Thursday, May 28, 2009

Pop-culture blind spot?

Not to toot my own horn or anything, but I think my pop-culture IQ is at the very least well above average, if not bordering on good. And that is something I definitely take pride in (all those hours spent on TV , movies and mags has gotta count for something, right?)

Buuut, I've recently it seems I am not exactly in step with the rest of pop-culture. Here's the evidence (feel free to gasp as many times as you need):

  • I don't Tweet (although that lil idea's been running around in the back of my mind)

  • I haven't watched a single episode of Lost (gasp, yes, I know) - so I have no idea why everyone's jaw dropped after the recent Lost finale or what the hoopla is about the statue's identity

  • I don't watch Gossip Girl/One Tree Hill/The Hills - honestly, they all seem the same to me and I couldn't care less

  • 24 is just a number to me - yeah, I know Keifer Sutherland is in it and all that. Beyond that, nothing. Zilch.

  • I don't watch Desperate Housewives/ The Real Housewives of New Jersey (or whatever) - don't know, don't care. Although I was a touch offended when the creators of Desperate Housewives launched that lil show called Big Shots - course it got canceled and all, still. The guys in Big Shots were as messed up, if not more, than the women in there.

  • Haven't watched Friday Night Lights - so my memory of Kyle Chandler from Early Edition is intact :)

  • Haven't watched HIMYM (I know, shocking!) - but I am going to make up for it this summer - go NetFlix! Neil Patrick Harris has always been Doogie to me, but I'm sure that'll change soon

  • I only catch random eps of SNL - but I heard JT rocks as the host

  • Rescue Me, In Treatment, The Shield, Numb3rs, Chuck, Dexter, The Mentalist and Prison Break are strangers to me - I missed the train on these

  • I haven't read a single Twilight book and I don't plan to. Ditto for the Twilight movies. Don't ask me why.
Now onto older pop-culture misses for me (in no particular order):

  • Haven't watched a single LOTR movie in its entireity - don't blame me, the LOTR book found its way home too late.

  • Apart from the original Star Wars and one of the sequels (whichever one it was that had Jar-Jar Binks introduced), haven't watched the others

  • The only things I know about ER are that John Stamos is in the later seasons and George Clooney (insert mandatory swoon here) used to be on in earlier seasons

  • I haven't watched Seinfeld - at max, a couple of random scenes. So I don't know why 'Yada, yada, yada" is the No. 1 funniest phrase in that list of 50 funniest phrases from TV sitcoms

  • ET is a movie I have not yet watched - but I love the phrase 'ET phone home' :)

  • Sharks scare me - Jaws (and only the first movie) is the only one I have watched even 10 mins of. None of the sequels. Sorry.

  • I haven't watched any of the Godfather movies - but small consolation, I have read the first book

  • Haven't watched Pulp Fiction or Scarface or any of the Kill Bill series - sorry, not one for excessive violence/gore
Now here's some TV I did watch growing up - I'll try not to make this list too snakin' long (and no, snickering is not allowed):

  • Friends
  • The Wonder Years
  • Remington Steele
  • Now and again
  • the very first Survivor
  • the very first Amazing Race
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer
  • Angel
  • Mutant X
  • JAG
  • Dark Angel
  • Will & Grace
  • the 60's Star Trek on TV
  • Lost in Space (the TV series, although I did watch the movie too, but only for Matt LeBlanc)
  • Doogie Howser M.D
  • Moonlighting
  • Charles in Charge
  • Who's the boss?
  • Diff'rent Strokes
  • Silver Spoons
  • Early Edition
  • Charmed
  • Dawson's Creek
  • Mind your language
  • I Dream of Jeannie (the technicolor one, not the old, B/W one)
Now come on guys, enough with the snickering...

My movie list is waaaaaay longer - if anyone's interested, let me know and I will find a way to have you spend a nice, lazy afternoon going through my movie list...

Bored yet? No? Ok great - cos in spite of my apparent ignorance of all things in nowadays, I do watch my fair share of current TV and movies - proof is here and here. But seriously, has anyone of you out there watched all of this? If so, then do share - which ones are a must-watch? Something that would deserve a place on my 'before I die' list? Anything legendary? :D

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

More TV News...

It's Upfronts week and yes, its action-packed (so to speak)... As I'd mentioned in my Season finales post last week, my TV appetite is ginormous & is definitely being fed this week...

Shows that I watch that have been renewed:

> Bones - for TWO seasons, baby! yeah! (btw - for those of you interested, the whole amnesia thing in the finale - well, it doesn't seem to be amnesia anymore - I found this after days of trolling spoiler blogs & other sites - Hart Hanson has tweeted that "everything was done for a reason" - it better be good sir!)

> Fringe - whooohoo
> Grey's Anatomy - anybody doubt this?
> Castle - surprise, surprise - yes.
> Private Practice - thank god, I can't stand not knowing what happens to Violet
> The Big Bang Theory - also for two seasons. Live long and prosper.

Shows that I used to watch and are now canceled:

> Life - sad.
> Eli Stone - old news, still.
> Dirty Sexy Money - old news, still.
> Pushing Daisies - old news.
> Samantha Who? - what the frak?! I loved this show.

Shows that I used to watch that are now renewed:

> Brothers & Sisters
> Ugly Betty
> Scrubs
> House
> Smallville
> Heroes

Popular shows that I don't watch that are renewed/cancelled:

> How I met your mother (HIMYM) - I missed the train on this one, but will watch it at some point of time - thank god for NetFlix - renewed.
> Lost - renewed - only 13 episodes left, it's back in Jan 2010.
> Prison Break - canceled
> Sarah Connor - canceled
> The Office - missed the train on this one too - renewed
> Friday Night Lights - renewed
> Gossip Girl - renewed
> One Tree Hill - renewed

Ausiello keep his Fall TV Cheat Sheet continually updated - click here. You can also follow Ausiello on Twitter - in his own words "If you can't wait for the page to refresh, you can stalk me on Twitter."

It's funny how I remember the PR for a lot of the newer shows - Kings, Kath & Kim, The Unusuals etc. And now they're canceled - talk about 15 mins of fame!

I'm gonna miss Samantha Who? - really. It was hilarious. But the rest of my TV schedule for fall seems safe now. Fox is pairing Bones & Fringe on Thursday nights - talk about a double whammy. Also, given the fact that Grey's and Private Practice are also on ABC on Thursday nights during the same time slot - the competition is fierce!

Of course, a lot of fall premieres too - Peter Krause, Kelsey Grammer, Patricia Heaton, Courtney Cox all have new shows coming out - we'll just have to wait and see...

Oh and also, soon Hulu will have content from ABC too - maybe that will help pass the summer...

Any shows on your must-list that you think I should watch? Sound off below! Later then, ta!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

About those season finales...

This week was a big one - well, TV-wise - lotsa season finales. For the uninitiated, my appetite for TV is ginormous (fodder for another post, another time) - and this week saw a lot of seasons come to a close.

Now I'm only gonna harp about the shows I follow closely - there are a lot of popular shows out there that I don't watch - either 'cause I missed the train on those or because of excessive hype around them (a big turn off for me).

Having said that, here are the finales I'm gonna vent about: Bones, Fringe, The Big Bang Theory, Castle, Grey's Anatomy and Private Practice (even though this finale was a couple of weeks back). For the uninterested, feel free to wander off at this point - have a drink on me.. and c ya!


The phrase that comes to mind, about these finales (in both a good & bad way) is - 'What the frak?!?' I'm not one for profanity - but yeah, those are my sentiments. Here's why --

Bones: This was my reaction to the last 3 mins or so of the S4 finale (repeat said phrase atleast 3 times at the top of your voice or through gritted teeth) With the Zack thing in the Season 3 finale - HH shot my puppy. And now this? Amnesia? Really? Really? First thing that came to mind was, man, this is a bad fanfic played out. HH, dude, this was so not a 'love letter' to the fans. Na-ah. Please don't plan any such gimmicks for Season 5 finale. Please. And do try, very very hard, to recover gracefully at the beginning of S5 - carefully tread these waters now. We've gone two steps back with the last 3 mins of this finale. Recover. Well.

Now that I got that out of my system - I actually loved the rest of the finale - except for the last 3 mins that is...

After I calmed down and re-watched the ep again, I came to the conclusion that I dont hate all of it - just the last few minutes... So, here we go...

The rotating interns - well, all of 'em where there - Wendell as the bouncer was my fave - totally cracked me up. Mr. Nigel Murray came a pretty close second as the 'pasty' err.. too lovely to be in jail, Brit DJ. Other surprises included Arastu Vaziri as the relentless businessman who wanted to buy 'The Lab' - I'm so glad he lost the 'accent' and Grayson Barasa as C-Sync's (Clark's) gangsta bro :) and of course Fisher & Daisy with their thing that wasnt a thing and last but never the least - Zack. Zacko. Our fave Vulcan robot - with unfortunately little screen time. Loved it all.

Sweets, Caroline, Max, Jared & Cam rounded up the rest of the cast for the finale - if only Gordon Gordon had been there - that would've been the icing on the cake.

Yeah, it was nice to see Booth & Bren together, as in together - albeit in an AU. All this was fine - I was along for the ride. Till the last danged minute of the finale. And then they pulled the amnesia stunt! Not gonna let go of that one for a while.

One thing I will give credit to the writers for, was the fact that everyone was pretty much in character, even though they were someone else (occupationally, that is). Sweets with his, "I'm the bartender here - practically a psychologist" and Cam playing the cop she's deep down inside anyway. Angela still running to Bren before anyone else. Caroline Julian - gosh I love it when she's around - that dry humor gets me every time :D. Bren being the pragmatic and rational one, even as one of the owners of the nightclub and 'Mr.B' - Booth - in all his protective, funny, makin-eyes-at-Bren glory. I'll say it again - Loved it. Except for the amnesia thing.

Fringe: (happily chant said phrase any number of times) Now that's packing a one-two. J.J.Abrams - you're da man! ok and Robert Orci & Alex Kurtzman too. Season 1 (that's right!) went out with a bang. Highlights: the 'special' gravestone (my face went :-O for a few mins), John Noble (I wanted to give his Walter Bishop a big hug at the end) - in front of said gravestone and finally, ladies & gentlemen - Leonard Nimoy as William Bell - there's a casting coup if there ever was one.

I almost did the Vulcan hand gesture when he introduced himself to Dunham - tee hee. And yes, like I said in the Summer Movie Mania post - I did catch the latest Star Trek last weekend. So, a good week for Mr. Nemoy - definitely. And for a change, I am actually more invested in the whole ZFT mythology than the 'chemistry' (I am beginning to hate that word after the Bones S4 finale fiasco - see above. Yes, Bitter - party of one.) between the lead characters. Not that Joshua Jackson isn't easy on the eyes :)

And strangely enough, both during the finale and the Star Trek movie, I kept thinking - how Sheldon would react to a double dose of Spock (I heart Jim Parsons, in case I haven't said that before). Can't wait for Season 2. And I haven't said that about any new show so far.

Oh and did I mention the Twin Towers in Bell's AU? Sweet.

The Big Bang Theory: (smile gently and repeat said phrase a couple of times) 3 months in the North Pole? Nice. It was good to see Sheldon, Leonard, Raj & Walowitz actually be scientists out in the field. And Penny? sweetie? it's gonna be ok.

I was happy when CBS picked up BBT for two more seasons - I can't get enough of these guys. And frankly, I'm not afraid to get my geek on when I watch BBT - those references to String Theory & Schrodinger's Cat & Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle & Einstein (of course this list isn't exhaustive) - love it, love it, love it. Makes total sense to me and I love that science is such wonderful fuel for comedy. Someone buy me that Caffeine molecule t-shirt please? More nerdy shirts here.

Castle: (whisper said phrase once) Ok - so I started watching this show only cos I wanted to laugh off the comparison between Booth & Bren's chemistry in Bones and Castle's & Beckitt's chemistry in Castle. But I stayed. And continued to watch. Its a good filler on Monday nights.

So why did I say wtf at the finale? Cos Castle crossed a line and Beckitt should hang him dry for it. Only kiddin - I love Nathan Fillion too much to have him hung dry (Fillion, btw, is David Boreanaz's buddy supposedly). Castle did invade her privacy - her mom's murder case to be exact. The road to hell is paved with good intentions - right? And although the cast is not as good an ensemble as Bones, they're still entertaining - not interesting - just, watchable.

Grey's Anatomy: (hyperventilate and repeat said phrase about a 1000 times) Seriously?

Last week was a good run up to the finale and the 2 hr finale itself was solid - everyone - every single person of the cast got decent screentime - yes, even George. Solid story lines - from the Chief getting the Da Vinci to lure Bailey, to Mark & Lexie's little gender-role-bender, to finally the Mer Der wedding, to Christina & Owen's 'Yes' and of course the great Izzie saga.

Few scenes that stood out:

> When Bailey asks the Chief if there was still a spot open in General Surgery (Chandra Wilson was brilliant)

> When Mer and Christina 'hug' - it's lovely to see how far these characters have come. Mer is whole and healed (something that was apparent even last week) and Christina's being able to admit that she has feelings, intense ones at that for Hunt. I gotta say, this season, these Hunt & Christina are the couple that kept me coming back - more than Mer-Der. I think their romance was dealt with well - not in the roller-coaster fashion that the Mer-Der romance was.

> Bailey and Torres talking to the rest of the gang about the 'intervention' - there wasn't one bit of that scene that I could not pay attention to.

> Christina & Mer's 'something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue' scene - Shonda is great at putting a twist on the conventional. Blue post-its and a grocery list - hilarious!

Now, Bones was supposed to have ended with a cliffhanger - ok I will say it - Booth has amnesia. But we all know how that has to end right? Booth has to come back or there is no Bones. But compared to what Shonda has done at the end of GA S5 - the Bones cliffhanger faded into insignificance. Its so far away, its a dot.

On the Grey's Writers blog - last week Shonda had posted that it would be the last post of the season (the post for the 100th ep). Now I know why. No way they could have posted about this and not ended up with an avalanche of wtf's. No way.

The real life tabloid rumors about T.R.Knight & Katherine Heigl continuing on the show, seem to have been written right into the story. The best part? We still don't know at the end of this finale if they'll be back. I thought this finale would put to rest all those rumors. But no siree. Ain't gonna happen. So there. You got me waitin for S6 - even if its just to find out what happened.

Private Practice: (say above phrase once. quietly) Ok so I started watching PP cos of Addison - as I suspect many ppl did. But the overall cast has really grown on me. All of 'em. And that stab-you-in-the-arm-to-make-you-unconscious-and-cut-out-your-baby thing - definitely - wtf!

Amy Brenneman wasn't kidding when she said the finale for her character was going to be like a Quentin Tarantino movie. Honest.

Although, as much as I like Josh Hopkins (he did come on Bones and Brothers & Sisters too - guest spots) - I am a little weary of that whole Addy-Noah storyline. Yeah, life is filled with shades of gray. Still.


Other finales I could have watched - cos I used to follow these shows at one point of time - Life, Brothers & Sisters and House. I started watching Cupid but dropped it like a hot potato, like I did with Life and Brothers & Sisters and (and its painful to say this) Heroes. Heroes S3 simply failed to make me care. The only saving grace - Sylar. I heart Zachary Quinto (esp after Star Trek).

In other news, Eli Stone and Dirty, Sexy Money are going to air their final episodes this June-July. In case you haven't heard, ABC officially canceled these shows. Why isn't Pushing Daisies in this list of things that I used to watch? Well I saw too little of it, to merit a mention - I did like it though, a lot. And DSM - for Peter Krause and of course Donald Sutherland - he played Trip Darling painfully well.

And now my biggest gripe about this TV season - what's with the hallucination/dream state/alternate universe (AU) thing people? Did they all just have a single meeting together and decide, 'Seeing dead people and general hallucinations are the theme for this season'? Case in point - Bones, House and Grey's Anatomy. Tiring.

If you've made it this far - congrats - you are as crazy about tv as I am :D. And so begins the loooong summer hiatus. Off I go, back into my TV bubble... see ya later, alligator!

Friday, May 8, 2009

Summer Movie Mania!

It's that time of the year again - all my fave tv shows (Bones, Grey's Anatomy, Fringe, Private Practice etc. etc. etc.) are wrapping up the seasons and as much as I look forward to the season finales tailored for May Sweeps, I will definitely miss them for the 3 long months until fall...

Sad, yes. But I'm really looking forward to this summer's movies - there are at least 2 movies in there that I've been waiting on for a while now - Angels & Demons & the latest installment in the Potter series (which, by the way, was supposed to released in Nov 08, but they felt it would be a big summer draw - which, it probably will be)...

Lotsa movies - as you may have noticed the 4 new lists to the right... the good, the bad and the ugly & well, anything that falls between these categories...

Last summer was pretty lean - I didn't catch too many movies - but hopefully, this time, things will be different...

Any movies you think I should move from one of the 4 lists to the other? Sound off in the comments section! Ta for now...