Category Archives: TV

HAPPY JANUARY: THINGS I’M LOOKING FORWARD TO

Is there anything more depressing than returning from a great vacation to a cold and dreary January and the prospect of another two months of freezing tempuratures? Probably, but I’m having trouble getting past the two more months of winter and the lack of any big travel plans on the horizon. Have no fear! There are still a number of big (and small) things to look forward this month.

1. New job: I’ll be switching jobs later this month. Here’s to all the adventures and craziness that big life changes inevitably bring. I shall embrace thee.

2. Running: Yeah, I never thought I’d utter such a blasphemous statement, but the downside of vacation is that I always come back feeling like a female version of the Pillsberry Dough Boy. No matter how many times I vow to use the hotel gym on vacation, it never actually happens. It’ll be nice to start running again and feeling more like a person and less like a dough girl.

3. Charlotte: I’ll be going to Charlotte, NC for work later this month. Granted, it’s not the most exotic destination, but I like exploring new cities.

4. Planning new trips: I love planning trips almost as mich as I love taking them. I’m not sure what our next big trip will look like, but I’m hoping to plan some weekend hiking outings in the spring. Any suggestions for the Northeast?

5. TV shows return: No more being forced to watch dopey holiday movies on the ABC Family Channel.

6. Music: On a similar note, the end of Christmas music on every radio station.

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Are Canadians Friendlier than Americans?

Here is my anecdotal observation from my weekend in Waterloo, Ontario: Canadians are super friendly.

I wandered into the Canadian version of Barnes and Noble (called Chapters) and sat down in Starbucks with my typical pile of travel books. The guy sitting next to me peeked at my random array of travel books (Mexico, Spain, New Orleans, New Mexico, Iceland) and struck up a conversation. After he left, a woman sat down across from me. She too eyeballed my books, and we chatted for a while about our respective travel experiences, our families, our day jobs…etc. The whole time, I was thinking: This never happens to me in Washington DC.

So I started to wonder: Are Canadians friendlier than Americans? When in doubt, I turn to How I Met Your Mother to answer life’s all-important questions. Canadian Barney says yes. What says you?

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AMAZING COMEBACKS I MUST REMEMBER TO USE ONE DAY

Compliments of Scrubs, one of my favorite shows.

“I don’t dislike you. I nothing you.” – Jordan

“Yawn. You see, I say yawn, because when I actually yawn, you don’t get it.” – Jordan

“I’m going to give you a nickname… How about Whiny Face… Whiny Britches… Whiny something… I definitely like Whiny.” – Janitor

“I was just now wondering if there is anything that could actually push my headache into a full-grown migraine, and there you are.” – Dr. Cox

“I found I couldn’t sleep last night, so, in order to pass the time, I started to make a list of things that annoy me more than you. Anyway, I came up with people who call Wednesdays ‘hump day’ and, of course, all Sandra Bullock movies.” – Dr. Cox

“I know you and I have never really connected – maybe that’s because you’re relentlessly annoying, or maybe it’s my fault because I can’t tolerate relentlessly annoying people – I don’t know.” – Dr. Cox

“You seem unhappy. I like that.” – Janitor

“Oh, my God! I care so little, I almost passed out!” – Dr. Cox

“This is not ‘Bring Your Problems to Work’ Day. This is just ‘Work’ Day.” – Dr. Kelso

“Ladies and gentlemen, allow me to present, Man Not Caring.” – Dr. Cox

“Did you feel that you were not quite annoying enough without adding a delusional sense of grandeur, because I promise you, you are annoying enough.” – Dr. Cox

Top 10 Reasons Bunheads is Not as Good as Gilmore Girls

Maybe I made the mistake of having high expectations, which runs the obvious risk of being disappointed, and I am indeed disappointed. It’s not that Bunheads is bad. It’s pleasant enough, and I do like Sutton Foster. But as an avid Gilmore Girl fan, I had high hopes for Bunheads, and those hopes have been repeatedly dashed.

The two shows share a lot of similarities besides for writer/produce Amy Sherman-Palladino: Fast-talking dialogue; weird towns; quirky characters with weird names; many of the same actresses and actors; a pretty and likable protagonist who is a little bit lost but never loses her sense of humor.

And despite all these similarities, I find myself asking: “Why, oh why, have you failed me in this season of need when there is a desperate void on my DVR that cannot be filled by Pretty Little Liars?”

My answers below – in list form:

  1. No good love interests. In fact, Bunheads suffers from a glaring lack of good male characters. So far, we’ve met Melanie’s annoying brother Charlie, barely-there Josh, the cute guy at the Oyster Bar (whose name I can’t remember) and some other non-memorable Y chromosomes. Granted Michelle is supposed to be mourning over Hubbell, but that doesn’t mean we can’t have prospects. It took Luke and Lorelai four seasons to get together but we clung to the possibility from the very first episode. Bunheads, give me something (or someone) to cling to.
  2. Truly is not half as interesting as Kirk. Or Mrs. Kim. Or Michel. Or Sookie. Or Miss Patty. Or Babette. You get my drift. Gilmore Girls was filled with real, colorful, sometimes annoying, sometimes hysterical characters in the true sense of the world with stories of their own that grew and developed over time.  Bunheads has Truly and… I got nothing.  I see plenty of potential – Sasha’s parents, Boo’s mom, etc. – but we’re already in episode 7 and that potential is fading fast.
  3. Not enough Sasha time. Sasha is one of the most interesting, multi-dimensional characters on the show. She is the pretty, talented girl who seems to have it all except for all the things she doesn’t have. She can be perfectly obnoxious and snooty one minute and generous the next. She’s got some serious issues…but that’s a good thing. More Sasha time please!
  4. The characters have no long-term goals. From the very beginning of GG, we meet characters with dreams that define them and their stories. Lorelai is determined to prove she can make it on her own and open her own inn one day. Her desperate need to assert her independence (mostly from her parents) runs through every episode. Rory has her heart set on Harvard and is determined to prove her intellectual chops to her Chilton classmates. In Bunheads, Michelle wants…Actually, I have no idea what she wants and I’m not sure she knows either.
  5. Underwhelming actor deja vu. Hey, doesn’t that one-eyed plumber look familiar? Yup. That’s Zack (Todd Lowe) from GG, Lane’s bandmate and eventual boyfriend/husband. And Sam, the Sparkles shopkeeper? Yup again. That’s Gypsy (Rose Abdoo), the smart-aleck mechanic. And of course, there’s Kelly Bishop playing Fanny Flowers and matriarch Emily Gilmore in a previous TV life. The problem is not the actors but the new characters they are now embodying. Perhaps they will develop with time, but right now there Gilmore Girl characters are way more interesting than their Bunheads reincarnations.       
  6. No villain. Not that GG had a real villain, but it had characters we loved to hate, or at least had serious complicated emotional relationships with like Bishop’s Emily Gilmore, Liza Weil’s Paris Geller and Michael Winters’ Taylor Doose.
  7. I miss Lorelai’s wardrobe.
  8. The absence of endearing (and smart) bad boys. This is a corollary to reason #1, but it deserves a numeral of its owesn. GG had Jess, Logan, and an adult version in the form of Jason Stiles. If Charlie is Bunhead’s attempt at a bad boy, he needs to do more than yell at Melanie and ignore Boo.
  9. Feels a little bit like Aaron Sorkin got carried away. I love the fast-paced dialogue and the occasional irrelevant digressions into pop-culture trivia, but sometimes, Bunheads is so determined to live up to its fast-paced reputation, it forgets to do anything else. It’s okay to slow down sometimes. It’s okay to be serious and pull on the heart strings sometimes. What made GG great was its ability to be quirky and charming and genuine and emotional — sometimes all at once and sometimes separately. Bunheads needs to tone down the quirkiness and ratchet up the genuine emotion.
  10. The music is just not as good.

THE WRITING PROCESS: TOP 5 TV SHOWS THAT HELP ME WRITE

I’m a noise person.

By that I mean, I hate silence. No matter what I’m doing — working, writing, running, cleaning, sitting or staring into space — I need background noise. Maybe it’s because I grew up in a house with six siblings or maybe it’s because my brain is screwed up. Who knows?

This is especially true when I’m writing my novel. Sometimes I listen to music, but sometimes I watch TV, especially shows I’ve seen a gazillion times and practically know by heart. People ask me: How can you concentrate on writing when there is a TV show on? Answer: I don’t know, but it actually makes writing easier. That said, here are my top five shows I like to watch when I’m writing:

1. Veronica Mars: Smart, sassy girl narrator who can work a camera like nobody’s business. Say no more.

2. Greek: Oh ABCFamily, what would I do without you? Also, I have a bit of a crush on Rebecca Logan.

3. Make It Or Break It: Ditto.

4. Gilmore Girls: Fast-talking, too-smart-for-their-own good characters making it on their own in a town that is almost too weird to be real. If only Bunheads were this good.

5. Scrubs: Underrated show about a guy who talks to himself constantly.

CONFESSION OF THE DAY

I  finally watched episode 3:6 of Pretty Little Liars and I have something embarrassing to confess: I have no idea what the heck is going on. This is my rendition of every show:

Cue scary music.

Pretty girl: I just found a sliver of a clue in someplace that is so ridiculous no person would ever find a clue there but because I’m so amazing and smart I found it, and it is somehow connected to a sliver of a clue you may or may not remember from eight shows ago. We must go find (fill in hot guy of your choice).

Cue four phones ringing and an ominous message from A.

Cue scary music.

Cue black gloves doing something evil.

Cue me throwing up my hands and scratching my head.

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