsese speech. Also: The Ten Best Things Ever Said at the Golden Globes
Did you miss Miss Arkansas's yodeling ventriloquism last night?
LePage needs to stop answering everything with "My son is black." Not a free pass to do whatever you want and not be questioned!
January 15, 2011
My 2011 Golden Globes Picks
For each category, I'll give you the nominees, which ones I've seen, my pick from among the nominees, and my ideal pick if I could nominate anything I wanted. For the TV series categories, I've picked a few things, basically to save you from the monotony of me just saying The Vampire Diaries and Community should win everything. (Also, not italicizing titles because it messes up my copy/paste and would make this take forever. Sorry.)
Best Motion Picture - Drama
Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture - Drama
Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture - Drama
Best Motion Picture - Comedy Or Musical
Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture - Comedy Or Musical
Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture - Comedy Or Musical
Best Performance by an Actress In A Supporting Role in a Motion Picture
Best Performance by an Actor In A Supporting Role in a Motion Picture
Best Animated Feature Film
Best Foreign Language Film
Best Director - Motion Picture
Best Screenplay - Motion Picture
Best Original Score - Motion Picture
Best Original Song - Motion Picture
Best Television Series - Drama
Best Performance by an Actress In A Television Series - Drama
Best Performance by an Actor In A Television Series - Drama
Best Television Series - Comedy Or Musical
Best Performance by an Actress In A Television Series - Comedy Or Musical
Best Performance by an Actor In A Television Series - Comedy Or Musical
Best Mini-Series Or Motion Picture Made for Television
Best Performance by an Actress In A Mini-series or Motion Picture Made for Television
Best Performance by an Actor in a Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for Television
Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Series, Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for Television
Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Series, Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for Television
The Golden Globes are tomorrow!
Yay! We get an awards show tomorrow night! And it's a fun one - the Golden Globes, which cover both movies and TV, and which tend to be kind of wacky. Hm, I thought I'd liveblogged last year, but maybe I'm thinking of the SAG Awards.
But this year! I will be liveblogging with the lovely Melissa over at TheTelevixen (the site where I recap a few shows). We'll get started at 7pm Eastern, to cover the red carpet coverage, and then the ceremony itself starts an hour later.
Now, I would not EVER suggest that you should read a different liveblog instead of ours, but if you like to multitask, check out New York's Vulture blog, where the incomparable Fug Girls will be liveblogging the red carpet, and then the Daily Beast, where Choire Sicha and Kate Aurthur will be all over the ceremony. (I'll probably be reading both of these liveblogs the next morning.)
And what do I want to win the actual awards, you ask? I'm working on that. I'm trying to marathon a bunch of movies today, and then I'll get a post of my picks up for you tonight. If I manage to see another movie or two before the ceremony tomorrow, I'll update it. (Thank God for Netflix.) I have, at least, seen the six movies that have been nominated for four or more awards each, so that's decent, I think. Oddly, given all the TV I watch, I don't watch much that gets nominated for things like this. Ah well.
Morning Coffee (1/15/11)
Happy Saturday! I was up ridiculously late reading last night, but the cat doesn't seem to care, so I am up. Ah well.
RNC? TCA? Whatever. Your really important news of the day: Sarah Michelle Gellar (Buffy) is coming back to TV (if her show gets picked up, etc.).
Okay, RNC. Your new chair: Reince Priebus.
This Slate article about why you shouldn't put two spaces after a period has become ridiculously popular, especially given how much real news there's been this week. But it's good! I at some point stopped using two spaces, but it wasn't really a conscious decision. Hm. I wonder how that happened?
Hey look! A new dinosaur! Call Brannon Braga.
This headline did not at all mean what I thought it meant: Touring Camelot, Without Having to Leave Home. But it's still interesting, because it's about how the Kennedy library has been digitizing their archives and making them searchable. Actually, a few months ago I sat next to the guy in charge of this project at a search-related conference, and my boss was all "Yeah, of COURSE you wind up next to the Kennedy Library guy." But anyway, he was really nice, and it's a fascinating project.
Speaking of the Kennedys, DirecTV might air that miniseries that the History Channel turned down. I don't have DirecTV, but if it shows SOMEWHERE, there's a better chance of it making it to DVD, I guess. Or I could DVR it at my parents' house. They'd probably never even notice.
The BBC is making a new Great Expectations.
Going to the Golden Globes? How to stay off the worst-dressed list.
Posted without comment: Your new James Franco project of the day
An interesting map of the US with each state named after a country with a similar GDP.
Stop ordering mimosas. It's cheaper to just order orange juice and champagne.
January 14, 2011
Of Fairly Legal and Other USA Shows...
A few people have asked me when various USA shows are coming back, so hey, let's take a look!
First, they have a NEW show, Fairly Legal, premiering next Thursday (the 20th) at 10/9c. It seems to be about a lawyer who becomes a mediator. You know, okay, a quick aside. Before I started writing this post, I hadn't even bothered to look up a trailer for Fairly Legal. And yet I'm planning to watch it. USA is now one of two networks whose new (scripted) shows I will try sight unseen, just because I tend to like so many of the shows they already air. (The CW is the other, and USA has a better track record as far as getting me to keep watching their shows beyond an episode or two.) So, good job with branding and keeping a coherent creative vision, USA!
(Okay, I was also going to watch it because Michael Trucco is in it, and I have high hopes that I will find him totally dreamy if he is, for once, not trying to interfere with a couple I love. As is his wont.)
As far as USA's other shows, here's a schedule of when they're coming back:
White Collar: Tuesday, January 18, 10/9c
A few thoughts on the "Back to December" video
1. Disclaimer: I know nothing about music videos and watch them rarely. Mostly if Alyssa tells me to. So take everything I say with a grain of salt.
2. I'll just come out and say it: I've given up apologizing for it or calling it a guilty pleasure or anything - I just love Taylor Swift. I am now an unabashed fan. Sorry.
3. I basically agree with everything Carina says here, and yet I also sort of love it.
4. Sure, it's kind of overwrought, but visually, I really like the house filling with snow and the various other winter images. My actual thought was "This is closer to Wallander than she's ever been!" I suppose that's probably an unusual reaction among her fan base, but STILL.
5. I can't decide whether the various articles claiming to not know which of her famous exes this is about are for real, but seriously, folks, do your research. This is Taylor Lautner. Obvs.
6. Okay, so I DO like this, but it's also kind of a letdown because I had such clear images in my head of what was going on during the song. It's much more "hotel after running into him at an awards show" than it is "empty house and high school football field."
7. Guy has some seriously great handknits, huh? I may have to watch this a few more times just to figure out the stitch pattern of his scarf. (Seed? Moss? Double moss?)
8. Oh, to the question of why she's releasing this so late, after the album came out in October - given the title and the winter imagery, I'm wondering if she wanted to wait until, you know, after December. OR if she was waiting for the Jake breakup story to blow up and wanted to have something to take the attention away from that.
9. I LOVE the way the guy audibly sighs at the end. HEE.
Oh, one more - 10. The pantslessness worked here, thematically, but Taylor, honey, DO NOT MAKE A HABIT OF THIS. Taylor Momsen you are not. Thank God.
New from Google: Hotpot
Google has introduced Hotpot, with a simple but brilliant concept: Rate places you've been, and they'll recommend places you'll like. And if your friends rate places, those ratings will somehow play into your recommendations too. (Not sure exactly how that works because I don't think any of my friends are rating things yet - are you? Leave a comment so I can add you!) I'm actually pretty excited like this, because it sounds like Foursquare but with an actual use. You can rate a bunch of places in your hometown, and then when you need to find somewhere to eat after your meeting in another city, it will tell you places you might like. And, even better, it's not just restaurants - you can rate all sorts of things. In my town, it's showing me restaurants, the library, churches, hotels, schools, and more. I have to play with this some more before I decide whether I'll make a habit of rating places, but it looks great so far. Oh, and of course, there are mobile apps as well. Of course there are. (I haven't downloaded any of them yet.)
Pilot Review: Off the Map
Shonda Rhimes really doesn't want people to call Off the Map "Grey's Anatomy in the jungle." But, um, it really is. You have basically everything you need to know about it from that description, although it maybe glosses over the uncomfortable way that - so far at least - there's been an overwhelming "American doctors must save the dumb natives" theme. I mean, the pilot was actually called "Saved by the Great White Hope," and while it seems that they meant it ironically, it kind of . . . didn't come across that way. And since the doctors are in a jungle clinic instead of a well-equipped urban hospital, there's a fair amount of wacky medicine - saving people by using coconut milk as plasma, cutting people down from ziplines, stuff like that. Other than those issues, though, it has the clashes between the new and more experienced doctors, the patients that magically mirror the doctors' personal situations, and lots of pretty people, just like you'd expect.
So, no, I didn't think it was great. But what stood out to me here were the actors. I particularly like Zach Gilford (Friday Night Lights), Caroline Dhavernas (Wonderfalls), and Martin Henderson (Darcy from Bride and Prejudice), and the whole ensemble seems to have decent chemistry. So . . . fine, Shonda, you got me. I'll watch a few more episodes to see whether my fondness for the actors outweighs my other reservations.
Morning Coffee (1/14/11)
Good morning! Friday! Yay! The Golden Globes are this Sunday, so I'll be trying to get a few more things watched/reviewed, and then I'll give you a big post with my picks. AND I'll be liveblogging the ceremony itself along with Melissa over at TheTelevixen, so please come join us!
Before we get to TV and kittens or whatever, here's today's long but important, serious read: Can Europe Be Saved?
Okay, since I promised you kittens: Planet Money's Cute Animal Stock Market
Twitter's best joke. No, really. I love it.
Any headline starting with "J.J. Abrams offers cryptic clues" makes me giggle.
Do you want to see the first photo from Breaking Dawn, of Bella and Edward in bed? Sigh. Of course you do. Fine.
Possibly more interesting: The first photo of Andrew Garfield as Spider-Man.
Have questions on the whole "entail" concept in Downton Abbey (and Pride and Prejudice and half of all historical romance novels)? This might clear things up.
I love how all the gossip blogs are suddenly talking about Matthew Bellamy because he's having a baby with Kate Hudson. E! Online has five things to know about him, and according to my personal Muse expert, they're even mostly true.
Headline of the Day: Vermonters Blast McDonald's for Violating Strict Maple Syrup Law
Keira Knightley and Rupert Friend broke up. Anyone else COMPLETELY forget they were together in the first place?
I was considering going to see The Green Hornet, but maybe not.
Some TV news: Charlie's Angels: on. Rockford Files: off.
James Franco's project of the week: producing a musical at Yale.
I have lost all hope for our society: A Pac-Man reality series? REALLY?
January 13, 2011
Movie 2: Jane Eyre (1934)
Title: Jane Eyre
Comments: This was just awful. It worked neither as an adaptation nor as a move in its own right. The plot was horribly bowdlerized to make it fit into 62 minutes, and most of the characterizations were off, too. People kept talking about how pretty and charming Jane was, for God's sake. Just no. I'm planning to watch a few more adaptations before the new movie comes out in March, so I hope those are better.
First Trailer for Camelot!
Seriously, guys, it looks like this could actually be really good - it looks like they're avoiding oversimplifying the story, as so many do. I'm sure I won't agree with them on all the details, but there are so many versions of the Arthurian legends that I'm inclined to allow some wiggle room. And it looks like they're putting it together really well, even if one of the sets looks oddly like one of the sets from Rome. I am beside myself with excitement.
Morning Coffee (1/13/11)
Good news: I can see my road! So as soon as I finish this I have to go shovel and try to make it to work. Wish me luck.
This item about Rep. Giffords's wedding ring will make you cry. And get a certain song stuck in your head all day. Just to warn you.
Uh, no. I think the real victims of the shooting were the people who were shot.
Remember that spring preview/fall premiere thing FOX did with Glee? Yeah, they're doing it again with Terra Nova, that Spielberg/Brannon Braga time travel dinosaur thing. Yeah, sorry, I still think it sounds ridiculous. Not that that means I won't watch it.
Our mass fascination with Sandra Lee continues, and she wears a lot of white.
Are we so into Josh Radnor that the release of a poster for his upcoming movie is news? Apparently.
Kristin Chenoweth loves The Hunger Games, and I agree that she'd be the perfect Effie.
Kate Hudson and Matthew Bellamy (of Muse): having a baby.
January 12, 2011
Movies Seen in 2011
Movie 1: The King's Speech
Title: The King's Speech
Comments: This was completely, utterly delightful. Definitely my Best Picture choice for 2010. It's the story of George VI, who had to overcome his stammer when his brother abdicated and he became King of England. It stars Colin Firth (always great) as the king and Geoffrey Rush as his unconventional speech therapist, and the supporting cast includes Helena Bonham Carter (and it's SO nice to see her in a non-crazy role), Derek Jacobi, Michael Gambon, and Guy Pearce. Set during the run-up to World War II, it manages to be serious and heart-warming all at once. I cannot recommend it highly enough. Go see it!
Since I'm trying to write about all the books I read and movies I see this year, and also tending toward writing about TV shows as I have something to say about a specific issue rather than reviewing each episode, I thought it was time to revisit my spoiler policy and make sure everyone knows what they're getting into.
TV: I know this can be an unpopular opinion, but if it's aired, it's not a spoiler and I won't label it as such. If you're reading things about a show that you're not caught up on, you're reading at your own risk. On the other hand, if I'm mentioning leaked information about something that hasn't aired yet - and I don't usually do that, but I suppose I might - I will definitely label it as a spoiler.
Books: Since I'm often reviewing books to advise you on whether to read them, I'll avoid giving away big twists at the ends - especially on things like mysteries. (I assume you know how romances end.) But if you really don't want to know anything about the plot of a book, don't read my review.
Movies: If I'm going to give away the end of a movie currently in the theaters, I'll warn you. Older movies are fair game.
TV Trailer: Skins
MTV's version of Skins starts Monday. Here's a trailer. Shorter version: lots of drugs and underage drinking. Filmed and then running backwards, for no apparent reason. Let's hope the show itself isn't like that.
I'm not really expecting to be into this, but I'll watch an episode or two and let you know. Perhaps I'll watch some of the British original first so I can be properly outraged at whatever changes MTV has made.
Morning Coffee (1/12/11)
Snow day! Well, sort of. I'm working from home for a few hours. But I'm NOT venturing out there, at least until my road has been thoroughly plowed. This turns out to be good, because my cat woke me up in the middle of the night, presumably to tell me about the snow, and it took forever to get back to sleep and so I slept late and now I'm all discombobulated. Anyway. Onward!
Off the Map (aka Grey's Anatomy in the jungle) premieres tonight at 10 on ABC. For good or ill, it sounds like it will be exactly what we all expected. I'll have a review for you tomorrow.
Headline I did not expect to see today: Jeremy Piven Joins Miley Cyrus Movie
On the other hand, several pieces of awesome movie news:
There is now Glee nail polish. Of course there is.
Why isn't anyone running for president?
A new site that looks worth keeping an eye on: PopDust
The White Swan/Black Swan party game is brilliant.
Read John Kerry. No, really.
If there's any argument in favor of Gatsby in 3D, this is it.
A hilarious take on the new Britney song. "It makes Madonna's vapid middle period sound like Goethe!"
I'll admit it: I kind of love Costco pizza.
Drinking extra fluids while sick: a waste of time.
I really wanted the lede of this story to mean that someone had actually polled New Jersey on Springsteen for president, but alas, it did not.
January 11, 2011
Tonight: Lights Out
FX's new boxing drama, Lights Out, premieres tonight at ten. (If, like me, you have way too many shows on Tuesdays at ten, you'll be happy to hear that FX will be repeating it at eleven, and a few other times as well.) Now, I'm not particularly into boxing, but this looks really good. Or so say TheTelevixen, Zap2It, and Alan Sepinwall of HitFix. (Mo Ryan dissents.) This one is definitely worth a look. And I can't decide whether the fact that I kept assuming the commercials I saw for it were for The Fighter will ultimately help or hurt it.
Trailer: Genuine Ken
Wait, what? WHAT? I was going to say this was the most baffling reality show ever but, sadly, that would be a lie. But seriously, these guys are competing to be . . . most like a Ken doll? Okay . . .
So many questions! Like: What do they win, other than blue hospital bracelets? Has anyone ever thought Ken was a good role model? Does Ken have a cohesive personality among his many iterations? Is he really who most people would pick as the best boyfriend? Has anyone told these people that Barbie is fictional?
Morning Coffee (1/11/11)
I'd like to point out that I'm actually drinking coffee this morning. (Recently I've been on more of a tea kick.) And we're expecting a Nor'easter here. How are YOU?
A few things on the Arizona shooting (Note: Linking doesn't mean I agree with all the content, just that I thought it was an interesting read):
Would you like to make a donation in honor of Rep. Giffords? Her husband has some suggestions.
My friend Sharmin on OWN: All Oprah, All the Time
Britney has a new song. You can hear it here. (Watch out; it loops!) I'm not a huge Britney fan, but I like some of her songs well enough. This is not one of them. It's awful.
This "description" of the anonymous author of O: A Presidential Novel is absurd. Actually, even I fit that description. So. No help there! (My reasonably uninformed guess, by the way, is Greg Craig.)
Once is being adapted for Broadway. Whee!
January 10, 2011
I have the story at TheTelevixen, but the story is basically, um, Castle was renewed! Yay!
The Cape: Don't bother. No, REALLY.
I watched all two hours of the premiere of NBC's The Cape last night. They're replaying it at nine tonight, but please: learn from my experience. Don't invest two hours of your life into this dreadful show. Because really, it's bad. I can deal with cheesy, or silly, or not-that-great. And I'm not all that into superheroes or comics, so I'm not complaining about what it's doing in regards to the conventions of the genre or whatever. It's just: The plot made no sense. The writing was laughably bad. And the acting was utterly without spark.
As I said, I'm no expert, but I'd assume that for a superhero show to work, the audience needs to buy into the hero himself in some way: either sincerely as a hero, or in an "oh, this says interesting things about his psyche" way as a conflicted character. David Lyons didn't give us much to go on. Sure, he's pretty, but he's (badly) trying to hide an Australian accent, and it makes it sound like he can't actually string a sentence together. And, to be fair, he wasn't given much to work with. The character is fundamentally boring. And at one point, when he arrived to save the day, I burst out laughing. I don't think that's what they were going for.
Joss Whedon favorite Summer Glau was the star who most people were excited for in this show, and she's better than Lyons, at least, but the writers couldn't decide whether they wanted her to be a damsel in distress, a sassy sidekick, or an omniscient spiritual advisor, and it's really a mess. And she's a blogger who can remotely take over people's computers, which was just one of many technological questions I had about the show. I mean, I know it's a different world, and maybe things will be explained later, but I found these questions distracting rather than intriguing.
Oh, man, and I haven't even mentioned the "Carnival of Crime" that The Cape gets mixed up with, or the wife's unnecessarily long flashbacks that still tell us nothing, or the monkeys running around, or the freaking cape itself. Or the dwarves. Or the awful Borat reference. Oh, you get the idea. If you want a more articulate and specific takedown, read Alyssa.
One thing I will give it: The Cape gave Richard Schiff (Toby from The West Wing) a paycheck. And he's quite good, as always. Really, he comes across as an adult in a kids' school play, because he's so much better than anything else here. But it's not worth watching this, even for him. (Actually, if you must: He's in the second hour of the two-hour block, called "Tarot." He appears briefly at the beginning, then 26 minutes in, then on and off 40 minutes in until the end. You're welcome.)
A few people have been musing about how NBC could even think this was worth putting on the air, never mind giving a major mid-season push. I think the answer is basically that NBC still has nothing. Remember, this is the network that tried to convince us that Outlaw was worth watching a few months ago. (And Chase. And The Event. And I'd like to put Outsourced on this list, but apparently people actually watch that.) Actually, now that I think about it, a lot of this is still the aftereffects of the late night issue. Last year, NBC cut 1/3 of their prime time shows for Leno's failed show, and they're still scrambling to catch up. But they've got to do better than this.
Castle 3.11: "Nikki Heat" (at TheTelevixen)
Ready for a new episode of Castle tonight? Catch up with my recap of last week's "Nikki Heat," now up at TheTelevixen. Note: This is the recap that made me realize that Google Docs spellcheck doesn't accept the word "swoonworthy." Clearly spellcheck has never seen Nathan Fillion as Rick Castle.
Morning Coffee (1/10/11)
Happy Monday! After two days home sick, I'm really ready to get back into the swing of things here. I think the cat and I would drive each other completely nuts if we were both home for another day.
A bit of good news: Eta declares permanent ceasefire
The Harry Potter theme park sounds pretty awesome.
The History Channel will not air their Holmes/Kinnear Kennedy miniseries. I'm actually quite disappointed about this.
Baz Luhrmann's Great Gatsby might be in 3D. I know. I know.
HitFix on award possibilities halfway through the season.
January 09, 2011
Bones 6.3: "The Maggots in the Meathead"
In the new year, I'll be back to recapping Bones and Castle for TheTelevixen each week, and I'm quite excited about it. I'm also trying to fill in with recaps for the episodes I missed when the fall entirely got away from me. (And really, I must send so much thanks to Melissa at TheTelevixen for her patience and her willingness to give me another chance.) Anyway, if you want to read a recap of "The Maggots in the Meathead," head on over here.
Tonight on PBS: Downton Abbey
If you like British TV and/or costume dramas, you really don't want to miss Downton Abbey, premiering tonight on PBS's Masterpiece Classic.
I haven't seen a screener or anything, but so many critics whose opinions I respect have raved about it that I feel completely comfortable telling you to watch it. It's a family drama set in pre-World War I England, on a big estate, so there's drama with the servants as well as the main family. Like so many great British dramas, it centers on "a crisis of inheritance," this time amid the vanishing Victorian way of life. But really, since June Thomas has seen it and I haven't, you should read her review here. And then watch. I will be.
P.S. There's a vicious rumor going around that they cut a bunch out of the series for the American version. This is not true! It got started because the play time is shorter because they took out the commercials. So worry not.
Morning Coffee (1/9/11)
Good Sunday morning. The main news today, of course, is the shooting in Arizona; there are so many articles out there that I'm having trouble picking one to link to, so take a look at the first page of the Times, Post Politics, and, for a local perspective, KVOA in Tucson. If I come across any particularly good/interesting/different articles in my reading today, I'll list them for you tomorrow.
The Cape starts tonight at nine (and then moves to its normal time of Monday at nine). TWoP is more hopeful about it than many.
News you need: Cupcakes are dead. Long live the pie!
Stop worrying: the Queen's head will remain on stamps.
January 08, 2011
Breaking: Congresswoman Shot
Apparently I spoke too soon about taking our lack of political violence for granted. NPR is reporting that Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords has been shot at a public event in Arizona. At least five other people were hurt, and according to unconfirmed reports on Twitter, she was shot point blank in the head. My prayers are with her and her family.
American Experience: "Robert E. Lee"
I've been reading Gone with the Wind - and just saw the movie for the first time - so I've been on something of a Civil War kick, and was excited to see that American Experience is nicely in synch with me. Their recent episode on Robert E. Lee was particularly well done. With a historical personality so closely associated with one event - in this case, of course, the war - there's a fine line to walk between providing enough context for the person's life and making it all about the war. This episode did a good job of giving enough information on the war to make Lee's involvement intelligible without letting that one aspect take over. I didn't really know anything about Lee's personal life before watching this, but he was quite an interesting guy, and now I really want to know more about his wife. (Anyone know if there are any good biographies of her?) You can watch the episode online here, and if you want more Civil War stuff, they're rebroadcasting their episode on Grant this coming Monday. Check your local listings!
Morning Coffee (1/8/11)
I've been sitting here at the computer for 20 minutes trying to convince myself to get up and make coffee and turn on the radio, so, you know, it's going to be one of those kinds of mornings.
Blast from the past: Nazi fury at Hitler the paw-raising dog
This is the most compelling case for Bill Daley I've found so far.
I always take NYTimes trend pieces with a heaping tablespoon of salt, but this idea that college students like long-distance relationships because they're less time-consuming is interesting.
In praise of Dwight Garner.
January 07, 2011
Fans are crazy, 2011 Edition, Part 1
(I know I've posted things along these lines before, so I thought this year I'd actually number the posts instead of jokingly calling them "Part 581" or whatever.)
It's not that I thought fans would suddenly be sane in the New Year, but we're off to a roaring start: Justin Bieber and Selena Gomez seem to be dating, which means that Gomez is getting death threats. People. Come on. I just . . . don't get it. I mean, I get the idea of being really interested in a celebrity's personal life. I don't tend to get that way about most people, but at least that impulse makes sense to me. But honestly thinking you have a chance of getting together with someone you don't think you'll ever actually meet? To the point of hating people who do actually know the person? That I don't get. At all.
At least (most of) the Bieber fans are very young, so maybe they'll grow out of it. As I mentioned earlier, David Tennant is getting married. His fans are older, and, thank goodness, I haven't seen any actual death threats intended for his fiancee. But there's been plenty of grumbling, and people saying they're "heartbroken" and talking about holding vigils. Now, I'm sure some of this is exaggeration, and that's fine. But . . . I don't know. I guess letting your emotions get tied up in the life of someone you don't know just seems self-destructive.
Speaking of people with really devoted fans: there's photographic evidence (although I can't find it right now) that Bradley Whitford no longer has facial hair, so go ahead and throw a party or whatever!
(Hey, now that I think about it, this issue, too, is dealt with in Jane! A book for every occasion! Go read it!)
Morning Coffee (1/7/11)
I really wanted to go to work today - no, really - but I woke up feeling worse than I did yesterday. Bah. In better news, I am drinking tea out of the new Jane Austen mug I got for Christmas.
It's Friday! Movies coming out today: Season of the Witch (so bad it's awesome?) and Country Strong (maybe actually good). Meanwhile, if you're planning ahead: 55 Science Fiction/Fantasy Movies to Watch Out For in 2011.
The most dire news I have today, and I am not even joking: Tastykakes are in trouble.
The House read the Constitution aloud yesterday - except the parts they didn't. Come on, people, pick one! Either it's to be treated as a sacred, immutable scripture, OR you can leave parts out during your ritualistic readings of it. You can't have both! (Actually, that's part of what Dahlia Lithwick is saying.) And I am shocked - shocked! - that some nut started yelling during the part of about qualifications to be president. Meanwhile, it took the new Congress being in session for about three seconds for this GOP bends its own new House rules story to appear. Ah, Politico, never change.
If you'd like to keep track of how well Republicans are keeping the promises they made to Tea Party activists, Dave Weigel has you covered with the Don't-Tread-on-Meter.
Is it a bad sign that when I see a headline like Executives at Renault Suspended in Secrecy Breach, I immediately assume it's about Formula 1? Anyway, this one isn't!
Alyssa Rosenberg does not like The Cape, but does point out that Richard Schiff (Toby from The West Wing) is in the first episode, so I'll have to at least watch that.
Authors I like saying awesome things: Sarah Rees Brennan on the good and bad parts of "teams" among fans. Kiersten White on how people assume her blonde main character who likes pink is dumb.
John Edwards: Not mentioned in Elizabeth's will.
I can barely bring myself to care about pilots pitched by J.J. Abrams at this point, but if you do: Pulp.
Please, everyone, leave "Hallelujah" alone.
NH 2012 primary news: Santorum has hired a staffer. That article says he's the first candidate to do so in NH, but I read somewhere else that Pawlenty has, too. Meanwhile, Michele Bachmann might be running. Wouldn't she and Palin draw from the same base and split it? Hmmm.
We sometimes take for granted that we have virtually no political violence in America.
Or you can do it this way: Romanian witches to cast anti-government spell. (No, it sounds funny, but it's actually a fascinating story.)
The People's Choice awards sound so awkward I almost wish I'd watched.
January 06, 2011
OH MY GOD THIS LOOKS SO GOOD.
Seriously, Arthurian anything is my weakness. I am SO EXCITED about this show. I think Starz usually streams their shows via Netflix, but if not, this might be what pushes me over the edge to upgrading my cable package. Or forcing my parents to DVR it all and visiting frequently. Or something.
Literary Boyfriends of 2011
I had a conversation on Twitter a few days ago about Literary Boyfriends - you know, those characters in books you want to make out with/date/sleep with/marry/etc. I thought it would be fun to keep a running list of them this year, and maybe at the end of the year I'll rank them or something.
1. Nico Rathburn (April Lindner's Jane) - A smoldering rock god tortured by his past? With an adorable little girl? Sign me up!
Recipes Tried in 2011
In an effort to expand my repertoire and stop making the same things over and over, I'm going to try at least 100 new-to-me recipes this year. Here's my progress:
1. Crispy Pan-Fried Tofu (1/4)
Recipe 1: Crispy Pan-Fried Tofu
(My goal is to try at least 100 new-to-me recipes this year. Here's the first.)
Recipe: Crispy Pan-Fried Tofu
Comments: This is barely a recipe - it's one of Bittman's essential techniques - but I had never tried to cook tofu this way before, so I'm counting it. I think it would have worked better with extra firm tofu, and fully drained/pressed tofu at that, but my store only had firm and I was in too much of a hurry to give it much time to drain. And it still worked well! My slices weren't cut as nicely as one might have hoped, but the cooking method itself worked perfectly and the results were quite tasty. I ate some of it right then, and then put the leftovers in a container with barbecue sauce and let it sit in the fridge overnight, and it became a delicious sandwich for lunch the next day. This is one that will definitely be added to my regular cooking rotation.
Morning Coffee (1/6/11)
Good morning. I'm home sick today, which could mean either that I'll get bored and post a bunch or that I'll end up sleeping all day. We'll see! Anyway, I figured I might as well get Morning Coffee out there before I go back to bed.
Yesterday: TCA press tour started (no big news yet, I don't think) and so did the new Congress. Today: CES starts, I think. Quite a week.
Question: Should I start grouping the links by category (music, books, politics, movies) or do you like the semi-random order?
Yglesias on Obama's CEO Problem: "The executive class' views on public policy are often misguided, and its feelings about it are irrelevant."
Did you miss The Social Network in theaters? You're getting another chance. Go see it. Really.
The gold coins as currency thing continues.
We thought maybe Paramore was going to stay classy and just get on with things, but, uh, not exactly.
Forever YA's latest Pretty Little Liars recap is pretty great.
I wasn't the only one underwhelmed by the "shocking event" on The Archers. On the other hand, maybe that's the point.
Casting news: George Clooney as Douglas Preston? Sure, why not? And Gemma Arterton and Jeremy Renner as grown-up Hansel and Gretel (or, more correctly, Gretel and Hansel)? Actually, the more I think about this one, the more excited I get.
Have you always wanted to live in Gaius Baltar's apartment? Now you can. Cylons not included. One assumes.
When does a bad movie become a must-watch spectacle? I'm not sure, but I'm seriously considering going to see Season of the Witch for exactly those reasons.
The Dave Matthews Band shows how to make money in the music industry. And is Lady Antebellum the world's dullest band? (I've always felt like their name was a bait-and-switch, too.)
January 05, 2011
Star Trek Meets Monty Python
(Another unpublished post from late October. I have no idea why I didn't manage to hit publish on anything that day. Whatever. Still funny!)
My friend Laura sent me this, and it's really one of the funnier things I've seen recently. I mean, at least for that segment of people who like both Star Trek and Monty Python. Surely some of you are in that group, right?
Song of the Day: "Save Your Heart for Me"
This is entirely random, but I found this as an unpublished post from October, so I figured I might as well throw it out there. I have absolutely no recollection of why I picked it at the time, but I love Gary Lewis and the Playboys, even though my dad insists they only got anywhere because of Gary's father's connections.
My brother Dave, a government major at Colby College, has a letter to the editor in our hometown paper in response to a letter about President Obama's eligibility to be president: Obama's eligibility to serve as president is not in doubt. It seems that the letter to which he's replying can't be viewed online without a subscription, but it focused on the idea that a child of non-citizen parents (even if the child is a citizen) is ineligible, so that's why Dave specifically shot down that idea.
If Mr. Greenberg does not agree with President Obama's economic, social or foreign policies, then he should prove they do not benefit the United States. . . . It is time to move on, and for people who believe as Mr. Greenberg does to focus their political energies on real issues.Nice work, Dave!
Morning Coffee (1/5/11)
Good morning! Wednesday! We're halfway through the week. Thank goodness. For those of you into TV, the TCA press tour starts today, so get ready for Twitter to explode. (Speaking of TV, Ausiello's new site has debuted.)
The Internet has been won for, like, EVER: James Van Der Memes
David Tennant (who played the Doctor on Doctor Who) is marrying the daughter of Peter Davison (who played the Doctor on Doctor Who). Less creepy than it sounds, although she (sorry, her name is Georgia Moffett) also played Tennant's daughter in one episode.
NPR has a new song from R.E.M. I really like it.
A medieval city discovered under Oxford
This year I swear I'm going to get into the big bag of salad habit.
Were the Arkansas bird deaths caused by . . . fireworks? Um, really? There are fireworks all the time. Usually birds seem to deal with them fine, right?
News to make you feel like a failure: a 10-year-old discovered a supernova.
TWoP's Golden Globes picks
Paying taxes in gold and silver? Really, people? How exactly would that work?
Here are the Producers Guild Award nominations, if you care. They look more or less exactly as you'd expect.
Forever Young Adult makes resolutions on behalf of YA writers.
January 04, 2011
Pretty Little Liars 1.11: "Moments Later"
"Got a secret; can you keep it?" Pretty Little Liars is back! This was originally a summer show, and a lot of us tuned in to get our fix of teen drama while shows like The Vampire Diaries and Gossip Girl were on hiatus. I'm curious to see how it holds up when it's on right along with those shows. It's certainly not as good as either of those, but it makes for a fun 42 minutes of TV. My main question continues to be how long they can possibly drag out the central mystery, and what they'll do after they solve that. There's certainly enough else going on that I think they could keep a show going without the question of A, but I worry they'll be afraid to do that.
Overall, I thought this winter premiere was a solid return for the show, and it did its duty: it got me eager to see the rest of the season. The girls' hair continues to be shiny, the guys continue to be hot, and the music - helmed by the incredible Chris Mollere - continues to be good. For some more spoilery thoughts about this episode, click through to read the full post.
Hanna's "accident:" Hanna's mom has never been the best parent, but it seems so obvious that Hanna is hiding something that I had trouble buying that she didn't pick up on it. Also, wouldn't you think Hanna's dad would come visit? Hm. Other than that, I thought Hanna's fear in the hospital was well done, and her scene with Lucas was pretty adorable. He's so obviously better than Sean, but it makes sense that Hanna, with her focus on popularity and image, wouldn't really be able to see that.
Aria: Against my better judgment, after this episode I'm completely rooting for Aria and Ezra. I think it does really make a difference, to me at least, that when they met they didn't know about their imminent teacher/student relationship. It's hard to see where they can go from here, though. Is Aria a senior? I can't remember. If she is, I guess they can get through this year and then openly become a couple when she's in college. But, of course, this is a TV show, so the reasonable, undramatic thing won't happen. Also, where was Aria's father? For once, I did not spend the episode looking at Chad Lowe and thinking "Man, you look like your brother."
Emily: I'm enjoying the character of her father, and I like how the coming out storyline is being handled so far. And I was glad Maya wasn't really around, because she's annoying, and Bianca Lawson has been playing the same age now for at least eleven years and it's starting to bug me. I also liked Emily's obviously mixed feelings about Toby, and I'm curious to see where they take that.
Spencer: Oh, poor Spencer. And seriously, Ian, marrying Melissa because you have inappropriate feelings toward her sister does not seem like a good idea. Sigh.
A: Oh, I don't know. I think I need to read some recaps and refresh my memory about exactly what went on at the end of the summer season. But I thought it was ridiculous that just seeing Noel writing on a car made the girls immediately think he was A. The message wasn't signed or anything. So I think Noel is obviously a red herring, but I don't have a theory at the moment as to what's actually going on. Well, actually, my theory is that it's some minor character who's always around but presented in such a way that we don't really see/think about him/her. But I don't know who that person is.
Morning Coffee (1/4/11)
Good morning! It's . . . Tuesday? That's all? Really? Huh. If you've been having trouble getting up on time, you may be able to blame your iPhone.
The big shocking event on the anniversary episode of The Archers was rather less shocking than I'd hoped, actually.
Cuomo is now governor, and Sandra Lee is already doing vaguely weird things.
The Seahawks: Worst playoff team ever?
Weigel picks conservatives to watch in 2011.
TWoP is now recapping Pretty Little Liars.
A friend of mine has been complaining about this for years: TV characters never say goodbye when they hang up the phone.
For those who care about NH politics: Sununu endorsed Bergeron, which presumably means no Sununus want the job.
I have no idea what to make of James Franco anymore: He's now directing Faulkner and Cormac McCarthy interpretations. At the same time? Really?
January 03, 2011
Books Read in 2011
My goal this year is to read 200 books. Here's my progress:
1. Jane by April Lindner (1/2)
Book 1: Jane by April Lindner
Jane is a modernization of Jane Eyre: Jane Moore is an orphaned college student who, penniless, drops out and takes a job as nanny to the daughter of Nico Rathburn, a rich, reclusive rock star. The plot then pretty much exactly follows the plot of Jane Eyre, so you probably know what happens, and if you somehow don't, I don't want to spoil it. I also don't want to say too much about Jane at the moment, because I'm working on a review for another site. When that's posted, I'll add the link to this post. For now, I'll just say that, despite a few points at which the adherence to the original plot made the modern plot a bit hard to believe, this novel was amazing. I felt completely bereft when I finished it, and could only convince myself to return it to the library once I'd used a bit of my Christmas money to order my own copy from Amazon. If you like Jane Eyre, Gothic romance, rock and roll, or just a good read, you must read this now. (And if you do, tell me! I'm dying to discuss it with someone!)
Morning Coffee (1/3/11)
Good morning, and welcome to the first Morning Coffee of the new year!
Winter TV is starting. See a calendar here. Tonight: Castle! How I Met Your Mother! Pretty Little Liars!
Gentry Collins dropped out of the RNC chair race.
January 01, 2011
Happy New Year!
Happy New Year! I hope you're ringing it in in whichever way you prefer. I'm at my parents' house in CT for their big annual New Year's Day Open House. (I brought my chocolate-covered Chex mix. I'm sure you're shocked.) I don't really like the word "resolutions," so I tend to set goals for the New Year instead. My goals for this year - or at least the ones I'm planning to blog about - revolve around spending my leisure time more deliberately doing the things I want to be doing. So!
1. This is the big one. I haven't read anywhere near as much as I've wanted the past few years, and I've also developed a bad habit of starting lots of books and never finishing them, either because they have to go back to the library or because I get distracted. So my goal this year is to finish 200 new-to-me books and blog about them all. I won't promise full reviews of all of them, but I'll at least spend a few sentences telling you about them and what I thought.
2. Watch 100 new-to-me movies (and, again, blog about them). I'm hoping to both see more current movies so I don't feel this end-of-year award season rush again, and to catch up on some classics I've missed.
3. Try 100 new-to-me recipes. I love to cook and bake, but too often end up just falling into a rut of making the same things all the time. And I have tons of cookbooks (and recipes bookmarked online), so I should put them to better list. I'll at least keep a running list here on the blog of what I've tried, and I'll post pictures of any that are interesting or come out particularly well.
I also want to make more of an effort to keep up with new music this year, although I don't have a specific goal with that. And I want to keep running lists of particularly good TV episodes I see and articles/essays I read, so I can do top ten lists of those next year too.
What are your goals for 2011?