Mar 30, 2010

Here we go.

This is going to be one of my "written in a fervor of idealism" posts. By now, regular readers have likely realized a few of my Hot Topics - the rights of women and gay dudes. More often than not, I stray away from the personal/political on this blog because a) I get preachy pretty quick and b) it's easier to write about The Hills than the complexities of human sexuality on a regular basis. Today, however, I can't help but toss Heidi and Spencer aside, in favor of a more complicated/less plastic discussion.

Mar 25, 2010

The long goodbye.

MTV announced today that the impending sixth season of The Hills will be the series' last. I am in a few minds about this. When the cast has to pretend they aren't D-list celebrities, the show loses any semblance of "reality." The producers took this attitude too far with Kristin's relationship with Justin. Kristin, Justin, and Audrina were seen talking, laughing, and enjoying each others' company after the season five finale - their love triangle was almost entirely fabricated in the service of "good" TV.

Song for you.

Mar 24, 2010

Of note.

The awesomeness of Gabby Sidibe:

“They try to paint the picture that I was this downtrodden, ugly girl who was unpopular in school and in life, and then I got this role and now I’m awesome. But the truth is that I’ve been awesome, and then I got this role."

I want to go to margarita night with her so bad. Read more at New York Magazine (see also: above).

Mar 23, 2010

Short cuts.

The Best American Short Stories 2009: I already expressed my frustration with this series' continued recycling of its pet themes, and while that tradition unfortunately continues here, there is still plenty to celebrate. I usually like each volume just enough to read the next one (except for the fantastic Stephen King edited 2007 edition, which you should read for Richard Russo's "Horseman" at the very least), and that's the case here. I would give guest editor Alice Sebold a solid B+ for her efforts. My top five, in order of appearance: Sarah Shun-Lien Bynum's "Yurt," Adam Johnson's "Hurricanes Anonymous," Victoria Lancelotta's "The Anniversary Trip," (easily the best of the bunch) Annie Proulx's "Them Old Cowboy Songs," and Namwali Serpell's "Muzungu."

In living color.

A little over a month ago, I finally saw Wicked. I am eternally grateful to my great friend, Cassie, who scored us third row seats, and patted my shoulder during both "Defying Gravity," and "For Good," (otherwise known as The Two Songs That Will Make You Cry, Or Else You Have No Feelings). We sat behind a lovely pair of women who sobbed for the entire second act, and exchanged kind words with us upon the show's completion.

Mar 8, 2010

Recently read.

I'm a third of the way through The Best American Short Stories 2009. I have had a love/hate relationship with this anthology since I began following the series in 2005. For every exquisite slice of original craft, you get the latest hollow iteration of the series' pet themes. You can guarantee that every year The Best American Short Stories will contain: a Jewish grandfather and grandson (the grandson grows up in New York or Chicago, does something vaguely creative professionally, and learns a lesson about his heritage from the foreign born older man he never understood), lower-class black girls (who discover the grim reality of their sexuality, most likely in the Bronx), upper-middle class white women (who hate their suburban existences), and the Third World (where good things can happen).

Song for you.

Mar 7, 2010

TV time.

Caprica: I don't know; it's not grabbing me the way Battlestar did. It's a good show, very thoughtful, but also a bit slow. It lacks a certain sense of urgency, mystery, and danger. The Graystone family (Daniel, Amanda, and Zoe) easily interest me the most; I'm really enjoying the fucked-up, futuristic family drama that is their storyline (it helps that Eric Stolz, Paula Malcomson, and Alessandra Torresani are the best actors in the cast). I guess I've yet to decipher an overall sense of direction, or envision a way the multiple threads (the Soldiers of the One, Daniel's business, Tamara's Matrix adventure, Zoe) can and will tie together. I want to care about it more than I do.

I like.

I don't know why, but I really like that picture of the X-Men. It's probably because they haven't been a proper team in years, but there's something particularly bad-ass about Psylocke, Cyclops, Nightcrawler, Colossus, Magick, Angel, Wolverine, and X-23 charging off to battle. I pulled the image from IGN, where they've been counting down to Second Coming.

I'll be discussing Second Coming (the next X-Men crossover, and Messiah Complex sequel) as it unfolds, so expect to hear more about Marvel's merry mutants in the coming weeks. So far, I'm predicting that Nightcrawler will kick the bucket, Hope will somehow revive the dwindling mutant population, and the team will return to San Francisco.