Posts Tagged ‘Piss’

The Oscars, and Why I’m Giddy Like a Schoolgirl

For the first time in a long time I’m actually getting really excited about the Oscars.  For the past decade, but most notably the past few years, the Best Picture nominees have not necessarily reflected the best films of the year but rather the five films that were able to afford enough ad space and sounded pretentious enough to weasel their way into the Oscars (*cough* The Reader.)

My issues go way back to 1999 (the 2000 Oscars), one of the best years for movies in recent memory.  The five films nominated for Best Picture that year were American Beauty (which won), The Cider House Rules, The Green Mile, The Insider, and The Sixth Sense.  I’m not going to argue with the inclusion of a few of these movies.  American Beauty was very buzzed about at the time, and it was a very solid film (even if it doesn’t hold up as well in 2010).  The Sixth Sense was obscenely popular, and, as big of a wiener nozzle as M. Night Shayamalan turned out to be, this film was very innovative, story-wise in its day.  The Insider is a brilliant film (and Russell Crowe is absolutely amazing in it).  The two films I take issue with are The Cider House Rules and The Green Mile.

First of all, I have nothing against The Green Mile as a film.  I really enjoyed this movie.  Michael Clark Duncan is heartbreaking, and the story is touching.  It’s just that when compared with the other films that were shafted for a nomination that year, The Green Mile does not measure up.  The Cider House Rules, though, should never have even been in contention.  It’s not that it’s a bad film, per se.  It’s just so very, very slight yet very, very pretentious.  Sure, Michael Caine can have his Supporting Actor award, but leave the Best Picture nods to the movies that made actual impact.

Of which movies am I speaking?  Well, in 1999, aside from the five aforementioned films, the following pictures were released: Magnolia, The Matrix, The Talented Mr. Ripley, Being John Malkovich, South Park: Bigger, Longer, Uncut; Election, and Fight Club.  The issue with most of these films (except for maybe Ripley, which has always seemed to me like Oscar bait incarnate) is that they’re too edgy for the Oscars.  They’re too action-y or funny or think-y.  But which films are we still talking about more than a decade later?  Not The Cider House Rules and The Green Mile (or even The Insider, really), that’s for sure.

But this year the Oscars changed the game a little bit.  This year there are TEN Best Picture nominees.  If we’d had ten nominees back in 2000, there would’ve been room for some of the more innovative, more popular, and more challenging films to make the cut.  Maybe one of them would’ve even taken the crown from American Beauty.

I’m hoping the Academy fills up the ten slots wisely this year.  Some spots are all but locks.  Avatar is in for sure, so are The Hurt Locker, Inglourious Basterds, Precious, Up, and Up in the Air.  Who will take the final four slots?

If the voters choose to go for hype and pedigree over actual quality, we might see a final four featuring the likes of the craptacular Nine or the underwhelming Invictus.  If the voters choose to think outside their restrictive little pretentious box, we could see nominations awarded to the very deserving District 9 and/or Star Trek, which received a 90% and 94% respectively on RottenTomatoes.com, better than Avatar (82%), Inglourious Basterds (89%), and Invictus (77%) .  The Hangover (78% — Take that, Invictus and Nine (37%, yes you read that right)) may even sneak in there.

Awarding quality mainstream films in this way can only be good for the Oscars themselves.  Many people have seen these movies, meaning they will be more likely to tune into the broadcast.  Producers and quality directors will see that there is some potential for reward (beyond monetary) for making good films that can also appeal to mass audiences.  Mass audiences may flock to see smaller films by directors with whom they have become familiar (see Christopher Nolan, for example).  The 10-nominee system may well contribute to a new Golden Age in Hollywood.  Or maybe I’m overstating things a bit.

Either way, I’ll be watching on Tuesday with bated breath, wearing my District 9 T-shirt and waving my Star Trek pompons.

Breaking Up Is Hard (But Necessary) to Do — Part II

A few weeks ago I put several TV shows on notice — Get better, or get packin’.

I’ve come to some gut-wrenching decisions regarding three shows.  For one of the shows it’s good news, for the other two…not so much.

Community – In the past, you’ve provided me with fewer laughs than an episode of NCIS, but your last two episodes (the holiday show and the start of the second semester) were much more satisfying tonally.  Joel McHale, you’ve changed for the better.  I hope this positive character growth isn’t just a one -time thing like…

Chuck – Dear Chuck, you almost lost me last season with your repetitiveness and your whining about Sarah; but you made great strides with last year’s season finale.  It looked like we were headed in a much more exciting and mature direction.  But no.  Now you’re back to your old ways, working at the Buy More, pining over Sarah, fretting over the stupid Intersect, yadda yadda yadda.  Nothing has really changed, has it, Chuck?  So, because you couldn’t hold up your end of the bargain, I’m doing what I said I would do and walking away.

Glee – I’ve known it was over between us for a long time, but my visceral reaction to your winning the Golden Globe last night really sent me the clear message that I need to move on for my own health and sanity.  Maybe the fact that you make me so angry means that deep down there’s still something between us.  I don’t know.  I do know that I’ve been holding on to the glory of our first meeting for months now and you’ve never lived up to expectations.  So, good-bye, Glee, perhaps forever.

Golden Globes – Movie Predictions

I did some ranting earlier today about the TV Globes, but here are my movie predictions (and some rants, probably).

Best Picture – Drama

Avatar, The Hurt Locker, Inglourious Basterds, Precious, Up in the Air

In this category, there are three movies that I very strongly liked and two movies that I very strongly had major issues with.  I would have no problem at all with The Hurt Locker, Inglourious Basterds, or Up in the Air winning Best Picture.  They are all very strong films and I enjoyed each of them.  Avatar, while stunning to look at, is horribly written.  The story is trite.  The characters are one-dimensional.  Because of the story’s failings, I have a lot of trouble awarding this film as a whole package.  Where Precious fails is in the direction/editing.  I really disliked the dream sequences.  They took me out of the film and made what should’ve been a completely heart-wrenching story a little silly at times.  The acting in that movie is unimpeachable.  Any of the actors in this movie deserves to be recognized for their work.

Best Picture – Musical/Comedy

(500) Days of Summer, The Hangover, It’s Complicated, Julie & Julia, Nine

I did not see Nine.  According to my husband (and most critics), I did not miss much.  The liked the remaining four movies in this category very much.  It’s anyone’s game, but I think the HFP will go with one of the mature comedies in this case.

Best Actor – Drama

Jeff Bridges, George Clooney, Colin Firth, Morgan Freeman, Tobey Maguire

Out of these five performances, I’ve only seen two.  The buzz seems to be behind Jeff Bridges, though, so I’ll pick him.  I’d love to see George Clooney win, though.

Best Actress – Drama

Emily Blunt, Sandra Bullock, Helen Mirren, Carey Mulligan, Gabourey Sidibe

Ugh.  I’ve only seen Sandra Bullock’s and Gabourey Sidibe’s performances, but I’m going to predict that Emily Blunt wins this award because she’s in a period piece and she’s British.

Best Actor – Musical or Comedy

Daniel Day-Lewis, Matt Damon, Robert Downey, Jr., Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Michael Stuhlbarg

It’s hard to vote against DDL or RDJ, but I’m thinking Matt Damon takes this one home.

Best Actress – Musical or Comedy

Sandra Bullock, Marion Cotillard, Julia Roberts, Meryl Streep, and Meryl Streep

Meryl Streep will win for Julie and Julia, as it should be.  She will also win the Oscar for this role, because I no longer want to live in a world where Meryl Streep has the same number of Oscars as Hilary Swank.

Supporting Actor

Matt Damon, Woody Harrelson, Christopher Plummer, Stanley Tucci, Christoph Waltz

This category begins and ends with Christop Waltz, who was absolutely brilliant in Inglourious Basterds.

Supporting Actress

Penelope Cruz, Vera Farmiga, Anna Kendrick, Mo’Nique, Julianne Moore

This is Mo’Nique’s category to lose, but I’m pulling for one of the Up in the Air girls to pull off an upset.

Best Director

Kathryn Bigelow, James Cameron, Clint Eastwood, Jason Reitman, Quentin Tarantino

I think this is going to be one of the few years where the Best Picture and Best Director are split.  I’m pulling for either Kathryn Bigelow or Quentin Tarantino in this category.

Golden Globes – TV Predictions

Just want to get my thoughts out there so I can gloat on Monday (or hide my head in shame).

TV Drama

Big Love

Dexter

House

Mad Men

True Blood – WILL WIN. Sure, Mad Men seems like a lock in this category.  The Globes have loved the show in the past, but that’s just the problem.  The Globes fancy themselves to be the cutting-edge, cool teenage sister of the Emmys, and they’re going to pick the pretty young thing in this category.  Who should win?  Well, obviously Big Love.

Best Actress in a TV Drama

Glenn Close

January Jones

Julianna Margulies WILL WIN. Again, it’s all about newness.  January Jones could take the prize, but I think she should be disqualified on the grounds that her Saturday Night Live hosting gig proved unequivocally that she’s not really acting on Mad Men.

Anna Paquin

Kyra Sedgwick

Best Actor in a TV Drama

Simon Baker

Michael C. Hall

Jon Hamm WILL WIN.  This will be Mad Men‘s big high-profile award.  In a perfect world, Bill Paxton would be recognized for his subtle work as the patriarch on Big Love.  Actually, in a perfect world, we could go back in time and give all the awards to The Wire.

Hugh Laurie

Bill Paxton

TV Comedy

30 Rock

Entourage

Glee

Modern Family WILL WIN. It just hurts my heart that Entourage is in this category.  Really?  Entourage?  That show is about on par with Two and a Half Men at this point.  There are so, so many other shows that should be filling its (and Glee‘s) spots on this list (How I Met Your Mother, The Big Bang Theory, The New Adventures of Old Christine, Parks and Recreation, Cougartown, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Flight of the Conchords, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, just to name a few).  Everyone is picking the utterly disappointing and maddening Glee to win this category (I loathe that show.  It’s the new Heroes.  Just you wait.  Everyone’s gonna start bitching about its craptacularity any day now), but I’m hoping the voters have the brains to pick the REAL best new comedy on TV, Modern Family.

The Office


Best Actress in a TV Comedy

Toni Collette

Courteney Cox WILL WIN. She deserves this.  If Lea Michelle (who is absolutely terrible on Glee, but maybe it’s not her fault, maybe it’s the fact that the writers haven’t a clue what they’re doing) wins, you can find me drowning my sorrows in a pint of gelato later this evening.

Edie Falco

Tina Fey

Lea Michelle

Best Actor in a TV Comedy

Alec Baldwin WILL WIN. And I would have no problem with that.  I’d kind of like to see Thomas Jane win, just because I have an odd affection for him (probably since he appeared in my favorite movie and my favorite TV show AND Deep Blue Sea, which is just campy awesomeness)

Steve Carell

David Duchovny

Thomas Jane

Matthew Morrison

Supporting Actress Hodgepodge

Jane Adams

Rose Byrne

Jane Lynch WILL WIN.  And that’s fine with me.  She’s the only decent part of Glee.  Every moment of Glee that exists when she’s not on screen is pure torture.  I’d also jump with joy if The Sev won for Big Love, but that ain’t gonna happen.

Janet McTeer

Chloe Sevigny

Supporting Actor Mishmash

Michael Emerson

Neil Patrick Harris WILL WIN. Everyone loves the NPH, and rightfully so.  I’d love to see Michael Emerson win, but obviously the Hollywood Foreign Press hates Lost, so whatever.  Piven should bow out gracefully and recognize the dungheap his show has become.

William Hurt

John Lithgow

Jeremy Piven

The Adam Lambert Non-Problem

Won’t somebody please think of the children?!

Having read Peggy Noonan’s screed about Adam Lambert’s American Music Awards performance (which she apparently caught onto as a cultural phenomenon a few weeks late), I realized that her problem (and a lot of other people’s problems) with Adam’s performance is not about the guy on guy aspect; it’s more of a “get off my lawn/these kids today” kind of thing.  And that’s somewhat encouraging.  I guess.  For society.

Now let me start off by saying, I did not like the Adam Lambert performance.  I thought it was crude for no reason, and I’m kind of over people kissing on stage for shock value.  It’s been played out.  It’s boring.   I would’ve much rather seen him take the performance to a whole androgynous David Bowie meets Robert Palmer kind of place.  Or, if he was insistent on including the smooching and the (actually kind of offensive on a feminist level) g-string grabbing, at least take the performance to a toga-clad Caligula pleasure boat scenario to the nth degree (with gold and little people and senators — see the movie Caligula for reference.  Or don’t.  Because it’s gross.  But Helen Mirren(?!) gets naked in it, so there’s that).  Now that would’ve been conversation worthy.  I actually agree with every word Michael Slezak writes here, if you’re interested in delving into this further.

The outrage over Lambert’s omnisexual performance feels a little like I imagine the outrage was over Elvis’ pelvis back in the 1960s.  It’s scary to think of our children as sexual beings who might understand what gyrating hips are meant to symbolize or know what it means when a guy drops to his knees in front of another guy.  It’s even scarier to think that our kids might actually be engaging in some of these acts or (heaven forbid!) think we adults are engaging in them or did engage in them when we were their age.  For some reason these thoughts freak parents out a lot more than if our kids should see someone’s head or arms blown off, but that’s another topic for another day.

What Ms. Noonan and countless others fail to recognize in their hullaballoo over Lambert’s performance is that it was broadcast after 10:00 PM on a school night when most of the impressionable children should’ve been in bed.  And, you know, there’s such thing as a DVR (or VCR, if you’re old school) for parents who want their kids to get a good night’s sleep/preview the late night television their children want to watch.

Another recent controversy that had the moral majority up in arms was the (OMFG) Gossip Girl threesome.  Much was made of the ads that alluded to three of the characters hooking-up; but in actuality, the threesome (at least what was shown of it) amounted to not much more than a chaste girl-on-girl kiss.  What the no one was talking about the next day was that at the very same time that the GG threesome was happening on the CW, over on CBS Charlie Sheen was waking up in bed with his brother (gross) and a woman while wearing each other’s underwear on Two and a Half Men (a show that skews to older viewers, but is no less accessible to youngn’s than the private lives of Manhattan’s elite).

But that kind of behavior only goes against Morality when it’s the under-25 set who are engaging in it, I suppose.

Breaking Up Is Hard (But Necessary) to Do

We are now in the late December TV lull before January swings around with the promise of new episodes of the fall shows and the winter premieres of some new and returning shows (i.e. Big Love, Lost, 24, Project Runway, and the Godzilla of them all, American Idol).

So for my own productivity and sanity I’ve decided to bid adieu to a few old TV friends to make room for some new ones (at least until I can catch up over the summer on DVD).

Farewell, Ugly Betty.  It’s not you, it’s me.  I couldn’t handle the giant backlog of episodes clogging up my DVR.  It was stressing me out.  We will meet again, I promise.

Vale, NCIS.  I know you’ve made yourself available to me on On Demand, and maybe I’ll see you there; but hopefully you’ll pop up on Netflix soon and I can watch you via my Roku box like I did last year.  That was nice.  I miss that.

Good riddance, Glee.  I had so much hope for you, but you failed me.  Like Heroes before you, I get the sense that your writers have absolutely no idea what to do with you.  Some of your characters are all over the map, and others are just stereotypes.  I need to get out of this relationship now while I still have some self-respect.

You’re on notice, Community.  I was about ready to pull the plug on us, but you surprised me with a lovely holiday episode.  That bought you another month of my sweet, sweet viewership.

You’re also on notice, Fringe.  Like Ugly Betty and NCIS before you, it’s really not your fault.  You never fail to entertain and surprise me, it’s just that I’ve got, like, three episodes clogging up my DVR.  Something’s gotta give.

And you’re prematurely on notice, 24.  Seriously.  You lifted right out easily last year, and I won’t hesitate to give you the old Jack Bauer treatment if you don’t at least surpass Season 2 in sheer entertainment value.

Which shows are you exorcising from your life?

Fix It – 5 Steps to a Better Saturday Night Live

Ah, there was a time when I didn’t have a care or an inkling as to how bad Saturday Night Live was.  It was that blissful period between my hardcore babysitting days and my now super hardcore baby having days.  I remember a time when Saturday night meant something other than, “Let’s go out for an early 5:00 dinner so we can get the boy to bed by 7:00 and I can be asleep on the couch by 8:30, only to wake up at 10:30 to catch the most-likely disappointing cold open of SNL.”

Anyway, so, yeah, I care that SNL sucks (and I understand how passe it is to be complaining about how much it sucks).  But.  It could be easy to fix.

1. Forget everything you ever knew about a cold open. For the past I don’t know how many millions of years, SNL has been opening the show with political sketches.  I understand that The Powers That Be believe political commentary is their bread and butter; but with The Daily Show and The Colbert Report brilliantly commenting on political matters four days a week, your addition to the conversation had better be as good or better than theirs.  SNL lucked out big time last year with Tina Fey/Sarah Palin; but since the ’08 election, none of the limp impersonations of political figures (from Barack Obama to Timothy Geitner) have made a big impact.  The time has come to move the cold open out from behind the desk or podium and mix it up a bit, a la a game show parody or Adam Lambert at the AMAs or I don’t know.  I’m not a sketch writer.  And there’s a reason.

2. Speaking of parody… The sketches that are supposed to be send-ups of real events/TV shows/whatever are usually carbon copies of the original.  It is the Date Movie/Meet the Spartans version of comedy — direct imitation.  There’s nothing particularly clever about merely being able to sound like and look like the famous person you’re impersonating.  The reason the Jeopardy sketches worked so well was because Darrell Hammond didn’t just stand up there and do a Scottish accent, he brought something new to the character of Sean Connery.  Merely putting on a wig and saying you’re John Edwards does not make a lasting impression on anyone.  Go back and do some homework.  Watch Dana Carvey as Ross Perot or the late, great Phil Hartman as, well, anyone.

3. Diversify. You should not have to go outside of your cast to find an African-American woman to play Michelle Obama.  That is all.

4. The host can add a lot to the show, so don’t just call in the flavor of the month because she’s hot/he’s a great athlete.  You have a lot of great go-to performers to help you out when the show needs a boost (Alec Baldwin, Justin Timberlake), but you should be trying to expand that field.  There are a lot of hilarious actors on TV right now, many of them on NBC.  Think about Nick Offerman, Aziz Ansari, Aubrey Plaza, Danny Pudi, Joel McHale, or Donald Glover (just to name a few).

5. Put all sketches on NBC.com. Two of the best sketches of the past two years (a Thanksgiving sketch where Will Forte plays a creepy guy who snuck into the house for dinner and a sketch called “Mirror Image” which featured Kristin Wiig and Amy Adams as “identical” twins) are nowhere to be found online, which means they basically don’t exist in the world anymore.  The potential for the show’s sketches to go viral is a great little focus group opportunity for The Powers That Be to see what’s resonating with the online community.  That said, don’t beat any dead horses.  Keep doing Gilly, sure, but mix up the premise a bit.  And don’t let the sketches run too long.  And never, ever let Jason Sudeikis stop dancing (via Hulu).

Bliss and Piss List – Jeepers I Watch a Lot of Television

This week before Halloween has been endless.  At least there were some good things to take me happily through the week and some other things to tickle my inner bitch monster.

The Bliss List

Milky Way bars. Good lord, you are delicious.  And I can’t wait for Halloween to be over so you can get the frak out of my house.

Cougar Town. It’s not up to Scrubs caliber yet, but it’s getting there.  Once they start exploring the goings on of the other characters besides Courteney Cox’s Jules, I think the show is really going to morph into something really great.  Sometimes it just takes a few episodes to really get going (See: Parks and Recreation and and The Office).

This season’s So You Think You Can Dance talent. They may have lost Billy Bell, but damn!  This group is already putting last season’s cast to shame.  The solos are better and more exciting, and the choreography (after week one, granted) has been inspired.  Even Tyce has been OK, and it pains me to say that.

Color-free and fragrance-free nail polish remover, thank you for getting the full bottle of nail polish out of my rec room rug.  And thank you to your fumes for keeping me high all week long.

The Phillies. Of course I’d be cheering for even the Cardinals or (in some parallel universe were two AL teams can match up in the World Series) the White Sox if they were playing the Yankees.

The Piss List

Larry David’s character’s actual piss. Now, I’m not getting all worked up about where his wayward urine ended up like some of my Catholic brethren, I’m just feeling queazy about the fact that he — Larry “Social Propriety Police” David — didn’t bother to wipe up his spillage.  Grody.

Tyra and the Shorties getting their misguided bi-racialness on (ANTM). Ty-Ty, putting dark makeup and a bindi on a white girl’s skin, dressing her in a sari and a Native American headdress, and asking her to stare stoically in the direction of a soaring eagle does not add up to racial sensitivity.  It’s just kind of icky.

Even the THOUGHT of Jon Gosselin and OctoMom going on a date is enough to make me never want to turn on my television again (well, not really, but you get it).

Reruns ALREADY! No new How I Met Your Mother, Big Bang Theory, New Christine, or Melrose Place episodes this week.  What to you want me to do?  Spend quality non-TV related time with my loved ones?  I think not.  I’ll just put Dancing With the Stars on instead.

What did you like or not like this week?  Soup?  Snow peas?

Bliss List and Piss List

Bliss List (Favorite Things of the Week)

Althea’s Project Runway dress.  If only I could be that sparkly every day.  Which ties into…

My new nail polish (Lucky Number) and lip gloss (Jingle-Jangle) from M.A.C.  Seriously.  If I am ever in a bad mood, just wave something sparkly in front of my face (like Kristin Chenoweth’s Emmy dress) and my mood will go from drap to fabulous in about three seconds.

A Cake ‘n’ Shake from Cold Stone Creamery.  I understand that ‘nothing tastes as good as being thin feels,’ but this comes pretty freaking close.

The way my kid says “Dip dip dip” when he’s dipping his food into sauces and condiments.  Even when the flavor profiles of his meals are a little unappetizing.  There’s no way cantaloupe and ranch dressing make for good eats.

Katie Cassidy on the super new Melrose Place.  I can’t wait to see her butt heads with Amanda Woodward when she returns.

Bowling.

Piss List (Least Favorite Things of the Week)

I know this is not news, but Lake Geneva, WI has become way too corporate.  Wal-Mart, Starbucks, Subway, KFC, etc.  People go to Lake Geneva to get away from these things and experience some cheesy local Wisconsin flavor.

The weather.  I should not have to scrape off my car this early in the season.

The Yankees in the ALCS.  Just go home.

Saturday Night Live with Gerard Butler was just abysmal.  They’ve stopped even trying to be funny.  Not EVERY show needs to start with a lazy political sketch.