Posts filed under ‘Television’
I’m currently in a long distance relationship and one of the things we like to do is watch movies and television together. We’ve even perfected doing this across five states and a time zone, thanks to Netflix Boyfriend who has not acted jealous at all. Obviously I know how to pick ‘em! (OK, so the other night he got up and left the room, but he’s been mostly understanding.) We’ve watched several classic movies such as Chinatown and The Invisible Man (review hopefully to come soon, once I finish listening to the audio version of the book), but mostly I cuddle into my couch and we will watch one or two episodes of Dark Shadows in the evenings. We both come at the television show a little differently. While I’ve seen (and reviewed) the movie starring Johnny Depp that came out in 2012, Chris has not, so I have a better general knowledge of the story line than he does. However, I joined watching the television series partway into season 2 (after the vampire arrives) and so I don’t have a lot of detailed knowledge of the background and Chris does. But if you think about this show as a soap opera (which it totally was) you know I didn’t miss much of anything even in an entire season (and Chris catches me up on events and people as they reappear).
Dark Shadows was a daytime soap opera on ABC-TV which aired weekdays during the afternoon. With vampires, witches, worlocks, werewolves, and other supernatural creatures, it became a surprising phenomenon, lasting for five years before it was cancelled.
Primarily, Dark Shadows concerns the machinations of the Collins family, of which Barnabas Collins, a vampire, is a distant ancestor. They all live at a gothic estate called Collinswood, which is located in the town of Collinsport, a fishing village located in Maine. (Collinsport is not a real place, though it may have been inspired by another town in Maine called Bucksport, which had a rumored history of witchcraft and other things that go bump in the night.) The first episode sees New York City gal Victoria Winters heading by train on a dark and stormy night to Collinsport, for a governess job at Collinwood. Right away, spooky things are going on, an entire wing of the estate is closed, and people are arguing constantly. BUT, no ghosts, ghouls or vampires for a while. . . .
. . . . Initially not meant to be a reoccurring character, Barnabas Collins was introduced in episode 211. That’s right, 211 episodes into the show, the person we consider to be the main character finally arrived. The previous episode, 210, foreshadows what is about to happen by having Willie Loomis very interested in the portrait of the long-dead Barnabas, hanging up in Collinwood. Willie is a con artist hanging around Collinsport initially to attempt to blackmail Elizabeth Collins Stoddard, the matriarch of the family. Willie eventually digs up the coffin containing Barnabas at the end of episode 210, and starting with episode 211, the show would never be the same. (Incidentally, James Hall played Willie through episode 205, but then by John Karlen from episode 206 all the way through episode 1106. Weird, when one considers how pivotal the character was!)
After Barnabas Collins, a good deal of the storylines deal with him and his friendship with Victoria Winters, who in some ways is the other main character of Dark Shadows. . . .
Considered a cult classic Dark Shadows is a lot of fun to watch if you don’t mind campy melodramatic goth soap operas. Which I don’t. The characters are almost caricatures of themselves. Perhaps this is because the show’s producers and writers never knew what the heck was going on. I mean they created the main character a season into the show! I understand when a guest star appears and does well and so the writers and producers keep that character on the show (Spike for (another vampire) example), but the main character! That is a little unusual. Plus they decided to add ghosts and other supernatural elements after pitching and beginning production the show. What? This lack of forward thinking is obvious in the chaotic story line, which seems like it is flying by the seat of its pants. But Oh My God it is an awesome ride! Everything is just so over the top that I laugh through most of the episodes. Chris and I make fun of the characters and their dramatic speeches. It’s a great show to watch while making commentary, because nothing happens and all the characters get upset about it.
The other really fun thing we do is try to catch all the mistakes. These people do not do retakes. Not even when a boom mic drops into the camera’s view, or the camera person’s shadow shows, or some crew member walks across the background! The actors flub their melodramatic lines all the time and it is gloriously hilarious and entertaining. Honestly, I don’t even know what is happening most of the time, but it is great fun to watch. Plus I really enjoy Barnabas, he is quite the creepy scary vampire!
If you enjoy campy cult classics, like to find hidden Easter Eggs of hilarity, and scary vampires, try a couple of episodes of Dark Shadows. Only 22 minutes long, even if it’s not your thing you haven’t wasted much time.
Tattoo of a TARDIS and some Daleks. This tattoo is still a little pink, which means to me that it is new. I wonder if the person is going to get it colored. That could be really cool.
This TARDIS pair of shoes is super cute, kind of every day wear, which is what I like my geekery wear to be like. They would go well with the TARDIS poodle skirt from last week. Maybe get the coloring on the shoes to match. Plus, they are only 27 dollars, which isn’t bad. [via] On the other end of the spectrum is this TARDIS ballroom dress. Oooh, fahn-cee. I do like the red converse sneakers, they add a whimsical touch to the outfit. [via]
If every day TARDIS wear is not enough Doctor Who in your life, you can always create a Doctor Who inspired wedding. I like that it has tasteful touches of Doctor Who while still being sweet and elegant. Her dress is just gorgeous. I love the blue windows, excellent decoration. [via]
Outline embroidery of the recent Doctor’s and a unique signature unto that particular doctor. And the TARDIS! I see things like that and think, “I could do that!” Of course, I never will. The TARDIS scarf took me long enough!
A wonderful Gallifreyan Cuff with swirls of TARDIS blue. I do really like this cuff. I like the coloring, the placement, and the simplicity of it.
And this lovely illustration Dalekman, a mash-up of Doctor Who Asylum of the Daleks and that wonderful Disney short Paperman. The coloring is spectacular, the expressions on the Doctor and Oswin’s faces are wonderful. Just. I love the internets some times. The artist has some more wonderful illustrations of Doctor Who inspired digital paintings. They make for a lovely viewing on a rainy morning after your phone has woken you up at 4 a.m. to tell you that there is a flash flood warning in your area. (True story.) [via]
I honestly came up with this whole posting because I saw this picture on Pinterest of Ron Swanson as Batman and my jaw dropped. Then I figured out that the whole crew was done up as the Justice League and I laughed very quietly to myself in a room full of people. [via Pinterest]
If Batman were a househusband he might wear this Batman apron, with Batman nails, but only as long as he is also making these Batman cupcakes. Yum! I may need to visit Donut Boyfriend today, I’m craving sweets. [via, via, via]
And check out this gorgeous Batman dress. I loves it. Though I would take off the bows, because. What? I like the lacing on the sides, super cool. The site has pics and links to other cool clothing for women that aren’t just t’s with logos. [via Pinterest]
And then my boyfriend posted this on my Facebook wall, and I just had to share. Batman is definitely a troll. Sorry if you are a huge Superman fan, but maybe just skip this post all together then. The artist is Daniel Picard and he does some really cool digital manipulated toy photography.
And because I already spent the time doctoring him up…
The very best thing I have found on the internets recently is this miniature Bag End. I mean, it is just too awesome for words!
And if you are hungry, maybe skip this next paragraph, because cakes! Geeky cakes! First up, an Avengers cake via Pinterest. Also from Pinterest is this really awesome Ron Swanson cake. Awesome, because cake. But also awesome because Ron Swanson is an amazing character, and I love him. Parks and Recreation is one of my favorite comedy shows. And finally a Firefly cake from Pinterest. I’ll admit the people don’t look at all like the characters, but the ship looks like Serenity. . . ish.
Speaking of Firefly, an announcement has circled the internets that an official tabletop RPG is in the making.
Random concept art I’ve found includes a digital painting of Mary Poppins, street art of a colorful woman made of flowers and rainbows, and an illustration of Aurora as a zombie in Un-Sleeping Beauty (thanks for the tip Picture Me Reading!).
A wonderful comic of why females are frustrated when they have to “prove” they are geeky. Can’t we all just say nice shirt and only ogle the boobies from the corner of our eyes, like on 40 year old Virgin? Unless it’s the show Lost Girl. Anna Silk’s breasts are awesome and I can’t look away.
Peeps, you’ve probably all heard about this already, but I felt I needed to say a bit about the Kickstarter campaign of Veronica Mars. A movie is going to happen, because fans banded together, and the crew took a cut, and all the Veronic Mars nerds united to say, Hey we want this story told. And this is awesome. Because the best part of life (is not Folger’s in your cup, sorry) but telling stories that have to be told. Check out the Kickstarter campaign. Even though fully funded, you can get in on some extra goodies and help get this movie made. For $35 you get a t-shirt, behind the scenes scoop, and a digital version of the movie within a few days of the movies release. Sounds like a deal to me, especially at the high cost of movie tickets. I understand that some people are concerned about Kickstarter payees not being investors in the sense that they get a return on their money, but in the internet age I do think things will tend toward paying for what you want as you want it instead of a ton of cable shows you hate. And if you want to get a digital version of a movie and a free t-shirt for $35, why is that a bad thing? And I also get, hey we raised all this money for a weird cause, why not raise money for a good cause. But people use their disposable income for entertainment, who is to say they don’t also give to charity? Personally, I think it is cool.
Finally, 40 inspirational speeches in 2 minutes. Somehow it all makes sense now.
My improv work is ramping up lately, I’ve already performed on stage twice. Plus, I’ve signed upon for more classes and I’m practicing dialects at night to my computer and then laughing uproariously at myself. I’ve been reading my old posts out loud in the closest approximation to an Acting English Accent as I can get. I laughed so hard I cried when I listened to it. I’ve thought about posting the audio files, but I’d rather not offend my friends across the pond with my horrible accent. So, I probably shouldn’t do that.
Part of my homework for myself includes seeing more improv shows and trying to join an Improv Jam Session. The last one I tried to go to got cancelled because nobody showed up and it was -15 degrees outside. Not that we were going to jam outside, just that was why people weren’t showing up. I’ve also been watching comedy shows with an interest in how sketch comedy works. After reading Bossypants by Tina Fey I developed a huge crush on her and her work and so I started watching 30 Rock, which led to watching Parks and Recreation produced by Amy Poehler. I’m in love with both women.
Also, I’m more in love with Netflex Boyfriend than ever because he brought both women into my house. He had other ideas of what he wanted us to do with them, but we all settled on telling stories and laughing instead.
30 Rock was the brain child of Tina Fey after she left SNL. It’s the story about a head writer on a comedy sketch show, Liz Lemon, who gets a new boss, Jack Donaghy, that turns the show around from being The Girlie Show to TGS with Tracey Jordan, a crazy Actor/Celebrity persona. Jenna Maloney was the main Ac-tor of The Girlie Show at that time and when Tracey Jordan joined the show she found herself competing for sketches and demanded attention from Lemon by doing stupid stunts. But the real comedy gold came from Alec Baldwin and how he played corporate tycoon to Tina Fey’s anxious and stressed out nerdy writer persona. Added to which Kenneth, a page for the show, pops up in delightful places with a completely different set of troubles and you have a dream comedy team.
In 30 Rock, Tina Fey built her own brand of comedy, and she did it well. In real life people struggle, things do not work out, and that is funny. The characters on the show are so earnest in their craziness, as most crazy people are (as most people are), and that is funny. Earnestness is funny. I know this from first hand experience, people laugh at my earnest reactions every time. Even when I don’t want them to. I think both of these things were exemplified in the episode “The Head and the Hair.” That was when I realized Liz was always going to struggle, and probably fail, at being in relationships and dealing with life. Nothing was going to go her way, and that was going to be hilarious. Everyone was funny because they fully believed what they said, even if it was completely ridiculous, as they struggled to get what they wanted from life.
Parks and Recreation is produced by Amy Poehler, who just seems like an awesome person. She plays Leslie Knope, a bright-eyed and bushy-tailed government employee. She just wants to make her town, Pawnee a better place, and more importantly she believes she can do this. The supporting cast of characters are amazing. I love Leslie’s relationship with Ann who she met at a community meeting and befriended when Ann pointed out that people were getting hurt falling into a huge pit next to her house. It then became Leslie’s mission in life to make that pit into a park, and she knew the way to do this was by a subcommittee. Subcommittees are exciting for Leslie because they obviously lead to being President of the United States, Leslie’s life long goal. Ron Swanson, played by Nick Offerman, is Leslie’s boss and her opposite in many ways. He hates the government and wants to see it destroyed. But he also has moments of warmth and gives great advice when forced to do so. Their contrasting personalities make for memorable moments. Plus, I love how the writers mess with his distinctive facial hair as much as possible. (Didn’t know until just now, when I was looking up how to spell his name on imdb that he is married to Megan Mullally. That explains a few things.)
I think I frighten my upstairs neighbor with my barking laughter that comes out of nowhere when I watch this show. I’d apologize but my upstairs neighbor has clomping male company over every weekend and perhaps a female friend too, so I’m not sure what they all are up to. (Edit: I now know what they are up to. It work me up at 2 a.m. this weekend. It sounded like activities were taking place on a rocking chair. It was very non-human squeaky. I turned on NCIS, because if I had to hear them then they had to hear my television. The stopped shortly thereafter.) And my downstairs neighbor plays his keyboard all the time without plugging in headphones. Last weekend he interrupted an audio recording session I was doing for Picture Me Reading. Plus, he sings. Badly. So, no, I will not apologize for laughing loudly.
I thought I would get annoyed with how the cast is always breaking the fourth wall by looking at the camera, but there is never a cheap shot and it makes me laugh every time. They never explain why a camera crew is following this motley cast around, but that aspect of the show is played as an additional character perfectly. Again earnest people are funny. Andy, the building’s shoe shiner, and April, Ron’s assistant have an amusing relationship which is the perfect example of how earnest people are hilarious. Andy is earnestly pleased with everything in life, contrast to April who hates everyone- earnestly. The contrast and the earnestness from them lead to many disasters, which layer on another level of comedy.
Both of these shows are comedy gold. I’ve learned a lot from just watching and analyzing the funny moments in them. My goal is to try and work more excited earnest upbeat characters into my improv. I have a tendency to play annoyed women who scream at their boyfriends/husbands. Last week I gave myself 8 children whom I homeschool because my husband hates me. . . . Yah, I should work on that.
Check out Amy Poehler’s Smart Girls Youtube channel. She has some amazing guests and I like her interviews. If you want to read more about 30 Rock, check out this link to a bunch of other links via HIMTM.
You can buy an awesome TARDIS Scarf for $30. This looks like the one I’ve been knitting at for over a year. Now that I have one from my best friend, maybe I should do something with the one I just finished. . . hmmm. [via The Mary Sue]
Or you can sew yourself a Doctor rag doll. Which is cute, but does need some adjustments to make it look better. Check it out on Three Dresses.
Perhaps all this crafting geekery has inspired you to create a TARDIS cardigan like this one? Awesome. The pattern was made up as the knitter went along, so I’ve no pattern to post for you all. Boo.
Check out these cool TARDIS coasters which I saw while watching Bonnie on Vaginal Fantasy and went online and stalked around until I found them. I love that show, it’s on YouTube and led by Felicia Day. These coasters can be found on ThinkGeek. Honestly Bonnie is the coolest, you should check her out on Pinterest and Twitter. (This is where being a fangirl and being a stalker seem like the same thing, but they aren’t. Because. Well, because.) She always has a lot of cool geeky things which seem to revolve around Doctor Who and Benedict Cumberbatch. I like seeing all her cool stuff sitting on her couch while she participates in Vaginal Fantasy.
Star Wars How I Met Your Mother mash-up. I love mash-ups and this is a classic.
Remember the guy who made those Dinosaur heels I posted a while ago? Well he has created some R2D2 heels, and they are nearly as awesome. He has a tutorial, which again includes a welder, so that probably won’t be a project for me. [via]
In Belgium you can have dinner in the sky. Yah, I could not do this. I have a great fear of heights, and even on Ferris wheels make people hold my hand. Which does not go over so well when you are in the deep south and the person riding the Ferris wheel with you is one of your girlfriends who whispers, If anyone sees us, I’m going to be super mad. To be fair, as we walked around the Fair we were stopped every ten minutes greeting somebody we knew, so it was highly likely someone who knew us would see us. I still love riding Ferris wheels because I think they are awesome, I just warn people beforehand now, I may have a panic attack you will probably have to hold my hand.
This WiiU song by Jimmy uses samples of the WiiU menus, Super Mario Bros. U, and noises made with the WiiU itself.
Adam Levine sings about YOLO. It’s not really nerdy. The man is just way hot.
If you missed the NASA Google+ Hangout out on Friday, you can watch it all on Youtube. I caught the last 30 minutes live, and it was awesome.
There are a lot of theories about Oswin swimming around the internets. I’ve posted a blog that talks about the top ten theories. It seems the most popular is that Oswin is regeneration of River Song and this gif points out why someone thinks this is the best theory.
Both my friend JM on Facebook and Alisa Selene from Picture Me Reading excitedly sent me a picture of this girl wearing a TARDIS dress that opens up to show the inside of the TARDIS on the inside of a panel of her dress. I squealed both times, because I love seeing new Doctor Who internet awesomeness and because it’s clear my friends know me. Plus I do love this dress, it is well constructed, clever, and an excellent design for the shape of the woman who wears it.
Speaking of people getting me, Stephanie from Read in a Single Sitting sent me an email the other week with a link in it which shows that New Zealand is creating a valid legal tender inspired by the TARDIS and the 50th anniversary of Doctor Who. How awesome is that? Of course there are collectible coins for sale. You can preorder them here.
Looking for some Doctor Who inspired home decor? Check out this Time Wimey clock in a lovely shade of TARDIS Blue. It doesn’t match any of my decoration color schemes so much (I know, a shocker right?), but it might match yours. It is available for $92 on Etsy. [Via]
My mother was at the Toy Fair in NYC last week, and she got me a squeezable TARDIS. Because she is awesome like that. Thanks Mom!
Awesome Adaptations is a weekly bookish meme, hosted at Alisa Selene’s books blog, Picture Me Reading. Each week she writes about an adaptation of a book that she thinks is worth seeing and she has challenged herself to come up with suggestions to match a category. Any format (television series, film, web series, etc.) is acceptable as long as it is based in some form on a book. This week’s challenge is to name: An Awesome Adaptation WITH CORSETS! I chose Little House on the Prairie the television show which ran from 1974-1983. This television series was adapted from the Little House Books by Laura Ingells Wilder.
Whenever I think of corsets I think of the Little House Books by Laura Ingells Wilder. First, because one of the things that Laura remembers from being 3 (5 according to the books, but I read somewhere that the editors made her save five because they said no one would believe she could remember when she was 3). Laura sits on a bed listening to her aunts as they pull their corsets tighter that her mother’s waist was so tiny when she married Laura’s father his hands could span her waist. And some of her growing up years involve the ungainly things and her relief that at least her mother didn’t make her wear the damn thing to bed!
In the vein of the Secret Garden and Anne of Green Gables, these Quiet Books (to coin a term from Stephanie at Read in a Single Sitting) are heartfelt stories of a little girl growing up and learning how to deal with life she and the time period into which she was born. There are no vampires or werewolves or orphaned children, it’s a life that was lived. Yes, there was the incident with the spirited horse who almost ran away with Laura at the helms, the time Laura saw a manic depressed housewife raise a knife over her husband, and her family almost ran out of food one winter, but those stories were part of Laura’s growing up years. I love the books so much I’ve read each book at least 10 times (not exaggerating) and I still cart around my worn out copies even though I’ve moved more than my fair share over the years.
The television series produced and directed by lead actor Michael Landon was a good adaption of the most of the series. They begin with the second book and skip the whole moving thing that happened for the family, but the show kept the characters fairly true to the original people in the book. (Although they added a kid at one point, which was about when I stopped watching reruns of it.) Laura is the main character as far as the children are concerned, but the Pa character came to have a lot of screen time, which is no surprise ad Landon was both an actor and producer. Most of the main events in their lives appear at some point in the television series, and it was popular enough to last for nine seasons. I enjoyed Melissa Gilbert as Laura and thought it was well acted (of course, I haven’t seen this in years, so I’m just going by what I remember). Plus, since this was a family friendly show, it was one of the few we were allowed to watch, along with PBS Kids and Barney. Yah, I know.
I remember with fondness and nostalgia both the books and the television series. Sometimes it’s nice to sit down and watch a quiet story about a girl growing up. Every person has their own dramas and challenges they must over come and, while Laura had her fair share, she also had the support of her family to help her along the way.
Update: You can read Alisa and her husband’s choices on Picture Me Reading where they talk about Persuasion and Emma by Jane Austen.