“The heart wants what the heart wants”

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****SPOILER ALERT****

Walter White. Jesse Pinkman. Saul. The vacuum shop dude. Todd the dementor. The Aryan brothers. Breaking Bad, I miss you already.

Last night was the last episode before the series finale next week, and I’m already distressed. I may or may not run around after next Sunday shouting, “I don’t want it to end bitch!”.

We started our night watching the Emmy’s – but at 9pm, like the good meth-lab soldiers that we are, we switched the channel. It didn’t hurt that the Emmy’s were strangely boring and flat. Neil Patrick Harris – I don’t blame you. I blame the producer who thought Carrie Underwood singing a tribute to the Beatles was a good idea. The Beatles deserved better. I would rather have had Miley twerking “Come Together” – that’s how boring Carrie was. Also – how could Bryan Cranston NOT have won an Emmy? Sorry Jeff Daniels, but we all know you don’t really need to act when you’ve got great writing from A-aron Sorkin (Key and Peele shout-out).

Back to THE BEST SHOW ON TV. Yes. The best. If you don’t agree, you aren’t watching it.

Where do I start? Hank’s dead. Marie isn’t wearing purple anymore. Finn’s principle is not the brightest tool in the shed. Didn’t we all guess Jesse’s attempt to escape would end like that? And don’t even get me started on what happened with Andrea. Really? Todd the maniac shows up at night and knocks on your door and you: 1) open the door and 2) step out on the porch after he lures you with the worst “I’m-going-to-kill-you” line ever?? Sigh.

And Walt. He’s been left out in the cold. Literally and figuratively with only his barrel of money to keep him warm.

The genius of the writing on this show is that even in episodes that aren’t action packed – or as surprising as last week (and really my heart can’t take any more) – there’s always some gold nuggets to walk away with.

Todd and the Aryan gang of ghouls taking a break from death and destruction for some Ben & Jerry’s.

Finn telling his father to “die already”. Devastating.

And my favorite. Jack teasing Todd about his crush on the meth queen by repeating a line used by Woody Allen to describe his messed-up relationship with his step-daughter.  Woody stole that line from Emily Dickinson (in a tweaked way). So in essence….Jack, the white supremacist, Jack the killer of Hank,  Jack quotes Dickinson.

Vince Gilligan will you marry me?

Pop Culture Vulture – Summer ’13 Edition

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I like today’s title because it implies that this is some sort of long-standing series or tradition. That in my archives somewhere you can find Spring ’05 or something.

In reality this is only the 3rd post I’ve ever done on my insatiable appetite for pop culture. Everything from gossip mags to fashion to TV binge watching. Everyone that knows me and loves me forgives this slight flaw. Don’t get me wrong – I also love politics and world news. You and I could talk about the new Pope for hours. We could debate his “reformed views”.

But you know what’s more fun to talk about? These things:

  • Anything on Bravo. Top Chef. Top Chef Masters. Top Chef Losers. All of it. Andy Cohen and team plan their programing just for me, or so it seems. I know I’m repeating myself, I’ve told you this before. But it continues to be a very important part of my life and I think you need to hear it/read it again. The above photo is proof of my devotion. When we were in the cabin this summer, this is what I did the majority of the time there. I meant to write a post about it but I took naps instead. I’ll only highlight my new obsessions – not my oldies but goodies (All the Housewives, All the Million Dollar Listings, etc). I’m loving Below the Deck. What happens when an expensive yacht is chartered for a weekend of fun and sun? Who are the funny/kooky/crazy folks working the ship? Tune-in and find out people. It’s so good. It satisfy’s all my “behind the scenes” obsessions. I don’t really care about the party – I want to know who set the party up, and how, and what went wrong. I have to believe that some of this is staged (I can’t imagine paying $20,000 for a charter and then giving the OK for Bravo to show that I’ve brought an illegal substance onboard?) – but all is forgiven. One of my least favorite, favorite new shows on the channel is Newlyweds: The First Year. It’s kinda….Andy hold your ears…boring. All the couples are boring. I was excited about the Indian Bollywood dancer/singer gal and the beard..er…guy she married..but they are boring too. Once you get over how much of her face is botoxed, there’s really not much there. That brings me to my new classic. It’s Princesses: Long Island. Partly because these gals are in on the joke. Partly because I’d be friends with any of them. I love this show! Here’s a trailer for those who have never heard of it. Get thee to a tv set asap!!
  • Orange is the New Black. Like Game of Thrones, you just have to get through the copious amount of nudity (and all the Lesbian action). We gave it a shot because I was telling someone that my husband and I were sucked into a series on Netflix called Top of the Lake. So my pal suggested that I would also like this new show – which is actually produced by Netflix. Having now watched Orange, I’ve decided that he’s a total nut job. The two shows are completely different. Night and day. Totally. Like there is not one connection to why one person would like one and the other. But the weirdo was right – we love it. Funny. Uncomfortable. Sad. So good.
  • Ray Donovan. There are a ton of things wrong with this show. I can’t stand the woman who plays the wife. Jon Voight is good but the overacting may get annoying after a while. The plots are full of clichés we’ve seen before thanks to The Sopranos and Mad Men and Breaking Bad. But this show has one thing that none of the other shows have. One insanely sexy thing. Liev Schbreiber. I’ve loved him ever since The Daytrippers, Big Night and A Walk on the Moon. Watch all those movies now and then you’ll see why I would watch Liev in literally anything. Or nothing. Ahem.
  • The Bridge. I can’t watch it. I love AMC (or is it FX?) but I’m distracted by Diana Kruger as a Texas cop. Her German accent keeps seeping through and i just can’t look past it. I’m sure it’s a swell show, just not for me.
  • American Ninja Warrior. I have a 9-year-old son. Sometimes I have to watch things for him. All of those times involve some sort of wrestling, karate show. This is the best of the lot. Fun, short, full of action, and most importantly, short. Also I count watching people do physical activity as physical activity. Is that bad?

On another note – I’ve finally convinced my daughter to watch The New Girl and The Mindy Project. She loves them both, like any true child of my loins would and should.

Game of Thrones, and death, and dragons, and death

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I wasn’t going to do a Game of Thrones (GoT) blog because:

  • There are a billion posts about his already
  • I know not everyone watches it
  • I don’t want anyone to know how nerdy I really am

But I have to. I can’t stop thinking about it. I never read any of the books so I wasn’t prepared for this. My husband and I started watching the show together the first season. He was in for a few episodes, but they started losing him quickly. By the time Melisandre gave birth to the shadow demon that killed someone (won’t say who) – he was out.  He loved the “imp”, the whole Stark storyline, and of course the gratuitous nudity – but add magic and dragons to the mix and he’s done.

I stayed with it. Who knew this many plot twists and storylines could be so entertaining. Who knew Daenerys aka Khaleesi would be the strongest female character on TV? Who knew main characters could die this easily and all the time! Here’s an excerpt of a Rolling Stone article that described what would happen if Mad Men were written like GoT: “imagine Don Draper has a fight with Roger Sterling. And then kills him. And then he kills Peggy. And Joan. And Peter..”

And it’s not all nudity and death. Well, it’s really a lot of that – but there’s humor too – and really good writing.

I know I’m on a slippery slope. I blame Harry Potter. If it weren’t for me buying into those dark wizards and muggles, it would have been harder to love all this Seven Kingdoms mythology. What’s next? Hobbits? Damn you Hogwarts!

Anyway – back to GoT. I’m not going to add any specifics for those of you who haven’t started the series. I’m almost jealous of you. Oh to have three full seasons of GoT to watch uninterrupted this summer. Do it! If you live close enough, I’ll do it with you. And I promise not to squirm and blurt out,”please don’t kill all the Starks!” like I do at home.

Friday Night Smackdown

This is what goes on in my house every Friday night thanks to my nine year old.
The obsession du jour. WWE.

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Gone are the days of Lego.
The days of Ninjago.
The days of super heroes and Star Wars (although he still geeks out to them at the movies).

Now. Every Friday night, we get to see the ultimate male soap opera.
You want over-the-top dramatics and bad acting? Well turn off your Spanish soap and come watch this! First the entrance. Each “wrestler” has a theme song that they play walking to the stage….I mean…ring.

At first I thought it was violent, but then I realized it’s a dance. A dance where no one really touches – you grunt, you scream, and then it’s over. These men are on a bouncy stage, in short, tight, clothes completely avoiding each other. And the incredibly big crowd loves it.
I know all the characters now, John Cena, The Rock….actually those are the only ones I remember.

I’m usually catching up on my US Weekly or People magazine while all this goes on.
So really, who am I to judge?

Downer Abbey

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For all of those folks who haven’t caught up on this season’s episodes of Downton Abbey, please stop reading and go enjoy your short-lived happiness with the show. What I mean is…SPOILER ALERT. Meh.

Sorry, I’m pissed. I know it’s an English melodrama. I know it’s not real. But really? Really?

Must I be raked over the emotional coals on each character? The maid who has to give away her little Charlie…Edith and her endless basket of bad luck…and Cybil.  Oh lord do not even get me started on Cybil.  2 doctors in a room and she still dies while they look at each other by the fire. Even Thomas and his tortured, closeted life makes me sad.

And then last week they kill Matthew. No. Wait. They kill Matthew after he and Mary joyfully welcome a son. After Mary tells him over and over again that he is the only person who knows her. AFTER a speech from the Earl of Grantham about happiness finally coming to the abbey.  I know, I know. Contracts expire. Actors have to move on. Couldn’t they have done a switcheroo a la Darren on Bewitched? Or the older sister from Rosanne?

It’s really bad when you are praying for more time spent on O’Brien just to avoid the sadness.

I know I still have Bates and Anna. And maybe Mrs. Patmore will get lucky soon.

Sigh.

On Not Being a Grownup at Christmas – GUEST POST!

A big thank you to my little bitty sister for this great post! And look at those jazzy handmade stockings. Show off.
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Last week, while lamenting to my colleagues that I had no idea what to get my boyfriend for Christmas, we ended up having a long conversation about the family present exchange. That’s when I realized that, shockingly, I have some pretty strong opinions on the topic. So here is my Family Present Exchange Philosophy
(FPEP):
In our family, Christmas is about the presents. Once I explain, you’ll realize that that wasn’t the saddest sentence ever to grace this blog.
Our family – cousins, aunts, uncles, significant others – gets together all the time. We celebrate every little thing with a big family get-together, and for the most part, it’s great (tis the season to overlook the drama). American holidays, Indian holidays, Hindu holidays, Christian holidays: it’s all fair game. Next year there’s even talk of getting a menorah (we’re equal opportunity around here). And there’s always food, fun, and more food.
But there generally aren’t presents. Indians are all about the benjamins, which is practical and smart, just like we are. That’s why Christmas is so great (here comes my FPEP); to me, unlike gifts of cash, Christmas presents represent the time and thoughtfulness of the giver. I don’t really care if I’m getting another fondue pot or something from the Dollar Store. Cheesy at it sounds, it really is the thought that counts to me. This person went out of her way to think about what I might like, spent hard-earned money on it, and then wrapped it in pretty paper (Here my colleague, the globetrotting poet I share an office with, disagreed. She wished her big Irish Catholic family would just give her money, instead of the “crap I’ll never use” they usually give.)
But it’s not just the stuff. It’s the entire experience. I love opening presents. I love that we all move away from the TV and sit around the tree. I love the anticipation of finding out what’s under the wrapping, and heck, I love the wrapping too. I spend way too much time thinking about how I wrap my presents, and I like giving my family the presents I’ve spent my time making beautiful.
During this conversation at work, another colleague recommended that my boyfriend and I get something for our apartment – a shared gift. He and I had considered this option, but we decided it was far too grown up for us. We wanted the presents, however small and inexpensive, but full of thoughtfulness and love.
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Argo go f’yourself

When I first met my man, 1,000 years ago, we went to the movies every Friday night. Rain or shine. Good movie or bad. We have always loved the movies. Then all kinds of stuff happened. The kind of stuff that happens to everyone. Work. Babies. The urge to sleep when you have an extra 2 hours.

Now that our kids are giants, we are slowly getting back to those days of popcorn glory – kinda.

Long intro to start a movie review eh?

Last night, yes a Sunday night, we went to the movies! And because it was a school night, we grabbed a friend to ease the guilt.

Argo

I give it 2 thumbs up! Are those dudes still around?

Smart, funny, and nerve-racking. Will they make it/won’t they make it.

The CIA runs a covert operation pretending to be a movie production company to rescue 6 trapped diplomats in 1979.

Ben Affleck. Brian Cranston. Alan Arkin. How can you go wrong? Ben had me at The Town, and ofcourse Cranston can do no wrong for me post Breaking Bad – and Arkin.  He was one of my favorite things about The Slums of Beverly Hills and Little Miss Sunshine.

I won’t go into all the details that make the movie so clever and entertaining – you can google that.  But I loved it and I think you all should see it. The end.

(the title of the post refers to a funny line Arkin says when someone presses him to explain the title of the movie. Old men saying swear words. Hysterical)

You had me at cheesy story line

 

My favorite bad movie was on last night. Step Mom. I know. It’s awful. I love it. I had gotten home late from work – everyone was fed (sort of) and sleeping (playing with electronics illegally in their room).  My husband was in REM sleep by 10pm. I was all alone with the TV.

You know when you’re aimlessly hunting for something to watch and you hit the jackpot? No? You’re out living life and working out? Whatever.

Well I was thrilled to find it on. Have you seen the film? It’s about a woman who gets engaged to a man with 2 kids and becomes….you guessed it…..the Step Mom. Except – there’s a twist!  The actual mom gets cancer and the family is forced to get along – stale, predictable dialogue ensues. I loved every second of it.

Do you have movies that you have to watch when they are on? Movies that you just cannot turn off? Groundhog Dog? Pretty Woman? Jaws?

 

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