You are what you watch.

TV, Movies, Web, Books, and other extraneous things, and why some are worth your time and money - mostly

Sunday, January 29, 2006

SAG Awards: Wake Me When The Oscars Start


Awards season is like an annual visit from a wealthy senile old aunt. You have to sit and listen to her taaaaaalk........ veeeeeeeeeeeeryyyyyyyyyyyyy.............. slooooooooooowlyyyyyyyyyy....... for hours, knowing that somewhere in the middle, she might, just might, drop some interesting tidbits of family history and at the same time holding out hope of that distant time when you might someday, somehow, wind up in her will.

Since I missed the Globes, tonights Screen Actors Guild Awards were my first official awards show. I was so bored that right now, ten minutes after they ended, I couldn't tell you who one best actor. I just couldn't. Maybe my Ritalin wore off early, but by the end, all I wanted to do was finish my crossword.

The excting bits were few and far between:
Terry O'Quinn's surprisingly funny acceptance speech for the Lost "ensemble" sealed his place as the single coolest man on Television, scratch that, Earth (Step Down, Jim Caviezel, Terry's Jesus).
Sean Hayes really needs to come out once and for all. Mary, you ain't foolin' no one.
And S. Epatha Merkerson gets best speech for gleefully thanking her divorce lawyer.

That made for about 10 interesting minutes. Another 15 were taken up by incompetent readings of the teleprompter, with the all time low hit by the Brokeback Boys, who giggled through their description of the "tragic love story," like ten year olds on hearing the word "sex."

Unfortunately those god damned housewives stole not one but two catagories and gave bad speeches to boot. Mary Louise Parker (Weeds) and Arrested Development were both more deserving and more in need of the publicity.

PS. That senile aunt's name? Shirley Temple Black. I coulda sworn she was dead.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

What could be Better than Jon Stewart Hosting the Oscars; Part 2

CNN.com - 'Family Guy's' Stewie hosting talk show - Jan 25, 2006
Ohboyohboyohboyohboyohboyohboyohboy!

Also, check out Jesus: The Musical, via Scott-o-rama

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Lost Remote: UPN AND WB TO MERGE

Lost Remote: UPN AND WB TO MERGE

I know it's been a while, but this is pretty big news. The two runts of the Prime time networks are joining forces and hoping to work some hardcore synergy.
I personally have never watched either network, since I am neither black nor a twelve year old girl.

As for this new CW network, well... It's a mystery.

Regarding my rather unPC comment earlier, this is basically why a merger/name-image change is so needed. Both networks have been catering to very specific demographics and most of the rest of us just dismiss them because we don't fit into those niches.
This is bad news for non cable-owners, though, since they'll lose a sixth of all programming (a seventh if you count PBS)

Friday, January 13, 2006

What Could Be Better Than Jon Stewart at the Oscars?

Sarah Silverman at the Independant Spirit Awards

Monday, January 09, 2006

Not much time to post tonight

I won't have much time to post tonight, I'm in the middle of pimping my computer (today I got 160 gig external hard drive, wireless mouse & a CD/DVD RW as mildly belated Chanuka gifts, late this week I'll install Linux). Sorry about Geeking out

Meanwhile, check out one of my favorite NPR/podcasts: On the Media. This week is an anniversary edition, so in addition to their excellent media coverage, they also include bloopers, best of and a song. Check it out.

Awards season begins

USATODAY.com - Awards season begins

Well, I missed the first awards show of the season. A little part of me died inside. On the other hand part one of my manifesto on "Active Media Consumption" will be up tomorrow.

Sounds like the Critics Circle (was this even on TV, I'm not sure.) didn't drop any big surprises... Considering the winners were announced in December. It was the usual suspects, people who's thank you speeches by Oscar time I'll be ably to recite with them: Heath Ledger, Ang Lee, Reese Witherspoon.

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Tarantino Plans to Put "Bill" Back Together Again

Tarantino Plans to Put "Bill" Back Together Again

I've been wondering when this would be coming along. Kill Bill was excellent, and the only reason I haven't bought it yet is I knew this edition might someday be coming out. I wish they hadn't taken so goddamn long, though. It may benefit from a theatre run to rev up hype for the now two-three year old movie.

Saturday, January 07, 2006

Why's my computer so slow?

Maybe this is why:



In case you can't reallysee, that's the bottom of my Source list in iTunes, displaying the tail end of my CLOSE T0 3000 empty, untitled, RAM-eating playlists. There is no way to delete multiple playlists at once, and because they slow down the computer so there is terrible lag. As you can see, I have already rather tediously erased 8, 80-89, 800-899 and almost all of the nines. I can't run any sort of entertainment while I'm doing it (songs & movies skip) and my arm falls asleep.

Now, please shower me with pity while simultaneously complimenting my music taste.

Friday, January 06, 2006

Gay Son: "I'm Not Just the Gay Son"

The Book of Daniel
One Line Summary: Six Feet Under with Priests.
One Line Review: Smarter than Desperate Housewives, More Jesus than Chronicles of Narnia, More Cliches than a Friends Marathon. B

So, I'm fresh off the midseason premiere of Book of Daniel, the new NBC show about a pill-popping priest, played by Aidan Quinn, his cliched & kookie family, and his chitchats with Jesus when he's high. It's pretty standard soap-opera fair, and no stereo-type goes unused. Grace, the priests daughter, is pretty much a ringer for Claire on Six Feet Under, Peter, the gay son [who gives a speech about how he's not just the gay son, to try to convince us that he's not just the gay son] also has a Six Feet Under doppleganger, and the third son is a crazy Asian, just for variety.

The plot gets pretty twisty pretty quickly, in pretty typical soap opera style ("My husband wasn't sleeping with her, I was." etc etc etc) It's not versed in subtlety.


Right now, I'm filing this under guilty pleasure... maybe. As a Rabbi's kid, I can relate to them pretty well; the pressures of the public eye, the weird congregants who won't go away, being shaken down by a Catholic Priest. Just kidding, we Jews know better than to get involved with the CAtholics. Which reminds me, the Jesus scenes suck. They're a tacky way for Quinn to voice his not otherwise inscutable thoughts. I mean Gosh, I would have had no idea he'd be upset that his daughter was arrested for selling pot if he hadn't talked to Jesus about it.

I'll give it 2 more episodes, if the plots keeps pace, they drop the stained glass motif, and Jesus stops looking so dopey, and the crazy Asian keeps taking his shirt off; I'll stick with it. Otherwise, it'll go the way of Threshold before it, a decent premise, promising pilot, but nothing worth sticking with.


PostScript: I totally had this idea before they did. I've been pitching "Nip/Tuck with Rabbis" for years.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Holiday Movies: The Queer Perspectives

About a month ago, I made a few posts about the rash of queer characters in upcoming movies. I have since seen several of them. This post is solely on that aspect of the films, and not full reviews, which may or may not come later.

The Good
Brokeback Mountain and The Producers.
You and I and pretty much everyone within 100 miles of a cineplex is sick of hearing about Brokeback breaking down boundaries and stereotypes so I'll skip that part. The over the top satire of Gay stereotypes in the Producers brought me so close to wetting myself that I had to skip the next song to run to the bathroom. Beginning with Roger Bart's minute-long sibilant S, and going straight (no pun intended) through to the conga line with Village People look-alikes, Bart, Gary Beach dressed as the Christler Building, a flannel wearing lesbian, and Matthew Broderick looking confused about where that feather boa came from, the "Keep it Gay" number stole the show.

The Bad & The Ugly
I hated the queens in The Family Stone, though. As Sarah Jessica Parker so deftly points out in this awfully unfunny film, as if being gay weren't enough, the two gay characters are also black and deaf, respectively, and subjected to a climactic scene of look-how-much-we-like-gay-people liberal preachiness that would have made me hurl had Diane Keaton, the films real Queen, not been on hand.
In contrast, every other member of the Stone Clan is white, straight, & hearing.

Tagging and College Admissions

Hey all. I just got back from break... Ok, I've been back for almost a week and been slothfully neglecting my precious blog.

I've been spending, oh, lets say every waking minute of the last six months, thinking about college admissions [read more of my thoughts on it here]. In fact, if anybody was linked here by my recently submitted application, greetings, thanks for coming, and referring to what follows, I certainly don't presume to know how you do your job, nor the chutzpah to tell you how to do it.
I had this idea tonight, and excuse me if it was already in place somewhere, that del.icio.us or technorati style tagging might be helpful for colleges to organize their applicant pool.
Let's say that a hypothetical admissions team at a hypothetical college has narrowed down their pool 2000 kids who could all fit in quite comfortably at their school. They have 1200 spots, and expect about 400 to actually enroll. So they're looking at all these applications trying to figure out how to create the "well-rounded and diverse campus community" colleges seem to desperately want. They want certain percentages of genders, races, religions, interests, locations, etc. In their system, each student has a page in the tagging program. The first reader tags the application with the salient details about the student. Then these applications can be easily reviewed and organized through tags.

I'll use myself as an example. After reviewing my application, I might be tagged as follows; Male, Illinois, Urban, White, Private_school, Jewish, Gay, Film, Writing, Blogger, Socialism, as well as some choice adjectives that seem to fit me based on the essays and an interview as well as my GPA, and SAT/ACT scores. Now that my key demographic details, including my interests and extracurricular's (I'm vice-president of our schools Young Socialist Club, which is half a joke and half not), are in the system, these admissions officials can easily compare me to kids with similar interests or demorgraphics
There might be 500 kids tagged writing, but only three tagged Socialism. Or you be picking which/how many kids you want from Illinois and looking to see which demographics you can capitalize on. For example, you could look and see that of 250 Illinoisites, there are 100 Urban, 139 Suburban, but only a few Rural kids, and those lucky bastards are now the ones who stand out. Since the school wanted to branch out and include some Rural kids, I'm now getting a thin envelope, unless when reviewing, they also decide "You know what we need, a couple more queers." They draw up all the gays kids, and my acceptance letter is in the mail.

This is just an idea for how to use a new technology, I would not at all be surprised if something very much like this already occurs and I'm curious about how it's actually done. When I think about the mindbogling amounts of information that have to be processed, well, you know, it boggles my mind.

On the other hand, this sort of system is exactly the thing I hate about the application process. Instead of being judged based on your character, it turns into a numbers game, balancing demographics and numbers. People with high test scores can be admitted just to inflate percentages and make a school look more prestigious, and every school loves to boast about how many nations are represented on their campus. I'm sure that being Austrian or Burmese gives you at least a leg up.

Lots of demographically generic kids with average test scores & grades are really smart, dynamic and interesting people, while lots of SAT-2200, 3.8 GPAs, with impressive extracurriculars with impressive sounding interests and extracurriculars, will bore the pants off you.

Sidenote: If I could bore the pants of someone, I would get so much action. Haha. awkward sexual pun.

On that note-- Goodnight