Saturday, July 30, 2011

The curse of the spin off

Man does Glee have some drama happening right now. First it was announced that Lea Michele, Chris Colfer and Corey Monteith would not return for a fourth season because they were graduating. Then at Comic-Con co-creator Brad Falchuk announced those three stars would be returning for season 4 (even though technically they don’t have one yet even though they will get renewed released it. Sounded kind of presumptuous). To make matters even more complicated co-creator Ryan Murphy announced that there was in fact a Glee spin off series in the works to house the characters Rachel, Kurt and Finn at Julliard in New York. But Murphy said after all the media frenzy about Lea, Chris and Corey getting fired they decided to put everything on hold and just focus on season 3 and “making it the best ever.” This could be a reason I have started to not like Glee, because its creators are just announcing things left and right without thinking about what they’re saying.

Anyways, this whole spin off thing is mainly why this whole drama got my attention because I totally called a Glee spin off series to happen eventually (considering you can’t be in high school forever unless you’re Boy Meets World or Saved by the Bell, but even those shows moved on to college.) Television spin offs have been around for ages. Most of them unsuccessful and horribly entertaining but some have actually been quite successful, rarely even better than the show (I’m looking at you Frasier). And by spin offs I don’t mean like cartoon spin offs (Transformers: Prime) or reality spin offs like The Hills of the eight Kardashian shows there have been. When I talk about spin offs I mean a character on a show has moved on to make another show. For example: Angel from Buffy the Vampire Slayer; Frasier from Cheers; Addison Montgomery (Private Practice) from Grey’s Anatomy; Joey from Friends. All of those are the ultimate spin offs, where you have to create a whole new life for the characters and things from their old life (the other show) may come into play. You also have the spin offs that come from the same drama like all the Law and Order shows, NCIS and CSI’s but I don’t count those as impressive cause I could have created those.

So to the point of all this mess with Glee, I was trying to decide if a spin off of the show would be successful. I look at Private Practice (which I watched the first season of as a loyal Grey’s Anatomy fan) and found it actually quite good, mainly because I loved Addison. Then I look at the show Joey, who I love from Friends and it epically failed. Like it was painful to watch. Not funny at all. I suppose then it comes down to what every great show needs: great writers. I will say Glee has its funny moments. Some of the plot lines are really stupid and cheesy but anything that comes out of Jane Lynch’s mouth is great. If they are to create this spin off (which I believe will happen sometime in the future) then they really have to be careful not to make the same show they already have. I think that is another big reason some spin offs don’t work. Private Practice works because even though it is still the medical field, it is a totally different atmosphere. And even if the kids would be going to college, Glee would need to make sure they have great characters that are interesting as well. To be honest, maybe a college environment would be more interesting and less annoying then some of the story lines in Glee (like the prom episode or yearbook drama). Maybe this spin off could be a more sophisticated show with less music. It will be interesting to see how season 3 goes, especially now there is no Sam (so sad about Chord Overstreet rejecting to come back for 10 episodes). They are going to have to take up a notch.

Why do they need to kick it up a notch? Because of one show I’m looking forward to this upcoming fall season: Smash. I’m sure all of you will hear about Smash in the coming months since it is the first show to challenge Glee in a musical format (though it is more drama focused then comedy). The show stars Debra Messing (Will & Grace) and season 6 winner of American Idol Katharine McPhee. It actually looks kind of promising. It is a midseason show and will premiere on NBC.

With that I give you some television side notes.
1. Only two weeks left of the greatest reality show, I think, on television right now and maybe throughout the whole year: So You Think You Can Dance. Probably one of the few talent search shows where the entire top-20 can actually dance. I was sad to see Jess go last night (especially since I picked up him in the finale). Since he is gone, I declare Tadd will join Marko for the two boys (Ricky will be off next week) and I still believe it will be Melanie and Sasha for the girls.
2. It was announced yesterday that Sarah Drew who plays April Kepner on Grey’s Anatomy is pregnant. So I’m quite interested to see how that gets written into the show, especially since April has never done it. Should be interesting what the writers come up with. It was also announced that Patricia Clarkson (Mom from Easy A) will play Tammy 1 in Parks and Rec and all I can say is YES! Despite some of her dramatic roles, after seeing Easy A and her as one of the Mother Lovers in the SNL Digital Short, I have no doubt she will be awesome.
3. So this isn’t television, but I couldn’t resist the fact that new the Hunger Games photos were released yesterday in Entertainment Weekly. And I have to say I am very, very excited. Looks like I found something to fill part of the large whole Harry has left.

With that I say... Live long and prosper. 

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

To replay or to not replay

There is no quote needed for this horrible, awful, monstrosity of a call. All you have to do is watch this clip before reading this blog so you can understand what I'm talking about. 

So, the Braves win the game off of a walk-off single and because a call by the umpire of "safe," means the Pirates lose. Personally I have been very against instant replay in Major League Baseball. It is a classic sport, America's pastime, a game that should not be tampered with. I always thought umpires generally made good calls and if they didn't have the greatest calls they were at lease consistent. The problem I have with instant replay is there has to be some limitations with it and most sports do have them. Like in tennis, each player has three challenges to make when they don't agree with a call. I would say this is a great idea because if there are no rules then it can get a little crazy. Football each team has two challenges. All of those work out nicely. The problem I have with it in baseball is what limitations there can be.

I think it would be silly for the referees to challenge balls and strikes, umpires get paid enough to make that kind of call on if a ball is in the strikes zone. I think if instant replay were to be created then it should really only be for if a player is out or not. Especially in situations when the game is on the line, for example when it is the bottom of the 19th inning and the game ends on a really awful call. So, I think two challenges per team on strictly if he is safe or out should apply. And to be quite honest I'm not even sure if that would work. This is a game that people have been playing for ages, and we are human. It is natural to make mistakes, we're not perfect and we don't all have perfect eye sight. I think that this could have a test trial, maybe in spring training to see how everything works. Or just for one season and then go from there. The other consideration I have is maybe just having it for the playoffs but that could be inconsistent for the whole season.

I suppose what I'm getting at is I honestly don't know. I suppose it would be interesting to look further into these matters. Meaning we should ask the players, managers, umpires if they think is a necessary thing. I mean they are the ones most affected by bad calls so I feel like we should get their input more then just the general public. To be honest, it is kind of refreshing not having instant replay and being a Cubs fan and watching those games at Wrigley Field; that is classic baseball. I suppose I wouldn't want to change any of that just like I would hate to see any type of renovations on Wrigley and would hate to see the Cubs actually win a World Series. I guess things might be better if they are just left alone.

With that I give you some nice sports centered side notes.
1. Finally. A nice deep breath out. I don't have to watch professional bowling every Sunday afternoon on ESPN (although I did recently go bowling and I must say I'm quite good). Instead we are all lucky to have America's most popular sport back in football. The players are heading to their respected training camps, free agents are being let go and picked up, and I am sad to say Brad Maynard of the Chicago Bears has been let go. With a day of celebration, it is sad to see the 10 year punter for the Bears to leave.
2. It read in the Chicago Tribune this morning that Michael Phelps forgot his swim trunks at the World Championships. I read this and died of laughter. We joked at work today that he must have been doing you know what and forgot to bring them. I mean honestly, out of all the sports what else do you need to remember as a swimmer? It's not like you're a football or hockey player with pads. I hope he remembers to bring them when he heads to London for the Olympics.
3. Speaking of Olympics, it's one year to the day before the London games begin. Raise your hand if you're excited! I must say I look forward to see London as hosts not to mention all the great games that happen in the summer instead of the winter (let's be honest, swimming and gymnastics are way more exciting then speed skating or ice skating). Cross your fingers for as great of a games as the Beijing games were.

With that I say... Live long and prosper.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Reminiscing in the past

"So do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us." - Gandalf, Lord of the Rings, the Fellowship of the Ring

Above is probably one of my favorite quotes from the series (which I am currently attempting to read for the first time). I felt like I should document the fact that the Lord of the Rings films are my favorite movies of all time. Some may have thought Harry, but not even close (Harry wins the book battle) because I can probably watch any of the three movies at any time. For some reason I decided I should pay tribute to that fact, which is quite remarkable considering the films are all three hours long. Fun fact, for my 13th birthday party (or two weeks before 8th grade) I had a Lord of the Rings themed party. Some may think that would mean plates, hats, napkins with Gandalf's face plastered on them. But no. The lucky 10 friends I invited had the pleasure of watching all three films in a row (not extended version, but I have done all three extended in one day). We had a sleepover and by an hour through the second movie I think everyone was done, except me. Hey, it was my party so I could do whatever I want. So we continued watching all three magical, magnificent, cinematic genius films in my cozy basement. I hope that demonstrates my love for these films.

I would now like to give a nice shout out to my mother and brother for making me see the Fellowship of the Ring in theaters after many protests and complaints on my end. Half way through the film I was in love. I am eternally grateful to them. I have three great memories with each film as they came out, each in December. For the first film I remember my parents coming home on New Years Eve, after they saw it for the first time, in amazement. I thought they were exaggerating on how good it was. I remember driving to the movie theater after agreeing to see the film as my brother was trying to give me a basic summary (since he read the book). I remember hearing about Orcs and me going "huh?" convinced it was going to be really stupid. But then it was just pure awesomeness. The casting, the acting, the sets, the realism of Middle Earth, the special effects, the makeup, the direction, there are very little flaws in all three movies.

We move on to the second film, my obsession only growing. I clearly remember a Wednesday evening with my brother and sister (who had now been under the curse like the rest of us). My brother was playing a Lord of the Rings video game when my sister was like "Let's see it again." I couldn't believe my ears, it was a Wednesday night and I was in 6th grade. I didn't know it was allowed to go see a movie on a weekday (my parents were in the city) and we did. We went to the movies, we were the only people in the theater and it was extremely fun because we were able to just talk aloud our thoughts on each scene. It was fantastic.

The last movie was much anticipated. My brother and sister (both in high school) were going to see the midnight showing (this is before these were a regular thing) and I wanted to go with them. Considering I was very young, I think 12, my mother would not let me go. Of course I would have been with my siblings but that did not matter. I was heart broken, I had this incredible desire for it to be my first midnight showing movie. I guess I was not persuasive enough and was not allowed, especially since it was a during the week. That next day, which was a Wednesday because all Lord of the Rings movies came out on Wednesday's, my mother picked me up from school. She surprised me with buying tickets for a 4 o'clock showing and we saw the movie together. There are no words to describe how awesome this movie is (if you haven't seen it, get off your butt and go rent it). I suppose the 11 Oscars it won (to tie the most ever with Ben-Hur and Titanic) is evidence of how epic they really are.

Even though they may not have the box office numbers like Harry Potter or Twilight. They may not have the biggest fans in the world like Star Wars or Star Trek. But, in my opinion, I think that they are the best movies ever made based off a book. Now, I haven't read the books, but the attention to detail and thought (after watching the extended special features on all the films) I think these movies are the greatest. Peter Jackson may never live up to his Lord of the Rings success (cross your fingers he does with the two Hobbit films) but the three films he made could possibly be, in all aspects, the best three movies I will ever see in my entire life.

With that some side notes from Hollywood.
1. I am a little bitter but must give my congrats to Captain America for winning the box office this week, but I mainly think it's because Harry made so much money in the first week that it would be hard to have that happen again the next weekend. I am also excited to see next weeks winner, with Crazy Stupid Love and Cowboys & Aliens coming out (both of which are getting good reviews so far).
2. I would like to say I am anxiously awaiting the revamped Spider-Man movie. It may be because Andrew Garfield is really good looking or because I am in love with Emma Stone and her sense of humor, or it might be because Sally Field is in it and you really can't go wrong with Sally Field. To watch a cool interview with director and cast from Comic-Con click here and if you want to watch the trailer check it out here.
3. I hope you like Snow White cause there is gonna be a lot her next year. There are two films in production, scheduled to come out next year by two different production companies: Relativity and Universal. The first will be The Brothers Grimm: Snow White, which will feature Lily Collins (Blind Side) as Snow White and Julia Roberts (I hope you know her) as the Evil Queen. The other is Snow White and the Huntsman featuring Kristin Stewart (Twilight) as Snow White, Charlize Theron (Monster) as the Evil Queen and Chris Hemsworth (Thor) as the Huntsman. I for one am interested in seeing both films, especially seeing Roberts as an evil queen.

With that I say... Live long and prosper.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Wishing I was a Gilmore

Lorelai: Kirk asked me out.
Rory: Shut up!
Lorelai: Yesterday.
Rory: That's so sweet!
Lorelai: Rory!
Rory: What are you gonna wear? Ooh, you should wear your dress with the ponies on it, I bet he likes ponies.
Lorelai: You're not serious.
Rory: I bet you'll have a good time.
Lorelai: "Hello, headmaster Charleston, this is my stepdad, Kirk. Try not to make any sudden movements, he's a fear biter!"
Rory: OK, so how are you gonna let him down?

It has been a sad four years since Gilmore Girls said their goodbyes to the loyal fans. The seventh and final season was the only one I watched live and even thought it got many bad reviews, I still enjoyed it until we last saw Lorelai and Rory eating at Luke's Diner. I was personally incredibly satisfied with how the series ended and loved the last scene. The reason I reminisce about one of the funniest television shows, I think, in the last 10 years is because I have watched the first two seasons over again in the last week or so. It proves that watching reruns is just as fun as watching the show for the first time. I totally forgot how witty, fast talking and great the plot stories were to this show, especially in the early years. I wanted to talk about this fantastic show because I feel like some people have maybe forgotten about it or maybe they have never seen it. If this is the case, you must! Even if you don't like it the first time. To be honest it takes a couple episodes to get into and then it's just hilarious.

I would like to first declare I wish I could take as fast as they do on this show. I also wish I had such quick witty responses to everyday conversation but alas, I unfortunately don't have brilliant writers scripting my life. I love the dynamic of Lorelai and Rory. They are best friends but also mother/daughter at least once in the show. Whether that be discussing Lorelai's parents, Rory's relationships or college applications. They also have lots of fun (note pretty much all scenes at Luke's) and have great interactions (see the quote above). It is also how Lauren Graham and Alexis Bledel deliver their lines. The plot is always great and unpredictable (for the most part) which helps keep the show very interesting and easy to want to watch the next episode.

This is the part where I wish very deeply they make a movie from the show. Now they are running out of town but they have like the perfect premise. When Rory left, she had a job for then Senator Barack Obama. How perfect would that be to make a movie out of. What has happened the last four years, on his political campaign with Gilmore's being the core. We could finally see Lorelai and Luke married. Maybe see a new boyfriend for Rory. It would be a huge success and I hope in my heart that the actors would be willing to do it. I understand they are both doing different things (although I will note Bledel has yet have a good movie since Traveling Pants). Lauren Graham has Parenthood, but we know that is kind of hanging on its last thread, even though she is very funny in it, she will always be Lorelai. I for one would love a movie and I know many fans would be in line to watch the next chapter of the Gilmore clan.

With that I will give you some exciting side notes, especially with Comic-Con going on right now.
1. Can you wait for Dexter season six after this teaser trailer? Cause I know I can't. This looks like an awesome season with a cool focus and great guest actors. I'm looking forward to Colin Hanks (Tom Hanks' son) as I believe some sort of religious man. I loved him in Mad Men and excited to see what he brings to Dexter.
2. This breaks my heart, but it will always remain my favorite television show ever: Lost had a panel at Comic-Con called "Totally Lost: One Year Later." The one year later part is just so depressing because it was such a revelation show but nonetheless had to end. Just wanted to point it out because I can't believe it has already been a year since Lost ended. So sad.
3. It would seem wrong for me not to at least mention So You Think You Can Dance as we enter the Top 8 next week. I'd like now predict the final two girls and final two boys. It will be Melanie and Sasha for the girls, Marko and Jess (despite the fact he can't do a lift). The girls are without question, I would say Caitlin has a chance but Jordan is the next one out. For the guys Ricky seems to get in the bottom 3 too much and I just don't really like Tadd, though he has a chance. Plus I love Jess (but not the one from Gilmore Girls).

With that I say... Live long and prosper.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

The Legends and the Leaders

"If you don't like something, change it. If you can't change it, change your attitude." - Maya Angelou

Looks like I'm going to have to change my attitude toward Big Ten sports from now on. Although it was announced last summer, Nebraska was officially inducted into the Big Ten (which has 12 teams. I know makes complete sense but remember these are sports people creating the leagues) on July 1. I realize this is kind of sad since they were announced 20 days ago but I only just noticed they were  now official. But in my defense I have been very wrapped up in Harry Potter crazy, Women's Soccer World Cup and the summer flying by. Anyways I felt compelled to talk about it because I haven't really thought what this means for the Big Ten, Illinois (which I will refer to as us or we because they're my team) and college sports in general.

First off I'd like to say the Legends and Leaders thing is really stupid and clearly Legends is better sounding than Leaders. But the names are beside the point because I really don't like this idea of splitting the division up. I do recognize it is really only for football considering all other sports compete with every team anyways, I just think it divides the conference. To talk completely in football terms: I do like the fact of having a championship game to prove a true winner but I hate the idea of divisions. I guess I'm being nostalgic. I don't like the fact that the top team from the Legends league and the top from the Leaders league have to faceoff. It should just be the two top teams with the best record. It's kind of how I feel about the MLB or the NFL. For example, how the Seattle Seahawks advanced in the NFL playoffs with a losing record. To me, it just seems incredibly unfair for when better teams in different leagues who play harder games can't make it to the playoffs when a team who can't even be above .500 advances. This is what I'm afraid of will happen in the Big Ten.

Secondly, I would like to point out we have not played Iowa since 2008. We have yet to plan a game against them for the next two seasons. The next time we could possibly play Iowa is 2013 and that's not even for sure. This would mean I never saw Iowa play Illinois during my college career. That seems incredibly wrong. They are in the same division! We play Western Michigan twice in the next two years. Somehow that seems odd to me. Aren't we suppose to be playing teams in our division even if Illinois is a Leader and Iowa a Legend. And it's not like I love Iowa or they are bad or good it just seems wrong not playing them.

The last argument I have with this, we are now forced to play the teams in our division every year. That means Ohio State every year, that means Wisconsin every year. Now I'm not saying Illinois is bad or these teams are great but they have a big history in football. But people graduate and change. Five of the six teams that are in the Leaders division could be going through transitions and that doesn't seem fair to always have to play them. I do realize this happened before the split of the divisions and addition to Nebraska (who by the way we don't see until 2013), but it just seems more definite now. Not to mention this changes how all the teams advance in college football in a Bowl game. The fact we don't play Iowa, a team in our division, could be the difference of whether we advance to a certain Bowl game. Just thinking out loud here. With all the complaints I will say I absolutely with no doubt am happy to see the Big Ten with a championship game. It's about time. Now all we have to do is fix the BCS, but that's going to be a while, I'm sure. All in all I suppose I just better get used to these changes because it's not going to be different. So here's to for sure playing Ohio State, Wisconsin, Indiana, Purdue and Penn State every season for at least the next four seasons.

With that I give you some lovely side notes.

1. First I must congratulate the National Women's Soccer Team for making it to the finals of the World Cup despite the loss. It seems they read my last sports blog and dug deep to get to the ultimate goal but then forgot how to kick a penalty kick. Maybe reviewing Brandi Chastain's winning P.K. would have been a wise. Oh well, looks like soccer has some new heroes to look up to. Thanks Abby and your giant forehead. 
2. This is pathetic. The Cubs have lost eight of their last nine series and the one they didn't lose was a four game series where they tied. Not to mention they have yet to win more than two games in a row. I don't even have a response. Completely and utterly disgusting. 
3. NFL is kind of getting close to an agreement. Yes? Well they did not vote on Wednesday on the new CBA but it's looking like they soon will be. Cross your fingers that they do and they all vote YES and players get back in shape after all those beer bellies they have (gosh I hope not). 

With that I say... Live long and prosper.

Monday, July 18, 2011

And the nominations are...

"I want to thank my parents for somehow raising me to have confidence that is disproportionate with my looks and abilities. Well done, that's what all parents should do!" – Tina Fey

Oh Tina, you are so wise. This quote of course comes from Tina Fey’s acceptance speech at the 60th annual Emmy awards. And I am happy to report she received her fifth nomination for her role as Liz Lemon in 30 Rock while the show also garnered its fifth nomination. Not to mention she also was nominated for best guest actress as host of SNL back in May. The Emmy’s are televisions Oscars (if you didn’t know) and although some people may not pay attention or care about them; I love them. Although that might not meant that much as I love pretty much every awards show. In case you missed the nominations I suggest you check them out here. You should also check out all the coverage has but not before you finish reading my thoughts on the nominations.

What the Emmy’s got right:

So there are several nominations that were given that I am over the moon about. Let us begin with the drama categories. Finally it has happened: Friday Night Lights gets a best drama nod for its fifth and final season. Although I jumped on the bandwagon late (meaning two months ago) I have to say yes! This brilliantly acted and written show has finally gotten the nomination it deserved not to mention Kyle Chandler and Connie Britton both got best actor/actress nods. Cross your fingers for a based off a book, based off the movie, based of the series movie with the original cast coming back. I must say I am also trilled with the number of nominations The Good Wife racked in including best actress, two best supporting actor, two best supporting actress and best drama. All are totally deserved and I’m crossing my fingers for this show to hopefully be the one that tops Mad Men (although I like Mad Men, I’m sick of it winning). Of course I am also happy about Dexter’s and Michael C. Hall’s fourth nomination for best drama (although either have yet to win). Also I want to say congrats to Loretta Devine who plays Adele in Grey’s Anatomy for her guest actress in a drama nod.

Let’s shift gears to the comedy categories. I am so, so, so happy to say that Parks and Recreation is nominated for best comedy and Amy Poehler got a best actress nod for her role as Leslie Knope. This show is one of my favorite comedies and is making a run for my favorite (although unlikely as long as 30 Rock stays on). Parks totally deserves the credit it received and I could not have been happier. I’d also like to give a pat on my back as I predicted in a earlier blog that Laura Linney would be nominated for her The Big C role as Cathy Jamison (I will now predict she will win). I also loved seeing Megan McCarthy (who I know better as Sookie St. James from Gilmore Girls) pick up a nomination, even though I don’t watch her show. Her reaction was priceless; as she read out the nominations, see it here (fast-forward to four minutes or you can watch the whole thing). I also love Alec Baldwin for 30 Rock and Jane Krakowski for 30 Rock not to mention the entire 30 Rock guest acting like Matt Damon, Will Arnet and Elizabeth Banks.

What are they thinking?!

Three years in a row and again I’m disappointed. If it was going to be a year, I for sure thought it was going to be this year. Yet again the Emmy’s are blind to my favorite drama show on television, especially after last season, Fringe. Nothing. Zip. Nada. It got nothing (OK, well one Creative Achievement in Interactive Media, whatever the heck that means). I thought for sure John Noble or Anna Torv would get nominated (considering they played the same characters but two different roles. Actually Anna had four but who’s counting). Anyways also wanna say Nick Offerman who plays Ron Swanson on Parks and Rec got snubbed, he should have been nominated for supporting actor in comedy instead of the four Modern Family people. It also would have been really nice to see Community get some sort of recognition, whether in acting or just the show getting nominated. Oh well, you can’t win them all.

What I look forward to

I have to say I am pretty excited for Jane Lynch to host. She has some big shoes to fill as Jimmy Fallon and Neil Patrick Harris have been the last two hosts and were brilliant. I hope her montage is as funny as last years. I also hope Kate Winslet attends, as she is one of my faves and nominated for her role in Mildred Pierce (the show has like a million nominations). I am really hoping we get some new blood winning this year although I’m pretty sure I can say this with certainty Modern Family will win again. I suppose that’s not too bad, as long as it’s not Glee. With that a few side notes.

1. I would like to present everyone with all of Tina Fey's acceptance speech's she has made at the Emmy's. Watch 30 Rock's first, second and third time winning the best comedy award, Tina winning outstanding writing, and finally Tina winning for impersonating Sarah Palin on SNL for best guest actress (fast-forward this one to 5:40 to see her talk)
2. I would also like to present one of the funniest things that has happened in the Emmy's including Ricky Gervais and Steve Carrel. To understand watch this video and then watch the funnier one here. I just love the second one because Ricky Gervais really doesn't care what people think of him.
3. The last thing I would like to leave you with is some facts about this year's Emmy nominations: They will air September 18 at 7 p.m. it will broadcast on Fox. HBO once again dominates with 104 total nominations, there are 107 categories but of course only the major ones are broadcast, CBS leads the top networks with 50 nominations, the show with the most Emmy wins is Fraiser is 37 and SNL now has the most nominations ever with 142.

With that I say... Live long and prosper.

Friday, July 15, 2011

The Lack of Words

"Do not pity the dead, Harry, pity the living. Above all pity those who live without love."

"Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?"

The words I write in this blog will most likely not be eloquent enough, express enough or demonstrate enough the significance of the past two days. Harry Potter fans in the world feel a little empty inside, not because of the movie (which made me feel very, very satisfied) but that no more.  I quote Albus Dumbledore above for two reasons. The first is to show how beautiful a writer J.K. Rowling is and the way she uses her words are inspiring. The second reason because SPOILER ALERT both quotes were used in the movie, and said spot on and are probably in my like top 10 best Harry Potter quotes. I want to first apologize to my loyal readers (do these even exist? Well it's OK, no hard feelings), because I did the thing I said I would not do from the beginning... I missed a blog post. In my defense I would like to state that I was emotionally strained from the day coming. This is besides the point but this has been one of the most emotional weeks of my life. Hmm, that sounds really depressing and extreme, maybe we'll just say this week was crazy. Although, it was not as crazy as the past 27 hours have been. (This is of course my movie blog for the day, and if you couldn't tell I'll be discussing Harry Potter).

To begin, I woke up Thursday with excitement, anticipation and anxiety. It had finally come, the day I was counting down from 365 was finally here. It is most likely the last movie I will ever have a countdown for, which is also depressing. Luckily, I had to work and luckily I had lots of stuff to work on. The day went surprisingly quick when I realized it was time for me to get home so I could make it to my Part 1 showing at a friends, I couldn't believe it. The pre-show extravaganza was quite low key, the way I like it, with three of my closest friends (shout out to Danny, Meera and Sarah - that was done alphabetically). We then arrived at the Randall 15 theater for our 3-D IMAX experience (we left around 9 pm). My mother would be joining us on our last adventure at a Harry Potter premiere and I must say thank you Leslie! If it were not for my mom, we would not have gotten the brilliant seats that we did. As we were walking to get in line, the IMAX line started to file in. I could not believe the number of people already in line. Luckily someone in my group (I will not state their name for legal reasons) was wise. We miraculously ran into my mother as the line was curving and somehow sneaked in (yes we cut people. I know horrible, but only for Harry Potter) and to be honest because we had a mom, no one yelled at us. It was epic. That led to us getting high enough seats for the IMAX screen to be wicked awesome.

The waiting began, although I will say it went incredibly fast. I suddenly realized the amount of time left before I would no longer see another Harry Potter movie. I began to regret the quickness of time. I wanted more, I didn't want it to play, I wanted to never see the movie because if I didn't, it wouldn't be over. But of course that would never happen cause I would go crazy, obviously (said like Snape in the 5th Harry Potter movie). I turned my phone off around 11:30ish because it was dying and I kept checking the time. All of the sudden my mom was saying three minutes until midnight. I then became antsy, I wanted the movie to begin, to see what director David Yates created to send off the three most brilliantly written characters. Finally the lights dimmed and it was silent. I began to think what was about to come. I thought I will never feel like this again, I could feel my pulse going out of control because I had reached the pinnacle point. The end. The finale. The epilogue. I sat with these thoughts arising thinking I was going to cry and then BOOM! the ginormous screen and monstrous speakers told us about the quality of theater we were in, which brought me back to reality. The previews then began to run and then the first scene.

That was it. I was consumed, wrapped up in the screen, in the story not having a chance to breathe. I don't think I have ever sweat that much in an air conditioned room without moving. My pits were drenched, my back was hot and sticky I was so lost in the epic story that I wasn't even aware of my surroundings. And then it was over. The credits rolled and I didn't move. If I moved it would mean it was really over. If I moved it would mean the story that I grew up with, the movies I obsessed over, the actors I was in love with would no longer come on the screen in a new tale. I finally moved when the people I were with were like "Yo let's go you weirdo."

I returned home and didn't even have time to soak it all in. I then woke up 3 hours later to go to work. During the day I received a text from my brother (who was not able to attend the midnight showing) to see if I would go with him. Duh. I would not miss a chance to see this movie that I thought I had lost. I could see it again. So when I got home from work and ate some food, we were off to see it (in 2-D). And again I was captivated, it was like a movie I hadn't seen before. I picked up on new things, noticed small details that were unbelievably perfect, I fell in love even more. I finally got home at 9 p.m. I would say that was the craziest 24 hours of my life, the best 24 hours of my life. And now the most depressing because I have finally been able to sit in my room, alone and think. Every scene running through my head, every feeling, thought, detail in the books and movies. The entire series. I know that I will never feel like I do right now (it was similar to finishing the seventh book but this time no more movies to look forward to).

I do realize there is Pottermore left. There is still the theme park to visit. I'm sure Rowling will tell us a new story in the future. But this thing that has always been part of my life is now gone. I'm not quite sure what to do with myself. I'm not going to leave you with any side notes today because it would feel like a dishonest to Harry but also I don't have much as my life has been consumed with Harry. But I will say I so wish I had the words of J.K. Rowling to describe this feeling I have right now because it is nothing I've ever felt. Of course there will always be the DVD's and seeing it in theaters again and again and again. There are just no words to describe the piece of my heart that is now missing.

Monday, July 11, 2011

The Harry Potter Obsession

"Don't cry because it's over. Smile because it happened." - Dr. Seuss

I cannot think of a better quote that sums up my life this week. The end is coming swiftly and a lot quicker than I was expected. No, I'm not about to die, this is much worse (OK, that is an exaggeration but it sure feels worse). I'm talking about the end of Harry Potter. It seems so fitting that I am writing this just after watching the live streaming of the New York premiere for the final film. For the actors it has been over for a while now. They have gone on to do other things, not necessarily better but certainly different. Daniel Radcliffe (Harry Potter, wait you should know who he plays. If you don't get off my blog) is of course on Broadway, Emma Watson has already filmed two new movies (My Week with Marilyn and The Perks of Being a Wallflower) and Rupert Grint has several new, smaller films in the works. But before we see what they have next for the world we get to first see the next fantastic (hopefully) film.

Since this blog does not give me access to see the movie before anyone else and write a review for it (I know, some people just don't realize an important person, like me, when they see one). So I will instead visit the past of Harry Potter. First I feel it necessary to rank the films on quality, like did here. My list, instead, ranks like this: Prisoner of Azkaban, Deathly Hallows Part 1, Half-Blood Prince, Sorcerer's Stone, Chamber of Secrets, Goblet of Fire and finally Order of the Phoenix. This list is strictly based on the plot relative to the books and overall sense of "that was exactly what I imagined." If I were to go off of acting, overall film quality and special effects the list would read 3, 7, 6, 4, 2, 1, 5. Yes, 3 is easily the best book, movie and overall shows the awesomeness of Harry Potter (go ahead and argue that with me if you'd like). Yes, 5 is easily the worst movie absolutely no question. Now, I am kind of biased because 4 and 5 are like my least favorite books, except that I still love them. Anyways, I have a good feeling that this next one is looking good, despite it being the shortest (according to my brother this is a bad sign, but ignore him. He knows nothing) and despite all the hype, I think it will be fantastic. Of course, I will defend these movies, books, actors, anything that deals with Harry Potter, until my death.  Even if it gets the worst reviews ever.

But all those people out there who dislike the movies, because they think none of them give the books justice, I can say I respect that. Many people are extremely loyal to the books and just see the movies because they have to. Although I won't argue that opinion, I think they're wrong. I will now try and persuade. I used to be a person who got really upset if the movies didn't live up to my exceptions (see movies 4 and 5). As I have matured, though, I have taken a new look. I like to think the movies as in an interpretation and extension of the books. I understand they are not able to fit everything in the movies, I understand things have to be more visually appealing, I also understand adding a few scenes may actually not be a bad thing, especially if JK Rowling approves it (i.e. the dancing in the tent scene in Deathly Hallows Part 1 - I'm a fan, because I thought it fit in perfectly, not to mention Rowling liked it too). So if it so happens that they extend the battle between Voldemort and Harry, I understand because you can't just talk, films require action. So my advice when all of you run to the midnight showing is just take it all in and accept it. You won't be able to change how long it is, you won't be able to change how Daniel Radcliffe says a line, you won't be able to put half-moon glasses on Dumbledore's face. So just soak it in. Accept all the choices that are made because they were made carefully. They were discussed, thought out, planned out, changed, rewritten and made sure, through their interpretation, everything worked. Not to mention Rowling was a producer on the last two films. In my view, if the creator of this world we all love is good with a change, the fans of the best series ever written should be good with those same changes.

Before I sign off and give you some tidbits I would like all of you take notice of some awesome things Harry Potter has created, all of which are on YouTube. The first is called Wizard People, which is a voice over of the entire first movie, narrating what is happening. It may sound boring but don't write it off until you watch this and my favorite. The second greatest thing is of course the Harry Potter Musical, starring Darren Criss (Blaine from Glee). This is musical is hilarious, brilliantly written and has very catchy music. The only problem with it, is it makes me really jealous I didn't think of something like it. Another thing that makes me jealous is something I'm pretty sure everyone and their mother has seen it so I won't go into too much detail except give you the link to Harry Potter Puppet Pals. The very last thing that I died at laughing is this music video. It just totally says everything every Harry Potter fan is thinking this week.

With that I give you some side notes.
1. A nice round of trailers came out today like: Meryl Streep as Margaret Thatcher in The Iron Lady, Adam Sandler's odd but looks entertaining trailer of Jack and Jill and Steven Spielberg's animated film The Adventures of Tintin. Just go to for all of those.
2. Lots of new movies I wanna see are coming out in the final weeks of summer. The ones I'm most looking forward to are: Captain America, Crazy Stupid Love, Cowboys & Aliens, 30 Minutes or Less and The Help. I seriously recommend, if you haven't already, watch all of the trailers. Especially 30 Minutes or Less. It looks hilariously stupidly awesome.
3. I saw this and loved it. I thought it was a great list and so accuarte because everyone I could think of was on the list. Just fun and interesting. Check out other lists Entertainment Weekly has cause they are kind of stupid but a great distraction from what you're suppose to. You also need to buy the Harry Potter issue of Entertainment Weekly because it is the ultimate collectors edition. It is certainly something I will keep until the day I die.

With that ... Live long and prosper.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Liz Lemon would like these shows

The many sayings of Liz Lemon: "Blurg" "What the What?!" "I want to go to there" "Nerds!" but the best, funniest moment for me was this, and it can't be written down only watched right here and this one is pretty good too.

So why do I bring up these quotes? Is it that time for me to talk about my obsession with Tina Fey? No, not yet anyway. I would say there is roughly about a month left before people freak out that they have to go back to school  and are busy frantically packing or buying school supplies. This means there is plenty time for you to catch up or start a new show for when they all come back in September.  I know I mentioned a few in my blog last week but I felt it necessary to give you a few more in further detail. Even some that are no longer running.

The first show I strongly recommend is one I had the privilege of watching during winter break last year: 30 Rock. The quotes and clips above are for you to realize you must watch this show because it's brilliant. If you only watched the first season and stopped, WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU?! I don't say this just because I have a strange obsession with the great Tina Fey (speaking of, if you prefer to read than watch TV, then please buy her book. It is worth every penny). I recommend this sitcom that began in 2006 because it 1) is really easy to get into because they are only 22 minute episodes and 2) because it is a put you in a good mood, hilariously acted and cleverly written type of show that everyone should watch. I promise you will fly through each episode, each packed with great guest stars such as Oprah (I mean come on!), Jennifer Aniston, Matt Damon, Elizabeth Banks, Will Arnett and Steve Martin to name a few. If Tina Fey isn't enough for you to: buy the seasons, rent them from the library, borrow from me or watch on NetFlix then the fact that Alec Baldwin has won 3 Golden Globes and 2 Emmy's for his role as Jack Donaghy should explain my case. Not to mention it won the Emmy for Best Comedy 3 years in a row. Essentially what all this means is watch the first season, you will not regret it.

Now to the bizillion other shows you could watch. I'm not going to summarize them for you cause you can read that anywhere else on the Internet. But what I am going to do is give you the main reason why you should watch each show I mention.

Parks and Recreation: I mentioned this last week but seriously one of the best comedy's on TV right now. The first season is very Office-like, get past that. Season 2 is where they really find their stride and identity for the characters. Leslie Knope is just as funny as Michael Scott but not as painful to watch, not to mention Amy Poehler is absolutely hilarious.
The Good Wife: If you're looking for something more serious, check out this drama that is by far the best lawyer show on TV. It has the aspect of law and crime work but not like SVU or NCIS. There is actually a storyline you have to keep up with and a unique one at that. Probably my favorite drama on television right now.
Fringe: If you liked Super 8, Lost, or anything that J.J. Abrams has done you must watch this show. It's so interesting and different but it is Sci-Fi. So I'm guessing if you don't like that kind of style you won't like this show but you could still like it even if that's so. It is so funny and the three main actors: Joshua Jackson (Mighty Ducks, Dawson's Creek), John Noble (LOTR: The Return of the King) and Anna Torv (I don't know anything she's in but she's Australian and does a great American accent, plus she's bad ass), are amazing! The writers have such great character development that the actual plot/crime isn't what is important as what's actually happening in their personal lives. Probably the most creative and well written shows on TV.

Speaking of Lost, here are some shows that have run their course and are no longer on TV but still fantastic.
Lost: All six seasons are remarkable. The show does have its slow points in season 3 and 4 but the last two are ones you will fly through because they all end with a cliff hanger. I know this show got a lot of hype, especially in the last season, but it was all totally deserved. I think probably the best show ever written in the past decade. You can pretty much find the episodes any where (Netflix) and you'll find yourself done with all 6 a lot quicker than expected.
Friday Night Lights: This is a show I recently got into and finished earlier this summer. It totally caught me off guard and turned out to be quite an addiction (shout out to Finks for making me watch it). Now I realize there is sports but that is certainly not the focus of the show, just kind of a moving force. The real quality is in the characters especially Coach Taylor and his wife and family. They are at the core of the show, and their performance is nothing short of Emmy quality. The final season already aired on DirecTV but NBC is airing it now this summer. You can catch all of them on Netflix, so get on that.
Charmed: Go ahead, laugh, make fun of me, maybe some of you will even lose your respect in my advice but this is the first ever show I got into. I watched the first 3 seasons religiously with my sister and I must say they are a guilty pleasure. Everything went downhill after Pru left so I would recommend the first 3 seasons, but actually 4 isn't that bad. Remarkably Charmed was on for 8 seasons and it used to air on TNT like all the time which was great cause I watched them after school. I kind of forgot about this show until I saw an episode on some random channel this summer and totally forgot how good it was. So if you're looking for something to get addicted to, that's just fun and different check this out.

I hope I didn't lose too many of you through all of that but totally recommend all of those shows, very entertaining. You also can't go wrong with Gilmore Girls, Dexter, Nurse Jackie, Sex and the City, Community, Grey's Anatomy or Mad Men. With that I give you some side notes.
1. Oh man my love for Melanie and Marko on So You Think You Can Dance is becoming obsessive. Everything they have done is amazing. So just for people who don't understand why I love them I give clips of their dances from week 1, week 2, week 3 and week 4. Feel free to fastforward through the beginning stuff and get to the dancing. I am also not sad about Chris and Ashley going home this week.
2. I know all you House fans are sad about Lisa Edelstein leaving the show, but she has a new gig on The Good Wife. And to that I say Woo! Her character is going to stir up the pot between Alicia and Will which I must say I'm totally looking forward to.
3. Soap operas may not be gone as soon as we thought after ABC announced that episodes will be moved to the Web. Not much information was released but I know everyone that went to college with my Mom is jumping up and down. I just don't get the fascination of soap operas, it may have to do with the horrible acting. But hey, what can you do.

With that I say... Live long and prosper.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

The Mia Hamm Era

"Failure happens all the time. It happens everyday in practice. What makes you better is how you react to it." ~ Mia Hamm

Oh the many years I spent admiring Mia Hamm. I was an active soccer player from the age of five and was obviously on the Mia Hamm band wagon. She was quick, inspiring and total girl power (kind of like the Spice Girls but I was able to relate to it a lot more, yes even more than Sporty Spice). Not to mention she had great teammates like the awesome Brandi Chastain who of course caused great controversy when she took her shirt off after scoring the winning penalty kick at the 1999 World Cup finals in California. That for me was a great moment for women and for soccer players, and made me realize you could play professionally and I wanted to. Of course that dream ended when I hit puberty and was not as fast as I thought I was; not to mention the bizillion injuries but that is beside the point. Women had someone to look up to in the sports arena which was rare and even more it was in the sport of soccer, something not very popular in the states.

I look at the sports world today and it is again dominated by men. I don't mean this post to be a feminist one but naturally I am a girl and of course support women in sports. Think about it, Mia Hamm and the other famous four (Chastain, Kristine Lilly, Julie Foudy and Joy Fawcett) were kind of the last five women in sports that were looked up to. We have tennis pros like the William sisters or Maria Sharapova, but can you think of anyone who has a more significant influence other than those five soccer players. Sure you may have the occasional gymnast or figure skater that makes the spotlight during the Olympics but what impact do they have for a long period of time? Some of them don't even make it to a second Olympic. These five soccer players were around for a decade, getting girls involved and giving them a dream of having a future in soccer.

I got the honor of seeing the USA Women's Soccer Team play twice with those five players (who are featured in a HBO documentary that I totally recommend called Dare to Dream). The first time I saw them was against Nigeria in the round robin section of the 1999 World Cup. The USA defeated them 7-1 at Soldier field, it was awesome (I was 8 at the time and inspired). The second time was on Mia and three others farewell tour of games in 2004, which was magical because it was just around the time I was questioning whether to continue playing soccer and this was a huge influence on me to continue through high school.

The reason I bring all this up is because of the disappointing 2-1 loss the USA gave up against Sweden at the World Cup today. I will admit that since I have stopped playing soccer I have lost my touch in the world of the USA team, especially after Mia and the others left. They are still fun to watch and of course are known for their excellent play in the World Cup. Women's soccer is very different than men's in that the men's is looked at as a joke and the women are actually respected.

Unfortunately today represented the first time the U.S. lost in group play at the World Cup. As disappointing as that is, I bring up the quote I posted at the beginning of this post by Mia Hamm. It should be quite interesting to see how the U.S. reacts to this loss and how they do when they face Brazil in the Quarterfinals, which is not an easy contest I assure you. I hope the women on the team look to the past for a spark, like how they haven't won a World Cup title since 1999. I hope they can find some inspiration looking at old tapes and how well the 1999 team worked together, like a running machine. They knew where each player was on the field. I hope they see the  unbelievable trust they had in each other and loyalty to each other. It was so much more than just playing a silly game with a round ball. It was getting 10 year old girls off the couch and on the field and giving hope that this is something women can do. Something women should do.

Before all the guys yell at me for being a feminist who loves women's soccer which is supposedly boring I give you some lovely side notes.
1. Can we talk about how annoying it is that once again the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox dominate the All-Star roster for the American league? That's right only 3 players on the starting lineup are from a different team. Can't the Yankees just go away already?
2. I say hell yeah to all these lockouts! We have the NFL, the NBA and now the Joffrey Ballet? Hmm odd and yet interesting. Of course I'm pulling for the NFL to make an agreement because I don't know what I'll do on Sunday's otherwise. Although, I can honestly say I don't really mind if the NBA sits out a season and it's certainly looking like they are going to go the NHL route and skip next season.
3. Even though this happened on Sunday, I have to give a shout out to Djokovic who is the first person other than Federer to beat Nadal in a Grand Slam Final. Congrats to you, sir, a very well deserved win.

With that I say... Live long and prosper

Monday, July 4, 2011

Was this blog my fate?

The Adjustment Bureau
Thompson: You can't outrun your fate, David.
David Norris: I... just disagree with you about what my fate is. I know what I feel for her and it's not gonna change. All I have are the choices that I make, and I choose her. Come what may. (clip)

500 Days of Summer
“If Tom had learned anything... it was that you can't ascribe great cosmic significance to a simple earthly event. Coincidence, that's all anything ever is, nothing more than coincidence... Tom had finally learned, there are no miracles. There's no such thing as fate, nothing is meant to be. He knew, he was sure of it now.” (clip, play at 1:46)

With the exciting life that I live and I know you’re all very jealous, I got to spend the entire Saturday evening with… my parents. So instead of going to see Midnight in Paris (with Rachel McAdams and Owen Wilson) we decided to stay in, be bums and rent the Adjustment Bureau. It is certainly a movie I wanted to see, not to mention my love for Matt Damon and Emily Blunt, so I had high expectations. The movie as good, I’d say a solid 2 stars if not 2.5, very entertaining and a very continuous plot, which I liked.

What I found most interesting to the movie and the coincidence it had on another movie I watched the next day was the discussion of fate. When I think of fate, I would categorize it in the religious dictionary. I would not consider myself a very religious person but in fact fate does not necessarily have to be discussed in the religious factor. Although there were certainly some religious messages the Adjustment Bureau, it did make me think whether I believe in fate. After the movie talked a little about it with my mom but then just headed to bed without another thought about it.

Until the next night where I found myself even more pathetically home alone (my parents had a double date, which means they had more friends than me that night) and had no real plans to watch anything so just started flipping through the channels. I ended up watching the ends of all three Lord of the Rings (Fellowship was on Starz, Two Towers on TNT west coast and Return of the King on TNT), parts of Oceans 11, the end of Twilight: New Moon (I know, guilty pleasure) and the whole of Twilight: Eclipse (I swear nothing else was on) but not before I watched all of 500 Days of Summer. 500 Days is currently playing like six times a day on the premium channels (which is why I love being home). For a while now I’ve just caught parts of the movie I fell in love with two summers ago but I finally got to watch from beginning to end for the first time in a long time.

The reason for the discussion of fate is because 500 Days also addresses if it is true and by the end of the movie Tom (Joesph Gordon-Levitt) is unsure if he believes in fate (but by his actions he actually does). TIME OUT. If you haven’t seen this movie, stop reading my blog, go watch it now, and come back cause it’s an amazing movie. If you’re too lazy to do that or don’t have access to the movie go look up the synopsis and then come back, also do this with the Adjustment Bureau. I’ll wait.

Now that we are all on the same page, I thought it was kinda funny that I ended up watching these movies in the same weekend because they are actually quite similar. Do we have free will? Do we actually have a path that we are on, waiting to find the right person, the right job, and the right life? As I was trying to come up with what I believed in I decided it was too difficult for me to argue about this in my head.

So while I was watching 500 Days in the comfort of my living room I had also been Gchatting my friend in Colorado (Shout out to Bayci) and decided to confide her in my theories and asked for hers. In the end with her opinions in mind I think fate is a tricky thing. The Adjustment Bureau believes that we all have fate and have a right to decide what that is. I agree on that as far as, yes we all should be able to decide what happens in our life but I don’t think it has anything to do with a God planning it for us. I think we make our plans and decide whether we like them and want to pursue them. David believes it is fate that keeps him running into Elise. In what 500 Days of Summer shows is that you can think you have a fate, like you are suppose to be with someone but then have your world turned upside down. Only to eventually believe that something else is fate, because the next girl you like is named Autumn. So the quote above is actually what Tom believes, before what happens with Autumn. That quote, actually, may in fact lie what I truly believe.

I’m not sure if I can stretch either of the things in these movies to fate, especially because they are movies. I think things may just happen to be coincidence. When I start thinking of fate it freaks me out. Does that mean I’m meant to be somewhere, at a specific time, doing a specific thing to find my true love. I'm not sure if that's true, but in life if that just so happens then hey, I’m not complaining.

Before my brain explodes at indecision here are a few side notes for you movie fans.
1. The Hobbit! The Hobbit! The Hobbit! It is going strong, my friends, into production as they released three photos a couple weeks ago and my excitement grows in small increments. Since LOTR is my all-time favorite movie (yes all three are just one condensed movie for me), I am super duper excited about the prequel Peter Jackson wrote and is producing and directing. Who’s ready to see some harry feet! (see the pictures here)
2. Speaking of Harry, it is coming very close to that time of the year folks. The end. The finale. The destruction. Today marks the last day of double digits. That’s right just 10 days left until Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part II comes out (meaning Friday, July 15 will be a movie day, duh, instead of a TV day. Which means Monday, July 18 I will discuss the Emmy nominations).
3. A) Congrats to Transformers 3 on winning the box office in its opening weekend making $97.4 million. B) Happy Independence Day (now go watch that awful movie).

With that I say… Live long and prosper.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Living vicariously through television

“You heard me. If you’re going to dish it out, you gotta be able to lick it up. Fat people are jolly for a reason. Fat repels people but joy attracts them. Now, I know everyone’s laughing at your cruel jokes, but nobody is inviting you to the prom, so you can either be fat and jolly, or a skinny bitch. It’s up to you. – Laura Linney as Cathy Jamison in season 1 of The Big C

Over this fine summer break I had the pleasure of curiously going through what shows were OnDemand. Coming across The Big C on Showtime, I remembered Laura Linney winning the Golden Globe for Best Actress in a Musical (now we have to have a musical category since the creation of Glee) or Comedy Series for that exact show. After seeing Love Actually and falling in love with Linney’s character (she’s the one who is in love with Carl and has a very dependent brother) and then seeing her play Abigail Adams in the John Adams miniseries I thought I’d give the show a try. I must say I am extremely glad I did.

The first season aired last summer so I had all 13 episodes to my disposal and I will proudly admit, I finished in three days. The quote you see above is from the very first episode where you find out that a suburban wife and mother is diagnosed with stage 4-melanoma cancer. If you don’t know, stage 4 is the worst stage of cancer and melanoma is what I understand is an intense skin cancer (yes I clarified this information as I am not in the medical field but my sister is so there you go). To get to the point, Cathy gets pretty much 1-year to live and her whole life changes. It’s hilarious. Now it may sound bad of me to call this show, which has its moments of sadness, a funny show about cancer, but that is its exact goal. It shows a great perspective of someone who has cancer and how life changes. I will warn you, after the first episode, she has yet to tell her family and so it is a nice journey to figure out if she ever does (which may explain why I watched it so fast).

The reason I have inserted the quote above (actually watch Linney’s brilliance of the scene here) is because 1. I died of laughter and 2. I think it does a good job of showing how Cathy acts now. After learning about Cathy’s uptight personality as the show progresses, I believe she would not have said this to an obese teenager. After being diagnosed with this life threatening disease, Cathy is more honest, actually speaking her mind. This totally shows how cancer can sometimes wake up a person and gives them a restart in their life. For example, without ruining too much, Cathy does the following in season 1: wants to build a pool in a yard that is too small, she buys a convertible on the spot and in the funniest scene of the season she shoots a school bus with a paintball gun. I recommend through illegal download, illegal websites or if you have access to Showtime OnDemand to watch this very funny show. I have strong predictions that the show and Linney will be up for an Emmy (which are announced July 14) and Linney has a good chance of winning it.

With that, the first episode of the second season aired this past Monday, June 27 and I will say I was pleasantly happy. The show did not lose its gusto or its comedic feel, picking up right where it left off. The supporting characters, like Cathy’s husband, brother and son (who is actually in Super 8 and fantastic in it), are extremely funny and do a good job. But with no hesitation do I say Linney carries and owns this show. I come back every week to watch her and the things that she does. I sometimes wish I myself would be a little more spontaneous or doing something a little more dangerous like Cathy. But that is one reason why we have television because we get to live vicariously through these fictional characters.

And that concludes my first television post, but alas not without a few side notes on summer television.
1. If you are frustrated with the crap that is on network TV in the summer I give you So You Think You Can Dance. It. Is. Awesome. Shout out to J Co who made me watch the top-20 and elimination show. I am now hooked. I will here and now declare Melanie will win. She is by far my favorite. Watch here and you’ll understand why.
2. If you still have downtime after watching awesome dancers, I give you three shows to watch on Netflix instant play (if you don’t have this get it, it’s amazing). So either watch Arrested Development, Friday Night Lights or Parks and Recreation. You’ll scream in rage when you finish all 3 seasons of AD and realize that’s it, you’ll fall in love with Matt Saracen in FNL (the final season is airing now on Friday night’s at 7 p.m. on NBC) and just get past season 1 of Parks (which is only 6 episodes) and then you’ll thank me after you watch season 2.
3. And my finally, a photo was released a couple days ago from the set of Dexter. I don’t know about you, but should I feel bad when I root for this guy that’s killing people? Who cares, can’t wait for season six, the quality of guest actors is great. Check out the guest actors and photo here.

 With that I say…  live long and prosper.