Tuesday, July 27, 2010

"You know fathers don't like to admit it when their daughters are capable of running their own lives. It means we've become spectators."

This week I've been spending a lot of time thinking about fathers (and grandfathers) and daughters. For the most part, only fathers are able to teach their daughters how to not throw like a girl, make the perfect black and tan or mow the lawn. Plus, they're always there to intimidate boys on first dates. In lieu of this, I've decided to highlight some of my favorite father/daughter relationships in TV and movies and what they've taught me.

Father of the Bride. George Banks, the ultimate movie father (played by Steve Martin, the movie equivalent of my own father), teaches us that no matter what man comes into Annie's life, the most important man is always her daddy. All while also teaching the perfect jump shot.

Twilight. Charlie Swan, the loving and overwhelmed single father teaches us that even if you're a cop, some of the hardest things you'll ever have to do are give your daughter "the talk" and deal with your daughter becoming a vampire.

Gilmore Girls. Richard Gilmore proves that even grandfathers can teach their granddaughters valuable lessons. From travel tips to business help, Rory was given all the wisdom and love from her grandfather that any girl could ask for.

Veronica Mars. Keith Mars, another loving single father, teaches Veronica to be an incredible gumshoe while also always being there for her when she finds herself in sticky situations.

It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia. Now I know Frank Reynolds isn't exactly the ideal father, but I couldn't not include him. He teaches Sweet Dee how to treat people badly, trick family members with fake presents and how to make everyone around you extremely uncomfortable in general.

I realize there are a million other father/daughter pairs I could include in here, but this is all I'm going to include for now. Here's to all the fathers and daughters on the boob tube and the silver screen and to all the real life fathers and daughters throughout the world!

Until next time... xo

Title quote: Walter Stratford, "10 Things I Hate About You"

This post is dedicated to my wonderful grandfather, John Brodbine.
June 3, 1925 - July 26, 2010

Thursday, July 22, 2010

"I do ballet because it has nothing to do with the people. Give me tiaras and boys in tights any day."

It's been a few weeks now since I've gushed about my favorite guy on television at the moment, So You Think You Can Dance's Kent Boyd. Or SYTYCD at all for that matter! Let's fix that, shall we?

I realize I'm a little behind on this, considering it happened last week, and all, but Tyce Diorio, who usually I'm not a huge fan of, combined two of my favorite things to create an amazing 1 minute and 30 seconds of dance: Kent Boyd and baseball. Plus, All-Star Neil up in the mix didn't hurt. Check it out!

I'm no dancer, but I do enjoy being entertained, and everything about that performance is nothing less than amazing entertainment. Although, let's be honest, I feel that way about every single one of Kent's performances. And I'm not even a tween!

Anyway, this season of So You Think You Can Dance has been pretty intense. I know there's a lot of chatter out there about how much people hate the new All-Star format, but I am loving it. Especially now that they've included contestant pair dances. How amazing was Kent (I know, I know...I'm gushing again!) and Lauren's contemporary piece, choreographed by the SPECTACULAR Travis Wall, a few weeks ago.

I'm going to go out on a limb right now and say Kent and Lauren will be top 2, with Kent taking home the title of America's FAVORITE Dancer.

I suppose I can't talk about this season of SYTYCD without talking about the elephant in the room: all the injuries that are occurring. How crazy is it that 3 weeks ago Alex Freaking Wong was forced to leave due to a torn Achilles, then last week Ashley Galvan due to bruised ribs and now Billy Bell was unable to perform this week due to a hurt knee. Not to mention when season 4's Katee had to step in for All-Star Allison a couple weeks ago when she also had bruised ribs. What is going on here!? Why is everyone being forced to leave due to injury? It's so heartbreaking to see amazing dancers go home not because they were voted off, but because they are sent home by doctor's orders. I think it's breaking the hearts of a lot of fans, too. Maybe Cat was so distraught last week because of this, that is why she was forced to repeat an outfit (an fierce outfit, at least)! I kid, I kid. In all seriousness though, I really hope this doesn't become the routine moving forward on the show...and I really hope Kent Boyd (and everyone else) isn't affected by whatever is happening.

Hopefully Billy will be able to dance next week, and not be forced off the show for a change, getting rid of less deserving dancers (I'm talking to you, Jose). We shall see....

Until next time... xo

Title quote: Erik "O" Jones, "Center Stage"

Monday, July 19, 2010

"Hey, Tara, see how fast I type 'motherf**ker.' Cool, right?"

Another week, another episode of True Blood gone by. I'm having a hard time deciding how I feel about season 3. Don't get me wrong, I am enjoying it thoroughly, but it seems to be straying pretty far from the books, which is confusing me. Well, maybe "confusing" isn't the right word, but I don't know what is, so I'm going to use it. OK? OK. Again, by request, this is officially your SPOILER ALERT!!

I think the main reason I've been confused about this season is that it almost seems as though Alan Ball is attempting to combine a few of the books into one storyline. Which, I suppose, makes sense since there are already 10 books, with others potentially on the way, and not many television series go that many seasons. I suppose maybe I should just stop trying to constantly compare the show to the books, and appreciate it for what it is. One hour of smokin' hot men (thank you, Mr. Ball!). Due to this, I've decided to break down the episode by character, starting with my favorite, the lovable himbo Jason Stackhouse.

This week we got to see Jason's two main story lines of the season: his new dream of becoming a cop and his new love interest, the mysterious Crystal Norris. Luckily for us, his new job at the police station requires him to wash police cars shirtless. Like Crystal, I would be more than happy to pull over if I were being pursued by a cop like him! Check him out in the clip below (UPDATE: orginal clip was removed by YouTube, so here's an alternate):

I'm excited to see where the Jason/Crystal storyline goes in the show, since it makes for some quite interesting turn of events in the books (didn't I just say I'm not going to compare anymore? I'm not very good at sticking to that apparently...).

Moving right along, my other favorite parts of the episode include vamp Franklin Mott. Leave it to Tara to find herself involved with one of the craziest characters ever on TV. I've always liked James Frain in what I've seen him in (the Tudors, 24 to name a couple) but it's so much more fun watching him like this. Apparently I'm into clips today, so check out his wackadoodle multiple personalities in the following clip:

He doesn't seem like he'd be too awful to hang with, does he? Hey! At least he can text really quickly. You never know when that will come in handy. I kid, I kid. Should be interesting to see how Tara gets herself out of this mess.

I'm going to go ahead and lump everyone else together. Eric made his way to Jackson to sell out Bill and try and save Pam. And, looked pretty amazing doing so. I'm looking forward to seeing him really start putting the moves on Sookie now that he knows Bill's out of the picture. Alcide had to deal with his volatile ex-girlfriend, shirtless of course (would we want it any other way?). Lafayette was lucky enough to get some face time with a new crush, Jesus, his mother's nurse. Sam had to deal with his trashy family, while spending some quality brotherly bonding time with Tommy. And everyone else did other stuff...specific, I know.

It's hard to believe we're already half way through the season. It looks like it will continue to keep going at full speed in the next episode, as well. Fine by me!

Until next time... xo

Title quote: Franklin Mott, "True Blood"

Monday, July 12, 2010

"What the hell is that?" "A dress." "Says who?" "Calvin Klein."

So I realize that this may be a little bit "old news" now, but while watching the very first episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer I got to thinking about the wonders of 90s fashion. A couple weeks ago Francisco Costa, the creative director at Calvin Klein, decided it was time to bring back the dress Alicia Silverstone made famous in the classic 1995 movie, Clueless.

Unfortunately for us, the dress isn't exactly cheap side, unless you have $915 just laying around your apartment or house, which I do not.

In lieu of this amazing throw back to the fashion of the 90s, I thought I would highlight some of the other shows and movies whose fashions deserve to be highlighted.

Beverly Hills, 90210 (the ORIGINAL)

My So-Called Life
Buffy the Vampire Slayer (the TV show)

Buffy the Vampire Slayer (the movie)


Empire Records

And, of course, Clueless

Now, I'm not going to say I wish I could dress like this today, BUT you have to admit, their style was pretty fierce at the time. I really do feel like had I been born just a few years earlier, I would have strutted my stuff with the best of them in plaid miniskirts, flannel shirts and baby tees. Oh well, I suppose I still can!

Until next time... xo

Title quote: Mel and Cher, "Clueless"

Thursday, July 8, 2010

"We're gonna win. You're gonna lose. Deal with it."

Today in Hollywoodland the stars of the TV universe woke up with either really good news or really bad news in the form of the 2010 Emmy Award nominations. There were two things that stood out to me: one good and one bad.

First of all, the good. I was very pleased to see all the love going out to one of my favorite new shows, Glee. Not only did Lea Michele, Matthew Morrison and Jane Lynch nab nominations for Best Actress, Best Actor and Best Supporting Actress, respectively, in a comedy series, as expected, BUT the amazing Chris Colfer, better known as Kurt Hummel, surprised us all with a Best Supporting Actor nomination. He has been one of my favorite characters on the show from the beginning with amazing one-liners, fabulous outfits and dance moves that would make even Beyonce proud!

Plus, amazing guest stars Kristin Chenoweth and Mike O'Malley scored best guest starring nominations. Oh, and I suppose them getting nominated for Best Comedy is king of a big deal too, I GUESS..... I'm going to go out on a limb and say that while Glee MAY not walk away with all of the awards they've been nominated for, I'm not too worried that they won't walk away with a few.

Now for the bad. Every award season people always go on and on and on about the biggest "snubs" of the year. In my opinion, as an entertainment and television expert (right?!), the one person that was majorly overlooked was the always lovely Cat Deeley of So You Think You Can Dance for Best Host of a Reality Competition Program.

Not only is she the most stylish host on TV (as I've mentioned before), she is, in my expert opinion, the most honest, fabulous host on TV and one of the main reasons I tune in every week to the show. Hopefully next year, she'll get the recognition she truly deserves. Who else was completely impressed and cheering to themselves when she stood up to the judges this week for giving undue praise to certain contestants while expecting too much from others (unlike some other host's unfunny banter with one of the judges...but I'm not naming names or anything...I'm talking to you Ryan Seacrest!!)?

I guess we'll just have to wait until August 29th to see who goes home happy and who goes home "happy to be nominated among a group of such talented actors" or in other words, not happy.

Until next time... xo

Title quote: Finn, "Glee"

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

"There are some lower campers stuck in the obstacle course. I meant to tell you about that yesterday, but could you get to it now?"

Chapter 3 of my social anthropological study occurred over the 4th of July holiday weekend in a cabin on the Russian River with a group of fun, fabulous friends. Maybe it's because of the water based vacation scenario, but many things I learned a few weeks ago on the cruise to Ensenada, I was able to apply to my study of the celebration of America's birthday.

As per usual (lately at least), I will provide a top 5 list of my findings. I was hoping to include video, but upon watching the uncut footage taken on my handy Flip Cam, I decided maybe that should be saved for private viewings. So instead, I'll include a clip of the first few minutes of Wet Hot American Summer as an example.

I suppose maybe that's not the MOST relevant clip for the weekend's events, but whatever...it's a funny movie, so I don't care. Let's begin the list, shall we?

1. While I may only actually know one Justin Bieber song (yes, you read that right...Justin Bieber...music street cred officially out the window), he really is a key ingredient to any successful dance party. Whether it be a living room dance party, a deck dance party or a bedroom dance party, it's almost impossible not to catch the Bieber fever.

2. If you have a dream that convinces you that your friends sleeping outside are getting eaten by bears over night, rather than just laughing about it in the morning, check on them to make sure they actually weren't. (Are there even bears at the Russian River??)

3. If you are given the task to successfully transport an iPod and speakers across the river, make sure your canoe drivers don't cause you to tip over. However, if you do, remember that sometimes music really is more important than anything else....including cuts and bruises and blood, oh my!

4. If you're expecting to see fireworks, do your research. Even though someone tells you you'll be able to see them from where you are, they could be wrong. In case of emergency, always be sure to have ample sparklers ready to create your own mini firework extravaganza.

5. And, speaking of Flip Cam videos, make sure that there is ample documentation of the goings-on and thoughts (confessionals if life was a reality show) of the group. It will provide many laughs to subdue your post trip depression.

Another year, another 4th of July gone by. And another group vacation making for some great additions to my social anthropological research.

Until next time... xo

Title quote: Beth, "Wet Hot American Summer"

Thursday, July 1, 2010

"Let's face it, I am hotter than you."

I am more than willing to admit that although the first two movies of the Twilight Saga, Twilight and New Moon, weren't exactly great movies, I still enjoyed them (and own and have seen them multiple times). I was a little bit nervous that Eclipse, which is my favorite book of the series, would end up disappointing me. But alas, whether it was the newest director David Slade or the cast finally getting into the groove of their characters, there was pretty much nothing about the third installment that I didn't love. (And how much better did all the female characters look this time around? Kristen Stewart, regardless of the not great wig she was wearing, looked amazing throughout the whole movie.)

Something clicked in this movie that hadn't happened in the previous two, making it more than just a live action film of the book, but an actual action packed, fast paced movie that held the audience's attention the whole way through. I can't help but wonder if David Slade, the director, wasn't a main reason that Eclipse was as enjoyable of a movie as it was. I almost want to write him a letter thanking him for finally getting it right.

Now let's move on to the good stuff, shall we? Since I'm all about top 5 lists lately, I'm going to drill down my top 5 favorite parts of the movie:

1. Even though his time in the movie is pretty minimal, Charlie Swan is one of the best characters in the series. He really nails the awkward single father dealing with a teenage daughter and creates some great moments between him and Bella. From the beginning of the film when he decides to finally un-ground Bella until the end when he attempts to have "the talk" with her, I found myself chuckling with glee everytime he was on the screen. Doesn't hurt that he's pretty dreamy for a dad (although, maybe he should lose the mustache).

2. In the other two movies we were treated to a couple flashback scenes that were heavy on the cheese factor. A big part of Eclipse, the book, is taking a look at the past of many of the characters, specifically Rosalie and Jasper, and learning more about the Quileute tribe/wolf pack. Both Nikki Reed and Jackson Rathbone really stood out to me in this movie with their performances in their respective flashback scenes. For the most part in Twilight and New Moon they were just in the background, with Rosalie giving Bella bitchy looks and Jasper wanting to eat her. I'm glad we got to see more about their characters. Especially since Rosalie's human life/death flashback in the book is one of the most heart wrenching parts of the whole series. And a way to finally bring a sense of friendship between her and Bella.

Moving right along to the Quileutes. A touching scene between Bella and Jacob happens during a campfire (romantic, right?)/pack meeting, where Billy Black goes into detail of how the shape shifters came to be. Even though Jacob's sort of gone over this whole thing before, it's interesting to get to see more history about the "cold ones" and the Quileute wolves.

3. Speaking of Bella and Jacob, one of the main themes throughout the entire movie and book (all of the books, for that matter) is the love triangle of Bella, Edward and Jacob.

While reading the books, I was always rooting for Edward. He was the kind of guy every girl dreams will fall in love with her. But the moment Taylor Lautner takes his shirt off in New Moon, I quickly changed my mind about which of the two I'd rather spend my time with. Two moments happen in Eclipse that Team Jacob has been waiting for: when Bella and Jacob kiss for the first time, and she breaks her hand punching him for it and when Bella and Jacob share their first REAL, intense kiss prior to the final fight. I think almost everyone in the theater cheered when Bella called out to Jacob on the mountain top, asking him to kiss her. Poor Edward...he just can't seem to win lately. First Bella continually refuses his marriage proposal and then she asks another guy to kiss her. Luckily for him, she finally decides that although she does love Jacob, she loves Edward more, and agrees to marry him. I suppose I should go into more detail about Bella and Edward, but I'm not going to. Sorry.

4. This movie really brought the action unlike any of the other two. Granted, there is a lot more action in Eclipse, the book, than in any other books/movies, but how they handled it really worked. From the initial Victoria chase scene with both the Cullens and the wolves to the Jasper led newborn army fight training to the final Riley/Edward/Victoria/Seth Clearwater fight at the end, the action kept the audience (in the theater I was in, at least) at the edge of our seats.

5. And finally, my favorite part of the movie, the introduction of Forks' newest baddie, Riley. He may just be one of Victoria's minions, but kudos to David Slade and Melissa Rosenberg, the screenwriter, for creating a much bigger character out of Riley than he was in the book.

Unfortunately for us, he doesn't make it to the end of the movie and therefore we won't be seeing him in Breaking Dawn, but here's hoping Xavier Samuel finds his way into more and more movies in the future. Or finds himself in San Francisco in need of a tour guide...either way. What is it about the bad guy that always draws me in?

This seems to be getting a bit long, so I'm going to wrap things up. I can pretty much guarantee that I will be seeing this movie again, both in the theater and once it comes out on DVD. I'm still a bit wary of how Breaking Dawn will be adapted to the big screen, but in the meantime, I'll just focus on Eclipse and how glad I am that it really did exceed my expectations.

Until next time... xo

Title quote: Jacob Black, "Eclipse"