Bring It On, 2017

Random Musings

I can’t hardly wait for the Twin Peaks revival. I adore David Lynch. His ability to reach into the viewer’s psyche with every twisted scene and piece of dialogue is a feat unto itself. Word is there will be 18 episodes in this continuation of the spooky series, and most of the cast is back, except for the glaring omission of Lara Flynn Boyle. Not so stoked about that, but hey.

What else am I anticipating heavily?

New Belle and Sebastian. New Stranger Things (like everyone else). Warmer weather. Not my birthday.

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Some 2016 Favorites…And Then Some

Best of 2016, Random Musings

Oh boy, do I love a good year-end list, especially when I craft it myself.

Music!

In terms of music, 2016 semi-underperformed. Sure, as a hard-core Britney Spears fan I was thrilled with the release of the pop masterpiece Glory. Not only did Britney sound human on the record, but she also managed to add a few insta-classics to her oeuvre of sonic gems, including the stand-out Change Your Mind.

The lack of earworms in 2016 was not lost on me. In fact, I preferred the lack of incessant, meaningless choruses and bridges resounding in my mind at the most inopportune times. So, in that sense, I thank the music gods of 2016.

TV

As with music, television just didn’t do it for me in 2016, with a few obvious exceptions, like the awesome Gilmore Girls revival. Wowsah, did that show not disappoint. Told in 4 seasons in four separate episodes, the narrative was as strong as ever with original show-runners behind the solid dialogue and tender moments shared amongst the stellar cast. Rumours run rampant of more episodes in the pipeline, but I’ll wait until there’s an official announcement. I’ve been disappointed one too many times.

I liked This is Us, but not enough to watch an entire season of it. Good acting, quick dialogue, but 22 episodes a season really does bring down a story’s momentum, regardless of how many talented actors are within it’s cast.

The People Vs OJ Simpson showcased Sarah Paulson at her finest. Every minute she was onscreen as Marcia Clark was sheer brilliance. Her aura, slight mannerisms, and sharpness made Paulson the TV actor of the year for me.

I also enjoyed the latest American Horror Story: Raonoke. Short and sweet and smartly told in 10 episodes, the show returned to its roots as a horror series wherein all expectations are defied and all stereotypes are subverted. And to entice you even more, Sarah Paulson plays THREE characters. How can you top that?

Film

Ok, so no one is more surprised than myself when I say that La La Land is really and truly one of the best films I’ve EVER seen. Coming from an academic in film, this is a major compliment. In fact, the last time I remember saying something like this was with David Lynch’s ethereal Mulholland Drive.

Its impossible to define what makes La La Land such a landmark cinematic masterpiece. It has all elements one would expect from a Hollywood film: lavish sets, saturated costuming, and a cast of thousands. But what I didn’t expect was to be told such a real and earnest tale of growing up, meeting someone special, and chasing one’s dreams. Not only are Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling incredibly perfect in this film, they inhabit such realistic and likeable characters that the audience instantly feels connected with them. They’re relatable, and their unfolding predicaments told on screen only make them more and more endearing. As I write this, I find it hard to believe that I’m heaping such praise on such a film, but I can’t help myself. I haven’t agreed with so many critics as I do this year with naming La La Land the best film of the year. It’s as close to perfect as a Hollywood film can get. And the soundtrack? Amazing. I wouldn’t be surprised if this one sweeps every single award it’ll undoubtedly be nominated for at this year’s Oscar’s.

Coming in a close second as the best film of 2016 is Chris Kelly’s Other People. Starring the ever-talented Molly Shannon and the tender Jesse Plemons, the film is not easy to watch. In fact, as someone who has had such a similar experience to the characters on screen in terms of the impact of what Cancer can do to a family, I had to take a few breaks from the intensity while viewing. It’s a solid story, full of humour and kindness, and honestly reveals to the viewer that terminal illness can be a catalyst to revitalization and regrowth. With tears comes joy, and Molly Shannon gets my accolade for Film Actress of the Year for this flick.

Check ’em out. 🙂

 

 

Netflix Fuels Some Gilmore Girls Rumors After Posting a Throwback Tweet

Random Musings

The Gilmore Girls revival that debuted on Netflix over Thanksgiving was supposed to be a stand-alone series that gave fans and creator Amy Sherman-Palladino a sense of closure. However, the show closed with a serious cliffhanger in the form of four tiny words between Lorelai and Rory. (If you don’t know what they are, stop…

via Netflix Fuels Some Gilmore Girls Rumors After Posting a Throwback Tweet — TIME

Times Square before it became Times Square

Random Musings

I love New York.

Here’s a look at Times Square in 1900, seven years before the neighborhood became famous for the annual New Year’s Eve ball drop—and in fact, before it was even called Times Square. At the time, the nexus of avenues that would soon be dubbed the Crossroads of the World was known as Longacre Square, the […]

via Times Square before it became Times Square — Ephemeral New York

Be Nice, Because People Who Care for Others Live Longer — TIME

Random Musings

Helping others isn’t just a commendable thing to do, it may also extend your life, according to new research. A recent study published in the journal Evolution and Human Behavior found that people who occasionally watched and cared for others lived longer than people who didn’t. The researchers looked survival data for more than 500…

via Be Nice, Because People Who Care for Others Live Longer — TIME

Who killed this pretty East Side model in 1937? — Ephemeral New York

Random Musings

Coming soon to Netflix…

It was a gruesome scene inside the fourth floor apartment at 316 East 50th Street on Easter afternoon, 1937. Veronica Gedeon, a 20-year-old model, was found naked and strangled to death on a bed; her mother, Mary, had also been strangled. Mary’s clothes were off as well, her body under the same bed. Newspapers reported […]

via Who killed this pretty East Side model in 1937? — Ephemeral New York

East 26th Street: New York’s “Misery Lane” — Ephemeral New York

Random Musings

It was in a part of Manhattan, at the edge of a poor neighborhood of tenements and groggeries, where no one wanted to end up. But thousands of city residents did found themselves on Misery Lane, as the short stretch of East 26th Street between First Avenue and the East River was known in the […]

via East 26th Street: New York’s “Misery Lane” — Ephemeral New York

Slumming it with the 1898 Bowery Burlesquers — Ephemeral New York

Random Musings

I’d like to make ‘slumming’ a craze again. Who’s going to help me?

If only we could go back in time and buy tickets for this musical theater number, which poked fun at the new pastime of slumming—upper class New York curiosity seekers checking out the Bowery and other down-and-out city neighborhoods. The Bowery Burlesquers performed way off-Broadway theater in the 1890s, and audiences couldn’t get enough of […]

via Slumming it with the 1898 Bowery Burlesquers — Ephemeral New York