Mad Men vs Life Unexpected

I started formulating a post mid week called “Mad Men vs Life Unexpected” and had grand plans to do it justice on Friday, my day off. Sadly, I was derailed by computer issues. (Various unexplained errors preventing Internet Explorer and Firefox from starting up) After visiting a crazy allergist in mid town yesterday, I spent three hours in the office (on my day off!) with my IT guy trying to remedy the situation. In the end, he installed Google Chrome to help me limp along until my new super small laptop arrives. I ordered the “highly portable” laptop so I can stop lugging 6lbs around NYC with either my embarrassing back pack or my even more embarrassing rolling old lady computer bag. (sidenote: already scoping out new shoulder bags to celebrate my new work commute style makeover)

I have digressed. I am now traveling on an Amtrak train to visit my brother upstate and thought I might experiment with crafting a post from my iPhone using the WordPress app.

So what was I going to say about Mad Men and Life Unexpected? Earlier this week, I watched two episodes of Mad Men and the season premiere of Life Unexpected. The differences between the two are stunning. Every episode of Mad Men is like a movie. I don’t want to miss minute and I am fully engaged in the show. These two back to back episodes were beautiful. Watching Peggy and Don hang out at work to avoid their personal lives (boy can I relate to that) and seeing Don hit his all time low with vomit on his shirt asking for another drink. I love their relationship and am thrilled they did not even dabble in the idea of them hooking up. She is his best friend and I hope he knows it.

The following week we see Don shaping up and thank god, because I almost felt hungover myself watching the previous episode. I am sure the swimming had some symbolic association with a baptism/rebirth. He has downgraded to beer (cool refreshing bud) with minor slips to the brown stuff. He finally managed to get a real respectable date with an age appropriate smart woman who he could potentially have a real relationship with (which reminds me of the woman from an earlier season I wish he ended up with, the one who ran the department stores. She reminded me of Dagny Taggert. Why hasn’t he called her?) Betty is a mess. I feel so bad for her because no one really knows how to help her. It appears as though everyone was less self actualized in the 60’s, but this is a TV show centered around character flaws, and people are just as much of a mess today, they just wait until after work to start drinking.

I made the mistake of immediately following “Don’s rebirth” episode with the season premier of Life Unexpected. I loved this show last year, but after the first episode of this season, I have no idea why. The issues are the same. The characters seem one dimensional. Surprise! Irresponsible Bayze’s bar burned down after a one night stand! Kate’s voice is grating. I am bored with Lux’s hats (she needs a new look) and this relationship with her teacher is ridiculous. Seriously, how could you spend an entire evening with a 16 year old and have her maturity level not give her away. She is unusually mature and wise (because she has writers that are older than 16) but I am not buying it. And I am supposed to all of a sudden believe that Ryan is anything less than a perfect guy just so we can leave the door open for Bayze and Kate to get together? All very contrived. The show’s premise really had no where to go and I predict this will be the last season for Life Unexpected.

So those are my rambling thoughts less the hour of obsessive editing and searching for illustrative photos. ( Blogging is very time consuming!) please excuse any errors. There is only so much I can do from my phone.  (UPDATE: I later obsessively added photos.  )

Tomorrow, I plan to let you in on what I am most looking forward to during the big premiere week!!!

Advertisements

Looking at Rubicon with New Eyes

I read a review on TV Squad today that made me look at Rubicon with new eyes.  The review called Rubicon the “Addictive Anti-24” and the essence of it was that, unlike 24, Rubicon focuses on how the intelligence world impacts the people in it.  On 24, things move fast, and there is not a lot of time spent on how the characters feel about it all.   Rubicon moves slower (sure does!) but really focuses on the characters and what their world does to them as people.  When I read that, it was like a light bulb went off and I could not wait to watch the next episode.

Hard to say how I would have felt if I had not read that review, but who cares, loved this week’s episode. I am worried that the discovery of the “hydra” made Ed Bancroft crazy and could tell that James Badge Dale (Will) was worried too!  (He is such a good guy. And not like vampire Damon good, like REALLY good.)  I am annoyed that Kale ratted out Maggie but believe he did it with the best of intentions and I am pretty sure after seeing the preview for next week that Will forgives her, big time.  I do hope that confusing intelligence project they were working on is over, because I was not in to that, but I definitely want to know what is going on at Atlas McDowell!!  How creepy is that corporate dude/bad friend to Katherine Rhumer.  He deserves to be spied on.  (Although I would love my own executive bathroom).   So glad Tanya is not fired.  Maybe Spangler is not the devil?  Or maybe it is too much of a security leak to ever fire people.

Last week, I was annoyed by the pace and all I could think about was “why does he keep picking up that owl?”  This week, when he was checking out the bug in his apartment (which I noted looks like a mini walkie talkie and thought that was cute) I was thinking, “that is what I would do.  I would not be able to stop thinking about the bug in the owl.  I would think about removing it but would be scared, so I would probably keep opening up the owl to just look at the bug.”  I think this week, he felt so empowered by having the  “phone list” that he finally had the balls to squash one of the bugs.  That was awesome.  Makes me want to go back and buy the owl necklace I saw this weekend that reminded me of Rubicon.

One more thing that the TV Squad review mentioned was that James Badge Dale was on season 3 of 24.  Could not place him.   I IMDBed it.  He played Chase Edmunds, Jack’s partner who was secretly dating Jack’s daughter Kim.  I thought he looked familiar, but there was no way I would place him because his hair is way more bushy now. (This is JBD as Chase Edmunds on the left)

Link to the TV Squad review: ‘Rubicon’ Is the Addictive Anti-’24’:  http://bit.ly/cALMMe

Vampire Diaries is Baaack!

Damon is on the left. Stefan is on the right. See what I'm sayin'?

Vampire Diaries is back and better than ever.  Katherine is shaking things up with the Salvatore brothers who are always on the verge of some immortal crisis.  This is a town that has more hotties than possibly any other show in TV and in rolls another one, Taylor’s uncle who has the same mysterious “curse”  that he does.  Can’t wait to find out what it is!  I was on the edge of my seat when Damon “killed” Jeremy and did not see the magic ring twist coming.   (I should have, my bad.  Jeremy is of course not dead and not a vampire).   A couple of things that make no sense to me.  (1)  I have no idea why anyone would pick Stefan over Damon.  Damon is not only super sexy but also hilarious.  He appears to be an ass, but deep down, we know he is a good guy.  Women love that. But those crazy women, who happen to look exactly alike, both rejected him one after another.   Poor Damon. Come to NYC!!!  We can hang! (2) On True Blood, vampires love their makers and would do anything for them and makers would do anything for the ones they make.  On Vampire Dairies, this bond does not seem to exist.  Crazy vampires.  Who knows what to believe?  What I do know, is that Vampire Diaries is staying on my “must see” list and that Ian Somerhalder (aka Damon) definitely deserved to win Entertainment Weekly’s Sexy Beast contest. (and yes, he was on Lost)

A Night in The White Room

I attended a very NYC event the other night that had a television theme!  Showtime (the television network) hired designers to transform penthouse apartments at a NYC hotel/residence in to rooms inspired by shows on the Showtime network.  My high school friend Stephen K Chung was chosen to design one of the rooms.  Stephen is an architect by trade but also, apparently, a fabulous interior designer!  His design was for the show “The Big C” which I have not seen but is about a woman who is diagnosed with cancer and stars Laura Linney (who was there earlier in the night, but I missed her!).  His gorgeous white room is here on the right (the best room of them all by far!)

Stephen put a lot of thought behind every design element in the room.  For example, not sure if you can tell but the lamps have the illusion of floating in the air.  That represents that state between dream and awake where things are a little fuzzy which happens a lot when you are sick (I am sure I did not explain that right)

The room had some cool technical features designed by MIT students Stephen recruited. On the right you can see an interactive dress that has sensors you can touch to hear recorded messages from people you love or sounds like birds chirping.   I am not sure why you would want that feature as part of a dress, but art sometimes eludes me.  On the left was my favorite cool thing.  The blocks are magnets that can be moved around the wall and they change colors when you touch them (kind of like playing with souped up refrigerator magnets).  The absolute coolest part is that you can touch one block and hold your finger there and then touch another block which will turn the same color as the one you touched first by sending an electronic current THROUGH YOUR BODY.  I am sure I learned about this in 6th grade and never thought about again until last night.  It blew my mind.  I did also confirm that you can send a current from your finger through the tip of your nose.  Science is very cool.

Nothing really excited me about the other rooms.   I spent some time in the Dexter room of course.  We chatted with the designer’s assistant for a bit.  He was a nice guy and really tried to sell the room.  The designer works for lots of celebrities (including Michael C Hall – Dexter himself who was not there sadly).  I think we finally established that I would not want to live in the same room Dexter would which is a good thing since he is a serial killer (but a really nice one).  This photo gives you a feeling of the Dexter room.

I was out way too late and dragged the next day but it was great to catch up with old friends and take advantage of the unique and cool stuff that happens in NYC!  If you live in NYC you can pay to go visit the Showtime House at Cassa in midtown or if you just want to learn more:  http://www.sho.com/site/showtimehouse/home.do

Sniffles and Small Accomplishments

This week’s adventures included Puffs Plus by day, NyQuil by night, and way too much television.  A nice summer cold kept me cooped up in my apartment all week. I practically cleaned out my TiVo.  Least seasons episodes of Medium, The Mentalist,  Haven ( which does not normally keep my attention but perfect for a stuffy head) and  Real Housewives of New Jersey ( After part two of the RHNJ reunion, no more Real Housewives.  I swear!)  Completely blew my 10 hours out of the water, but  I did pull off some minor accomplishments this week while fighting the mucus.

Scariest moment of the season!!!!

(1) Wrapped up Season 4 of Dexter – definitely the best season yet  (spoilers to follow.)  So happy Laguerta and Batista ended up together (I called it!).  Nice plot twist with the reporter being Trinity’s daughter.  Did not see that coming!  Frustrating to watch Trinity continue to get away because Dexter HAD to kill him, but true to character and the ending was perfect.  Sad, but perfect.  So perfect, I signed up for Showtime so I can see Season 5 real time.  I am already stressed out about how I am going to stick to 10 hours with the new fall season so this was a BIG decision, but when they told me it was CHEAPER to change to an HBO/Showtime package for 1 year than keep just HBO, I knew the universe was telling me to go for it.

(2) Finished “Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” – Loved it.  Does take a while to get in to, but once you are in, it is a great page turner.  Been a while since I have read a great page turner .  I was not a fan of what I call the “outer mystery” (The financial scandal the book starts and ends with.)   I guess it was used to get Blomkvist to the “inner mystery” which was much more interesting and unfortunately ended with almost 100 pages left and then we were taken back to the financial scandal I had little interest in.   I skimmed those last chapters.  I was worried that I had lost my ability read for more than 10 minutes at a time since I am convinced my constant connection to my phone has changed my brain chemistry.  I now know that I CAN do it.  Not sure when I will do it again.  I did buy “The Girl Who Played With Fire”  the next day, but the fall TV season is coming AND I am planning to get OUT of the house more this fall.  Calendar is already filling up!

We watched Ana Ivanovic practicing yesterday. Notice her cute outfit!

(3) Attended my first US Open – I am not a big fan of watching any sports.  I wanted to check out this event people are always talking about and am quite glad I did.  It was a beautiful day.  I was finally feeling better and was very happy to be outside soaking up the Vitamin D.  The fans are much more pleasant to be around than baseball fans, which is to be expected from a sport played and watched by the upper and middle class.  Maybe I should start playing tennis so I can get those awesome arms I have always wanted.  (And wear those cute outfits).   I of course had to find out what was up with the love, 15, 30, 40 thing.  Fascinating that no one who has ever explained it to me ever has any idea why the scoring works the way it does.  Wikipedia satisfied my curiosity by giving some good potential origins for something that seemed completely random.  (If interested: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tennis_score)

Still figuring out what this content should be…how much do I write?  What do I share?  Do I wait to have entertaining, amusing thoughts?  Do I write about TV or other things?  Who is reading?  Who cares?  What distinguishes blog entry vs diary entry?  Since the intent is really to be an outlet of personal expression, I guess I can do whatever I want!  That is liberating.

The Emmy’s Rocked

I love TV, but I don’t love awards shows. They rarely keep my interest. I typically record them and fast forward until I see someone/something interesting or go back the next day when I read about the highlights. But last night was different.

I was almost glued to the TV.  (almost) It was hilarious.  I loved all of Jimmy Fallon’s jokes. (like when he said Tom Selleck was his real dad!!!!)  Loved the random singing with celebrities in the audience.  Medley for shows that ended this year was cute (what was up with pouring out the 40 though?)  The jokes they made about people as they approached the stage cracked me up.  They worked hard to keep it on time, which I really respect. (Being on time requires effort and I always appreciate it!) Ricky Gervais is a very funny man.  Loved it when they showed on the screen “George Clooney in 15 minutes”.  They might have been doing that all night, but that coincidentally is the only one I saw and I assure you, I did not move.

Temple Grandin and Claire Danes

AND and on top of my personal amusement, many of my favs took home awards. Temple Grandin was a great movie and seeing Temple there was awesome. Find it on HBO and watch it.  You will not want to, but trust me, it is good for your heart and more entertaining that you think it will be. Claire Danes is so classy. Loved her since My So Called Life (of course.)

Archie Panjabi – The Good Wife

Modern Family, Dexter, Jane Lynch, NPH, Mad Men. Archie is an unexpected name for a character named Kalinda, but any woman who wears all boots all the time, is cool with me.  Not a huge fan of The Closer but respect Kyra. Hmmm. Is it possible that all of the female winners over 40 might have been Botox/Plastic surgery free, and beautiful? (talking about Kyra and the Closer reminds me of how much I miss Saving Grace, sigh).  You Don’t Know Jack is on my TiVo.  I have tried Breaking Bad but did not love it. Maybe that will be one I try again in the retirement home…along with Nurse Jackie I guess.

So why do I watch the Bachelor Pad and not all of the Emmy winning shows? One of life’s mysteries I guess.

For the record, I started getting a cold last night which might be why I found the Emmy’s so riveting and may also explain why I created this random, stream of conscious, blog entry. And will definitely be my excuse when I go over my 10 hours this week….

Dexter Season 4. Better Late than Never.

I don’t have Showtime.   It’s kind of like an alcoholic not keeping alcohol in the house.  Yes, I have cable, and a TiVo, and HBO so I guess that is like an alcoholic having beer in the house and not hard alcohol, but it’s a start.  I digress.  Because I don’t have Showtime, I am just now catching up on Dexter: Season 4.  I know what happens at the end of the season.  (A spoiler like that can’t be kept this long from someone who reads EW and TV Squad blogs religiously.)  So I am finally digging in to what I have heard, is the best season yet.

My thoughts so far (through episode 5 where Trinity kills the “older man” who used to be a kid on Little House on the Prairie.)  Love the relationship between Laguerta and Batista.  Yea, there are a lot of office romances at Miami Metro but  I hope this one lasts and neither of them die.  I like them both.  I was totally thinking anyone who chose Lundy over Anton deserved to get shot, until Debra had that amazing scene where she completely lost in the parking lot and I was in tears.  I felt so bad for her.   That was the one time I was reminded that they are really married, not brother and sister, because I was thinking his character is socially inept and of course would not rush to hug her but as her husband, it must have been so hard not too..eventually he did, thank god.  That scene was amazing.  I am wondering if Deb will move in with the kill tools and blood samples or if  Dexter will give up  his apartment.  Trinity is super creepy.  I had a dream about him and it was creepy.  I hope that doesn’t happen again.  And I am glad Dexter seems to finally be getting more sleep.  That was exhausting to watch.

My plan is to finish the season next weekend.  I will let you know what I think.  Off to watch the Emmy’s…