Category Archives: TV and Film

What kind of sexy are we looking for today?

Posted on March 21, 2011 by

On Friday morning, I posted the following on Twitter and Facebook:

Trying to decide on a physical type for sexy recurring minor character. Is he a Denzel Washington? Jon Hamm? Giancarlo Esposito?

I looked at that and thought, I have no idea who the hot young guys are these days.

Rather than actually buckling down to work–I’d slept poorly–I considered Glee, because it’s got the highest profile and the youngest cast of the Hollywood Stuff I watch. Will Schuster, as I’ve recently discussed, is not my thing. Finn? Meh. Trouty Mouth, a.k.a. Chord Overstreet? Ewww, Trouty Mouth!! Kurt and Blaine are lovely and gay and this character is bait for a 24-year-old female extrovert. Burt’s too uncle-y. Kevin McHale, is adorable, I admit, and could totally play the role if I were actually casting a movie–but Artie himself is too buttoned down. And I like Puck the character enormously, but I’d call Mark Salling more charming than cute.

(I’ve also recently seen the vampire boy from Twilight on the cover of Vanity Fair, by the way, and all I can say is a world of no to that action.)

On the one hand, this is the perfect sort of question to throw to the Twitternets just for the fun of it. It was also an insufficiency of information to offer, or it would have been if I were seriously looking for help. Maggieno immediately asked what kind of sexy I wanted. Jon Hamm sexy, she pointed out, does not equal Johnny Depp sexy. She went on to ask: Sexy as in wild, hot, slam-n-g’bye? Sexy as in grab a blanket, find a cozy place, and start canoodling right NOW?

(As I was underslept and set on random that morning, I have to tell you that this made me think: “Must stop using the verb canoodling so imprecisely.” Because I use it to describe a mental process whereby I play with story ideas in my head, or sometimes in e-mails to Snuffy when I need to bounce a story problem off someone exceedingly patient. Bad writer! Wrong usage! Although, considering the uses I’m going to put this particular character to… oh, sorry!)

The thing was, the reason I was going through the mental flip-file of celebrity nom was to decide just that. What kind of sexy?

Anyway. I got suggestions, both of actors and of characters. Spike and Angel from Buffy. (Great characters, and creditably heterosexual, but they don’t rank high on my cute scale.) Hugh Jackman in a utilikilt, from Breklor. Jason Stathum whom I’d never heard of, but whose name reminded me of David Strathairn, which made me think, I really don’t know who the hot young guys are these days.

A smart-ass cousin suggested our Prime Minister, which is to gag. Thank you for that at seven in the morning, Colleen. I will have my revenge.

I do like Hugh Jackman, though. I thought: Is he a hot young guy? But no, IMDB says we were born in exactly the same year.

So far, Johnny Depp is the winner. Because yes, I am thinking rather of a grab-a-blanket now guy, but not so much a keeper. If nothing else, Johnny’s got not a keeper written all over him.

How do you solve a problem like Will Schuster?

Posted on March 14, 2011 by

Glee has become a lot more loosely scripted this season, which annoys the hell out of my writer brain. It shouldn’t, perhaps. I should just buy into it as if it were opera, because really that’s what it is evolving into: a series of loosely connected, genuinely awesome emotional moments–like the Kurt/Burt scene in “Sexy”– set to music.

There’s so much good I feel bad about complaining. An out gay kid, OMG! With a supportive family! Eee! And the expanded cast has some terrific new characters… though this does mean there’s less action for the folks I love. In particular there’s less Mercedes, less Kurt and less wild-eyed ranting of Sue. Then again, there’s also less of some of the characters I’m not so keen on, characters I don’t love, and plenty of wholesome Artie content.

Anyway, with my backbrain grumbling about the plot, what plot, got plot? between viewings, I forget, sometimes, how much I am enjoying the show now that things with That One storyline, the one that was troubling me, have moved on. One thing I am liking a lot is that there are three unabashedly plus-sized women on the show (that’d be Mercedes Jones, Coach Shannon Bieste, and lately, Lauren Zyses) and not one of them is a villain or a full-time object of ridicule.

Oh, Lauren, I’m oddly in love with you! The crap you hand out to Puck, and the way he bends himself, pretzel-like, around your boundaries, give me no end of joy. Everything you do is magic. And the simple fact that an undisputed high school hottie who could be banging the likes of Santana is instead pursuing a large, proud, demanding, athletic woman… well, it’s delightful. I remember the twiglike cast of Buffy (which I adored, don’t get me wrong) and I compare it with this trio of curvy womanhood and it warms the heart.

Sadly, no amount of Lauren can keep my writerbrain from carping about Will Schuster.

Will is, was and will always be the center of the adult-themed storyline. He’s the major driver for Glee‘s Let’s set the Karate Kid to Music! overall story arc. In the first season, he had so many interesting things to push against: his attraction to Emma, the failing marriage to Terri, Sue’s multiple attempts to sabotage him and, above all, his own competitive demons. The guy had to keep figuring out that glee club was about the kids, not him. It worked, I thought, pretty well.

Nowadays he seems to be all out of push.

Matthew Morrison is such a talented performer. I was thrilled to see him tango and sing in “Sexy.” But he’s seeming underused. Is this character at a dead end? Am I the only one who misses the days when he was fighting to hold the kids together, dodging Sue/Terri attacks of utter bizarre, and occasionally even managing to teach stuff?

These days, Will flails. Sometimes toward or away from Emma, sometimes at Sue, sometimes at getting the kids to Nationals. I am loving his friendship with Shannon, but that’s frosting–it doesn’t a storyline make. Getting just a mouthful of cake now and then would make me so much happier.

I’m not asking for Whedon here, or even Shakespeare, and I am having fun, I am. What do you think, interpeeps? Is it just me?

Eagle with attitude

Posted on January 23, 2011 by

Last Sunday Barb and I went to the Museum of Vancouver, and then scrambled around Vanier Park chasing the plentiful, cuddly and extremely friendly eagles, with the following result:

Eagle Vanier Park

I am even more appreciative of the bald eagles of Vancouver since going on a cruise to Alaska with a number of family members who don’t get to see them on such a regular basis. They are such powerful and charismatic birds. I also got another shot of “Eagles! Wow!” when we watched the salmon run episode of yet another winner of a BBC nature documentary, Nature’s Most Amazing Events. Slow-motion footage of eagles picking salmon out of the water, making it look easy, is just a tiny morsel of the stunning cinematography in this program. (Which is, like so many of the nature TV shows I love, narrated by Sir David Attenborough.)

Paying for tube

Posted on January 5, 2011 by

I have had an account with Zip.ca for about four years, and kelly-yoyoKelly and I have borrowed 469 DVDs from them in that time. It works reasonably well but for one thing: we have a long list of wants, so they rarely send the thing we want most.

So at the tail end of the holidays I looked into Netflix streaming possibilities. They offer unlimited viewage for $8 monthly. The main delivery system, weirdly enough, is our Wii, but we can also watch things on our pods. They have The Life of Mammals, which we have been wanting to watch again, so I took them on the free month’s trial.

Their overall selection, though, makes skim milk look like cream.

We have a hundred things on our Ziplist. The bulk of these are BBC series and foreign films. Netflix lists 90% of what we want as unavailable. They are a fairly new thing here in Canada, and my assumption is their list will improve over time.

If they built up a decent library of TV on DVD, I could be very happy. For me, having my cake and eating it too means getting things legally at a decent price, having them available on demand so I can rewatch my favorite stuff, commercial-free, whenever I want, and as much as possible not buying piles of glossy packaging and DVDs that could one day be as obsolete as Betamax tapes. I know that’s a lot to ask for eight bucks a month.

And certainly the selection hasn’t stopped us from watching stuff: Blue Planet: Seas of Life (which actually qualifies as research for me), two eppies of Life of Mammals, and a morbid double feature on New Year’s Eve: The Buddy Holly Story followed by La Bamba. And they do have the first three seasons of Farscape, and Fantastic Mr. Fox.

So far, it has been a partially successful experiment. I am wondering, though–does anyone know the scuttle on whether and when the selection ought to improve?