TV and Movie Reviews/Suggestions

A quick list of my thoughts on TV/Movies.  Longer reviews should be kicking around in the posts.

My rating scale:

Love to See (L2C): Totally awesome, worth the price of the DVD AND the movie ticket, likely means I can quote at wil!

Like to See (ENH): Entertaining, but not necessarily worth owning, rewatching, or committing to memory.

Hate to See (H2C): Not at all awesome, not at all worth the price.  I’d rather forget it happened.

TELEVISION SHOWS

  • Lost: Solidly L2C because of its weekly dose of mystery, intrigue, puzzles, and Sawyerisms.  Bonus points for the women generally being pretty cool and the way I get to debate it every week.  Super bonus points for nerdy references to almost everything from literature to scientific and political theorists, to cool pop culture stuff.  Also L2C Kate kicking ass and being a jock every week.
  • 30 Rock: Solidly L2C because of Tina Fey’s overt feminist humor, the sheer insanity that is Alec Baldwin, and the fact that 30 Rock is consistently excellent satire.
  • The Office: L2C because honestly, who has an office job and can’t relate to this show.  Huge fan of the continued awkwardness of the Jim/Pam relationship and anything weird Creed does.  Bonus points for the “Women’s Appreciation” day in season 3.
  • Heroes: 1st season – L2C, 2nd season ENH.  Thumbs up for superpowers and the persistent idea that a traditionally masculine, power hungry government is evil.  Thumbs down for most of the female characters being hot blondes.  Thumbs back up for Milo Ventimiglia.  Love that Peter Petrelli!
  • Friday Night Lights: 1st season – L2C, 2nd season ENH.  Clear Eyes!  Full Hearts Can’t Lose.  Excellent work by Connie Britton as Mrs. Coach – she always seems to know what’s best.  Also a huge fan of the way high school sports are given a complex role in a Texas community.  It seems like an accurate portray of the way sports can be really awesome and also gives an accurate portrayal of the way that celebrating jocks can harm women and distract people from important goals like education.
  • The Daily Show: L2C.  I don’t think I even need to explain why!
  • The Colbert Report: L2C, especially the Word.
  • Seinfeld: L2C.  Elaine is one of my favorite female characters of all-time.  She can dish it out to the boys and take it too.  She usually knows better than they do (and is the only one who really holds down a steady 9 to 5 job) and did hilarious stuff about female sexuality long before Sex and the City (Spongeworthy anyone!).   Also, no one in the world is better at finding and celebrating the ways that we’re not always good people than Larry David.
  • Gilmore Girls: L2C because I’d love to be Loreali Gilmore and live in Stars Hollow.  Loreali is another favorite female character for the things we share: a love of junk food, humor, talking fast and throwing out lots of pop culture references, and occasionally being melodramatic and tortured by boys.
  • The West Wing: L2C because it seems like everything that happens in the West Wing is real, Sam Seaborne is one of the most beautiful writers ever, and CJ is the woman in the way that she uses humor to skillfully run the briefing room.  Plus, I love the references to getting caught in traffic in Dupont Circle.  So true, Dupont is a real bitch to get through at rush hour!
  • Weeds: L2C, I think this is one of the best shows ever in terms of mocking suburban living.  The theme song really says it all!  Moreover,  I love Mary Louise Parker (she did great work as feminist Amy Gardner on The West Wing) and Weeds isn’t afraid of being inappropriate or a little offensive and I’m totally into that.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer: L2C because Joss Whedon created it to be a feminist show.  The Scooby Gang is like a better version of the Harry Potter gang.  Instead of a boy leading the action, its a kick ass girl and she is flanked by an incredibly smart, yet not shrill (like Hermione) girl and a witty, outcast sidekick boy (aka, the kind of boy I love!).  Also, its the uncool kids who get to be the coolest (take that everyone I went to high school with!). They total indulge in letting us girls see some incredibly attractive Buffy boyfriends walking around shirtless.  Magic is awesome and Buffy is always questioning gender and sexual norms.  I’ve recently become totally obsessed.
  • Arrested Development: 1st 2 Seasons – L2C, last season, ENH.  I award points for the concepts of the never nude and the motherboy, anything Michael Cera did on this show, hilarity involving cousins crushing on each other, and Ron Howard’s narration.
  • Freaks and Geeks: L2C because its hilarious and heartwarming.  It’s also one of the best shows I’ve ever seen about how hard it is to be uncool in high school.
  • My So-Called Life: L2C because teenage angst was the best in the 90s and no one did teen angst like Angela Chase.  MSCL also took on tough issues such as overdosing and gay students in a real way before they were majorly discussed issues.  Plus there was Jordan Catalano and he leans great on stuff.
  • The OC: L2C because it was super, super fun.  Seth Cohen was amazing with his angsty, witty comments and Sandy Cohen is one of the better TV dads of all-time.  Also, loved to see the ridiculous plot twists.
  • Sex and the City: Somewhere in between L2C and ENH.  I initially loved to see SATC because it was like nothing I had ever seen before: it let women get away with talking about and having a lot of sex without catching a bunch of shit for it.  It was also hilarious.  On the downside, SATC does fuel the fantasy of postfeminism or the idea that women already have it all and the battle has been won.  The women’s fabulous jobs and fabulous love lives definitely made NYC look like a fantasy world for women.  I also have to deduct a point for the show ending with all four ladies ending up in serious monogamous relationships.  I thought the point was that women didn’t need to get married?
  • Best Week Ever: L2C.  I like anything that mocks pop culture.  I’d love to be a talking head on this show.
  • The Soup: L2C for Joel McHale constantly looking like he loves causing trouble while he mocks pop culture.

MOVIES

  • Juno: L2C because its heartwarming, irreverant, and written by a former stripper.  Also, because Ellen Page is an awesome young actress and Michael Cera gives an excellent performance as awkward, but lovable runner Paulie Bleeker.
  • Little Miss Sunshine: L2C because its a movie that is somehow both dark and heartwarming, a really rare combination.  There’s really a lot to love here (the bus, the dance scene, Steve Carrell), but I think one of the best parts is Paul Dano’s performance as the mute brother.
  • Dumb and Dumber: L2C because its an all-time classic.  I don’t think I have ever laughed as much during a first viewing and I don’t know if I ever will again.
  • Ferris Bueller: L2C because I still want to be able to play hooky as well as Ferris does.
  • The 40-Year Old Virgin: L2C because like much of Apatow’s work this movie was heartwarming and painful.  Honestly, I think Paul Rudd and Seth Rogen often stole the show in this movie as well.
  • Snakes on a Plane: L2C because it always made the most gratuitous decisions possible.
  • Thank You for Smoking: L2C because it was an excellent look at lobbyists and it was hard not to be charmed by Aaron Eckhart’s Nick Naylor.
  • The Departed: L2C almost entirely because it is a Boston movie and they filmed it around the corner from my old office.
  • Into the Wild: L2C.  Not only is the scenery beautiful, but Sean Penn’s film complicates Chris McCandless’ character.  He is so relatable as a bleeding heart idealist with a good education who wants more than the world can offer him.  If only he hadn’t been so misguided in the way he dealt with it.
  • Almost Famous: L2C.  It’s all happening!  The music was fun, the band was fun, and Frances McDormand’s mother was hilarious.  This movie also introduced the song “Tiny Dancer” and the phrase “I am a golden god into my life” and I will be forever greatful!
  • Chasing Amy: L2C because my NJ years made me love Kevin Smith (a proclaimed feminist) and I think this is his best movie.

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