Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Oh the Fall I Love You Mostly for Your TV & the Boots & Sweaters ...

So since I was beyond late on answering the weekly question- so sorry I am a slacker but now sitting here at my computer with a belly full of Breakfast Burrito I am ready to contemplate all the wonder that Fall TV has to offer me and you! I am a fair amount OCD so when I get my Fall TV EW I write all the shows I am interested in into my trusty planner- I know but I have real stuff in there too. Here is the list with premieres dates after:

Alright all of these I am putting together because they are on the same channel and well we all know what this channel is about since these premiered early too this is also a tad review.

Gossip Girl- I love this show because most of the time it is just fun and dramatic and since I tend to live a pretty drama-free existence it is perfectly fine for me. And the premiere was just that pretty fluff with the flair for the dramatic.

Nikkita- I am still looking to fill that void Alias left. While this show is more fun than Alias was, so far it is worth giving a chance too. I find myself contemplating this though is man I wish they would mix this in with Covert Affairs I feel that would be the perfect cocktail of spy show!

The Vampire Diaries- While I am more of a Paul Wesley girl I have a feeling that, even though they are doing the tired addition of Werewolves, this season is going to be as Oh My Heck as last season. And from the first ep it is definitely true.

Supernatural (24th) - I just got into this show because I was able to catch all of the last seasons on Cable. And I am now addicted- the last seasons have been really well done and I am looking forward to more Winchester Brothers. It takes that whole monster a week show to a new level. 

I am also looking forward to these shows too:
The Good Wife (28th) - this show is so tight as far as storylines, characters and the acting goes it is pretty insane. Although I am new viewer thanks to my mom I can’t want to see who she chooses: her old college friend/boss or the man she stood by and the fact that I consider either a choice shows how well the show was done!
Hawaii 5-O (20th )- Umm fun!

Grey’s (23rd) - Of course after that crazy finale last year I want to know how my Seattle Grace is doing!

And then old faves: Cougartown (22nd), Bones (23rd), Glee (21st), Justified and Chuck (20th)!

Yes my DVR is going to be a land of plenty this year and now I will go back to trying to convince myself that 80 degree weather is perfectly suitable for jeans tucked into boots. Happy Viewing!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Book Review-Secrets of a Lady

So, I finished this book a couple of days ago, and I wanted to jump right on FB and shout out that this was one of the best books I've ever read.  But then, I reconsidered, I didn't want to sound to dorky blah blah blah.  However, I am now shouting my dorkiness from the rooftops on the HACK blog!  Part of why I'm so excited about this book is because it's not a hugely popular book.  I found it at the library just browsing, picking out books that looked intriguing.  Little did I know I'd want to read it over and over again.  When I discovered she has a sequel in the Melanie and Charles Fraser series (this book is the 1st), I just about ran in my pajamas to my library to pick it up.  I mean, if I didn't already have a niece named Melanie, I would seriously consider re-naming Kyndal. 
Synopsis:  It takes place in London, around 1819 (after all the Napoleon Bonaparte business).  Charles and Melanie Fraser are high class, the picture of perfection.  Charles is the grandson of a Duke and Melanie is beautiful (of course).  I don't want to give away too much, in case anyone wants to read it, but one night while they are at a party, something terrible happens.  It forces them to venture into their past as well as into the nastier bits of London to find an heirloom ring.  It forces their deep secrets into light, and forces them to decide how far their deceptions can go. 
Gosh, it is so very good.  The story was really great, lots of good plot twists and things I didn't see coming at all.  My favorite part though was how it read, the author did a fab job of describing the characters, both physically and their emotions.  I, to be supremely dorkily honest, read the majority of the book in an English accent to myself (and French for Melanie).  I adore when books get turned into movies, and I'd like to personally go to Hollywood and find someone who'll make this book a movie!!!  Superb.  Lovely.  Compelling.  Done, the end. 

Fall fall fall

Here's my question not only for my fellow hackers, but just in general (since I haven't decided yet).

What show are we MOST excited about in the next couple weeks?  Whether it's starting new or coming back from recess???

Heidi:  I am so many things that I'm excited for I kind of can't choose just one.  But I'll try and list them out just because I'm borderline narcissistic and think you care :).
First:  Community.  Um can we just say Betty White with blow darts.  Cannot wait for this.  This also opens the door for all the other comedies such as Modern Family (by far the funniest show of last season) and Glee.  Granted Glee should prob be another entry but it just looks way awesome.
Second:  House.  I completely adore House and can't wait for more borderline mean one liners that I can say in my head when I'm judging people.
Third:  Grey's Anatomy/Private Practice.  I actually haven't seen when this starts but I'm excited anyway.
Fourth:  Football.  I won't elaborate but I'm excited.
I think that's about all I have right now.  Or at least all I can rememberize.

Abbey:  Modern Family!!  I need me some Phil!  And Cam!  Funniest show on TV, hands down.  I know, I know, Community could go for that title as well, however, the humor kills me in ModFam.  I like the fake reality show format, it makes for some really excellent situations and comedy. 
Community!!  Joel McHale has been sorely missed in our home, 1/2 an hour a week of the Soup is just not enough!
Glee!!  Duh.  No brainer. 
Grey's/PP!!  I need my drama fix! 
CSINY!!  I'm a sucker for the forensics stuff.
Justified!!  I.need.more.Boyd.Crowder.in.my.life. STAT. Like, soon.  Oh and Timothy Olyphant is a fabulous added bonus. 
All the teenage-y shows I rarely admit I crave-90210, OTH, Vamp Diaries (ok, I'll admit to that one because DAY-UM Ian Smolderhalder is my 2nd favorite person in the world to drool over), and this new Hellcats show that I think I hate but I still want to watch. 

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

This week in news....

Well I thought I would get this going this week (pretending that we've been doing this every week :). But I really only have one thing. Just the thing that I love this week. And here it is.

Lifetime shows three episodes of Grey's Anatomy per week day. Last week they started from the very beginning of Season 1 which I never saw. Needless to say I am SO excited to have me some Grey's over the summer. And even better (and the part I l.o.v.e. this week): we have reached the part in the season in which one Chris O'Donnell comes to Seattle. He is possibly my most favorite teenage crush. Three Musketeers anyone??!! I'm just fabulously excited to have me some drama that I've been sorely missing over the summer. And it's making me so very excited for the upcoming Fall.

I cannot think of anything I didn't particularly like this week...everything else was just standard.

Kara: Way to get us rolling on this, Heidi! I've been thinking how I need to do this all week, so thanks for providing the motivation.

I'll start with the worst, and this is something Abbey and I have talked about before (she might have even blogged about it too) but I was reminded of again during a few morning nursing sessions this week. I can't stand Regis Philbin. My mom likes Regis & Kelly, and I find Kelly pretty funny and as morning talk shows go, its not bad. But seriously, why does Regis have such a big ego? Why is he even famous? Why does he think he's so much better than everyone around (guests included?) And has he always been this blatant with his pretentiousness? I stopped watching after a few minutes because I wanted to smack his ridiculously blonde head.

That said, the best thing I watched this week was Anderson Cooper guest hosting with Kelly. Those two have really good chemistry, and Anderson Cooper was surprisingly down to earth and funny. He also handled being teased by Kelly really well, which definitely isn't always the case with guys in show business. Case in point: Regis. Ugh.

I also loved this week's (last weeks?) "Royal Pains." I'm really liking the story line with Evan and this new girl he likes, and him getting shot by her father in the rump while hunting was hilarious. I liked when he told Divia and Hank that he was still being her paid escort because it made him happy to see her happy. "Wow," Divia said. "They grow up so fast." "They really do," Hank replied. I've been quoting that all week.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

The Best & Worst

All right fellow HACKers, here's my group blogging activity idea #2, sort of a new spin on the Weekly Question. Think TV Guide's Cheers & Jeers or "The Colbert Report" Tip of the Hat/Wag of the Finger: The Best and Worst Thing I Saw This Week. Can be TV, movies, songs even, whatever, but I think it'll be a short enough format we can easily answer it every week (unlike my Emmy nominee which is tantamount to writing a small pamphlet to answer, sorry about that ladies!) and could keep us up to date on things we're not watching or let us commiserate/celebrate the things we all love.

So, for me this week: The Best Thing I Watched was "Covert Affairs," the new show on USA starring Piper Perabo as a CIA agent.
Also, totally loved the premiere of "White Collar," got into "Psych" when they did the all-day marathon before its season premiere on Wednesday, "Burn Notice" was great this week, "Royal Pains" totally took a MacGuyveresque move with Hank saving Tucker and his friend after they fell into a wine vat . . . pretty much everything I see on USA, I love. Funny, since with the exception of "Community," everything I see on NBC, I strongly dislike. But "Covert Affairs" was my surprise love for this week, I wasn't expecting it to be so good. So it wins The Best for me this week.

I don't really have anything totally worthy of The Worst Thing I Saw This Week, except for maybe the five seconds I caught of "The Real Housewives of New Jersey" before I fell asleep this afternoon. I do not get the appeal of those shows. It makes me sad to see grown women behaving that way, must Bravo take feminism back fifty years with all of its programming?

Heidi:  I totally support this idea.  I think it's utterly fantastic and I wish I had thought of it first.  Haha just kidding.  Alright let's just jump right into this.  Best thing I saw this week was Timothy Olyphant.  I saw him in three different movies this past week.  First:  The Crazies.  This is a horror movie.  And I realize that Cor and I are the only ones in the group who do horror, but really, horror is about fifty times better when you have him to look at.  The Crazies was a terrible movie that I completely would not recommend to anyone but he was phenoMENal as always.  Then I saw him in Catch and Release which I forgot he was in, and also in Hitman.  Both those movies were randomly on tv.  I just can't get enough of him.  I caught thirty seconds of an interview with Jennifer Love Hewitt about her Lifetime movie The Client List where she turns prostitute to save her family's financials and the girl asked her who she would put on her "list" if she were picking this kind of thing in real life.  Well she added Ian Somerhalder.  So I of course started compiling my own list and it is definitely topped with Ian, and Timothy.  TOPPED.
OH WAIT.  I take that back.  While Olyphant is definitely top this week it was not my absolute favorite.  My absolute favorite is most definitely going to be the return of Eureka.  It came back two weeks ago actually but I've just this week caught up on it and I must say I missed it.  I love that show with my nerdy heart and soul.  Love it to the depths.  It's witty sarcastic and science-y.  What more could a girl want?
The worst thing I saw this week actually has to be Covert Affairs.  Not because it was bad.  It was actually pretty good, and I must say I absolutely adore the blind guy.  But I just wasn't immmmpressed.  I'm so used to the quality of White Collar, Psych (which I haven't kept up with but also absolutely adore when I catch it), and first and foremost Burn Notice.  I feel like it's good for summer when the pickin's are slim but that's all.  I haven't even decided if I'll tivo it or not...

Cory: Ok I also agree that this is a super idea but also hold no illusions about myself and know I will totally forget every week. OK BEST was all the eps of Friday Night Lights I caught up on this week. The show continues to amaze and is all heart. The best thing though is that all the stories are not only original but also extremely well acted. And if that is not enough for you one word girls: Riggins that is all you really need to say.
WORST hmm why I agree I was underwhlemed by Covert Affairs it was more because it is basically a vanilla Alias. My standards were just too high I think. And although I enjoy my lovely Housewives (I think it as more of a case study of crazyiness and it always makes me feel normal), I tihnk it had to be The Good Guys. I was looking forward to this show for the funny that only Colin Hanks can deliver but alas he does not. Oh well after giving it a few weeks it is off the old DVR.  

Thursday, July 8, 2010

And The Winner Is . . .

I have a few ideas here to get some Hack Group Blogging going on here, and I will mention those in a bit, but first, I believe it is time that we begin a tradition of making our predictions for awards shows. The Primetime Emmy Nominations were just announced, so I say its time for us to make our predictions, cheer for the nominations we're happy about, and boo at the people who were totally robbed. (Joel McHale, we love you. Like, seriously. And you did a good job announcing the Emmy noms, even though you didn't get one.)

There are about a billion categories, and to be honest I'm not that interested in the outcomes in some of the races, and in others I just don't know enough about the skills involved to make an informed choice (I honestly don't know a thing about directing, so I can't necessarily judge those categories.) If my other Hacks would like to, however, add on another category and we shall all make our predictions!

True Blood, Mad Men, Breaking Bad, Dexter, Lost, The Good Wife

Kara: The Winner: Lost- It becomes painfully obvious that I don't really do the drama thing, because I have only seen three of these shows, and I haven't seen that many episodes of any of them. However, my vote for Winner goes to Lost because I think as a cultural phenomenon it eclipses these other shows. I do like the character study/developments of "Mad Men," and I know a bunch of people who like "True Blood" but truth be told, I'm kind of vampired out. I already sold out in reading/begrudgingly liking the Twilight series, so I can't go any further down that road. The Snub: House- I don't particularly like the attempts at incorporating the "old team" with the newer players, but the episode with Kutner's suicide and everything going along with House's breakdown were stellar.

Abbey:  The Winner:  Lost- Duh.  Oh wait.  Abbey, wha??? Yup, heard that right.  I have returned from the depths to grace you with my presence.  Anywho.  I appalingly haven't watched any of the other shows nominated, nor have I ever watched Lost.  But, like Kara said, it is for sure the #1 culteral phenomenon of the last 6 years, it has to win after it's last season just on principal.  And yeah, no True Blood for me because I don't like Steven Moyer.  Isn't he, like, 45?  Too old (for me, for Anna Paquin, for the rest of the tweens who enjoy vampirism).

Heidi:  Okay.  I'm conflicted.  Lost was a cultural phenomena I freely admit.  And the last season was even more of a boundary pusher.  But I feel like the writer's got so caught up in being 'edgy' that it lost the edge.  Although the last ep was fairly amazing.  I would be okay if it won.  And it is probably the best up here. I don't know.  I guess I just wasn't completely floored by it as I was the first couple of seasons.  But then again the last season was MUCH better than the third.  So yes.  Lost is the winner.  I would also be okay with Mad Men just because of the era it portrays and looks straight in the eye.  The infidelity and "role" of the perfect housewife and all the other things.  I have difficulty thinking of House as a drama because I'm laughing a lot.  But it should have been nommed anyway. Snub:  In Plain Sight.  If Friday Night Lights is a drama then this sure is!  I would TOTALLY vote for this if it was on here.  Are they just against USA??

John Hamm as Don Draper from "Mad Men"
Hugh Laurie as Dr. Gregory House from "House"
Bryan Cranston as Walter White from "Breaking Bad"
Kyle Chandler as Eric Taylor from "Friday Night Lights"
Matthew Fox as Jack Shephard from "Lost"
Michael C. Hall as Dexter Morgan from "Dexter"

Kara: The Winner- Matthew Fox- I personally would vote for Hugh Laurie, but I think its going to be Matthew Fox. The poor guy has never been nominated ever, and did really great work for five seasons on "Lost." I'd also be okay with a Kyle Chandler win because I really like "Friday Night Lights" as well. The Snub- No one. I really would need to watch more dramas in order to have an informed opinion here.
Abbey:  The Winner:  Hugh Laurie.  I absolutely adore Hugh Laurie, as do I adore Mary McCormack.  The pattern?  People who can be bitingly sarcastic and cruel and yet I love them all the more.  Sarcasm is my lifeblood, and when done as well as Hugh Laurie does it, I applaud.  I love how people who are fabulously funny and pleasant in their real lives can pull of super mean and heartless convincingly.  I think it's talent, and should thus be awarded. 
Heidi: I would actually be okay with anyone except Kyle Chandler. Matthew Fox, I agree with Kara, he did awesome for so long he should be rewarded.  Hugh Laurie, agree with Abbey, the way that he completely changes his innate personality and carries it all off is amazing and absolutely awesome to watch.  Michael C. Hall.  Um.  Wow.  He's a serial killer, and still somehow endearing.  His character suckkkksss you into his world and somehow makes you want to be there even though you know you're watching a killer.  I think it's phenomenal acting.  He's amazing although I cannot watch Dexter, it creeps me out that I'm watching it and could continue watching it because it's fascinating.  Brian Cranston, also amazing character.  I think I'm drawn to him because I could see my dad as a high school science teacher becoming a meth maker and making lots of money from it.  I don't watch the show but I've seen it a few times and him going from terrible dad on Malcolm to this is insane.  John Hamm, same reason as voting for Mad Men above.  I just vote against FNL and Chandler because I don't believe that his drama is of the caliber of these other dramas.  Perhaps because it's about high school football but I just don't see the drama as much as in the other shows.  Although he does do a great job.  Wow, just realized that I know ALL these shows....hahaha guess I'm the dramatic one of the group : ).

January Jones as Betty Draper from "Mad Men"
Mariska Hargitay as Olivia Benson from "Law & Order: SVU"
Julianna Marguiles as Alicia Florrick from "The Good Wife"
Kyra Sedgwick as Deputy Chief Brenda Johnson from "The Closer"
Glenn Close as Patty Hewes from "Damages"
Connie Britton as Tami Taylor from "Friday Night Lights"

Kara: The Winner- Glenn Close- I would vote for Kyra Sedgwick (and she still might win) or Connie Britton, but I think Glenn will probably take it because she was really, freakily scary in "Damages" and a lot of people think its ridiculous that FX canceled that show, and will likely vote for her in protest. Judging from the nominees in Outstanding Variety, Musical or Comedy Series, that seems to be how the Emmy voters rolled this year. The Snub: No clue. See above as a reminder that I'm all about the comedies.
Abbey:  The Winner:  Kyra Sedgwick.  Because she's married to Kevin Bacon.  And I think she's adorable.  Haven't ever seen the show, but from the clips, she's spot on.  I'm terrible!!  I do need to school myself in all of these dramas.  Close 2nd for me though is Mariska Hargitay.  I adore her.  I do watch Law & Order:  SVU and I watch it mostly for her and Elliot (not all the sad story lines).  She's been Olivia Benson forever, and she does so well at it.  She is by far my favorite L&O detective, out of all the spin-offs. 
Heidi:  Um Glenn Close.  She is absolutely terrifying in this show and it's awesome.  She straight up acts people into the ground and it's scarily good.  I would also be okay with Mariska.  She pulls off her terrible job so well and is fascinating to watch.  Again with my comment on FNL.  I like Kyra as a person but have never watched the show so I'm not sure about her.  Although she pulls off the "I'm smiling sweet but I'm going to send your ass to jail" really well.  Snub:  Mary McCormack.

John Slatterly as Roger Sterling from "Mad Men"
Aaron Paul as Jesse Pinkman from "Breaking Bad"
Andre Braugher as Owen from "Men of a Certain Age"
Martin Short as Leonard Winstone from "Damages"
Terry O'Quinn as John Locke from "Lost"
Michael Emerson as Ben Linus from "Lost"

Kara: The Winner- Terry O'Quinn- his character's story line got very weird this last season as he was actually playing Locke reincarnated as other people, and he did a great job subtly letting the audience see clues that he wasn't quite himself. Even his fellow cast members didn't know that was the nature of his storyline, and kept wondering why he was playing Locke so differently and erratically. The Snub: Robert Sean Leonard- the bromance between House and Wilson is funny all the time, dysfunctional often, and touching at just the right times.
Abbey:  The Winner:  Martin Short.  It's been well documented that I haven't watched any of these shows, so I'm chosing Martin Short because he is pure brilliance in all he does.  Done, the end.   
Heidi:  Martin Short hands down to the floor.  In Damages he is like evil and it's terrifying.  Awful because he still has his "hi I'm ridiculously funny" smile and then he's trying to murder you.  I would also vote for any of the Lost peeps because those two were absolutely phenomenal in their characters.  Especially Michael Emerson, he was my most favorite character in Lost because he was so twisty and bendy.

Christina Hendricks as Joan Harris from "Mad Men"
Archie Panjabi as Kalinda Sharma from "The Good Wife"
Elisabeth Moss as Peggy Olson from "Mad Men"
Rose Byrne as Ellen Parsons from "Damages"
Sharon Gless as Madeline Westen from "Burn Notice"
Christine Baranski as Diane Lockhart from "The Good Wife"

Kara: The Winner- Sharon Gless- she's totally not going to win, but that is my pick. I'm a little divided over whether I think "Burn Notice" is a drama, however . . . The Snub: Gabrielle Anwar as Fiona Glenanne- again, if you're going to say "Burn Notice" is a drama, then Fiona needs recognition. Or she'll blow up your car. Girlfriend carries C4 in her trunk.
Abbey:  The Winner:  ....  A)  I don't think Burn Notice is a drama, and B) I'm choosing Gabrielle Anwar even though she wasn't nominated.  Sharon Gless is awesome in BN though, and I loved the episode when Cagney and Lacey were reunited-super fabulousness.  But Fiona is formidable in many ways, and for sure needed recognition!
Heidi:  Sharon Gless or Rose Byrne.  I agree with Abbey that I don't think Burn Notice is a drama because I am laughing too often, but if you have it up there then Gabrielle needs to be nommed.  Sharon Gless is truly awesome though so I would totally support her.  And Rose Byrne is just good at being scared on Damages and still maintaining her smarts.  Love it.

Curb Your Enthusiasm, Nurse Jackie, The Office, Modern Family, Glee, 30 Rock

Kara: The Winner- Glee or Modern Family- I am very, very torn between which show I want to win because they are my absolute favorites. Both rank as high as "Friends" and "Gilmore Girls" with me (I have almost all of those episodes completely committed to memory) and are slowly eclipsing "The Office." The others don't come close, and I'll be pissed if "30 Rock" wins again. I love Tina Fey, but I've given that show many, many chances and do not find it funny. The Snub: Community. Seriously, this show is also fantastic and is one of only two quality shows on NBC, so it definitely needed some Emmy love.
Abbey:  The Winner:  GleeModernFamilyCOMMUNITY!CougarTown. Ahhhh, my area of expertise for the last year!  I think some subconsious part of me desperately needed comedy more than it needed drama this past while, which is why my favorites were ALL comedies.  Glee, insanely brilliant.  Each character was well developed, you knew their idiosyncracies and you feel all their personal pains.  Gosh, sure did love the music, but that's an aside.  I love all the sterotypes they played into and I could go on for hours.  Oh oh oh, have to mention that I have an overly zealous crush on Jonathan Groff.  Like, really bad.  And yes, I know he bats for boys, but goodHEAVENS.  He does it for me.  Glee-perfection.  Modern Family-perfection.  My husband joined me this year watching tv (woo hoo!), and this was I think our favorite.  One of my most favorite noises to hear is Ben laughing his fabulous belly laugh, and watching MF, it was heard often.  Phil was freaking awesome. 
Ok, in all seriousness though, Community got super snubbed.  Were people pissed because Joel makes fun of them on the Soup so they didn't vote them in?  Each character on Community as well was amazing (especially Abed, holy cow).  And Joel, well, Joel is...  Also perfection (did they miss the episode where he played pool in his skivvies?...).
Heidi: Um Modern Family.  I love the Office but I have to say I'm disappointed.  I also hate to say it but I think it's outlived it's funny.  Now that Jim and Pam are together, Michael is still awkward and the only reason I watch it anymore is for the rare moments when Dwight gets to shine with a fantastically terrible scheme.  And those moments just haven't been there.  Glee I LOVE, but for the music.  I don't think it's ridiculously funny.  I must agree with Abbey though that I have a man crush on Jonathan Groff.  I say man crush because we're both going for men but geez I just wish we could be friends so I could be hot by association.  His voice is just yum.  Modern Family just has me rolling on the ground every week.  The stupid little boy in the episode where they get the dog had me laughing for days afterward.  I love every character on there.  If it doesn't win it's a crime against humanity's funny bone.  Super snub on Community and Cougar Town which were both phenomenally funny as well.  I think 30 Rock is the most unfunny show I've ever seen.  And I have a funny-crush on Alec Baldwin.  Him on SNL is my favorite.  But I just think 30 Rock is dumb. 

Larry David as himself from "Curb Your Enthusiasm"
Steve Carell as Michael Scott from "The Office"
Jim Parsons as Sheldon Cooper from "The Big Bang Theory"
Tony Shalhoub as Adrian Monk from "Monk"
Matthew Morrison as Will Shuester from "Glee"
Alec Baldwin as Jack Donaghy from "30 Rock"

Kara: The Winner- Matthew Morrison- "Glee" is so amazing because its a show filled with triple threats- the cast can sing, act, and dance. Really, really well. The other actors don't necessarily need to have all of those skills for their shows, and that's fine, but the fact that they don't have to showcase them week after week makes them not as good as Matthew Morrison's Will Shuester. Therefore, Mr. Shue wins. I would also be okay with Jim Parsons winning because he is consistently hilarious as Sheldon and this is his first nomination. If Alec Baldwin wins, I puke. The Snub: Joel McHale. Hilarious, consistently solid work was turned in week after week by McHale and should've been recognized. Tony Shalhoub's nomination is already a joke in this category, and his slot definitely should've gone to McHale.
Abbey:  The Winner:  Jim Parsons. Let's check off who I'm not voting for.  Not voting for Larry David, he's a class A a$$hole.  Really, he's just plain mean.  Saw him both on Regis & Kelly as well as The Marriage Ref and he's a super bitter, pompous, flat out jerk.  So, haven't seen his show, won't see his show, even if it's funny.  Steve Carell, not voting for him because the show lost it's humor somehow this past season.  Which I'm phenomenally sad about, the Office is an epic show.  Not enough awkward situations for Michael?  Who knows.  Either way, Steve is hilarious and has a great movie career outside of the Office and doesn't need this win.  Not voting for Tony Shalhoub,,, merely because I haven't seen the show.  I'm sure he's brilliant in it (anyone portraying someone with OCD comically has to be), but I also can't get Men In Black out of my head (seeing his tiny little head grow back...).  Not voting for Alec Baldwin, only because I just sit and say "heh" (really, it's that small of a laugh) when I watch 30 Rock.  I feel like it should be making me roll on the floor laughing out loud and it just.... doesn't.  Do love Alec though, mostly in animated form (Zumba from Madagascar2 and also the banker from Despicable Me).  Perfect bad guy!  Not voting for Matthew Morrison, because I didn't think he was the funniest part of Glee.  Is that blasphemous of me?  He is insanely talented and he is perfect for Mr. Shue.  I just didn't laugh a whole awful lot when he was talking.  Ok, VOTING FOR Jim Parsons because no one can be that obnoxious in real life, and so he has to be the best actor out there!  Shelden has to be one of the best characters ever created, he makes me laugh even though I watch the show alone :(.  Shelden and Boyd Crowder top my fav characters list for the past year (Uh, HELLO, just reminded me, where are nominations for Justified???!!!)
Heidi: Jim Parsons hands up to the ceiling because I'm raising the roof.  He is absolutely brilliant in BBT.  I've seen him in interviews and he said he doesn't know science.  Um hello, brilliant meet my friend actor.  He is so funny and I love his comments.  Especially in response to a sarcastic comment made my Penny or Leonard.  I don't think Matthew Morrison was funny enough in Glee to warrant a win.  Alec Baldwin is my funny crush but again 30 Rock is my buzzkill.  The others are good in their roles but I just don't think they get the win. (I don't know anything about Larry David so he is left out of this assessment, or a**essment as the case may be)

Amy Poehler as Leslie Knope from "Parks and Recreation"
Julia Louis-Dreyfuss as Christine Campbell from "The New Adventures of Old Christine"
Toni Collette as Tara Gregson from "United States of Tara"
Edie Falco as Jackie Peyton from "Nurse Jackie"
Lea Michele as Rachel Berry from "Glee"
Tina Fey as Liz Lemon from "30 Rock"

Kara: The Winner- Lea Michele- again, the triple threat thing. She consistently has to showcase way more skills and talent than the other ladies. The Snub: Courteney Cox from "Cougar Town"- I started watching this show halfway through the season and was surprised at how good it is, and Cox is possibly better than she was as Monica on "Friends."
Abbey:  The Winner:  Lea Michele.  She also played obnoxious brilliantly (wow, my theme must be actors who can act like crappy people!), and she's totally what I picture when I think of a girl in HS who is the lead in any sort of glee club.  Plus, holy bisniss, girl can SING.  I do wish I'd seen the US of Tara, I saw her on a few talk shows for it and it looked fabulous but I didn't ever watch it.  I bet she was great.  Amy Poehler was pretty funny in Parks & Recreation, but.  That was another show I wished had made me lol more.  And, agreeing with Kara on the Courtney Cox snub.  She is perfect in this role, and all her supporting actors are gold as well. 
Heidi:  Um...  I actually don't think I can get behind any of these noms.  I love Lea and the girl has her pipes but I just didn't think she was SUPER funny in Glee.  Although how she plays her character is right on and she plays it to the wall.  So in that respect she is the best in the category.  Amy Poehler is funny but I haven't really watched Parks & Rec, and the other shows I haven't seen.  If Tina Fey wins again I will be disappointed.  Where is Courtney Cox???

Jesse Tyler Ferguson as Mitchell Pritchett from "Modern Family"
Jon Cryer as Alan Harper from "Two and a Half Men"
Eric Stonestreet as Cameron Tucker from "Modern Family"
Chris Colfer as Kurt Hummell from "Glee"
Ty Burrell as Phil Dunphy from "Modern Family"
Neil Patrick Harris as Barney Stinson from "How I Met Your Mother"

Kara: The Winner- Anyone but Jon Cryer- I love this category because I adore every character except Jon Cryer. Eric Stonestreet is my favorite, Cameron is one of my all time favorite TV characters, but Ty Burrell is hilarious as Phil and Chris Colfer has the triple threat thing. Although, I'd argue that Colfer doesn't contribute to his show the same way that Burrell and Stonestreet do (partly just because its a bigger cast and he doesn't have to), so it should go to someone from "Modern Family." They make up half the nominees, after all. The Snub: Ed O'Neill from "Modern Family." Everyone in this show submitted themselves as supporting actors/actresses because they believe in the ensemble nature of their show. I read that Emmy voters believed O'Neill should've submitted as Lead Actor, not supporting, and hence the snub, but I like what that cast did and think he easily eclipsed Cryer's work on the aging "Two and a Half Men."
Abbey:  The Winner:  Ditto Kara.  I find him insanely annoying.  But that aside.  Eric Stonestreet!!!  Ty Burrell!!!  NPH!!!  Chris Colfer!!!  Sure do love these supporting actors.  They are all phenomenal.  Cameron in MF is ah-mazing.  He kills me.  Phil.  Kills me.  Kurt, love his voice and he does his part well.  NPH, freaking awesome in anything he does. 
Heidi:  I for real love every one in this category except Jon Cryer.  NPH is so completely another man crush of mine and I love him.  His cameo in Glee was my favorite of the season.  All the MF people were bloody fantastic and should all win.  And Kurt from Glee was really funny and really good in his role.  Jon Cryer is good just not up to the caliber of the others who were nominated.

Jane Lynch as Sue Sylvester from "Glee"
Kristen Wiig from "Saturday Night Live"
Julie Bowen as Claire Dunphy from "Modern Family"
Jane Krakowski as Jenna Maroni from "30 Rock"
Sofia Vergara as Gloria Delgado-Pritchett from "Modern Family"
Holland Taylor as Evelyn Harper in "Two and a Half Men"

Kara: The Winner- Jane Lynch- again, I would be okay with wins for Bowen or Vergara (would probably pick Vergara's Gloria over Bowen's Claire), but no other winner is fully acceptable. I'm totally experiencing Sue withdrawals- I actually watched "Another Cinderella Story 7" or something like that on the Disney Channel the other day because Jane Lynch was in it and her stepmom character was definitely a precursor to Sue Sylvester. The Snub: Dianna Agron from "Glee"- her work in the season finale had to be better than anything Jane Krakowski has done this year, and she's a bigger part of her show than Holland Taylor.
Abbey:  The Winner:  Jane Lynch.  Julie Bown and Sofia Vergara are both excellent, but come on people.  Jane Lynch is absolute hands-down amazingness.  Goin' with the theme still, love my mean people!!  I can't imagine being on the receiving end of her insults.  I'd be laughing my face off uncontrollably.  How she delivers them is just *sigh*.  Wish I could channel my own inner Jane Lynch sometimes, ya know??!!
Heidi: Jane Lynch.  It appears we have a sweep going here haha.  She was THE funny of Glee.  All the way, she was the part I thought was funny in the show and she carried it.  I adore her and her comments on people lower than her.  "Here's a thought, try not being homeless!"  Bahahahaha I laugh.  She was great.  I would be okay with MF wins here as well as they were both great.
Um side note....I didn't even know there was a woman in Two and a Half Men...... 

The Colbert Report, The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, The Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien, Real Time with Bill Maher, Saturday Night Live
(The same shows have also been nominated for Outstanding Writing)

Kara: The Winner- AACK! This is perhaps the hardest category because three shows that I am passionately, consistently devoted to are nominated, but I'm going to go with Conan O'Brien because I'd like to stick it to NBC and Jay Leno. I el-oh-vee-ee that even though NBC submitted Leno's version of "The Tonight Show" for nomination, he got totally snubbed in every single category, whereas Conan submitted himself and received a nomination in every single category. Team Coco rocks on! "The Daily Show" frequently wins this category, and for the past few years Stewart has humbly acknowledged that he thinks Colbert and several others are doing better work than him now, and its time to share the love. So while I'd be fine with him winning again, it should be The Report or Conan's turn. Plus, I really, really want to hear what Conan's acceptance speech would be! For that reason alone, I'd like him to win either show or writing.
Abbey:  The Winner:  Colbert Report.  I love the snippets I catch of all these shows, and the clips that Kara & Heidi send me (thanks girls for making sure I have some daily show culture in my life!!).  But, Colbert rules all in my book.  He's stinkin' hilarious and I am afraid of what might happen were I to ever be in the same room with him.  I could not ever even possibly wish to verbally spar with him!  Even if it were just "Hi, I think you're great", I couldn't hang.  He's too witty.  While I catch his jokes as quickly as he spews them, no chance would I ever be able to respond without massive amounts of stuttering.  I heart him.  I love all his facial expressions too, they complete it! 
Heidi:  Um wow.  I don't even know where to begin here.  The Colbert Report is insanity.  He's so witty I can hardly keep up with the banter and I second Abbey that I would never like to meet him because I'd be on the floor laughing and at the same time horribly embarrassed because I just because the butt of 40 jokes in 10 seconds flat.  I adore all his little segments, but I hate watching his interviews.  Haha because I feel bad for the people.  The Daily Show, I love Jon and the many other John's he has.  They are all phenomenal, but he's won a lot so I think someone else should win.  SNL was not as funny as it has been so while it's great it shouldn't win.  And Conan.  Enough said.  He's supa funny and should be acknowledged for that.  So much funny, so little time....

Knight and Day

Um let me just start by saying that I el oh vee ee Tom Cruise.  LOVE him.  As an actor.  In his movies.  I think he is actually one of the best actors.  Total whack-a-doo in real life, but his movies are just great.  And this one is no exception.

It was an action movie which is always one of my favorites, but also super cheesy and quite funny.  Tom's character is just super dry humor which is fun to watch.  And Cameron Diaz plays a perfect girl who needs to be saved.  There were some moments where the cheese was a little too much for me and I physically had to groan, but overall I completely loved, completely recommend it as a date night/night out movie, and just grab the popcorn!!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Robin Hood & A-Team

Double Summer Feature Review- Get Your Popcorn and Frosty Drinks Ready!

First the A-Team.

I think I should add a disclaimer that I love Bradley Cooper deeply and have ever since Alias. I also should warn you I saw this movie with my mom who Liam Neelson she claims at least “melts her butter,” direct quote there. This movie was pure summer popcorn movie and I loved it for that. Murdoch the semi crazy character who tries to hotwire a car with a defiberlator is pretty hilarious at all times. Face is just that pretty and funny and rocks a suit as well as no shirt at all. And the rest of the A-Team are really great at their parts. And everyone else was great too except you Jessica Biel- where are your BDUs!

If you just want a fun Iron Man kind of movie go see this. Smart yet not intense and just plain fun.

Robin Hood was much more serious and to be honest I was a little unexcited about this prospect. But it was really marvelous and had light and dark parts. It is more of a origin story and I was really interested becuase it told the story in a completely different yet great way. What I loved most about this movie and I have to admit I kept tearing up which I still cannot figure out why. Was just the straight out fight of the people even when they were not really in the best situations.

My only complaint had to do with Marion at the end and if you have seen this you know what I am talking about. I don’t disagree with what she did but how she handles herself in the situation. Go see it if you want a great story with some gorgeous scenery. And as always Blanchett and Crowe deliver.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

The Best Of . . .

Wow, an actual new post from me- it's been awhile! As Heidi said, that whole having a baby (and doing so in dramatic fashion, once again!) has really taken it out of me. And I of course should be sleeping right now since the baby is, and the toddler is, and its 11:34 pm, but I'd rather do something that brings back a semblance of my old life. Blogging, hooray!

It's time for a year in the review for the 2009-2010 TV season. I'd love to know what the rest of the Hacks think too, since everything is now in reruns I can catch up on something you all loved that I may have missed this past year. Hard to imagine that I missed much, since between 26 weeks of morning sickness and bedrest at the end of the pregnancy, I'd say I definitely watched more than my fair share of TV this year, but still, I may have missed something fabulous that I can now watch while nursing the baby. Thank God I was born in the era of two TVs minimum in every home!

1- The best thing about this past season was that comedies are back! Hooray! These are my favorites, I'm all about the half hour sitcom in most cases, and pretty much since "Friends" signed off there's been a dearth of them in my TV viewing. But now, thanks to "Modern Family," "Cougar Town," and the fact that I've started watching "How I Met Your Mother" and "The Big Bang Theory," there's a good two hours of solid laughs. Cameron from "Modern Family" is perhaps one of my favorite characters on TV right now (I crack up just thinking about him shrieking when they left their adopted daughter Lilly on the elevator in the Hawaii episode). We would totally be friends (you know, if he was real.) And although I was initially very off-put by the idea behind "Cougar Town," I discovered that its a quality ensemble comedy with an absolutely terrible, misleading title. Give it a chance!
2- "Glee" deserves the award for the best new thing in TV. I can't think of another show like it, or one that has influenced other aspects of pop culture so well. I read an interview with Ryan Murphy, the creator, where he said at first he was having a hard time getting artists to agree to let their music be used. But after the Madonna episode's soundtrack went to #1 on the Billboard 100 chart before the episode even aired, musicians are now asking him to use their stuff on the show. He brings in a good mix of show tunes, modern, and more classical stuff, and all of the actors are insanely talented. Any show that can give plum spots to Idina Menzel and Neil Patrick Harris is tops in my book.
3- Crazy, complicated, irritatingly addictive dramas ruled the one hour drama spot with the end of "Lost" and the rising popularity of "Fringe." I should admit that I don't watch either of these shows (well, sort of- Shiloh watches "Fringe" so I see it but don't pay that much attention), but I'm going to start streaming "Lost" on Netflix as soon as I figure out how to get our Wii hooked up to our WiFi and then use that disk I got from Netflix, and I believe I'll love it, from what I know, but also be super annoyed by it. I love J.J. Abrams, I've watched everything he's done starting with "Felicity," so I will always give his work a chance.
4- And finally, "Community" wins my award for the Show with the Most Characters that I Wish Were Real People. This show cracks me up week after week, I seriously want to join that study group or teach at Greendale Community College. Abed is my favorite (love his encyclopedic knowledge of all things movie/tv), but Troy got some great storylines as well (favorite line: "Troy, why do you have a monkey?" "It's an animal that looks like a dude. Why don't I have ten of them?") and Joel McHale is my new favorite comedian. He's even got me watching the "E" network, something I would never, ever have done before seeing "Community," because only one half hour a week of Joel McHale's snarky, sarcastic humor is just not enough, and thus "The Soup" has become another show I'll pretty much always stop on.

I've read up a little bit on the new TV lineup for fall, so a future post with what I hope will be the best of the next season is coming. But I think it needs to be stated that summer TV is pretty freaking awesome right now too. I know Abbey loves "Wipeout," she and Heidi got me into "So You Think You Can Dance" this past year, and who doesn't love every single show on USA Network? Not sure why NBC can't get decent programming on their primetime lineup, but God bless whoever is in charge of programming on USA. "Burn Notice," "In Plain Sight," "Royal Pains," "White Collar" and "Psych" are all pretty much must-see viewing for me (and blessedly available for free from Medicom On Demand, so I can watch during these many, many nursing sessions every day.)

Friday, June 25, 2010

The Men of the World Cup

*I'm sorry Kara, I just have to mention something about it : ).  But I promise it won't dwell on the sport part haha.*

Now when I say men of the World Cup, I'm not talking about the ridiculous amounts of eye candy that surrounds every single team and game (however on that note, after taking a poll the US team does have the highest per capita ratio of hot men...., we could think of no one on team who was truly ugly.  Yay US!!)

No I'm talking about the men who are near and dear to my heart because they've been around for all my life.  They're my announcers.  I love when great players who I loved to watch become amazing commentators so they can still be in my life and additionally have a sense of humor.  I have three who I absolutely love.

Alexi Lalas.  He was legitimately my hero when I was little and the main reason I wanted to be a defender.  He was awesome and I wanted to be awesome.  His personality is really sarcastic and often the things he says are 'controversial'.  He likes to go against the main stream and isn't afraid to just say that someone is sucking.  And now that he's lost the nasty hair and beard I must say he's muy good looking.

John Harkes.  Also a good looking individual.  He played around the time that Lalas played so they've been together for a long time.  Someday it is my dream to hear them commentate a game together.  Harkes was a forward so he scored lots of goals.  Mainly what I remember about him was just how graceful he looked playing soccer.  He is always calm and it's very soothing to listen to him matter-of-factly tell the game.

And last Jurgen Klinsmann.  He played for Germany and was their coach for a little while.  Currently he lives in Los Angelas with his American wife and kids.  I mostly just love him because he's German.  And he's the only one with the nerve to say that in "that situation [a breakaway] the player just should have fouled.  A professional foul.  His coach should have told him that."

Love them all!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Sue Sylvester

I realize that I mentioned Glee and Sue in the last post that I did, but this is more of an homage.  I have always loved Jane Lynch in pretty much everything she's been in because she's always the sarcastic, borderline mean person and I find that really funny.  I know that I maybe shouldn't because she is being mean, but just like Kara admitted she laughs when people fall, I'll admit I think it's hilarious when others are mean (in a purely fictional set-up of course ; ).  Honestly if I was an actor on this show I would have a very difficult time not laughing when I'm being mercilessly insulted by Sue.  I believe my favorite insult of the season was when she sensed Will was behind her and then said, "Ah Will, I knew it was you from the baking cookie smell coming from the little elves that live in your hair."  HA!  How incredibly random is that?  I loved it.  So all that has been impressing me, but then for the icing on the cake, in the last couple of episodes she has sung!  She's done Madonna and Olivia Newton-John.  And she's been amazing.  Her music videos are pure gold and have just made me like her even more.  I think she is my favorite character on tv right now.  Well favorite girl character anyway!  Yay team Sue!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

And we're back...

Whew! Been a long time. But I'm feeling like I don't want to work SO here I am.  Haha apparently, finding new jobs, finals, having children, etc. really fills up our lives!  But I thought I'd lighten the mood and give a review of a movie I know at least two of my other Hackers has seen. 

Now I did not see the 3D version, one because they are 5 extra dollars here in Michigan, and also because I truly dislike 3D movies.  But I did go to a late night version with my friend and a blanket and it was awesome.  This movie was super cute and I totally adored all the voices in it.  The dragons were SO dang cute and I loved that they didn't talk.  I think it totally would have ruined the movie if the dragons had talked.  And it allowed them to have such cute facial expressions.  Overall it was just a super cute cartoon and is added to my growing list of favorites.  What can I say, I'm just a kid at heart always.

Some other things that I've been enjoying lately are the abundance of good tv shows on.  My favs include:
*In Plain Sight.  Honestly I just can't get enough of this show.
*Cougartown.  So funny and I love Courtney Cox and the neighbor.
*Modern Family.  Funny. The. End.
*Justified.  Oh my Timothy Olyphant.  Him and his Southern accent I could watch all day and night...
*Glee.  As always.  Love the singing and love that crazy Sue Sylvester is back.
Love it.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

April 30th

This is coming to Phoenix's Dodge Theater April 30th:
Possibly the best tour title ever (his exit agreement with NBC even prohibited him from giving interviews until September, they really don't want him spreading any stories about what horrible people they are. Fortunately Andy Richter is doing it for him- did you see him guest hosting with Kelly on "Regis & Kelly" last week? It was awesome.) Also, Conan is not making any money off of this personally- he's doing all right with his $32.5 million from NBC, of course- but instead is employing his former staffers to work the tour.

So, I'm going to be 32 weeks along in this pregnancy tomorrow, and because of the horrible ending of the last one we're looking at inducing at the earliest at 36 weeks (April 12th) or at the latest April 26th. How bad would it be to take 5 day old, 1 week and 5 days old, or 2 weeks and 5 days old baby to a Conan show? It's never too early to teach them what's really funny in life, right?

Monday, March 8, 2010

Jane Austen is a Genius

Last night I was reading "Northanger Abbey," the fifth book of my journey through the writings of Jane Austen that I've undertaken this year. So far, its proving to be my least favorite; she uses a different writing style, the characters aren't nearly as likable, and the women are even less engaged in useful activities than her previous works.

But then last night, I read a passage that absolutely cracked me up and I had to get up in order to not wake up my sleeping husband. Silly young heroine Catherine Morland is talking to two of her older (and obviously wiser) friend:

Catherine begins with "I can read poetry and plays, and things of that sort, and do not dislike travels. But history, real solemn history, I cannot be interested in. Can you?"

"Yes, I am fond of history."

"I wish I were too. I read it a little as a duty; but it tells me nothing that does not either vex or weary me. The quarrels of popes and kings, with wars and pestilences in every page; the men all so good for nothing, and hardly any women at all, it is very tiresome; and yet I often think it odd that it should be so dull, for a great deal of it must be invention. The speeches that are put into the heroes' mouths, their thoughts and designs; the chief of all this must be invention, and invention is what delights me in other books."

"Historians, you think," said Miss Tilney, "are not happy in their flights of fancy. They display imagination without raising interest. I am fond of history, and am very well contented to take the false with the true. In the principal facts they have sources of intelligence in former histories and records, which may be as much depended on, I conclude, as anything that does not actually pass under one's own observation; and as for the little embellishments you speak of, they are embellishments, and I like them as such. If a speech be well drawn up, I read it with pleasure, by whomsoever it may be made; and probably with much greater, if the production of Mr. Hume or Mr. Robertson, than if the genuine words of Caractacus, Agricola, or Alfred the Great."

"You are fond of history! And so are Mr. Allen and my father; and I have two brothers who do not dislike it. So many instances within my small circle of friends is remarkable! At this rate, I shall not pity the writers of history any longer. If people like to read their books, it is all very well; but to be at so much trouble in filling great volumes, which, as I used to think, nobody would willingly ever look into, to be labouring only for the torment of little boys and girls, always struck me as a hard fate; and though I know it is all very right and necessary, I have often wondered at the person's courage that could sit down on purpose to do it."

"That little boys and girls should be tormented," said Henry," is what no one at all acquainted with human nature in a civilised state can deny; but in behalf of our most distinguished historians, I must observe, that they might well be offended at being supposed to have no higher aim; and that by their method and style they are perfectly well qualified to torment readers of the most advanced reason and mature time of life. I use the verb 'to torment,' as I observed to be your own method, instead of 'to instruct,' supposing them to be now admitted as synonymous."

"You think me foolish to call instruction a torment; but if you had been as much used as myself to hear poor little children first learning their letters, and then learning to spell, if you had ever seen how stupid they can be for a whole morning together, and how tired my poor mother is at the end of it, as I am in the habit of seeing almost every day of my life at home, you would allow, that to torment and to instruct might sometimes be used as synonymous words."

"Very probably. But historians are not accountable for the difficulty of learning to read; and even you yourself, who do not altogether seem particularly friendly to very severe, very intense application, may perhaps be brought to acknowledge that it is very well worth while to be tormented for two or three years of one's life, for the sake of being able to read all the rest of it."

If only I had read this before going to grad school and spending six years getting a Ph.D. in history! I think Catherine's perspective gives me a little insight into the minds of the Arizona Board of Regents, and the State Legislature. And its really too bad they aren't as smart as Mr. Henry Tilney. This would be a much better state to live in if they were.

Friday, February 26, 2010

? of the Week

Ok guys it has been a while since we had a ? and so I thought I would post one. Ok here it is a simple ? from me for once barely any thinking to do. You can answer as much or as little as you want. I am going to call this ? The Roll Call.

What are the last books, CDs & movies you have read, listen to or seen? And what did you think about them? Or what are you in the middle of right now?
I will post my answer tonight, but I love to know what people are in the middle of so that is my ?.

ABBEY. Oh em gee, stop the presses, I am blogging. My brain has been back on static mode and I can't see through it to think about much. It's tuning back in though, so, phew. Here we go *rubbing hands together*:
Books: Slashed through the Vampire Diaries books finally, and I thought the books were lame. The show is 1000 times better, I hate Elena way less on the show than I did in the books. Cdub did a fantastic job with this one, I heartily commend all the (numerous) changes they made. I also read a book my mom gave me a yearish ago called the Whistling Season by Ivan Doig. The writing was probably some of the best descriptional work I've ever read, and I felt myself swooning as I do when I listen to piano music. It was magical to read. The problem was that the story was boring. So boring. Conflicting feelings on this one because it was so great to read, but I wished the entire time there was a little more action. If you're hungering for lovely reading though, then I recommend.
Movies: Saw Couples Retreat, hahlarious. Vince Vaughn is creeping up my list of favorite comedians, I love all the words and the smart stuttering. Plus "There isn't much to say" is probably one of the best lines I've ever heard. The girls were good on this one too, I thought Kristen Bell (new fav girl) was great as a neurotic organized person. I got to see When in Rome (with Kara!), and it was super cute. Josh Duhamel is super cute and a great comedian as well. Plus I enjoyed the return of Napoleon, and Dax Shepard was totally awesome as someone suffering greatly from narcissism ("I'm going to have to say I didn't really learn much from this experience, but I'm glad I got to help you grow!..."). Nice abs too, Dax. Mmmm.
Music: Adam Lambert is still unreachably high on my playlist, and if my computer hadn't contracted a virus no antibiotic would touch, I would also do that review right now too. But since I have a sad pathetic memory, I'll have to wait until I have 3.7 hours to put my music back on this machine. I just moments ago downloaded Ray LaMontagne, and I fully recommend taking a listen to him on iTunes. I don't know why, but I am a super fan of the breathy, raspy men (Matt Wertz is a frickin' fantastic example of this, do yourself a favor and check him out as well). I totally just want to chill whilst listening to my new best bud Ray. I feel calm. Now if my husband were home, we'd totally pull a 1950's married couple and dance together swaying in the middle of the living room.
I need recommendations for books girls, so get 'em up here!

Ok here we go on the nightstand at the moment The Historian digging it greatly, hardly in but this story is mesmerizing. And all the little European towns in it are very enchanting love to read about places where old meets new. It is also about vampires, but so not! More of an academic mystery. Vamp D books I heard were awful so sorry you had to go through that Abbey. 2 fave authors I recently rediscovered were Alice Hoffman and Billie Letts so check them out as far as recommendations go.

I know I did not say but TV, add that in. Ok I am currently obsessed with Supernatural. I always wanted to watch it but never got the chance, but since there is now cable & syndication & the lovely DVR!!! I got my chance and I am loving Jensen Ackles his whole cocky but actually really sweet guy thing works for me in all the right ways.

Last movie I watched was Kinky Boots a British comedy about a shoe factory that starts to make ummm shoes for men who dress like women. Because it is a market they can sell too and also it might keep their factory open. Besides they too need well made shoes in the latest fashions As always the people in it have more layers than thoughts and the human spirit wins so yay! I also saw When in Rome and agree with all of Abbey's comments. Kristin Bell will always be my girl because of Veronica Mars.

Music V.V. Brown has an amazing CD out it is upbeat and fun yet still smart and the more I listen the more I dig. Brenden Bensen also has a great CD, if you want a more alternative option. Plus I swear at times he sounds just like Paul McCartney which freaks me out in the good way. Ok that is all I got- what about the rest of you?

Books: I'm working through the collected works of Jane Austen this year. It started over Christmas when I began reading "Sense & Sensibility," but then forget it at my mom's house when I came home. Then I realized my grandmother had given me some of her old classics when she and my grandpa downsized to a smaller house, and she owned a book that has all 6 of Austen's novels. "Sense & Sensibility" was the first one, so I finished it and then kept going. My goal was to finish them all by the end of the year, but its the end of February and I've already read 4, so I may beat that! Although that means I've gotta get through "Mansfield Park" & "Northanger Abbey" before the baby comes . . . probably not going to happen. I love them, I think they're fabulous, but I constantly think, "My word, these women do nothing." Their entire lives consist of visiting people and planning picnics and playing the piano or drawing. It's absurd and totally confirms my opinion that for women, there are no good old days. So far "Pride & Prejudice" is my favorite. Nobody writes smart, opinionated women like Jane.
Music: I haven't been doing too much new with music lately, sad to say, but tonight on the way home from my friend's mom's funeral, I heard a wonderful Pearl Jam song that made me cry. The DJ said its called "Just Breathe," which is a lame title, but it was beautiful. I'm about to download it off iTunes so I can memorize it (and probably cry again) but the line I'm remembering right now that stood out to me was in the very beginning, and he sings something like "I'm lucky to be able to count the people I love on two hands, some people can do only one and some people have none."
Movies: Again, not too much new here, but Abbey and I had a much needed girl's night last week and saw "When in Rome" and I totally loved it. Jon Heder is a genius, and Dax Shepard's line "I'm glad I got to help you grow" (see Abbey's earlier post) still makes me laugh. I'm constantly on the lookout for a chance to use that quote in my life. This isn't particularly a review of one movie, but I'd like to give a shout out to Netflix for making my teaching life significantly easier this semester. Thanks to their vast selection of historical documentaries that are all available for instant streaming, and ASU Poly's super mediated classrooms I teach in, I have been able to stream said documentaries from my personal laptop into the classroom's computer system. This is fantastic, because it allows me to only lecture for 45 mins then do portions of documentaries for the last half hour, and thus allows me to eat on my marathon teaching day. God bless Netflix.

HEIDI - Alright I guess I'm just a massive slacker this past week.... but I'll try and make up for it.
Okay I'll start with Books. I've got nothing. Really in the past two and half months since Christmas I've only read the entire Percy Jackson series (this is really not that impressive because I think each book took me about 4 hours each....). Well I suppose I also read Have a Little Faith by Mitch Albom and I totally loved(!) it. I start the Poisonwood Bible on my trip to D.C. and it's interesting but I just haven't been in the mood to read much the past few weeks. Cor told me I should read The Help though so I'll check into that.
Music, I've totally been digging Kesha. I know she's super dirty in most her songs, well the ones on the radio, but if you search through her cd to Boots and Boys and Blind then you'll love it. Her beat is so catchy and just fun to rock out to. I've also been Lada Gaga obsessed a little bit, especially Telephone. And of course Adam Lambert. And I've rediscovered my love of punk rock in the form of my "reject boy" playlist (yes Abbey I am playlist obsessed but this playlist combines my love of Fall Out Boy, All American Rejects, Bowling for Soup, Hawthorne Heights, Green Day, and many others).
Movies....um ya sad to say but the last movie I saw in theatres was Holmes. Totally loved it though! Oh wait haha just a couple days ago Ab, Ben and I saw Valentine's Day. I was all ready to be skeptical of this movie but it was actually super funny and I totally loved it. On netflix I recently got Gamer, which was violent but I really liked it. It made me think in the way that Law Abiding Citizen made me think and love that. Plus the guy who plays Dexter was so amazingly fantastic I can't even describe. So violent but really intriguing. Oh I also watched Couples Retreat and totally agree with Ab on Vince Vaughn. Funny guy. And I watched the end of the world movie with Keanu Reeves as an alien.... can't remember the name right now...dang. It was actually passable. It was definitely about how we're destroying the earth but still had it's interesting parts... Tonight and tomorrow I'll be seeing Shutter Island and Alice in Wonderland so we'll see how those go.
Alright tv shows, on Netflix I've been working my way through Moonlight which is about a vampire who is a private investigator. I like it. I think I may be becoming a genre person in my like of vampire dramas but really they just intrigue me especially the different takes everyone has on the same horror. The past two weeks was taken over by the Olympics and I had to forego all other shows in an effort to keep up with what was happening. It was fun but I will be happy to go home and work through all those shows I've missed. Although I did keep up with The Soup because I can't go without it for a week. Ya I think that's all.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

The Olympics

I don't know if this counts as a tv show or not but....I don't know what else it would be. Special feature maybe? Oh well, anyway, since my entertainment life has been entirely taken up by the Olympics in the past week and a half I thought I would mention a few of my thoughts about it.

 - While I love the Olympics and can't wait for every other year when they come around, is it really necessary for all my other shows to quit for two weeks (or in the most grievous case a month and a half)? Trust me, my tivo can handle it!

- Cross country. Honestly I think it's on every day. And to me it all looks like the same event. I can't tell the people apart, much less if they're men or women, and it just looks so unbelievably hard. I commend them greatly on their endurance (my Heaven their endurance and leg muscles!) but really I find you boring cross country. A contributing factor to this may also be the fact that the United States is really terrible at it. However, the announcer for cross country events gets SO excited about everything that is slowly happening, that each time I'm sucked in thinking it's interesting, and then I realize I don't know who he's talking about because he's using the people's names, and I need him to bring it down to my level and use the colors of their uniforms and poles. And the mass start biathalon is just sheer chaos! You have 20 people at one time on the shooting range and people are missing you don't know who's who and you just really need to give up.

- Men's figure skating. I'm curious as to when this sport changed from something that really strong, small men did, to where it's now somewhat of a make-up and costume competition. Don't get me wrong they're still amazingly strong but it just seems there's a higher percentage of guys batting for the other team then there used to be....

- Ice Dancing. Really this is a cool sport. I think that it flows really well and I like watching dancing on ice because the moves and turns seem so much smoother and just generally prettier. But the woman announcer just about drove me to insanity. She was a little to intense about her sport and how it is harder than any other Olympic sport....rrriiiiigggghhhhtttt. I think I should just watch it on mute. And the Russian pair really scared me. They are not people I'd like to meet in a dark alley because they strike me as completely psychotic. Did you see their creepy facial expressions while they were doing the weird Aboriginal dance????

- The snowboarders are my absolute favorite. Watching their interviews is just awesome because they're all so laid back and happy! You kind of wonder whether they care about winning or if they're just happy they found some snow they can ride on. Shaun White is AHmazing. And Johnny Moseley (yes I know he's skiing) is my Olympic crush....

 - I love Chris Collinsworth. He's my favorite NFL announcer and every fluff personal piece he does on random athletes I have to watch. I love his voice and he's just a funny guy. And Steven Colbert makes me laugh out loud. Especially with his moose.

- Why do they have to show the qualifying rounds of some of these sports? I honestly don't really care and isn't there other sports you could put on that aren't qualifying? Like a curling match or a hockey game.... I don't need to watch the quarters, semis, second semis, and two final rounds of short track speed skating (I'm not kidding that's how many rounds there was). Just give me the finals. Maybe this makes me impatient but I'd rather see a short time of a lot of different events then just one for 2 hours.

Okay this probably sounded like a lot of complaining. It really wasn't, just some observations I had and ideas on how to make it better. Because we all know the IOC and NBC wants my opinion. I do love the Olympics and will be sad to see them go for another two years....but happy to have my other shows back too :).

Friday, January 29, 2010


I don't know if Jon Stewart qualifies as entertainment or news. I know there's been debate about this for awhile now, but I'll be totally honest here- I get way more of my "news" from his show than any other so-called news source. And it's much, much funnier- or at least intentionally funny. I often laugh at CNN and Fox News, but I don't think they'd appreciate the parts I think are funny.

But anyhow, I think because this clip is so funny, it can be on a blog related to criticizing all forms of media. But I also found this story both hilarious and disturbing, so of course I needed to share it. As Stewart says here, I now understand why South Carolina didn't try to impeach Governor Mark Sanford after he disappeared for a week to meet his Argentinian mistress (under the guise of "hiking the Appalachian Trail"- even his staff couldn't find him.) Their Lieutenant Governor is a nightmare! And he's now running for governor- and I believe is the leading Republican candidate. What?!? I would be okay with letting South Carolina secede (again) if this guy wins. There may be a good argument about not creating a dependency culture, but it should NOT involve starving children. Sheesh.

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Saturday, January 23, 2010

I'm WIth Coco

I just finished watching Conan O'Brien's last "The Tonight Show" (which, incidentally, is probably the last time I'll watch that show myself) and man, I totally heart that guy.
I was at Abbey's house ridiculously late one night this week because of weird house title/deed stuff we had to get done, and as luck would have it our internet was knocked out by the storms we've been having in Phoenix. (Four inches of rain equalling is a storm is a little pathetic, but what are you gonna do? Us desert dwellers can't handle it.) I had her turn on Conan since Joel McHale was on- and I think we've pretty well documented what fans we HACKs are of McHale.
We started talking about what was going on with NBC deciding to essentially just blow up their late night programming schedule, and I was telling her about this clip that Conan showed when the whole debacle started going down. (Yes, I'm excited that I've finally learned how to embed videos! Welcome to technology that was available about 2 decades ago, Kara!) This sums it up pretty nicely, I think:
So basically, NBC is the heartless pimp (although is there any other kind?) out for profit, which is interesting because they're not really making any right now anyway, can we say 4th place network? And Conan is the nice ho who's getting screwed.

I've always been a big fan of Conan, I started watching Late Night with Conan O'Brien when I was old enough (ie when I went to college and could stay up as late as I wanted) and have loved him ever since. I don't think he was as funny at the 10:35 time slot yet as he was a little later (lets face it, not all jokes play well at that time slot and you have to kind of tone it down- or go to cable- speaking of, might I propose some sort of Comedy Central venture with a Conan/Stewart/Colbert lineup?) But he was still hilarious. I watched Leno's 9pm show about twice and its not funny. I didn't think he was particularly funny when he was on "The Tonight Show" and never really watched then- so I guess the fact that I will probably never watch the show again isn't really going to hurt NBC's numbers too much, given I've only been watching for the past 7 months. Eh. I don't think Letterman is funny, he's always struck me as sort of a dirty old man (which apparently is true, if his recent tabloid struggles are any indication) and I find Paul Schaefer grating. Jimmy Kimmel is funny, he's better at taped gags or pre-recorded stuff than a monologue though, but since he comes on after Nightline and I'm not a huge fan of our local ABC news station, I'm never watching that channel and usually only see his stuff online. I recently was told I would like Craig Ferguson, so I checked out his show after Letterman and I do indeed think he's pretty funny. I also would've guessed he was drunk, except apparently he doesn't do that anymore. But his show conflicts with my viewing of "The Daily Show" & "The Colbert Report," which are my late night priorities, and the reason why I never watched all of Conan when he was on so late.

So, all that to say, I was thrilled when he got "The Tonight Show" gag because it really filled in that hour of television-less time in my late night schedule. Goodness knows I have nothing else to do with that time period, and Conan is a great way to end your day. Right before Stewart and Colbert, if I can stay awake that long. If not, its great online naptime viewing! Cory and Heidi are big fans of making top ten lists, and I'm not sure if I'll get all the way to ten, but over the past few weeks I've been thinking of all the ways I love Senor Conando, so here's a list:

1. He's smart. Like, ridiculously smart. Dude went to Harvard, wrote for SNL, The Simpsons, then got the Late Night gig when Letterman got hosed out of "The Tonight Show" (by Jay Leno too, hmm, pattern?) and had a terrible early run, but found his stride somewhere through the second season and rocked it for 16 years. He knows historical and pop culture references and uses them with ease, which also makes him cool (well, in my book, and I hold a Ph.D. in history, so we all know how cool I am.)
2. He's self-depricating. I guess maybe you have to be, with hair like that, but I'm finding that the older I get in life, I just can't deal with people who can't be self-depricating. They're annoying. They take themselves too seriously and that makes them irritating, and often exhausting, to be around. Leno's humor is actually kind of pompous (things like "Jaywalking," while admittedly funny, are designed to put himself in a superior light to the poor saps he accosts on the street.) Conan doesn't do that. He does gross (Masturbating Bear- or Self-Pleasuring Grizzly, as Robin Williams suggested he rename the bear when he goes to another network because NBC claims to "own" all of his "intellectual property.") He does weird physical comedy (string dance, funny spin and jump thing he opens his shows with, sometimes he just hops around the cameras.) This annoys some people, who find him juvenile, but its actually brilliant because he is perfectly comfortable being the butt of the joke himself. Everyone watching can just be entertained, and nobody needs to feel belittled. Well, except for NBC lately, but some people just deserve it.
3. He supports new artists. I've seen a lot of new musical groups and bands on his Late Night show, and he continued the pattern with "The Tonight Show," making sure he booked up and coming guests as well as established, crowd pleasing names. Neil Young said as much after he played "Long May You Run" on Conan's last show.
4. He invites guests just for the fun of it. Yes, late night guests are plugging new projects, and we all know that when we watch, but it can get annoying. Conan does it too, he has to, but he also brings on friends who are just funny to watch him interact with. I don't know when the last time I saw Norm McDonald doing anything was, but he was on Conan's show about 3 times and was hilarious each time.
5. He has fun. When he signed off on "Late Night," he said a lot of people have done better shows than he has, but no one has had more fun doing it. And I think that's obvious when you watch his show. He's so happy doing his job, and that he can be as goofy and ridiculous as he wants to be, and that life has worked out so well for him, that its a pleasure to watch. The only other late night host I see the same enthusiasm from is Craig Ferguson, which is maybe why I enjoyed his show.
6. He's kind. On his last show, he said nobody gets what they think they're going to get from life, but if you work hard and you're kind, amazing things will happen. Right now, I'd say that it seems like if you're kind, you're gonna get screwed, but Conan would rather do the right thing to his own detriment than be unkind to others. Leno is getting his old time slot back because his show was a huge, unfunny failure at 9 pm. The network's first brilliant idea was to move Leno to a half hour show at 10:35, then have Conan air at 11:05, followed by Fallon and then I guess Carson Daly, although I have no idea what on earth he does at 1:30 in the morning or whenever he's on. Conan felt like this would fail (he was right, his show would seem repetitive after half an hour of Leno, and what on earth would Leno do with a half hour comedy show?) and rather than ruin the franchise, and probably muscle Jimmy Fallon out of a job too, he stepped aside. Because he's kind like that. I've heard people defending Jay Leno, saying he's such a good guy, but there's been two big late night wars, and he's been at the center of each of them. I'm kind of inclined to agree with Letterman and say, "This is vintage Jay."

Conan's getting over $30 million from his severance package (and paying his staff over $12 million personally- he did the same when the writer's strike aired, paid everyone who couldn't work out of his own pocket) and its not like he's going to be hurting financially ever, so I don't feel sorry for him in that sense. But money isn't everything, and watching his dream die and seeing him lose his dream job for such odd reasons is still kind of heartbreaking- even though he can laugh all the way to the bank.