June 29, 2012 § Leave a comment
From: Rodkey, Scott
To: Me, obviously
Re: Reminder …
Today is Thorsday:
I mean, I’m not complaining.
But this puts the “what” in “wtf.”
(In a good way, sweetie.)
June 28, 2012 § 1 Comment
I am a little bored.
These are the things that have been helping me keep that at bay.
I used to love Gillian Flynn’s writing at Entertainment Weekly. Somehow, the fact that she’s now writing novels had escaped me, until this one came out and EW fell all over itself giving it positive reviews. While the coverage felt a bit nepotistic, the premise — wife disappears, husband is the obvious suspect because it’s always the husband, told from their alternating viewpoints — intrigued me, and it was worth the download and the week or so I spent reading it. I’m not normally a fan of thrillers, and the ending left me a bit cold, but very few things make me as happy as a good, totally-sucked-in read, and this did the trick.
TV Show: Suits on USA
I’m a sucker for USA shows, and while White Collar remains my favorite, it’s not back till July and Suits has amused me in the meantime. (If you haven’t watched, it’s about hotshot, always-right lawyer Harvey Specter [Gabriel Macht, who would be a great Joker] and only-pretending-to-be-a-lawyer Mike Ross [Patrick J. Adams, whose character bores the crapola out of me].) I was a little “meh” on the first season, and then the last three episodes put the whole premise of the series in doubt — suddenly, it looked like the only reason Harvey had always been right in his early career was due to his mentor suppressing evidence. The finale made it seem like the second season would be about Harvey going back and retrying his cases, but guess what? Two episodes in, and that story arc hasn’t even come up, as though the producers and writers decided in between seasons to forget all that. I’m still watching, thanks mostly to the fact that Gabriel Macht can be really, really funny, and delivers at least very funny line per episode.
Movie: 21 Jump Street
All the reviews and word of mouth claimed this movie was funny. Very funny. I didn’t believe it. At least, I didn’t until we rented it and I laughed so hard it made me hurt. I’m not a huge fan of Channing Tatum, but he was perfect in this. Watch it.
Sports: The Washington Nationals
This is the strangest thing: I’ve started watching baseball. There’s nothing on TV, and I’m supposed to be resting as much as possible, and what’s better to have droning on in the background than baseball? The thing is, I’ve started to care. The Nats have dropped six of their past seven games! They are truly on a skid. Want to hear something even stranger? On Sunday, I rearranged our schedule — we can’t swing by the mall, it’s 12:30 and the Nats game starts at 1:30! — so I could watch the game. Seriously, I don’t even know who I am anymore.
May 25, 2012 § 1 Comment
So everyone calm down about “The Great Gatsby” trailer now, right?
April 3, 2012 § 1 Comment
‘Whitney’ is not the hellaciously bad show everyone acts like it is.
Not even close.
I’ve been meaning to write this post since mid-season, but instead I focused on telling everyone I could that, “No, really, give it a chance, it’s funny,” which felt like doing something, even though it was the laziest possible something.
There were really three early criticism of ‘Whitney’:
Criticism No. 1: The summer marketing campaign was relentless and annoying.
This is fair. Whitney Cummings was everywhere. Some of the jokes in those ads weren’t super fun and got old after the second viewing, and rotten after the 12th. I agree. But in the network’s defense, we’re talking about NBC. Can you blame them for trying to make a hit show? You can, and actually you should’ve probably blamed them and not the show itself. Somehow I can’t imagine that Whitney Cummings was sulking around L.A. muttering to herself, “If I was just on a few more buses…”
Criticism No. 2: The two main characters seemed to hate each other for the first few episodes.
OK, fine, but honestly, I bet if you threaded together just 22 minutes of any couples’ week it might easily look like they hate each other, too. I also felt some allegiance to the Whitney and Alex (Chris D’Elia) and their punchline-filled exchanges, because Scott and I operate under a similar relationship law — zing at all costs (i.e., deliver the joke, even if it’s a little mean). We always apologize after! The writers really seemed to focus on fixing that criticism in the second half of the season, intermingling the supporting characters’ relationships, strengthening Alex and Whitney’s relationship (they got engaged, suckers). They even changed Whitney’s hair mid-season from straight-straight-straight to soft ringlets, like they were visually trying to show that things were loosening up. (This was the one element I did not like — I like Whitney’s hair straight! And I felt sad for her whenever I thought about how long she must’ve had to sit in the hair chair before filming all the time. Curls like that don’t come easy.)
Criticism No. 3: Taped before a live studio audience, whaaaaa?
Unusual choice? Sure. Does it ruin the entire experience of the show? I don’t think so. Once the show got past some initial rough patches, and the lines of dialogue where they were obviously just clumsily stitching in lines from Whitney’s standup routines finally went away or got better, I grew to like the live element of it — if only because I find it charming how Whitney completely cracks up every time Alex delivers a zinger. You wouldn’t get those kind of offbeat, unscripted moments from a taped and edited show. It just works for me.
Now, moving away from the criticism (which I think I have effectively brushed off) — there are some things about the show that deserve a little bit of props, including:
I spent the first few episodes of the show sort of liking it and sort of wondering how this goofy guy could possibly be the main love interest. Then a friend of mine gushed about how adorable and charming she found him and I realized, fine, he’s not my cup of tea but he’s plenty of other people’s cup of tea. He now delivers some of the funniest straight-man lines of the show (with a straight face), though the engagement episode did prove that he is terrible at acting drunk.
Rhea Seehorn (The Chick Who Plays Roxanne)
She started out just as a boozy vehicle for punchlines, but the writers worked on developing her a bit more in the second half of the season. But frankly, I was fine with her as a boozy vehicle.
Dan O’Brien (The Dude Who Plays Mark)
Mark gets to deliver, in my opinion, the funniest, most laugh-out-loud lines of the show, because he’s basically representing Whitney’s vision of crass single dudes. The scenes that he’s in are always the funniest of any episode.
Peter Gallagher (Whitney’s Dad)
It makes me happy to see Peter Gallagher get work. I feel like I usually see him in dramatic stuff, but he manages to make every line he delivers on this show — even in the briefest of scenes — very, very funny.
Is it the best show on TV? No. Is it going to win Emmy’s? No. Are you ever going to be chatting about it at cocktail parties? Probably not, but ‘Mad Men’ is back now and that’s what that’s for anyway. I will tell you this much: I have dared anyone who has told me “That show sucks!” to watch a couple episodes. Most of them come back and say, sheepishly, “I started to like it.”
You’ll start to like it.
And if you’re like me, you’ll also start to look forward to season 2. (Let Whitney have straight hair!)
February 1, 2012 § Leave a comment
Alternate title: Things I Think About While Driving.
January 26, 2012 § Leave a comment
And they’re not twins. As far as I can tell they’re not even related but until about five minutes ago I always just assumed one was the other.
(The bottom guy is Eric Bana and the top guy is Joe Mangiald;flakneowlllllllllllllio. I realize I should have put Eric on the top if I was going to list their names in this backward order but hey, it’s late and I really need to take a shower, and also sometimes I don’t completely think things through.)