Tuesday, September 23, 2008

The Best Shows You're Not Watching

I know Monday night is an absolute log jam for many of us TV addicts. You have Heroes, Chuck, Dancing, and, if you're truly awesome (like me), CBS comedies Big Bang Theory and How I Met Your Mother. Well, my good people, this is the night the DVR was made for. Watch one or two of these programs on Monday, and save a couple for the wastelands later in the week. You will not be sorry if you add BBT and HIMYM to your plate.

These are unheralded comedies that simply do not get their due, but viewership seems to be on the rise. Hope springs eternal! CBS actually won the night in Adults 1849 last night, which is big. The great part is that new viewers got a stellar new episode of Big Bang Theory to kick off the year. Jim Parsons, who plays ubergeek Sheldon, was in a zone. I laughed out loud several times at his performance. Sure, Leonard (played by Johnny Galecki) is the more relatable nerd, who has at least some idea of how to act socially, but it's Sheldon who steals the thing almost every week. Can you imagine dealing with a person this closed off and socially stunted? He's a unique character, to say the least. Please check this show out; I promise you won't be sorry! Here are two clips to whet your appetite...

Watch CBS Videos Online

Watch CBS Videos Online

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Donna Martin Graduates!

So, I finally got to watch the first hour of the new 90210. I'm waiting for the stupid CW to put episode two up on their annoying website so I can catch that, as my DVR broke the premiere into 2 separate hours, and I only got one. I think I've seen enough to make a few comments.

First of all, problem. Hannah Zuckerman Vasquez was born when Andrea was a college sophomore, and Erin Silver was already at least three or four...Kelly's mom and David's dad got married and had her when the gang was still in high school. (Remember, David lost her at the park that time because he was high? That was freshman year, when he got hooked on drugs doing overnights at the radio station.) So, I don't think there's any way the two of them would both be in high school at the same time, unless one of them is a complete moron, and we know Hannah's parents would not allow for that one. At least they didn't try to toss Maddie, Steve and Janet's daughter, into the mix, since she'd only be about eight or nine. Then, again, it's essentially a soap opera, so we could just chalk this up to SORAS (Soap Opera Rapid Aging Syndrome). Moving on...

Secondly, this Naomi girl is ridiculous. Yes, I imagine there are certainly girls like her in this era of entitlement, but even at her bitchiest, Kelly Taylor was nothing like this brat. I hope she gets some layers soon. Currently, she's like Rachel McAdams in Mean Girls.

I don't mind the central family, the Wilsons. Annie and Dixon are both likable enough, and Lori Loughlin and Rob Estes are fine so far. Kinda random to just throw in that he fathered a child with Naomi's mom right off the bat, no? It's like a reverse Steve Sanders storyline, but we're not invested with these people at all yet, so why not let it build, and make that woman even the teensiest bit likable first?

I guess that dickhead George guy who attacked Dixon is supposed to be Sanders-ish, since he had the slickest car and was a bully, even though Steve was never really like that.

Of course, Jessica Walters kicks ass as Tabitha; perfect casting there. The little bit I did see of the second hour alluded to her being in a car accident (she was drunk, right?), and I saw her hanging out with Linda Gray, who certainly knows from playing a drunk. Sue Ellen Ewing has never looked better.

I love me some Kelly Taylor, so I hope she is around consistently. And, was Nat in any other scene besides the one where he couldn't make a cappucino, and called Willie for help? Is Nadine still there too? WHY DO I KNOW THIS????!!!

I don't yet mind Ethan (Naomi's cheating boyfriend) or Navid (nice David Silver call back with the video camera and the name) and I think I like Silver so far. I like how the connections to the past leave it open for former cast members to return, but they can also be ignored or explained away as necessary.

I missed Brenda's grand entrance, which I why I want to catch episode two somehow. I also know about Kelly's son, and that we are not sure if it's Dylan's, Brandon's or someone else's entirely. Personally, I'm rooting for John Sears.

You've piqued my interest, 90210, I'll be back. Thoughts?

Thursday, September 4, 2008

They Grow Up So Fast...

In our little blog circle (well, there's three of us, so it's more like a blog triangle), we often remark on our similar interests, likes and dislikes. One of my colleagues (I figure we write together, so we're colleagues, right?) and I each have two kids that are very close in age. Our youngest ones are less than a month apart and our oldest girls both started kindergarten recently. He's really concerned about what'll go on in the big bad world of "real" school, because he's a dad, I guess. As a mom, I'm more just in awe of my little girl and how grown up she seemed on that first day. Sure, I had to help her button up the back of her dress, but she did everything else.

And when we stopped at Einstein's to get a bagel before we headed to school together, she noticed another girl who looked about her age and just asked if she was going to kindergarten, too. When her mother said she was, and we then discovered they would be in the same class, my daughter just said, "I'm Hannah, what's your name?" Upon receiving her reply, Hannah said, "Nice to meet you!" That's my kid...charming and polite. She truly makes friends wherever she goes. I know kindergarten will be only the beginning of a successful and wonderful life for her. Yes, I'm completely biased, but I'm pretty sure she's special...and you can't tell me otherwise.

I've taught her well. When faced with picking out a folder and backpack for school, a market glutted with licensed material from Hannah Montana, High School Musical and everything else Disney, my child picked a backpack with pink flowers and a folder with purple butterflies because, as she said, "I might get tired of those characters." Of course, she relented when it came to a lunchbox, and selected Tinkerbell. Awesomely, it is a metal lunchbox, just like I carried. They don't come with a thermos anymore, though, so I don't think I can send soup. I desperately wish I'd saved my Charlie's Angels or Holly Hobbie lunchbox for her, but those suckers would probably be pretty rusty by now, huh?

Sunday, August 10, 2008

That was Cool

I have to say, as much controversy as there is surrounding this Beijing Olympics, the Opening Ceremonies that kicked off the "fortnight" of competition was spectacular. My two year old stood up on the couch and tried to play right along with the 2,008 drummers that moved in perfect sync. My five year old was blown away with the dancers, the lights, the fireworks. It was all staged with impeccable precision and grace.

The Parade of Nations can be a little tedious, sure, but it's still fascinating in its own way. Did you see the hideous dresses worn by the Hungarian women? The outfits worn by the Americans, which were designed by Ralph Lauren? When my husband and I were at the Salt Lake Games in '02, you couldn't swing a dead cat without hitting someone wearing one of those Roots hats the athletes wore to the Opening Ceremony. They were somewhat reasonably priced at $25. The retail on those driving caps that Kobe, Lebron and the other 700+ U.S. athletes were rockin'? $55! And the Polo shirts (with extra large Polo pony logo, of course)? $125! Unbelievable. Then again, we're still convinced there was a giant conspiracy amongst the people of Park City, Utah to convince all us gullible tourists that we simply MUST have a $125 wool & fleece blanket to endure the frigid temps at the Opening Ceremony there...which we just ended up schlepping around with us because it actually made us sweat on top of our coats, hats, scarves, ski pants, and long johns. They totally saw us coming, huh?

And then there is the whole Olympic Pin phenomena. There are pin enthusiasts wherever you go at an Olympic Games, and most of those are actually pretty inexpensive (Average price, about $8). In Utah, the most sought after pin was in the shape of Jello, which is apparently the most popular dessert in the state (OK...) But in Beijing, NBC's trying to sell a $60 limited edition pin. That's crazy. It's amazing what people will buy, isn't it?

On another note, did everyone hear the story of the nine-year-old boy who entered the stadium with Yao Ming and the Chinese athletes? He survived the recent earthquake in China, which leveled his elementary school. 20 of his 30 classmates died. When pint-sized Lin Hau got free of the rubble, he actually went back in for two classmates. Asked why he would do such a thing, his answer was "I'm a class leader. I'm the hall monitor, and it's my job." If this doesn't at least put a lump in your throat, you are made of stone.

And then the torch lighting. Now, I have to say, the Chinese gymnast Li Ning being hoisted up to the scrim and then "running" around the upper ring of the Bird's Nest (the central stadium for the games, it actually looks like a bird's nest) was neat, but it kind of dragged on. I enjoyed the way he lit the flame and the visual spectacle of it twisting around the cauldron, but it can never hope to top two of the previous Olympic torch lightings in my mind. One, of course, was Mohammed Ali, racked with tremors from Parkinson's, walking slowly to the cauldron in Atlanta. I'm pretty sure I cried for about an hour. The other, for sheer coolness, had to be the athlete who shot the Olympic flame with a bow and arrow to light the cauldron in Barcelona. I don't think anything will ever surpass that, so they can just stop trying.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

I Walked!

Since someone just can't stop going on and on about all the running he's been doing (we got it, Michael Johnson, you're an accomplished athlete now. Or would you prefer I call you Paul Tergat? Yes, I did research on this.), I feel compelled to tell you that this morning, I got up early and walked! For a whole 30 minutes! I attempted to break into a run at several key points, but simply ended up with a cramp, so I just walked really fast. Broke a sweat and everything!

I figure if I can drag my (increasingly fat) ass outta bed now, when the weather is awesome, maybe I have a shot at making this a routine. So, if you see me, or speak to me, or spot me toolin' around in cyberspace, ask me if I walked today. I need to exercise, as doing so allows me to eat bread and dessert. Oh, and if anyone wants to buy me new shoes, I'm a size 7 and these New Balance cross-trainers are so cute!

Monday, July 28, 2008

Marshall, Will and Holly...

So, today I drove home to a soundtrack of TV theme songs, which I have said on more than one occasion are my personal anecdote to being in a funk of any kind. You simply cannot be in a bad mood when Marla Gibbs sings "There's No Place Like Home" or Jose Feliciano says "Chico, don't be discouraged, the man he ain't so hard to understand." Well, I can't, that's for sure.

And I got an extra kick out of hearing the Land of the Lost theme today, as it reminded me of this article, written by Oscar Winner Diablo Cody for EW. She got to visit the set of the Will Ferrell movie based on the classic Sid & Marty Kroft show, set to open in 2009. I personally cannot wait for this, and will drag my children as well. I assume they will be as frightened by the sleestaks as I was, which is to say, not at all. And my son, who is not yet two, is already proficient at saying "Chaka".

Now, if only there were remakes of The Banana Splits, The Great Space Coaster and 80's kid game show I'm Telling! in the works, I'd be on cloud nine. Anybody else remember these? (Anybody besides EJ?) Any other kiddie classics you'd like to see hit the big screen, or return to the small one?

Monday, July 14, 2008

My New BFF

She doesn't know it yet, but Chelsea Handler and I are BFF. I've been trying to catch her show, the hilarious Chelsea Lately, (11:30 pm on E!) as often as possible, and I have now added her book Are You There, Vodka? It's Me, Chelsea my list of books I must read ASAP. The title alone means I shall love it instantly.

Chelsea's a slightly different version of the whole Sarah Silverman/Kathy Griffin super-self deprecating, rip on celebs female comic genre. She portrays herself as a slut, but she so owns it, that you can't hold it against her. Plus, I enjoy her interviews with various celebrities on her show, a skill she's still polishing, but getting better at with each episode. Just add her to the list of famous funny women I'd essentially like to be when I grow up, I guess.