Category Archives: Movies
If you don’t know my friend Melissa Leaman, you should. Melissa is a great author with passionate opinions, impeccable taste in television and so much more. Mel is always happy to discuss The Vampire Diaries, One Tree Hill, Teen Wolf, and Buffy the Vampire Slayer with me and I always love to hear her thoughts. We also share detest for shipper wars, political atrocities and chips with calories. Be sure to follow Melissa on Twitter, on her personal blog and on her tumblr. Right after you read her brilliant, (more than) 10 random answers.
Blue. Yankee blue to be exact.
Do you read fanfic?:
Obsessively. And I kind of wish more people did. There’s a lot of really awful fanfic out there and that’s usually what gets referenced in media as a joke. Plus for every one good story there’s ten “what the hell is this and why can’t you spell anything and holy wow that is not how shotgunning works” terrible stories. But the good ones are impressive. A lot of aspiring writers seem to be working out their style through fanfic these days and if you’re willing to ask people for recommendations, you can find 50,000 word epics that are better than a lot of books & don’t require an indepth understanding of a show.
And of course, if you just want some good porn, that’s there too. Just not 50 Shades.
Person you’d most like to have dinner with tonight
Last episode of television that made you cry
It feels like it’s been way too long since I’ve cried at a newly aired episode of TV. But probably something from Grey’s Anatomy.
The drink you order when someone else is buying
Assuming it’s not a cheap happy hour…some variation on a martini. Huckleberry ones preferably but that tends to be a Northwest thing.
Song you will never get enough of
“Behind Blue Eyes” by The Who. “Livin’ in the Future” by Bruce Springsteen. “Cocaine Blues” by Johnny Cash. “Train in Vain” by The Clash.
The name of your secret spy identity
If I told you, I’d have to kill you.
Tumblr. Yes or no?
YES. A thousand times yes. The more I’ve gotten into tumblr, the more my own blog falls by the wayside. It’s just so accessible and easy to use and definitely easier to engage followers than standard blogs. I’m just sorry for any non-Teen Wolf fans lately. I’m a wee bit obsessed.
Last movie you saw in the theater and did you like it?
Technically Argo–which was a thoroughly amazing movie, but it was a repeat viewing. The last new to me movie was Amour. I enjoyed it even more than I expected.
Favorite musical instrument
Drums. Specifically guys who play the drums. That still counts right?
If you were forced to be on a reality show, which would it be?
I’d create a new one. “Survival of the Fittest”. Family and friends nominate the most moronic people they know who then fight to the death Hunger Games style. Then I’d cheat my way on and machete my way to victory.
The movie you can recite the most lines from
Oh gosh. Probably Mean Girls, Newsies, and Empire Strikes Back.
Ferris wheel, Roller Coaster or Arcade?
Roller coaster. Always. Just not the ones with giant hills. I’ll take pitch-dark, spins, & twists any day.
Holiday you’d most like to abolish
Columbus Day. It’s such a bullshit holiday and celebrates genocide and prejudice. Nice one USA.
You’re a groupie. Who’s the band?
Your favorite food to make for yourself
Mashed potatoes. Ultimate comfort food and I make damn good mashed potatoes.
Best book you’ve ever read
This is a stupid unfair question. But I probably reread “Dealing with Dragons” by Patricia Wrede, “The Emily Trilogy” by LM Montgomery, “The Chronicles of Narnia”, and “Rainbow Six” by Tom Clancy the most.
The Pacific Northwest coastline. A stormy night on an Oregon beach is full of good, bad, and haunting smells. Also old books.
Waffles, Pancakes or French Toast?
In the morning, I’m making waffles.
Best GIF you’ve ever seen
Travel and/or flight ritual?
Unless making sure I have books to read is a ritual, not really any. But I do try to bring coloring books, crayons, and a couple toys with me. I color anyway because it’s fun but it’s been a life saver if small kids are on a plane when I travel. Parents get treated like shit by other passengers and being able to help them out a little makes everyone happier. And it’s gotten me free booze from the flight attendants later.
Your favorite thing to do alone
Well there is one thing…
hahaha! Appropriate answer would be read or sing and dance around the house to cheesy pop songs.
Newsboys. The first one I paid for was I think OzzFest in 2001. That and the co-headlining Green Day/Blink 182 are the ones that stand out.
Cake or Bacon?
Maple bacon cake.
Pajamas in public. Yes or no?
That’s why drive-thrus were invented.
My friend Dianne Sylvan is a well known author, blogger and tweeter. She has incredible insight on television, movies, and life in general. You will increase the value of your life by following her on twitter and by reading her blog. You can purchase all of her wonderful books on Amazon.com, including the novels in her “Shadow World” series. For the 2nd time, she was kind enough to take a time out from writing her next novel to answer some very important questions for me. VERY important.
1. Favorite color:
2. Do you read fanfic?
I used to, but I never had as much fun reading it as I did writing it. The last fic I wrote was, well, porn, set in the Supernatural universe.
3. Last episode of television that made you cry:
The Vampire Diaries, “Memorial.” The scene at the very end with Alaric’s ghost just killed me.
4. Song you will never get enough of:
Adam Lambert, “Fever.”
5. Favorite musical instrument:
I’ve always wanted to learn piano, which is part of why the heroine of my books plays piano; but I also love the violin. Violinists are inherently hot. (I’ve actually got one of those planned for the series too.)
6. The movie you can recite the most lines from:
A tie between Jurassic Park and Ghostbusters. I have both memorized from start to finish.
7. Your favorite food to make for yourself:
Plain old yellow cake with chocolate chips in.
8. Waffles, pancakes, or French toast?
Waffles all the way.
9. First concert:
Here’s where I show how old/dorky I am – New Kids on the Block. I need an app for my phone that, every time I mutter about “kids these days and their awful music,” just texts me in big letters: HANGIN’ TOUGH.
10. Cake or bacon?
Well, I’m a vegetarian, so I’m gonna go with cake. The whole bacon obsession thing going on right now really freaks me out.
I watched the Oscars last night and so did a few of my friends. Some of them agreed to talk to me about it!! See below for insight from Jema, Kate Linnea Welsh, Cindy, Christina, Melissa Miller, Thomas Galvin and Melissa Leaman.
Are you happy with the Best Picture Winner?
Jema: I haven’t seen it. Happy for Ben though. That beard is dedication.
Kate: Yes! I loved Argo. A lot.
Christina: I was surprised, but satisfied. Argo was damn good.
Cindy: Haven’t seen any of the nominated movies yet, but based on everything I’ve heard, sure. lol
Christina: I only saw three of them, and if was just between those three, I’d have still picked Argo. (For the record, I only saw: Argo, Django Unchained, and Silver Linings Playbook)
Melissa M: So happy. I LOVED Argo. So much. It was my favorite movie of the year, with Silver Linings Playbook a pretty close second for entirely different reasons. I just thought Argo was masterfully put together and I will never get over Ben not being up for director. I hold grudges.
Thomas: Silver Linings Playbook was the only one of these that I managed to drag myself off the couch to see, but I really liked it. You know, aside from the whole “where the hell is Katniss’ bow and arrow” thing.
Melissa L: I was very happy with Argo. The only one of the nominees that I haven’t seen yet is Amour (it hasn’t been showing in town until this weekend) and I think Argo overall deserved it most. It was a stellar movie. And to speak to Thomas’ below point (an excellent one) I would consider Argo in the fun movie category simply because everyone I knew was on the edge of their seat, despite it being a historical film. The suspense and drama were there, where so many nominees lacked any real engagement with the audience.
Thomas: Here’s the thing, though. I think the fact that so many of us haven’t seen all of the nominated films, or almost any of them, is very telling. The Oscars is trying to be all edgy and cool and relevant, which is why they started wearing a backwards baseball cap and listening to 70s rock music in the gym, and also why they hired Seth MacFarlane to host. The problem is, it’s not really the format of the award shows that’s out of touch, it’s the awards themselves. Silver Linings Playbook was a great movie, but The Avengers couldn’t even get a nomination? Same thing with The Dark Knight a few years ago. The Oscars thinks they’re “above” fun movies, and that makes them irrelevant to a lot of people. Silver Linings was probably the movie out of the ones nominated, but … so what?
Thomas: Also, I’m happy Zero Dark Thirty didn’t win. We have enough rednecks in this country just itching for the chance to waterboard a brown person without Hollywood telling them that that’s how we caught Bin Laden.
How about Best Actress?
Jema: Love Jennifer. So happy for her.
Kate: I haven’t seen that one yet, but I like Jennifer Lawrence in general. I did think Jessica Chastain was great in Zero Dark Thirty, so I was rooting for her, but I’m not upset at the result.
Christina: Pretty sure Jennifer Lawrence can do no wrong. This was another huge surprise. I actually gasped when they called her name, and for a brief second, wondered if I was imagining it? Here’s the thing: Silver Linings Playbook was a GOOD movie. I really liked it, and I especially liked the topic it tackled. But I never would have guessed it would be nominated for Best Picture at the Oscars, you know, let alone all these acting awards. I’m not saying she didn’t deserve the award, because let’s face it, Jennifer Lawrence was excellent in it. Totally convincing. It was just a surprise to me all around. A pleasant surprise, because girl deserves ALL the awards.
Cindy: Again, I haven’t seen the movie, but I was rooting for her in a way that was very unfair to the rest of the women. To be honest, I probably wouldn’t have switched over to watch the last hour of the show after “The Walking Dead” if I hadn’t wanted to see her win her first Oscar so much. If Chastain would have beaten her out I would have held an irrational grudge against her forever.
Melissa M: So. Freaking. Happy. Jennifer Lawrence is a national treasure. I don’t have a problem with KStew like so many do, but in every way KStew is awkwardly awkward, JLaw is adorably awkward. She just says what she is thinking and it’s amazing to watch her. Plus she is a flawless actress to boot, which I suppose is the point of this category.
Thomas: Jennifer Lawrence is basically my favorite person in the whole world. She’s like this beautiful tomboy fangirl adorkaclutz who somehow stumbled into being one of the most bankable actors in Hollywood. My only problem with her winning Best Actress was that she didn’t also take home an award for “Being Jennifer Lawrence.”
Thomas: Although if she had joined hands with Quvenzhané Wallis and threatened to eat poison berries unless they were both allowed to win, I wouldn’t have minded.
Melissa L: There was no one I wanted to win more than J-Law. She’s perfection and she more than earned it.
Was there one specific Oscar moment that you loved?
Jema: Jennifer Lawrence falling over was amazing and perfect for who she is.. she is just a normal girl. I adore her. i love her dorkiness and she is ‘awkward’ but relatable unlike KStew who needs to go away. Also, the 9 year old (its midnight here.. I can’t remember her name.. oops!) nominee flexing as she was called for the best actress category. Adorable.
Kate: The Sound of Music joke when they introduced Christopher Plummer! That completely made my night.
Christina: The Sound of Music joke was legit funny, and my first laugh-out-loud moment of the night (sad, eh?). I’d have to say the ONE moment I loved… Ben Affleck’s breathless, yet coherent acceptance speech for Best Picture. His face when they won was excellent. He was in total shock, still managed to say sweet things about his (awesome) wife, and had a meaningful message that people can actually take to heart, you know? Unlike Anne Hathaway’s “message,” which was just SO condescending. (I have a DEEP hatred for her… I just do). Also, I think next year there should be a category for Best Beard. Ben would win, hands down.
Cindy: Since I only watched the last hour, Jennifer winning & of course Affleck with that fantastically perfect speech.
Melissa M: Like everyone else, I thought the Sound of Music gag was perfect. But, because I’m mean, my favorite moment is probably how Catherine Zeta Jones did an awful lip sync and then Jennifer Hudson came out and made her look like a fool by blowing it away. Live.
Thomas: The fact that the Oscars introduced “Jaws me off” to the pop culture lexicon.
Melissa L: I’ll ditto laughing at the Sound of Music gag. But I’m not actually a big Jennifer Hudson fan and yet she was by far my favorite moment. The show’s focus on music at the movies (the theme for the year) had a lot of Oscar winners on stage, but Jennifer was the performance that showed she EARNED her award.
Thomas: You know what they need to do? Have an Oscars all-star team. The Best Screenwriter of the year gets to write a movie starring the Best Actor and Best Actress, scored by Best Whatever They Call The Guy Who Does the Music, directed by Best Director, etc etc, just to see what happens when you get the most talented people in the world working on a single project. My prediction: it would be a total train wreck.
Is there any specific Oscar race that you were hoping would go a different way?
Jema: I am really disappointed Hugh didn’t win. He deserved it.
Kate: Not a specific race, I guess, but I would have liked Zero Dark Thirty to get some recognition. Though I wouldn’t give it Best Picture over Argo. Really, I would have wanted one of those to get Directing, but neither were even nominated.
Christina: Well, if only Argo had been nominated in the Director category… But as it was on stage… DEF Best Supporting Actress (see my complaint above. Hathaway is just the worst.) I would have given it to Sally Field. I didn’t even see Lincoln, but she’s fabulous and I love her. At least Sally has humility, right? “It came true!” *ROLLS MY EYES UNTIL THEY FALL OUT OF MY HEAD* You’re the worst, Hathaway. The Worst. AND you’re from New Jersey. Salt in the wound.
Melissa M: Obviously, director. But given the choices that were available, I’m super happy with Ang Lee. He’s great. But as far as the nominations as they were – Daniel Day Lewis. I do not like him. At all. And I think what Hugh did with Jean Valjean was so much better than what DDL did with Lincoln. Sorry America. Vive La France! 24601! (Just kidding… USA USA USA. Better?)
Thomas: I didn’t really have a dog in most of these races. For me the Oscars are just another night to sit on my couch and make sarcastic comments on Twitter, and I can do that no matter who wins.
Melissa L: If we’re counting upset about nominations, I’m still annoyed that Ben wasn’t in the director race and that John Goodman didn’t get a best supporting nom for Argo (he was fantastic). But as to the actual winners? I wanted anyone but Daniel Day Lewis. And while Paperman was an excellent animated short, I was hoping “Fresh Guac” would pull an upset. If y’all haven’t watched the shorts yet, get on that.
Thomas: I don’t get all the Anne Hathaway hate, so I’m kind of glad she won just because it pissed so many people off.
Cindy: LOL! I don’t get it either, Thomas. I feel like I missed something important in pop culture because I don’t know. As far as her winning though, I could care less. Also, I’m glad I was watching TWD & missed her nipples. Now I only have to navigate the online photo galleries.
Melissa L: Most of the time I like Anne Hathaway. This particular awards season though, she’s felt a bit Taylor Swifty to me is all. With that “oh you really like me” thing over & over. There’s someone who did the same thing a couple years ago and i found it grating then too. As for the ongoing hate of Hathaway, I don’t get that.
There is some controversy about the Gone With the Wind Score being played as Quentin Tarantino collected the award for Best Original Screenplay for Django Unchained. Were you offended? If so, why? If not, why not?
Jema: Who cares? I mean.. Who REALLY CARES???
Kate: I thought it was weird – a bunch of the music choices were weird – but I wasn’t offended.
Cindy: I don’t understand why panties were bunched. Why can’t it be timely BECAUSE they were both about the same era of time? It was Oscar winning music that has somehow universally come to represent the time of the civil war. Anyway, the entire show was produced & directed poorly. Period. What happened to playing the winners music? Didn’t that used to be the norm? Maybe it’s time for the orchestra to take a hike altogether. After the musical extravaganza that was last nights show, I doubt many would object.
Christina: I don’t know. It was an odd choice. But so was playing the Forrest Gump Suite for the people who did the documentary about the homeless artist chick. I wasn’t offended by it, and I don’t get why people are ALWAYS so quick to be offended on behalf of everyone else. I guarantee you it wasn’t MEANT to be offensive. Hell, the orchestra wasn’t even in the same building. There’s a chance they were just told to play something, and not necessarily told WHAT to play (not likely, but possible). They played the Forrest Gump song at least two times. Maybe I wasn’t paying attention, but I didn’t hear any other repeats. Besides, the whole show was just terribly orchestrated (ha!), so anything is possible. People need to stop looking for things to take offense at.
Cindy: We need to do one of these things to vent our issues with over-sensitive whiny babies.
Melissa M: Nope. I mean, was it in poor taste? Yes. But of allllllll the things to be offended by last night, whether during the show or the aftermath, that was the least offensive to me. By a lot.
Thomas: I was asleep. They need to schedule these things for not in the middle of the damn night. It’s great that the sun doesn’t get to you until three hours after us, West Coast, but seriously, you’re only ¼ of our country and the rest of us have to work in the morning.
Melissa L: (I’m going to preface this by saying that if my comment is taken out, I’ll understand, but I’m going to be a bit more personal since I was involved in the discussion last night.)
Here was the thing. A few people on Twitter last night (including myself) made a brief comment at the time about the poor taste of the Academy in playing the GWTW score over a Django Unchained win. And that we found it offensive. That was it. That was the entire commentary. It was no more than the fact that I said I didn’t like the way Seth sexualized a nine year old or that I found the entire boob song intro offensive. We said it, we moved on. The comments were apparently perceived as an attack against GWTW itself. And yet somehow after I tried to simply explain the situation and where the offense was found, I (and those who agreed with me) are overly sensitive, getting our panties in a twist, and whiny babies. (Did I catch all the insults to my opinions from my ‘friends’? I’d hate to miss one).
There was no conspiracy about the evil supremacist Academy. We just stated that something was in poor taste. And none of us who made the comment about it being offensive in the first place made any indication that there was something wrong with people who thought it was fine. I’m still offended, but believe me, I don’t give a shit about when they played GWTW anymore. I’m offended at the attacks on my opinions and my person.
Adele won for “Skyfall” as Best Song. What is your all time favorite Oscar winning song?
Jema: Didn’t Toy Story win? Or Monsters Inc? Those. I live for that stuff.
Kate: “White Christmas” (1942!)
Cindy: “The Way We Were” (1973) or “You Must Love Me” (1996) I totally just went through the whole list. LOL
Christina: Haha, I had to go through the list too. Like I remember this kind of stuff. I’d have to go with “Falling Slowly” (2007). I can’t even think about that song without getting the feels. Or “Streets of Philadelphia,” (1993) but mostly because I love Philadelphia.
Melissa M: Sentimental- “Falling Slowly.” Just because now we all can say “Oscar Winner Eminem” it would be “Lose Yourself.” And not just because Barbra Streisand was the one who announced it that year. But that was pretty cool too.
Thomas: People have favorite Oscar winning songs? Did Metallica ever win?
Cindy: We’re girls, Thomas. You’re lucky we aren’t talking about favorite Oscar dresses of all time. Actually, thats not a bad idea…
Melissa L: “The Way You Look Tonight” (1936), “Moon River” (1961), “Falling Slowly”. I am kind of partial to the ‘94 nominees though since every single song was from a fairytale movie.
Was there a movie you loved that you feel wasn’t given the full honor of the Oscars?
Kate: Oh, I should have saved my Zero Dark Thirty answer for this question. And maybe Hunger Games.
Cindy: This year? I didn’t really have a dog in the race. I’m still pissed about Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, pt2 was ignored last year. For the body of work of the franchise it at least deserved a nomination.
Christina: I didn’t see many of the nominated movies, so I don’t really feel like I can say any movie was “robbed.” However, I was extremely surprised that Ewan McGregor was not nominated for Supporting Actor for The Impossible when Naomi Watts was (and hers was in a Leading Role!). I don’t know if you saw that one, but… GOD. Talk about a downer. But if we’re judging nominations based on how well an actor does in the movie (is this not the criteria?), then I would have given it to McGregor before Watts. McGregor made me ugly cry. In the theater. Alone. Watts did not. Simple (non numerical) math. I wouldn’t have given him the award (hearts for Christoph Waltz!), but I would have at least nominated him.
Cindy: Word, Christina. So much word. I hate when shit like that happens. Like Kate & Leo in Titanic. She was great, but so was he. I mean, what is the criteria for performance here. Oh, that’s right, the lead actor slots never has enough slots. Lead actress, well, they sometimes have to *reach*, and I think they did exactly that this year.
Christina: Speaking of reaches, I was very surprised by Weaver getting the nom for Supporting Actress for Silver Linings Playbook. Sure, I guess she did a good job, but you know what the first thing I said when I got out of the theater was? “I really hated the mother. All she did was cry! She was on the verge of tears in every scene! I could have done without her.” So, yeah… being a teary-eyed blubberer is fine acting now? Maybe I’m uncultured.
Melissa M: I don’t think so…. But in general, I really wish Sci-Fi/Action/Fantasy got more love in things that have nothing to do with FX or sound or editing or some combination of those. Things like Harry Potter and Dark Knight deserve more love. Just because Return of the King won everything, doesn’t mean the Academy is off the hook every other year.
Thomas: The Avengers. Joss Whedon is a golden god and pretty much everything he touches turns into pure perfection. Someone needs to slip that man Jennifer Lawrence’s resume. She’s already been in an X-Men movie! She’s like this close!
Melissa L: I’m with the others who think Sci-Fi/Action/Fantasy should get more attention in main stream categories. Jennifer did amazing in Silver Linings. She also did amazing in Hunger Games. But only one will get the attention. And what Joss accomplished in directing The Avengers movie deserved some recognition as well. Unfortunately, the movies people actually watch will continue to have to accept their awards at the People’s Choice & Teen Choice Awards.
Melissa M: Just popping back in to say if Joss Whedon ever won for Director (and I think Avengers deserved more recognition than it got) I would probably be put in a padded room for the epic freak out that would ensue. I mean… just thinking about it is making me a little giddy. Also, if this J.Law/Whedon pairing that Thomas has suggested never happens I will never get over it. Make. It. Happen.
If you were to ever win an Oscar, who would be the first person you’d thank?
Jema: The person who cast me.
Kate: Probably whoever hired me or was otherwise responsible for getting me involved in the movie.
Christina: I probably wouldn’t be able to thank anyone because I would have passed out in my seat after they called my name. Once I came to, I’d knock myself unconscious by falling on the stairs (unlike Jennifer Lawrence who had the grace to get back up). However, if by some miracle this was all avoided, I’d have to thank… yeah, I agree with y’all… whoever got me on the movie in the first place.
Cindy: Exactly what Christina said. lol
Melissa M: Well, if I actually had my wits about me (which is unlikely, and it would probably go somewhat like Christina said) I would thank my Dad. He taught me to love film and the arts and to appreciate it even if people would say it is stupid and worthless and pretentious. He was the best for that and if I was ever up there, it would be because of him. But in reality I’d probably just word vomit inane nonsense and forget everyone who I’ve ever known.
Thomas: Nobody. I’d just stare at the camera, jaw clenched, eyes twitching, that little vein in my forehead pulsing, just daring them to start the Jaws music. Come on, punk. Make my day.
Melissa L: IF I didn’t freak out, I’d say my mom for reading Peter Pan to me when I was little and teaching me to fall in love with stories. I’d end by saying I was going to go stalk Jennifer Lawrence now.
Lots of good stuff in this week’s list of FAVORITES!! I really hope you guys check them all out. I never write about stuff I only kind of like just a little bit maybe.
End of Watch - I remember seeing previews for this movie and thinking that it looked pretty awesome, even though (don’t hate me) I am not the biggest Jake Gyllenhaal fan. The movie about two Los Angles cops was released on DVD last week and over the weekend my husband & I finally had the chance to check it out. Both of us LOVED it. A few minutes in I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to take the shaky, hand held camera angles for a full movie but in no time at all I was too swept up in the action and the stories to notice and when I did, it only added to the intensity of the narrative. I was easily pulled into the lives of these partners and really grew to love their relationship. I won’t spoil the ending but it caused a lot of very different and very acute emotions. Grab it from the Red Box or On Demand as soon as you can. Great movie.
Oldies but Goodies - The husband and I were in serious movie watching mode this weekend and not just new ones. We also watched Reality Bites & The Crow for probably the millionth and billionth times. I love both of these movies but the best parts of each one are their soundtracks. AMAZING compilations of music and, for me, an instant time warp via my iPod. Reality Bites is full of indie rock and pop including the forever famous, “Stay,” from Lisa Loeb. The Crow is almost entirely industrial and hard rock from bands like Rage Against the Machine and Pantera. Favorites from Reality Bites are The Juliana Hatfield 3′s “Spin the Bottle” and “Going, Going, Gone” from The Posies. It’s harder to pick favorites on The Crow but I have to go with the Nine Inch Nails cover of Joy Division’s “Dead Souls” and The Cure’s remastered “Burn,” both of which are mainstays on my annual Halloween Party Playlist. Both soundtracks are available on iTunes and Amazon. If you don’t have them, get them. Music this great is timeless.
The Carrie Diaries - The newest CW show is SO MUCH MORE than I ever hoped that it would be. I watched it online a few days after the Pilot aired because every TV genius I follow on Twitter was raving about it. They were not wrong. It’s absolutely darling and so much fun. As a huge Sex and the City fan, I had my doubts about this “prequel” series. Here’s the thing, though: If you loved SATC as I did, it’s pretty easy to distance yourself from the Carrie of this show and the Carrie you grew to love so long ago. They are the same but different (in case that makes any sense). And if you hated SATC or never watched it, you don’t have to be worried about what you hated or what you missed! Because it’s different! AND OMG THE MUSIC!! Amazing in epic proportions. I strongly urge anyone and everyone who is a fan of or can relate to nostalgia or teen drama or growing up or The 80′s, in general, to watch this show!! You will not be sorry!! And if you are, you have my permission to TP my house! The Carrie Diaries airs every Monday at 8PM EST on The CW!!
HDMX Portable Speaker Case - My sister sent me this little speaker system for Christmas and it’s pretty much the best gift ever. As most of you know, I am OBSESSED with my music. I have an iPod dock in almost every room of my house. Which is great when I am hanging out in one room. But, when I am cleaning or cooking or doing a bunch of stuff at the same time, this little set is PERFECT. My iPod zips safely inside so even if my clumsy ass drops it, no damage will be done. And 3 AAA batteries last a really long time. The sound will not blow your mind but the convenience and the price will. Most online stores including Macy’s and Bed Bath & Beyond sell this gem for less than $10.
Just wanted to share with you all a few of the things I am in love with today/this week/in general. I promise to try and be better about posting a list at least weekly. It’s fun and it gives me a chance to rave about the pop culture things that are making me happy! Hopefully you will listen to me and love them too! Enjoy!
Argo - This movie came out AGES ago and I feel like I might be the last person on the planet to see it but HOLY CRAP am I so glad that I finally did. Amazing film. I was on the edge of my seat for the entire two hours, wringing my hands to a painful degree. The moments of Hollywood levity were greatly appreciated and really helped balance out the entertainment value. A very well told and exciting story that left me with a happy feeling (and an ulcer) in the end. My favorite of the Oscar films I’ve seen so far (which include Silver Linings Playbook and Zero Dark Thirty). I will also be jumping on the band wagon raging about Ben Affleck’s Best Director snub. His acting in the movie wasn’t too shabby either. Run, do not walk to the nearest theater to see this movie if you have not done so and then come thank me. I’ll wait here.
The Following - An incredible new TV series airing on Fox. The pilot was an absolute blast to watch and not just because I have a totally healthy interest in serial killers. Kevin Bacon is the bee’s knees as a former FBI agent assisting on a case he once thought was closed for good. The show is scary and intense with just the right amount of intrigue and gore. I loved almost everything about the Pilot episode, including the best ever use of Marilyn Manson’s cover of “Sweet Dreams.” I am really excited about the upcoming season of this way creepy and exciting new drama. You can catch an encore airing of the first episode on Friday night on Fox and I really think that everyone should.
Justin Timberlake – “Suit & Tie” ft. JAY Z - I have talked to a TON of people about JT’s latest and I would say it’s split pretty evenly down the middle between people who love the new tune and people who feel like Justin somehow owes us something more after all his time away from the recording studio. I am definitely one of the former. The song is smooth with a great beat. It gives me a lot of the same feelings I had with JT’s first solo album and it makes me shake my butt. That’s good enough for me. And honestly JAY-Z can do no wrong. Speaking of JAY-Z, I am also totally obsessed with his new song from the upcoming Jackie Robinson movie. What a JAM. Listen to both below (YouTube links) and let me know in the comments what you think.
Boston Bruins Hockey - To say that the NFL post season has been a disappointment for me is like saying the Grand Canyon is a little hole in the ground. Thank the heavens that hockey is back. JUST IN TIME. And the Bruins get all of the credit for healing this sport’s girl’s grass stained heart. The season opener was fantastic and yesterday’s game (which I got to attend thanks to the world’s best BFF) was a total thrill ride. No matter who your team is, I hope you are enjoying hockey being back in our lives as much as I am. Football what? The Bruins face off against the New York Rangers again on Wednesday night at 7:30 PM EST. GO BRUINS!
Felicia Day on Supernatural - I have been a big fan of Felicia Day for a long time, longer even than I’ve been a fan of Supernatural. She was great in Buffy the Vampire Slayer, mind blowing on Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog and hilarious on her web series, The Guild. Her first appearance on Supernatural was a real highlight of Season 7 and on Wednesday night (9:00 PM EST on The CW) she returns as Charlie Bradbury, the geek girl we all want to be. The photos of her and Dean Winchester (Jensen Ackles) all decked out in costume are making me positively giddy. If you’re a fan of hers but don’t watch Supernatural, you should still probably check it out. This one looks like a lot of fun.
*Is there anything you are absolutely in love with right now? Tell me all about in the comments! I want to love more things!
Dianne Sylvan is a well known author, blogger and tweeter. She has incredible insight on television, movies, and life in general. You will increase the value of your life by following her on twitter and by reading her blog. You can purchase all of her wonderful books on Amazon.com, including the novels in her “Shadow World” series. She was kind enough to take a time out from writing her next novel to answer some very important questions for me.
You write about vampires all of the time. Who is you very favorite vampire?
Aside from my own characters (I don’t think it would be fair to list any of them since I know them inside and out, so it would be like picking my friends first for dodge ball), I think I’d have to go with Spike from Buffy the Vampire Slayer. In the beginning he was just a murderous badass, and a gleeful one at that; you so rarely get to see vampires genuinely enjoying what they are. Spike was a big inspiration for my own work because the vampires I write about don’t waste time feeling all mopey about being vampires; they’ve got stuff to do, people to shag, lives to save. So did Spike. A lot of people hated when he fell in love with Buffy, but Season Six was my favorite because it was so deliciously dark and twisted, and the Spike/Buffy relationship was the best part of that. I understood people feeling like they de-baddassified
the character, but I found his evolution toward sort-of-hero fascinating.
According to me, television is better than it has ever been. Of everything you’re watching right now,
what is your favorite?
That’s so hard to say because all of my shows are so different! I wouldn’t want to rate Castle against The Vampire Diaries or Grimm – it’s apples and oranges. But The Vampire Diaries is the show that gives me the most agony as well as the most ecstasy, so I think it comes out on top.
You recap The Vampire Diaries every week and share an amazing amount of insight. What about this
show inspires you to write?
I think two things made me start recapping: one, the shipper wars were driving me bananas and I wanted to offer an alternative (At this point I’m Team Wickery Bridge), and two, both the show and the fandom take themselves so seriously (not necessarily a bad thing) that I absolutely had to snark on it. As I’ve said on the blog, it’s important to be able to poke fun at the things you love, because if you can’t, you begin to lose touch with reality. Speaking as someone who lives in her own world most of the time, reality does still have its benefits – it’s where your real three-dimensional friends live.
Anything you watch that you wish you could just give up?
Right now, no, but I definitely have in the past. I have this theory that all TV shows should have a maximum five-year lifespan. So many shows go on and on way past the point where they run out of story, but if every show had a time limit, the writers could plan the story arc and character evolution, leave a little room for surprises, and really devote themselves to those five seasons. Typically seasons two and three are the best, four and five are great, and after that it starts spinning its wheels – I’ve given up on two shows in the last few years right around that time because I just got tired of feeling jerked around by the writers. I was intensely devoted to both Supernatural and Bones, but finally, I just couldn’t do it anymore. I dreaded new episodes because I spent so much time throwing things at the screen. So I dragged myself away, and though I’ve heard both shows have gotten way better, I haven’t been terribly interested in going back.
As always, there have been a LOT of new shows this season. Anything you are madly in love with?
Anything you were hoping to love but just didn’t?
I try really hard to keep the number of shows I watch to a minimum, so I haven’t watched a whole lot of what’s new this year. But during premiere week, I had a boring evening with nothing to do, and I watched the pilot of Arrow fully expecting it to be ridiculous. It was awesome. I’ve become hopelessly hooked. I can’t even say why; there have been some cringe-worthy moments and stumbles like any infant show, but I just love where they’re taking it and some of the storytelling decisions have been fantastic. Even if I wanted to look away I can’t because they brought in John Barrowman. Plus Stephen Amell spends a lot of time shirtless, and that’s never a bad thing.
Vampire Diaries Season 4 is well under way. What has been your favorite part of the season so far?
I think so far Damon’s character has been the best thing. He consistently gets the best dialogue, especially in the standout ep “Memorial,” which many people agree is the best so far this season. I love that he’s the one who asks the questions nobody else will ask, like whether Stefan wants to “cure” Elena for her sake or because he can’t love her as a vampire. I don’t especially want Damon and Elena to hook up because both brothers are way more interesting, smart, and enjoyable when they’re not with her. But the dynamic between the two brothers remains the best thing about the show. I love that their roles are so different from what was established in the first season – it’s not just a question of good brother/bad brother. It’s so much more complicated than that. Neither is wholly good or bad, and their dark sides bubble up to the surface over and over. I’m kind of hoping that we’ll get to see Damon go back off the rails…preferably for reasons unrelated to Elena. I think everyone’s done enough fretting and pining over Elena.
I hate using the term “guilty pleasure” because I never feel guilty about TV but, is there something
you’re embarrassed to admit you watch regularly?
I agree – unless you’re kicking puppies, your pleasures should never be guilty. Having said that, it’s surprising how many people my age give me the hairy eyeball when they find out not only do I watch a show about teenage vampires, I blog about it. I’m not into YA literature for the most part; my books are definitely for an adult audience. On the other hand I’m not into adult vampire shows like True Blood (I have a serious aversion to True Blood, in fact). But people who’ve never watched TVD think it’s just Twilight all over again, and if they had any idea how much more complex, mature, believable, and well-written it is, they might not make such a comparison. Not all adult women have to confine their viewing to medical and police procedurals.
Favorite television character of all time:
Willow Rosenberg from Buffy. Aside from the Buffster herself, Willow had the most dramatic and believable character evolution on the show, from awkward nerd to powerful witch to Darth Willow and eventually into her own woman. Two of my favorite episodes are the ones that feature Vampire Willow, an “evil, skanky, and kinda gay” version of Will from an alternate universe. As you might have guessed I’m a sucker for great character growth. All her doubts, insecurities, and strengths made her so real, and her goofy wit made her enduringly endearing.
Favorite Television moment of all time:
Oh, there are so many, but if I had to pick one right at this second I think that would have to be the moment in the season 4 premiere of Supernatural, Lazarus Rising, in which Dean, newly escaped from hell, first meets Castiel. That one moment completely changed the course of the show and turned its entire universe on its head – up until that point angels had never been mentioned, and bringing that mythology into the show was just a ballsy move on all fronts. A lot of people would disagree, preferring the monster-of-the-week format of the early seasons, but I love, love, love a good mytharc, and the possibilities that sprang up just in the wake of that one conversation made my little writer’s heart do a Snoopy dance. The phrase “game-changer” is way overused nowadays but that scene was definitely a game-changer.
The show you wished would have never ended:
I’m still pissed at the CW for cancelling The Secret Circle. Was it perfect? No. But it had so much potential – they really hit their stride midseason and that finale was amazing. Given some of the stuff they’ve kept on for years and years, it’s doubly galling that something smart and complicated with the potential to be even more awesome was thrown away…and has since been replaced with Beauty and the Beast, a wholly unnecessary remake that is one of the worst things I’ve ever seen on television.
If you could say one thing to all of the current TV watchers what would it be?
Calm down, guys. Seriously. Between the ridiculous shipper wars and people heaping abuse on showrunners on Twitter, online fandom is really showing its ass these days. Imaginary people are not worth hurting real people.
I have to be honest. Going into the theater this afternoon, with the same friend I saw Twilight with four years ago this month, left me feeling pretty nostalgic. I’ve read all of the books several times. Have memorized all of the music on the soundtracks. And with this final installment, the series that created the intense, world wide, vampire phenomenon, comes to an end. It’s important to remember that these movies won’t be winning any Academy Awards. Some of the dialogue is awful and often the acting even worse. But that doesn’t mean they aren’t fun.
I’ve only seen this one once so far but I feel pretty good about calling it my favorite of the five. Though, it definitely had it’s issues. I understand the need for a CGI baby. You can’t direct infants. But it was weird. And a little creepy. The little girl she grew into, though was darling and I loved the familial interactions. Watching Edward with her filled me with warm and fuzzy feelings and may have caused a bit of a squeal to escape.
I loved Bella as a vampire. It certainly cut down on the cringe worthy moments and the incredibly awkward dialogue. Not that it was completely gone. But less of that is always better. She was graceful and strong and her scenes with everyone were greatly improved. And her moments with Edward were fantastic. Swoonworthy even. The fangirl in me was swept away by all of the romance.
I was excited when I learned that they were going to change up the end a bit. After reading the books so many times, it was nice to look forward to a surprise. And what a surprise it was. They actually had me convinced that we wouldn’t get the happy ending we were all looking forward to. The loss of so many characters we’ve grown to love was heart breaking and a much bigger shock than I was prepared for. When they finally revealed the truth of it all, I felt sufficiently mind f**ked and it took me a few minutes to recover. Awesome.
My favorite part of the movie was the end (HA! not because it was over). Bella’s gift of showing Edward just how much she has always loved him was filled with flashbacks from their most beautiful scenes from the first four movies and I’d be lying if I said it didn’t make me a tad emotional. The way they set it up was really stunning.
A few other notes:
- I’m sad that they skipped Bella’s first jump out the window and her throwing the high heeled shoes back at Alice. It wouldn’t have taken much time and it was a really cute moment from the book.
- Bella’s arm wrestling match with Emmett was really fun and her fight with Jacob was really intense. Both were awesome to watch.
- I want Bella & Edward’s house SO bad. I am mad that they didn’t make the bedroom look like the one on Isle Esme (as it was written) but it was an incredible, gorgeous home.
- Michael Sheen as Aro let out a laugh on the battlefield that was really strange. Scary, almost. Not really sure why that’s the take they decided to go with. It was weird.
- Could not get enough of the happy, laughing, Edward. We’ve never seen him so full of smiles. It makes me giddy just thinking about it all again.
What did you guys think? Did you hate it? Love it? Are you happy with the way that it ended? Are you upset that it’s all over? Are you going to go see it again? You’re welcome to come with me. I can’t wait!