Why CBS rocks

Because they put out this trailer for Intelligence, Person of Interest, and Hawaii 5-0 and referenced Lost. ALL IN ONE VIDEO. Seriously. This is epic.

CBS has consistently offered some of my family’s favorite television. Person of Interest has been a favorite since it began, one of my Dad’s only “can’t miss” shows is NCIS and we all love NCIS: Los Angeles. And of course, Intelligence is one of my new favorites as I posted before. Though other networks have shows I enjoy, CBS just seems to have figured out how to do a good drama. Plus the fact that they are basically posting a “fan” video to advertise their shows? Perfection.

Why Frozen melted my heart

I had mixed feelings about the trailer for Frozen.

But this was by the same people who made Tangled, which I LOVED so, I knew I had to give it a chance. Plus, all the people I know who are big Disney fans were raving about it.

So I finally made it to the theater and I completely and totally fell in love with this movie. If you haven’t seen it yet, you should before it’s out of theaters. Also, you might not want to read any further since spoilers will abound from this point forward.

What was it about this movie that I loved so much? Why, I’m glad you asked!

Frozen 1

  • It’s not a romance. I know, I know. It does have a romantic storyline threaded through it, but at its heart, it isn’t about romantic love. Now I’m a sucker for a romance and a Disney romance in particular. Beauty and the Beast, Tangled, The Little Mermaid, The Princess and the Frog
  • I loved that Disney poked a little fun at themselves with Kristoff’s line that Anna couldn’t really be in love after having just met Hans.
  • I also TOTALLY didn’t see the Hans thing coming. That was such a shock to me. It was absolutely perfect though. I had been trying to figure out how Elsa and Kristoff would end up together or something (I mean, he’s the ice man, right?), but the development of the relationship between Anna and Kristoff was so sweet and the twist made the movie for me in a lot of ways. I loved that I didn’t know what to expect.
  • The music! I’m listening to the soundtrack right now. The variety of styles they played with was fantastic and “Do You Want to Build a Snowman” makes me tear up almost every time. This was much more of a Broadway musical type of movie and I adored that.
  • In the end love was the answer, but it was sacrificial love – a love for her sister even though Elsa had shut her out, turned her away, hurt her, practically tried to kill her – Anna is willing to throw herself in harm’s way to protect Elsa. It was such a beautiful moment.
  • I was talking to a friend who has 2 young girls, and she made a comment that she is sometimes concerned with movies or shows that equate sexiness with independence. When Elsa leaves and builds her ice castle (which was totally amazing btw), she throws off the restrictions she’s placed on herself and tries to claim “who she is” which involves having a dress with a slit all the way up her leg. I was thinking about this after my friend’s comment. I hadn’t noticed it, but I don’t have 2 young impressionable daughters who are living in a world where they are bombarded with the message that they can never be thin, sexy, or pretty enough. But when you look at Frozen, Elsa really isn’t happy in that place. She is trying to be okay with her power, but as the solitary, “bad girl” up on the mountain she is almost as miserable as she was locked up in the castle at Arendelle. Some people see this the opposite – that Elsa finally came to grips with herself and is empowered. But she isn’t. If she was okay with who she was she wouldn’t flip out when Anna comes. She’s still terrified of herself. She’s scared of what she might do and is continuing to isolate her in the same way she’s done (and had done to her) for her entire life. It isn’t until she truly accepts her role as queen, takes the responsibility for her actions, and accepts the love of her sister that she is able to be happy. She has to move past what has been ingrained in her since childhood, yes. She has to accept herself for who she is, yes. But running away and living on top of the mountain is not the answer.Frozen 2
  • Anna. I am so so happy about her character. She is clumsy and outspoken. She has a temper, is fiercely loyal. She is savvy and intelligent, but makes mistakes and major errors in judgment. She is HUMAN. And she grows and changes throughout the story as well, gaining wisdom, listening to other people, but trusting herself as well.
  • And Kristoff is pretty wonderful as well! I read a post somewhere about how he’s a great example of a strong man who’s not afraid to be a partner with a strong woman. He isn’t cowed by Anna (or Elsa for that matter), but he’s not overbearing either. He’s the one who keeps calling Anna out on her bad decisions, but not in a mocking or cruel way. And he’s quick to praise her as well. They are a team. And it’s inspiring.
  • Everything. I really loved the little humorous bits with Olaf and Sven. Yet, Olaf wasn’t just a throwaway comedic role either. They give him a really important moment with Anna to help her realize the truth about Kristoff (just for starters). The trolls are adorable. It’s just overall a great movie that will warm your heart, even if you are watching a movie about eternal winter!

Why Anna and Bates are my OTP

If you haven’t seen S4 E2 then you probably don’t want to read this post. And if you are lucky (or sneaky) enough to have already seen more of S4, then no spoilers please!

After watching the episode, a friend (E) and I were consoling each other about the tragic turn of events. After everything that Anna and John have been through they were finally having a bit of happiness. I knew something bad was coming based on an article in EW that I had read, but I didn’t expect it to be this bad, this soon.

Despite the tragedy, the attack on Anna had E and I discussing the reasons that Bates and Anna are our favorite couple on the show. From the first step into the house and their first slightly fliry exchange, I shipped the two of them more than almost any other TV couple ever (except maybe Castle and Beckett).

  1. anna and bates 1Their utter devotion to each other. Yes, it is sometimes frustrating – like when Bates kept things secret to try to protect Anna. Or now, with Anna trying to hide the truth from Bates. But when Anna glares at Mr. Gillingham and says, “If you must know, yes. He keeps me very happy,” I just wanted to cheer. And Bates was annoyed and seemed harsh during the episode, but he had a reason – he only wanted to protect Anna from anything that felt off to him. He defends her to Lord Grantham in the first episode as well. They love each other and they don’t care who knows.
  2. They aren’t “pretty people.” I tried to figure out how to word this for about five minutes. I’m not trying to say that either of them is unattractive, but it’s so refreshing to see a regular couple who are attracted to each other because of who they are, not what they look like.
  3. They aren’t defined by their relationship. They both have jobs, interests, and friends outside of each other. Anna is probably the most loved character both by staff and the family. Pretty much everyone likes her and trusts her. She is helpful and kind and friendly because that is who she is, not because she is trying to impress Bates (or anyone else for that matter). We haven’t seen much of Bates’ outside interests, but mostly that’s because of all of the problems with, you know, prison and such. However, he too is trusted by both staff and family (well, most staff), and honestly, Barrow is so threatened by him because he knows Bates is trusted and liked.
  4. anna and bates 2They’ve been through so freaking much and they can still joke and laugh and enjoy each other, as we saw in S4 E1. I’m afraid that the attack on Anna will be a gamechanger. Bates isn’t stupid – he knows something has happened. She can barely let him touch her right now. The intensity and intimacy of this attack can’t help but create a barrier between the two of them, especially as Bates will get frustrated, knowing that Anna is keeping something from him, and Anna will be dealing with the emotional backlash alone. My other great fear is that Anna will discover she is pregnant from the attack and will have to decide how to deal with that.

They’re such a great couple and I really am sad for this turn of events, but also curious to see how things will play out over the rest of the season.

Why I’m afraid to be a fan of Intelligence

intelligenceI know there’s only been 1 episode so far, but I love it. The characters instantly gelled for me. The interaction between Gabriel and Riley is perfect. They play off each other, but there’s not a sense that they’ve been doing it forever. The idea just clicks.

And while some people might be crying foul at a show that has a premise too much like Chuck, I think there is a place for this show right now. Also, Josh Holloway, so you know.

It’s smart, it’s sassy, and because of the set up of the characters, there isn’t that awkward “will they, won’t they” question hanging over the show. They can be partners and friends and get along and argue. It’s nice. And I like that they both are intelligent and talented and aren’t civilians. There’s something refreshing in knowing both Gabriel and Riley have been highly trained for these roles, even if the situation is different than either of them ever thought they would be facing.

But I’m kind of scared to become a fan. I’m scared to get invested in these characters, because when you look at my track record of loving new shows in the last couple of years, it’s kind of terrible.

So here’s a short list of some of my favorite short-lived shows.

  1. 666 Park Avenue – This was one a lot of people seemed to give up on pretty early on in the show. The first couple of episodes offered some red herrings that made it seem obvious how the show would play out, but as it progressed it quickly became obvious that nothing was as it seemed. Not the hotel, not the tenants and certainly not Terry O’Quinn’s enigmatic character. The mystery unspooled quite intriguingly, but incomplete as it wasn’t renewed 😦go on
  2. Go On – I don’t do many sitcoms, but whenever Matthew Perry pops up I have to check it out. I admit I’m still harboring a Chandler Bing crush. But Go On quickly earned a place in my heart and my tv lineup. It had humor, it had heart, and it had the quirkiness that bound the cast of misfit “life change” support group people together and kept me coming back for more.
  3. Terra Nova – Parallel universes, a great cast, an intriguing storyline, and dinosaurs. This show had everything except an actual chance to play out its story. Which left me with one question: How on earth does Spielberg not get renewed? one word: Fox*
  4. Cult – I saved this one for last because it is the one I was probably the most upset about. I openly admit that I started Cultwatching to get more Matt Davis after his time on The Vampire Diaries came to its tragic end. But I was almost immediately sucked into the story. Just the premise of a tv show about a tv show was fascinating to me. Add to that the mystery, the chemistry between Jeff and Skye, the unraveling of the tv show’s storyline on top of the actual show’s story and it was a show that I could have loved for years. Instead the CW changed the air night after a couple of episodes and then cancelled it completely, not even airing the remaining episodes until after the regular tv season was over. Ironically I had written a post about the 10 reasons someone should watch Cult on the very day it was announced that it was cancelled. The show kept getting better and left with a giant cliffhanger that will never be resolved. It still makes me sad.

So do I dare become attached to Gabriel and Riley and their exploits? I’m going to risk it because I’m enjoying it too much not to!

*this may or may not be related to bad feelings still directed at Fox due to the cancelling of a show 10 years ago that I didn’t even watch live at the time, but should have many more than 13 measly episodes. Browncoats forever!

 

 

Why I was disturbed by Dr. NO

Today I watched my first James Bond movie. Yes, somehow I passed my thirtieth year never having seen a Bond movie. I decided it was time to rectify that and what better way than to start from the beginning.

So I borrowed a copy of Dr. No from my trusty local library (seriously, they save my media life) and settled in.

The plot was about what I expected. Even though I’ve never seen a Bond film before there are certain things I knew about the character just because of how pervasive it has become in society. And one of these things is the fact that he is a womanizer. This is part of the film character. But as I watched the film, a few things began to disturb me. Individually they could be brushed off, but together they provide a rather unsettling picture.

dr. no 2In Dr. No our first introduction to Bond, James Bond, is his flirting with a woman at a card table. She makes advances and even sneaks into his room to seduce him (not that it takes much convincing). The thing that threw me is that this woman is completely unimportant. We never see her again. She is not a spy, is not working for anyone, does not appear later for him to save – nothing. In retrospect it seems that her only role in the film is to show how sexually desirable Bond is. He is handsome, debonair, and charming.

Next he flirts with the secretary, but theirs is a give-and-take relationship that is charming rather than disturbing, so I’ll let that one go.

dr. no 1Next Bond meets the secretary of a professor (spoilers) who is involved with the whole evil plot. Bond catches her eavesdropping and invites her to his hotel. Perfectly normal, right? She instead invites him to her apartment. Surprise! She’s in on the plot as well and doesn’t expect him to actually show up because he is supposed to die on the way there. He evades (and kills) his pursuers and shows up. She is in a towel and he kisses her. She protests, but apparently inviting him to her apartment is the only invitation he needs. She goes along with things because she is trying to delay Bond, but there are definite moments of her resisting Bond’s advances which he ignores. The fact that she is one of the “bad guys” or that she becomes a willing participant is not enough for me to gloss over this.

But the most distressing to me was the situation with Honey. But she is a consenting adult! you cry. She is attracted to him and even instigates their physicality to some extent, you argue. But let’s look at the facts.

1. Honey tells Bond that after her father died her landlord forces himself on her as “payment” for letting her stay on for a short time rent free. There is no real reason for this plot point to come up, yet it is clearly explicated for us.

dr. no 32. After waking from their drugged sleep Bond walks in on Honey while she is dressing. She appears distressed at this, clutching the top to her and dressing quickly when his attention is distracted elsewhere. Perhaps she is mostly still affected by their capture and their drugging, but she does not exhibit many signs of being physically attracted to Bond other than that he has saved her life and is the only person in the situation she can rely on. In fact, up until the ending, Honey shows little to no signs of desiring any kind of intimate relationship with Bond.

dr. no 43. During dinner, Bond tries to get her released. Instead she is dragged from the room while Dr. No says, “I am sure the guards will amuse her.” The intent behind the words is very clear in the context. Especially since, according to IMDb, the original line was “I am sure she will amuse the guards.” In addition, when Honey is dragged from the dining room she is wearing a tunic top and a pair of pink slacks. When Bond locates her after he thwarts Dr. No’s plan (and kills the villain) she is chained, spread-eagle on the ground and her pants are missing. I don’t think I am making too great a leap to say that in all likelihood this girl has just been brutalized by at least one guard. Unless they were interrupted by the big plans going on… but then why not just tie her up. Why half strip her and tie her down in that sort of compromising position.

5. Bond and Honey flee aboard a small ship. They run out of gas and the first thought on Bond’s mind? I’m going to seduce this young woman whose life I just saved and who was just potentially abused.

Yes, she kisses him back. Yes, she is the one who moves closer to him. But he is the one who makes the overture. With her history (which has been made clear to us) is it not possible that Honey might feel like she owes Bond some sort of thanks for saving her life? Perhaps not. Perhaps I’m reading too much into all of this. But the fact that this thought can sit in my brain bothers me just as much. That there is evidence to support it is problematic, even if it isn’t the intent.

So where am I going with this? I don’t really know. Am I decrying the Bond movies? No. Am I judging the whole franchise on this one movie? No. I plan on watching more and I’ll keep you apprised of any other observations I make. Other movies, other books, other media have similar or worse threads running through them. Acknowledging their existence and their problematic-ness is a good step. Doesn’t mean we can’t like James Bond, but it does mean that maybe we should think more about what happens in the things we read and watch and what message they are conveying, even unconsciously.

First Post

The first post is always the most intimidating, because it can set the tone for the whole blog. And some weird person might someday care enough to scroll all the way back to the very first post that was posted and then be disappointed that it had such an inauspicious inaugural post. So I am posting something to simply get that first post out of the way. Also I am including a gif because if there is one thing I have learned in my time in social media it is that a gif is always appreciated and usually helpful.

oh yes

Also, David Tennant is usually a good choice.

Now I can go on to writing my second post with much less dread in my heart.