Friday, September 30, 2011
To just say Melissa was funny in “Bridesmaids” is like just saying the Grand Canyon is a big hole in the ground. Sure, it’s true, but it’s a massive undersell. She was pee, or in this case poop, your pants funny in that movie. Her Megan was a singular cinematic creature - a confident, pragmatic, butch, sexual and loveable oddball who you laughed with more than at. And out of all of that, I think the confidence of her character was the most amazing attribute. We’re used to funny women in comedies being neurotic messes. They fret and thither, over-think and under-appreciate themselves. But not Melissa’s Megan. Confidence made that character more than just the punchline, it made her a heroine.
And that all came from Melissa, who has made herself a new kind of comedy heroine for us all. Of course, some of us knew years ago when she was the sweetest little chef in all of Stars Hollow. Let’s hope her era never ends. Happy weekend, all.
EDIT: To the skeptics who doubt it when I say “breakout star status doesn’t usually happen to 40-something, plus-sized women,” it really doesn’t. Ages when they found breakout success: Roseanne Barr, 36; Oprah Winfrey, 32; Anna Nicole Smith, 26; Liza Minnelli, 26 (also not exactly plus sized at the time); Queen Latifah, 19; Nikki Blonsky, 19. Also, Rosie O’Donnell got her talk show at 34. So, no, sadly almost never.
Thursday, September 29, 2011
Jane LynchWait, untied, definitely untied.
Noomi RapaceDammit. No, I mean it, tied.
Kate WinsletNo! I was so wrong. Untied!
Regina SpektorFine. I give up.
Monica BellucciI said I give up.
Hope SoloNow you’re just hurting me.
Naomi WattsOfficially dead.
Right, so what did you decide? Tied or untied? I know, both.
Wednesday, September 28, 2011
First, we’ve got continuity. Quinn’s pregnancy – yeah, it happened and there was a real baby and real repercussions and real feelings. Who thought that storyline was every coming back after last season? Shelby returns. Puck is more than a haircut. The music serves the story. It’s so, well, refreshing.
And then there’s Brittany. Sure, she’s always funny. But making her just an empty-headed dumb-dumb wasn’t. Now she’s still Brittany, but with all that heart and the undeniable wisdom that brings. She’s adorably clueless, but not stupid. That’s important. It’s so, well, refreshing.
Finally, the characters are actually driving the story. Not the special guest stars (though Idina Menzel was indeed very special), or the musical numbers extravaganzas (though they were extravagant, they made sense) or the After School Special Messages (though I would have killed to have a unicorn-themed after school special growing up). It was the characters that made this episode so good. Kurt’s desire to be seen as more than The Gay. Puck’s desire to be more than a deadbeat dad. Finn’s desire to be a better dancer, and ambivalence about leaving Lima. Rachel’s desire to be, you know, Rachel. And best of all, none of this is seems to be happening in a vacuum like before, never to be mentioned again. It’s so, well – you know. REFRESHING.
Now I know the Achele/Faberry fans may not necessarily agree, but making Quinn the villain this season is pretty fucking brilliant. Because that means she is the one with the big redemption storyline this season as well. Also, Dianna Agron is delicious when she is bad – even without the pink hair.
Don’t worry, I didn’t forget Brittana. Sure, it’s moving slowly. But it’s moving. And it feels natural. The sweetness, the respect. OK, fine, I too screamed “NOW KISS!” at my screen. But I’ll take more of this any day over the whiplash characterizations we sometimes saw last season. And Kurt Locker is a very worthy addition to the Brittana Locker Chronicles.
You’re damn right she’s the unicorn, or bi-corn. Welcome back, “Glee.” I’m starting to believe in your magic again. Oh, and Brittany S. Pierce for President, y’all.
Tuesday, September 27, 2011
Leisha took to her twitter account last afternoon to express her justifiable outrage. (Click to enlarge. Read from the bottom to the top for the correct chronology).
So at Southwest bags fly free, but gay ladies can’t fly at all?
My outrage at this is multifold, and only compounded by Southwest’s official statement on the incident, released hours later. It read, in part:
“Initial reports indicate that we received several passenger complaints characterizing the behavior as excessive. Our crew, responsible for the comfort of all Customers on board, approached the passengers based solely on behavior and not gender. The conversation escalated to a level that was better resolved on the ground, as opposed to in flight.”
I think Southwest’s spell check is broken because they typed the word “excessive” when they really meant “gay.” You know, they’re pretty much interchangeable for some people. Now, I’ve flown a lot in my day. Across the state, across the country, across the oceans. And I have seen a lot of straight couples kiss on airplanes. A lot. And sometimes vigorously. But I have never seen a straight couple asked to stop kissing on an airplane. And I have never seen a straight couple escorted off for complaining that they were asked to stop kissing on an airplane. Never. Not once.
The Uh Huh Her twitter feed responded in kind, refuting this whole “excessive” business:
Besides that clear double standard (which blames the gays for daring to be gay and also daring to kiss while being gay), Southwest is essentially shrugging off its responsibility for its actions by claiming they were just reacting to passenger complaints. So, if some wingnut says he doesn’t like Asian people on his flight, would Southwest then – because it says is “responsible for the comfort of all Customers on board” – ask those Asian people to leave? If a homophobic passenger doesn’t like to see gay people show affection toward each other, why do his rights trump the couple’s rights? How is that more of a “family” value than embracing love – in all of its variations? This from the company that calls itself the LUV Airline.
Now, the naysayers (and there are always sayers making with the nay – this is the internet, it practically breeds them) will say that gays should just cool it with the PDA. That all PDA is uncomfortable and should not be allowed for anyone – but, you know, especially that icky gay kind that has the potential to make “normal” Americans have to explain to their kids that the world is a big place and not everyone is the same or some such socialist malarkey.
They say when gay people kiss in public they “want attention” or are “rubbing it in other people’s faces” or “whatever other homophobic bullshit I can say to mask the deep insecurity I feel about my own sexuality and that one time at summer camp with my cute counselor.” To those people I want to make a rational argument about how affection between straight and gay couples is no different, and what is acceptable for one should be just as acceptable for the other. But mostly I just want to tell those people to go fuck themselves. Truly, I could not be more sincere about that.
Look, I highly doubt Leisha and her lady friend were trying to go all Bette Porter at the opera on each other in their seats. Nothing about modern air travel is even the least bit conducive to a frisky finger bang session. Instead, like a lot of couples do, they shared a small smooch or two before the plane took off. Again, like a lot of couples do. If a straight couple did it, these same so-called complainers would probably say “Awwww.” Because a gay couple did it they said “Ewwww.”
Keep in mind, this is also the airline that kicked Greenday’s Billie Joe Armstrong off one of its planes for wearing saggy pants and director Kevin Smith off one of its planes for being too, in his own words, “fat.” And those are just the famous people they’ve wronged. They also have that pilot who accidentally broadcast his homophobic, misogynistic rant about “gays,” “grannies” and “grandes” to all the planes in the Houston area. Ironically, they’re also the official airlines of the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation.
What is most frustrating about this, besides the obvious inequality and homophobia, is that every gay person already has an internal monitor that she or he uses to regulate public behavior. It’s mostly subconscious, often just instinctual. But it has been ingrained in us from the moment we realized we were different. I call it the “Is It Worth It?” Meter. It’s that meter tells us how fully we can be ourselves and when it is worth the consequences. For the most part, the answer is always yes. Yes, it’s worth it to be out. Yes, it’s worth it to be public. Yes, it’s worth it to hold your girlfriend’s hand at the movie theater.
But then there are times when it simply is not worth it. No, it’s not worth it to tell the douchey coffee guy who always tries to hit on you because it will only make him hit on you harder, and with more lesbian jokes. No, it’s not worth it to keep holding your girlfriend’s hand when you’re walking home late at night and nearing a large group of unruly men.
So for every person out there who persists on thinking we’re just shoving our big gay agenda into their faces, trust me – we’ve thought about the consequences of what we’re doing a lot more than you ever have. And we do what we do because we’ve decided that it’s worth it – despite all the bullshit – to be who we are. Because to self-censor ourselves for other people’s so-called comfort isn’t doing the world any favors. In fact, it hurts the world to let this double standard exist that says one kind of love is more acceptable than another kind of love. We think long and hard and endlessly about many of the simple gestures that straight people just take for granted.
So each time gay people demand to be treated equal, cry foul against discrimination and simply dare to give the person we love a kiss before the plane takes off, we chip away at that double standard. We stake our claim on our own equality. We say, I have the right to do this. If that makes you uncomfortable world, well, that’s your fucking problem. It’s not excessive to kiss someone you love, Southwest Airlines. And it is definitely worth it.
EDIT: Leisha Hailey and Camila Grey of Uh Huh Her have released an official statement about their Kissgate. It reads, in part:
We believe everyone has the right to live openly in this society as equals. In no way were our actions on Southwest Airlines excessive, inappropriate or vulgar. We want to make it clear we were not making out or creating any kind of spectacle of ourselves, it was one, modest kiss. We are responsible adult women who walk through the world with dignity. We were simply being affectionate like any normal couple.
Exactly, ladies. Exactly.
Monday, September 26, 2011
OK, I’m in. Sure, I have my reservations. Sure, I loved the original. Sure, I really, really loved Noomi Rapace. But I am in for the new American remake. Is it necessary? Probably not. Reading subtitled is not that hard. Still the new trailer has made me hopeful. This thing could be good. This thing could be quite good. But, you know, don’t take my word for it. Judge for yourself.
So first things first, Rooney Mara is no Noomi Rapace. Clearly. But, Rooney could still be a fairly kick-ass Lisbeth Salander. Different, yes. But perhaps somewhat more like what author Stieg Larsson envisioned in his original description of her as a grown-up Pippi Longstocking who is “a pale, anorexic young woman who had hair as short as a fuse, and a pierced nose and eyebrows…On those occasions when she had been wearing a tank top, a dragon tattoo can be seen on her left shoulder blade.”
Also David Fincher is undeniably a talented director and his taut, stylish camera work is already evident in the trailer. I mean, if he can make a bunch of nerds staring at computer screens seem suspenseful then think what he can do with a genuinely suspenseful story like this. It’s almost…frightening.
Though one of my continued concerns is that this movie looks a little like the Mikael Blomkvist story instead of the Lisbeth Salander show. Some of this is due to the casting. Daniel Craig is James Bond, and Rooney Mara is that girl who dumped the guy who invented Facebook. So while Craig is the marquee name, hopefully Rooney will still be the main attraction when all things are said and done.
Though one of the things I’m obviously happy to see is that Lisbeth’s bisexuality is still intact. Though, there was never much doubt that would make it into the new film. (SPOILER ALERT: Skip the rest of this paragraph if you haven’t read the book or seen the film.) What I like about the trailer is that while Lisbeth’s relationship with Miriam is revealed, her relationship with Blomkvist is barely hinted at. Part of that is probably because it’s the natural progression with the story and a pretty big thing to give away in a preview. But it’s also somewhat encouraging because the easiest thing marketers can do to make a female character who has an eye for the ladies more appealing to male viewers is to show she also has an eye for the fellas.
Though, the poster more than makes up for the trailer’s restraint. And it also points to more of my Blomkvist Show v. Salander Show worries. She is naked, he is clothed. She looks small, he looks imposing. Even the way he is holding her is equal parts dominating and protective. Lisbeth Salander doesn’t need a protector – even if he is 007.
But the poster is the poster, the film is the film. And I think for all my love of the original, I’m still going to give this American version a chance. And if it also turns out to be good, well then there will be two movies about a fierce, ferociously independent heroine that are worth watching. And that’s not a bad thing, not a bad thing at all.
Friday, September 23, 2011
That Shelley is lovely has never been in question. When all of Shelley’s loveliness would be readily available to US audiences has. The British import has stayed mainly on that side of the pond, until now. “Terra Nova” comes with big credentials (Steven Spielberg slumming in TV!), but still sounds a little like Jurassic Park with a time machine instead of DNA cloning. For some reason I can’t get pumped for the concept of humans traveling back in time to colonize prehistoric Earth (again, dino ambivalence). But I think I owe it to Shelley after years of coveting her deliciousness while snogging with the likes of Anna and Laura to give it at least a go. Suffice it to say, if Shelley gets eaten by a T. Rex in the first episode I will be a very, very unhappy camper. Happy weekend, all.
p.s. This photo is very much Shelley. She is just at an angle so it might be hard to tell. Trust me, I know the difference between a Shelley and a Padma.
p.p.s. No, really. It is Shelley. Really, really.
Thursday, September 22, 2011
Lucy Lawless & Rob Tapert by Renee O'ConnorGabrielle photobombing Xena? That has to be the start of a fan-fic somewhere.
Taylor Swift by Daniel CraigThis photobomb is shaken, not stirred.
Justin Timberlake & Olivia Wilde by Hugh LaurieHouse has about a million N’Sync jokes running through his head.
Catherine Zeta-Jones & Angelina Jolie by Michael DouglasThis is less of a photobomb and more of a wishful thinking.
Perez Hilton & Amber Riley by Lea MicheleSee, Lea doesn’t always pose for photos the same way.
Sandra Oh & Thomas Haden Church by Paul GiamattiPaul did this because they made him drink Merlot.
Ang Lee & Uma Thurman by Jake GyllenhaalOne of the all-time classic photobombs. Drink responsibly, kids.
Tina Fey by her daughter, AliceWhat can I say, like mother, like daughter.
p.s. “Parks & Recreation” is back tonight on NBC, so watch it y’all or Ron Swanson will photobomb all your future formal portraits.
Wednesday, September 21, 2011
Of course, this being the new TV season, I’m also trying out a lot of show I’m not writing about either. So far I’ve sampled three other new shows: “The Secret Circle” (“The Craft,” but with less goth accessories), “2 Broke Girls” (I laughed more than I expected to, in spite of myself) and “New Girl” (Let’s face it, Zooey Deschanel is the draw here, I could give a flip about her three male roommates). I am on the fence about “Up All Night,” because while I love the cast another show about parenting being crazy really is not on this gal’s big gay agenda. And the reviews of “Charlie’s Angels” are worse than the reviews of “Bionic Woman,” and we all know how well that show went. I’ve also decided against “The Playboy Club” (even with the real and the pretend gay bunnies) and “Pan Am” because even if you put it in a nice 60s suit and beautiful retro dress, sexism isn’t really my favorite thing to watch on TV. (p.s. On that note, I’m glad to hear the makers of “Prime Suspect” have decided to veers away from the blatant sexism in the pilot after this week.) There are a handful of other shows I’m considering adding to my dance card, but considering the returning shows I already watch, that’s a really freaking full dance card.
I guess all of this is a long and somewhat winded (though mostly because I’m out of shape from sitting on my couch and watching all this TV) way of saying I hope you’ll watch TV along with me this season and share your thoughts on all the shows I’ll both be SnapCapping and any other shows that catch your eye. But just because it’s a new season don’t think for a second I’ve forgotten about old friends. Yes, kittens, I miss Jane and Maura, too. But don’t worry. They’ll be back for five more in November. Until then, please enjoy Det. Rizzoli’s new (and very NSFW) ringtone for Dr. Isles.
EDIT: Every once in a while, actual comments get caught in the automatic Blogger spam filter. This usually happens with comments that contain dirty words or are really long. I hardly check the filter, because frankly I forget it is there. But, rest assured, I do not delete any comments (save for obvious spam or blatant hate speech). Also, this post is about scripted shows. Though I did watch DWTS and commented on it quite a bit on my Twitter feed. So follow me there for my thoughts on DWTS.
Tuesday, September 20, 2011
But when those kids sing and dance, I can’t help it – my heart does a little flip. Or perhaps that heart palpitation is being caused by the return of the Cheerio streamer skirts. Brittany and Santana dancing together on tabletops? Hello, fan-fiction sprung to life.
Despite the new school year, “Glee” has already returned to some of its old ways. Like its insane habit of releasing 1,000 preview/clips before the actual episode. Though, when it’s as pretty in pink as Quinn returning to the hallways of McKinley High, you will hear not even the smallest peep of complaint from me. (WARNING: Spoilers for the first episode and also likely to cause an immediate Dianna Agron Sex Riot.)
Right. So. Yeah. Hello, “Glee” Season 3 – my body is ready.
Monday, September 19, 2011
So then, as the movie developed, I was anxious to see what direction they’d go. The first trailer was perfectly charming. And now, well, their new parody trailer “The Pig with the Froggy Tattoo” has totally won me over. You had me at “Wocka. Wocka,” new Muppet movie.
The new Muppet movie also comes with a brand new Muppet album, which makes sense because music was such a big part of the original movies and show. NPR streamed the whole album last month. (Sadly, the stream is now over.) But, you can hear the very new, very different Muppet theme song by OK GO. When I first heard it, I hated it. Then it grew on me and I kind of dug it. Then I watched the video and I was a little “Nope, hipster nonsense.”
So, judge for yourself. I actually don’t mind the crunky synth wheeze of the new song. But for some reason when paired with the video it’s just not working for me anymore. I think it’s because the dude with the cap and beard looks more Muppety than the actual Muppets.
And, well, it is hard to improve upon something as flat-out sensational, inspirational, celebrational, Muppetationalas this.
OK, new Muppet movie. I’m going to give you a try. Just don’t go breaking my heart. I already have “The Rainbow Connection” to do that. Talk amongst yourselves, kittens. I’ll just be sitting on this log, reliving my childhood until the new movie comes out.
Friday, September 16, 2011
Those unfamiliar with the Canadian series will get a chance to see it from the beginning when SyFy starts airing it early next year. But those of us who are already hooked (and those of us outside of Canada who are watching along through methods we will not mention) know it’s one of TV’s most delightful new addictions. Supernatural craziness, mythological baddies and one very appealing Dr. Hotpants. What more could a gal want? In fact, I love this show so much I’m going to start writing SnapCaps (short, snappy recaps with an accompanying SnapGraph) each week for the rest of the season. You can catch up today on AfterEllen (should post in a bit) with a “Story So Far” SnapCap. And then starting next week expect fresh, feisty “Lost Girl” SnapCaps every Tuesday. I cannot wait. Bring it, Anna. Happy weekend, all.
Thursday, September 15, 2011
Christina spoke with Vulture about “I Don’t Know How She Does It” as well as her other upcoming projects – “Drive” with Ryan Gosling and “Struck by Lightning” written by none other than Kurt Hummel himself, Chris Colfer. Though one tidbit that interested me in particular was how “Drive” director Nicolas Winding Refn really wanted Christina to play Wonder Woman. And she said she’d do it “in a heartbeat.”Right, not to get stuck on the same subject again, but sweet merciful Zeus, could you imagine the industrial-strength corseting that would be required to keep those wonder girls in the Wonder bustier? The mind boggles.
The other interesting tidbit from the interview was that Christina is going to bring a 19-year-old with the Make-A-Wish Foundation as her co-date to the Emmys (she’ll also be taking her husband). Well wished for, young man, very well wished for.