Posts tagged "Television"

Russia now visible from her TV studio.

It’s like—last period on Fridays in junior high, I’m sitting in social-studies class, and I’m trying not think about it. The bell is going to ring in 10 minutes, the weekend is ahead of me, and that’s good, but during the weekend, I won’t see her for two whole days, and if I don’t try and do something now, I’ll spend all my time off feeling like a coward. The teacher is explaining about checks and balances, and every part of me is squeezing in this crooked, miserable way, like I’m getting ready to vomit organs, muscles, bones. Not good, thinking about vomit right now, really not helping. Five minutes. I can’t breathe so great anymore, and I can actually taste my tongue in my mouth like some rotting toad. She’s wearing jeans today. She’s smiling at something, and later on, when I remember this, I’ll try and pretend she was smiling at me. The bell rings, my feet forget my shoes aren’t glued to the floor, but finally I make it out of my chair, through the door, there are the lockers. Be, y’know, casual. Say something cool. Say something a real person would say. My locker is on the right, I don’t forget the combination, the hallway is the last chance because then it’s the busses and the ride home and the jocks who kick the seat behind me and the shame of chickening out one more time. But I go up to her, and she’s saying something to a friend, and I wait, I actually manage to stand there and not die. Finally, she looks at me. I had dialogue planned. There was a script. I manage, “Hiwouldyouliketogooutsometime?” Not good. Not good.

And she gets that… look. If a door had an expression when you shut it, that’s the look she’s wearing. The handful of seconds between her features shifting 30 degrees politer and her opening her mouth aren’t long, exactly. They just never stop happening. Simple as that.

Zach Handlen, “Better Late Than Never: The Office,” The A.V. Club

Handlen goes on to explain “That’s how I feel when I try to watch Freaks And Geeks. That’s how I feel when I try to watch Seinfeld. Or Three’s Company. Or Meet The Parents. Or Curb Your Enthusiasm. Or, naturally, The Office.” Which is on some hardenthefuckup shit, but whatever, it’s still a cool story, even though the only shame one should feel in response to Meet the Parents should pertain to its presence in one’s DVD player.

If you want an indication of how much Hollywood fears female characters that step (even slightly) outside of gender norms, look at the dearth of female nerds on the big screen. The only major female nerd of note is Hermione of the Harry Potter series, and she only exists because of the books. We can hope that Hollywood will get over this skittishness. Female audiences fill seats and spend money, and they’re hungry to see more female characters who display ambition and humor and who don’t just stand around looking pretty.

Amanda Marcotte, “Rise of the Female Nerds,” The American Prospect

This article gets a fail because it doesn’t mention Rory Gilmore1 (also some of its examples are dorks, smh), but nonetheless, I feel like making a half-assed argument about how the Harry Potter movies toned-down Hermione’s nerdiness because Hollywood Hates Unconventional Women2. So, OK, there are the obvious examples like the way Emma Watson is totally hotter than Hermione is meant to be, and wears, like, pretty dresses and stuff when she goes to Wizard-Prom.3 But it’s also in the way that, for the movie, they subtly made her a bit more popular with the other girls. In the books, however, even toward the end of the series, when Hermione is like BFFs Forever with Ginny and knows all the gossip going on round the Gryffindor girls’ dorm, I still get the sense she’s a bit of an outsider who feels most comfortable with Harry and Ron. Harry and Ron, in contrast, are totally popular guys, except when Harry’s pissing people off by talking about Voldemort.

And there was that role-switching thing. See, in the books, Hermione gets flustered under pressure,4 and Ron remains sober and sensible, whereas the movies have Ron play the buffoon and Hermione the responsible, shrewish scold.5 Movie-Hermione is significantly more socially adept than the awkward, know-it-all, bossy book-Hermione, who genuinely is a nerd. And much more awesomer for it.


1. I’m a hard marker.

2. I mean it totally doesn’t. Didn’t you see how crazy Zooey Deschanel was in (500) Days of Summer?

3. Which was actually the Yule Ball in the books, and technically in the movie too, but we can forget that because the movie and the audience did pretty quickly.

4. Just like a girl.

5. Just like a girl.


SETH: Anna just sailed to Tahiti. SUMMER: Sailing is, like, so not the fastest way to get anywhere. I mean, if you had flown, you would have gotten there a lot sooner. ANNA: You should be on the debate team.
The O.C., 1x09 The Heights

Summer should have been on the debate team because she’s right goddammit.


SETH: Anna just sailed to Tahiti.
SUMMER: Sailing is, like, so not the fastest way to get anywhere. I mean, if you had flown, you would have gotten there a lot sooner.
ANNA: You should be on the debate team.

The O.C., 1x09 The Heights

Summer should have been on the debate team because she’s right goddammit.

Hey Australians, has Denny’s stolen Sam Kekovich's steez for its new commercials?

Those four horsemen…

It’s a little imperfect calling Eminem, Blink-182, American Pie, and “South Park” the four horsemen of the Clinton-era apocalypse; after all, Em was still an icon until Election Day 2004 (remember that one week in which “Mosh” seemed significant?) and Blink-182 endured til 2003, albeit with an album that wasn’t Blink-182 as we had known them. And South Park continues today, of course.

But I like the construction not only because of the similarities the four share, but the way they themselves cross-bred creatively. Blink appeared in American Pie and covered songs from South Park in concert. Em’s mimesis included his version of South Park’s take on Saddam Hussein. His feuds with boy bands paralleled Blink’s parodic “All the Small Things” video. These cultural forms seemed to act not always collaboratively, but frequently in concert.

"There’s never been a paper bag for drugs."

Me at That Other Blog:

I was reminded of this scene after Arizona’s Republican Governor Jan Brewer signed into law a set of stringent new restrictions on illegal immigration. The law has set off an outcry here in the States, and it’s not too hard to see why. It requires police to stop people they suspect of being illegal immigrants and demand proof that they are authorised to be in the country. Immigrants must carry around proof of their legal status at all times, and the mere act of being an illegal immigrant in Arizona is now a crime.

The problem is, of course, that it’s hard to have a reasonable suspicion that someone is an illegal immigrant, because, well, in the words of Governor Brewer: “I do not know what an illegal immigrant looks like.” Opponents of the law think it will lead to widespread profiling of Hispanics, since most illegal immigrants are Hispanic. And even though the law forbids this kind of racial profiling, it offers no guidance as to how a police officer is meant to reasonably suspect someone of being an illegal immigrant. Just like police departments that don’t racially profile but nonetheless coincidentally end up harassing large numbers of law-abiding African-Americans, this legislation seems likely to lead to widespread demands of any Hispanic-looking person in Arizona that they show their papers.

In practice, this will make Hispanics more mistrustful of police, and discourage them from reporting crimes and co-operating with investigations. But if this were all it would do, at least Arizona would reach some kind of workable, albeit horrible, compromise. But one of the more absurd aspects of the law is that it permits individual citizens to sue police departments that aren’t doing enough to combat illegal immigration. Not only will police have to try to determine who is an illegal immigrant merely by sight, they will have to demand of these people proof of legal status, and, to avoid costly lawsuits, they will have to do so to the satisfaction of every resident of Arizona.

And the rest is over here…

You can’t kill me — you’re already dead.
Lil’ J,  ”Gossip Girl,” Ep. 03.17: Inglorious Bassterds

"Gossip Girl," Ep. 03.17: Inglorious Bassterds

OK, that was kinda hot.

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