Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Reading/Watching/Etc.


READING:


Is Mister Rogers' Neighborhood the greatest television show ever made?  (AV Club)
I loved this bit:  "Somehow, through the long process of growing up, the process that beats cynicism and ironic detachment into so many of us, Rogers was capable of holding onto childlike wonder and curiosity. Returning to the series as an adult, means being confronted with who you once were and all you have lost in the process of becoming who you are."

Yogurt For Men: A Review (NPR)
Thanks to Emily for passing this my way.

Plus:  magazines!  So many magazines.  Too many magazines, never enough time.

And:  I'm still plugging away at my 13-books-in-2013 challenge.  I'm behind, but not crazy-far-behind.



WATCHING:

Mad Men
I don't realize how much I miss this show until it comes back after a long hiatus.  Favorite part of this season so far: Trudy remembering she has a backbone.  (Trying to keep that spoiler-free.)

Next Stop Wonderland
A romantic comedy that manages to balance quirkiness with heavier stuff, without tipping too far into either extreme.  I really liked how it blended elements of the fantastical – mobsters putting out a hit on a local-celebrity fish at an aquarium, the Hands of Fate blatantly pushing players into place – with more realistic threads about depression, stasis, and feeling like you haven’t lived up to your potential.  (The movie’s poster really makes it look bland and generic in a late-1990s rom-com sort of way, and it’s not, so ignore that.)

Queen of Versailles
What could have very easily turned into a looky-loo “look at these awful rich people” documentary surprised me by how much it made me sympathize with its subjects.  (Which is to say, I expected to loathe them, and instead wound up feeling more ambivalent.)   Once the money went away, so did some of the bullshit – until the money came back, at least. 


(I saw this a few months ago, and I was really irritated by the way Bravo & Andy Cohen were promoting their “premiere” of it for the last few weeks.  They made it look like an episode from a “Real Housewives” franchise, and it’s so not that – I wonder how many Bravo viewers turned in last night and got totally confused.  It’s like NBC/Universal got the TV rights to it and didn’t know where else to air it so they just tried to shove it there.)

Seven Psychopaths
From the same guy who made In Bruges – I loved that, and I loved this.

Beauty is Embarrassing
If you ever need a boost of creative energy, watch this for inspiration.  One of the most vibrant & alive documentaries I’ve seen in a long time.




Project Runway

I was skeptical of the teams concept before the season started, but I like how the show executed it – yeah, the flashes of infighting got annoying, but it made for some interesting dynamics as the season moved along.  Spoiler alert:  I can see why Michelle won – her collection was the most cohesive and most commercial – but I still liked Patricia’s better, probably because I liked Patricia better in general.  Michelle got on my nerves and was like a walking, talking Portlandia sketch.

RuPaul's Drag Race
I’m rooting for Jinkx Monsoon, but I like Alaska a lot, too.  Roxxxy Andrews, not so much.

Nathan For You
I’m so glad this got renewed, because it was hilarious.  My favorite bit this season: 




Kroll Show

And I’m glad this is coming back, too.



Girls (Season One)

It’s weird.  Lena Dunham annoys me in the abstract – I’m annoyed when critics debate her and her work, I’m annoyed when people freak out about her use of nudity, I’m annoyed when people freak out about how much money she got for her book deal.  But when I actually see her on something, or read an interview with her, I really like her.  It’s like there’s two Lena Dunhams – the one the media’s built up, and then the actual person who’s actually making stuff.  The same goes for Girls; I went into watching the first season feeling kind of meh about the whole thing because I’d read so many critiques of it online, but came out really liking it once I saw it for myself.  Haven’t seen Season Two yet – I hear it goes off the rails a little, but then again, considering my experience with Season One, maybe I should just take all that with a grain of salt.

FDR: American Badass
This is an actual movie.  I actually watched it.



ETC.:

Today it was 80 degrees and sunny.  It was both awesome, and horrible.  Awesome, because it's the first truly warm day we've had all year.  Horrible, because my body's still used to the cold & snow, and I'm still in my winter clothes.



2 comments:

Yankee Librarian said...

I really, really liked the group season. I also thought I'd hate it, but I liked that each designer was still an individual yet had to work together. I liked watching them collaborate. It reminded me of why I liked the show to being with: It showed the creative process.

I liked Michelle and her collection. I would kill for that jacket with the attached messenger bag. But both of these are true because, 1) I live in the pacific northwest and live the Portlandia thing every day, and 2) I love a good messenger bag (see number 1.)

Mary said...

It kind of made the 90-minute-long episodes seem more justified, since they delved more into the workroom stuff...though the two-hour finale episodes were a little too much.

It was fun to have Michael Kors back for the finale, too, if only for the Betty White quip.