Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Wednesday in Bullet Points--Lots of TV, Books, Music, Pop Culture, and the Sad Truth

Long this week since I skipped The Sunday Salon...

  • Remember how I asked about The Bronze Horseman trilogy? I am now reading it! I am only two pages in but it's progress right? The problem is I read Pure by Julianna Baggott over the weekend and it was the best dystopian I'd read in a really long time so I was sort of in the mood for more end of the world doom and gloom and so I picked up The Reapers are the Angels from my shelves and WOW. I had no idea this book was so good, the writing is amazing, Temple is hands down the best character I've met this year, it's just a really good story about life and what it means and what matters and the quest for redemption, and I loved it so much which makes it hard to move on, I just sort of want to bask in how good it was before moving onto another book. Also, I haaaate when you read a book and all you want to do is talk about it but no one else you talk to has read it or read it recently. Thankfully, I'm reading The Bronze Horseman with friends so if it affects me in any way I'll have people to talk about it with! (another sad thing, I want to read the author of Reapers other book written under another name and I actually OWN it but it's in storage. Ugh.)

  • I powered through that mini-series, The Kennedys recently. It was actually quite educational since apparently I know no history and so I was constantly looking things up while I watched. I liked it quite a bit, in that I generally enjoy stories about family dynasties and also politics like that. It looks and feels like a mini-series for sure, but it was still I don't know, really addictive. It's actually kind of funny because I tried to watch it when it was originally on but I ended up not being able to, but then when I started watching it on Netflix it was like instant addiction. Also, it's hardly a comprehensive history, some of the more interesting byways of the story to me, such as Rosemary Kennedy, ended up only being used as a c plot in one episode to establish Rose's resentment of Joe. A lot of the siblings are never mentioned, etc. But I mean obviously you can't have it all. It's a good historical soap opera, though! And even if it's not all detailed or exactly accurate, I learned a lot from constantly googling things while watching!

  • I finished Downton Abbey Season 2 and Ana and Jodie and everyone was right. It was not nearly as good as Season One. But, I still liked some of the plots and things like the beautiful costumes and the dialogue, etc. were still good. I have to say SPOILER that the way they handled Lavinia at the end was so stupid. A serious disappointment. I was very ready for Matthew and Mary to get together by the time they did, it was stretched out just a bit too long. Also, the Bates story line can die now. I was kind of hoping he'd actually killed his wife. I didn't like the way Matthew recovered, to be honest, it was Like I get this is TV, but that stuff always bugs me. Oh and was Cora actually apologizing to her husband for having interests outside of boosting his self-esteem? I mean I realize she may not have known about his little emotional affair with the maid, but the viewer did and it certainly felt a bit like that! I don't like Branson, either. In fact, it's funny because I happened to watch part of Fiddler on the Roof shortly before watching the Downton Abbey episode where Sybil takes her rebellious stand. And as usual, I cried during Fiddler when his daughter marries the Christian and he has to cut her off. I mean everything about Fiddler on the Roof is really affecting to me for being an old musical (it's one of my favorites)! And then like, the next day I watched Downton Abbey and it all fell really flat in comparison. Maybe they should have thrown in a song or something. But anyway, I'll still be back for the next season! What did you guys think of it?

  • I know like, nothing about Chris Brown and Rihanna to be honest. I don't listen to their music and apparently I don't follow pop culture news closely. But of course I heard about Chris Brown at the Grammy's and all the gross offensive stuff that was said about how the Grammy's felt like the real victims of his abuse. And then you know, now I'm hearing that they are collaborating again and when I was fixing dinner and listening to the news, they described their relationship as tumultuous and I had an actual flashback to last year when the Gossip Girl EP called Chuck and Blair's relationship volatile but not abusive after Chuck manhandled and almost hit Blair in an episode. Why can't we just call it what it is? I feel like these kinds of relationships are being really romanticized right now and it's no wonder women have a hard time breaking free from them when the two positions are either A) It's not abuse, it's just tumultuous or B) What is wrong with her, why can't she leave?

    I don't really know what the answer is, to be honest, but I'm pretty sure having Chris Brown perform at the Grammy's is not part of it. And like, I recognize that abuse and violence towards women is this thing our society excuses because we somehow think calling someone an abuser is worse than the actual abuse and also fame complicates thing, but sheesh.

  • I am in that infatuation period with Switched at Birth right now where I am just loving the show every week and even though not all episodes are created equal, they never disappoint. I even watched a webcast the Emmy's hosted last week with the cast, to celebrate the ground breaking nature of the show. Because it is groundbreaking, it's the first show to have characters that just happen to be deaf or hard of hearing and aren't defined by it. There are entire scenes that are done entirely in ASL with no spoken dialogue. Lizzy Weiss says in the webcast that the show doesn't have an agenda, they are just telling stories about diversity of experiences within the deaf and hard of hearing community. Every time someone else says they love the show, I feel happy because yes it's a teen drama, but it's a really smart and different one. It examines ideas about identity through a variety of lenses --artist, athlete, hearing or not, race, socioeconomic status, nature vs. nurture, mother, daughter, son, sibling. I recently saw someone say that the characters all feel their feelings really hard, and it's so true, they do, the show always has an emotional climax that delivers. Ugh, I just love it so much, but I feel like it gets written off for being an ABC Family show (which trust me, I understand) or because of the premise of being switched at birth. So I was really happy to see Jace Lacob, one of my favorite TV writers, recently say he fell head over heels for the show. I had other stuff to say about the individual episodes, like some of the ideas about art and age that were raised with this art gallery story line or how much I enjoyed the story between John and Toby for the reason that there was no easy resolution, but I feel I've gone on long enough. Do any of you watch the show?

  • "Tell me what you see, and I'll tell you what you missed."
    I watched the Awake premiere which is now available on and I liked it a lot. It's probably my favorite pilot of the season. It's not perfect, for example I think his wife's character needs some development. BUT let's talk about what I liked. I like the premise, first of all, because it asks a lot of interesting questions about the nature of reality. A man is a car accident with his wife and son. He goes to sleep with his wife by his side, but his son is dead. When he wakes up, his son alive but his wife died. And he's living these two realities, fully aware of the other one. He has a therapist in each reality, both of whom are sure of their own reality and use different methods to prove to him they are real. And he's also a detective, of course, and he's working two different cases and the circumstances of each are different. And the cases are different but suddenly he realizes they are sort of bleeding into each other, the vital clues for both are the same. And all of that is interesting to watch, but what I'm more interested in seeing is how they progress. How long can one person live in two realities and stay the same. Even while he may be holding grief at bay, can he really? He has still lost the life he had in both. What if his wife wants another child or he falls for a different woman? Will the universe eventually course correct (to steal from Lost) in both realities? Can a person grow or change living in fragmented realities? Also ISN'T HE TIRED? I hope the show is good but it's so high concept that the potential to fail hard is certainly there. But the pilot is haunting and thought provoking and worth watching.

  • I have been listening to the Evita soundtrack nonstop. It's like I forgot about it for a few years and suddenly rediscovered it. Yes, I love it a lot, don't judge.

  • Ana wrote this amazing post on Being Wrong which reminded me I should delete my blog. I have been so so wrong so embarrassingly so in very public ways on the internet. It's interesting because sometimes I have to give myself little pep talks before I publish stuff where I'm more revealing or vulnerable. Because I actually see openness about the way you think or feel as a good thing, like I really appreciate it when others are open LIKE ANA MY HERO. But I'd be lying if I said I didn't worry about the response or wonder if I'm making a huge mistake. I know, I know, I should get over myself. Hence the pep talks! :)

  • Jodie and I like to talk about TV and lament how we can never watch the same stuff at the same time because of that ocean between us, and she always talks about these amazing shows in the UK I can't watch, and then I discovered this Call the Midwife show she was talking about is BASED ON A BOOK I LOVE. Like a book, I really really loved and recommended a lot to everyone and was one of my favorite books read in 2009. And now I'm trying to figure out if The Midwife by Jennifer Worth as published in the US is the first book in the Call the Midwife trilogy or something condensed or what. Can anyone answer this? Penguin? But ugh, I'm so jealous because I'm pretty sure the show is amazing.

  • Do you read Dear Sugar on The Rumpus? It's like the best advice column I've ever read (which admittedly I haven't read many, but still IT'S AWESOME) and she recently revealed her identity because she has a book coming out and now I WANT TO READ THE BOOK LIKE YESTERDAY. Anyway, read all about how Cheryl Strayed is Sugar and add her memoir, Wild to your wish list like I did! Also read the archives.

  • Gas is officially over $4.00 a gallon, IT'S TIME TO BE A HOMEBODY

  • Amy

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