Honey Boo Boo: The New Grotesques

I’ve never been much for short stories but I always loved Flannery O’Connor’s works, especially “Good Country People.” I still can’t talk about Joy/Hulga stomping around on her wooden leg without giggling. For those of you who didn’t benefit from my excellent liberal arts education here’s a little background:

Mary Flannery O’Connor (March 25, 1925 – August 3, 1964) was an Americanwriter and essayist. An important voice in American literature, O’Connor wrote two novels and 32 short stories, as well as a number of reviews and commentaries. She was a Southern writer who often wrote in aSouthern Gothic style and relied heavily on regional settings and grotesque characters. O’Connor’s writing also reflected her own Roman Catholic faith, and frequently examined questions of morality and ethics. Continue reading

The Problem with Glee

It’s not like people watch Glee for its amazing storylines, but I’m really starting to get worried about its writers.

I’ve always preferred the supporting characters to the (annoying) leads. In fact, I stopped watching the show about halfway into the first season thanks to Rachel being completely insufferable. What brought me back to it? Britney S. Pierce’s ridiculous one-liners and sweet dance moves. I have a serious soft-spot for Lord Tubbington. But Britney’s dimwitted utterances, and Sue Sylvester’s snarky, but hilarious barbs are starting to be overshadowed by what appears to be a complete lack of coherent storytelling. It’s like they just throw stuff at the wall to see what will stick. Continue reading

The Problem with Brooklyn 11223

I am ashamed to say I was sucked into watching a new Oxygen show called Brooklyn 11223. Yes, I’ve recently discovered that despite only getting the basic channels, I can watch lots of things On Demand. Usually I use this for good — like watching Mad Men, or an entire season of The Killing in two days in order to be caught up for the season premiere. But once in a while I end up wasting an hour of my life on something like Brooklyn 11223, which is basically a combination of The Hills, Jersey Shore, and Mob Wives. Continue reading

My Quest to Be a Guest on the Nate Berkus Show

The dining room is coming along nicely, though it could use some more accessorizing.

At the end of September I bought my house. I went from living in a tiny one-bedroom apartment to living in a two bedroom house, with an office, and a sun room that doubles as another living/family room. Considering I bought the house all by myself, I’m sure you can guess that there wasn’t much left over to furnish or decorate the house with.

While I was waiting to close on the house I started hitting tag sales, thrift stores, estate sales, and craigslist on a mission to find the things I needed for the house. Occasionally I even bought things at real stores. I found a table on Craigslist and was lucky enough to find matching chairs on the side of the road. Score! I  got a couple of cute chairs — that I someday plan on using at the kitchen table, when I find one — at an estate sale, where I also picked up a bedside table. I found a cool old telephone table at a tag sale that I decided would make a good nightstand for the other side of my bed. Eventually I got a living room chair on craigslist and an extra couch practically appeared on my doorstep thanks to my resourceful family.

Most of my rooms are still a work in progress. I’ve got all sorts of projects, I want to take on and big ticket items I’d like to buy. But time and money are short. So I’ve decided I want to get on the Nate Berkus Show. Nate is adorable and I feel we share a deep affinity for all things blue. But his website is conspiring against me. There are several shows I want to apply for, but it won’t let me upload photos.

Foiled again! Continue reading

Clear Eyes. Full Hearts. Can’t Lose. (or Rigglets!)

I am emotionally spent this morning. I just finished watching the final episode of Friday Night Lights and I cried through 2/3 of it.

We all know this was a fantastic show. I won’t go into that (again), but for a while now I’ve been thinking about the Billy and Mindy characters. They’re kind of the Anti-Taylors. Billy is a disaster. Mindy is a stripper. What counts, in the FNL universe, is how much they love each other.

In most shows, these two would have been the butt of the joke. On FNL, they certainly provide plenty of comic relief — Billy’s “Rigglets” line nearly killed me — but their little family unit gets the same respect as the Taylors’. Mindy’s character really snuck up on me this year. She went from being kind of annoying, to being…well…not quite maternal, but sisterly.

I’ll miss this show. It’s what America is about…or is supposed to be about. It’s egalitarian, community-oriented, and about loving your neighbor. In the age of the Tea Party, it’s no wonder the show never caught on the way it should have. On that note, I’ll leave you the same way FNL did.


It’s no secret that I love Friday Night Lights, but one of my favorite things about the show is Slate’s TV Club coverage of it. Funnily enough, I often find myself disagreeing with the writers, wishing they’d let me into the club to voice my take on it.

For instance, they’re often talking about how bad they feel for poor Tim Riggins and his inability to get out of Dillon. I want to call them up and point out that Tim loves Dillon. Not everyone is looking to get away from the place they grew up, nor should they. Tim knows what kind of life he wants, he just doesn’t know how to get it. I want to shake them for not realizing this.

But an episode or two ago, the writers started discussing the “politics” of FNL and they decided it’s “communitarian.” This seems kind of obvious. After all, it’s a show about families, teams, and the community they all exist in. The characters that don’t think about other people often find themselves cast out. Today, though, as I was watching one of my other favorite shows on DVD, I realized that I just might be a “communitarian” — not to be confused with communist. Continue reading

The Best of Both Worlds

This “postaweek” thing has me sort of scrounging for things to post. So, I’ve been leaning pretty heavily on YouTube and videos. So, I was puttering around my house, putting groceries away, and listening to music when one of, if not the most depressing song I’ve heard in years came on. It’s a beautiful song, but it’s the kind of song you could see getting played over a Bridget Jones montage or something, where some poor single gal sits alone in her house sobbing.

But I figured if I was going to share something so sad, I should share something that has made me happy lately… something that literally makes me LOL every time I see it.  Continue reading

The Conan Effect

I feel a little responsible for the plight of Conan O’Brien. I watch most of my TV on Hulu so I’m not helping his ratings…and I imagine that’s the case for a lot of his viewers. All of us young folk are watching TV on the internet while our parents remain glued to ad-filled cable. And as my mom said, “I don’t like Conan. He’s stupid.” In other words, people over a certain age just don’t get him. But since I don’t even actually get NBC on my converter box, I figure I should do something to help Conan. So here it is:

I’ve been thinking about NBC’s line-up, and I’ve come to realize almost anything that is any good on that network is Conan-related. I know you think I’m crazy, but hear me out. 30 Rock doesn’t seem to have anything to do with Conan, but you’re WRONG. Conan and Tina Fey were both writers on SNL together, and during the first season of 30 Rock Conan came up quite often — usually referred to as Liz Lemon’s ex-boyfriend. Then of course, there is The Office. Again, you wouldn’t think it would have anything to do with the redhead. But a few weeks ago, “Jim Halpert” was on talking about his days as a Late Night intern, but he wasn’t the only one. Mindy Kaling and a couple others were also Conan interns.

What am I saying exactly? Well, frankly, I don’t know. I guess I’ve decided that Conan is connected to all NBC-related genius (except for Friday Night Lights). Without Conan, any hope NBC had of ever being on top again will die … Sad. But if I’m lucky, ABC will pick up FNL.

Bad TV!

I’ve often admitted to liking bad television, but not having cable is teaching me something about myself. It’s not that I liked bad TV, it was simply that I was conditioned to it.

I started pondering this while listening to the commentary on “Freaks and Geeks” and hearing one of the writers talking about how after he left “Dawson’s Creek” determined to never work in television again, he saw the “Freaks and Geeks” pilot and was lured back in. The conversation went on to discuss how the network didn’t understand character development, and that they like shows that allow viewers to tune in one week and know what’s happening without needing to have seen the previous show. This reminded me of the commentary on “The Wire” (yes, I’ve gotten in the habit of listening to the commentary, mostly while doing something else that doesn’t hold my full attention) where the creators talk about how they really require viewers to tune in week after week — to pick up a  thread from the beginning of the season and tie it in a knot at the end. Continue reading

The Cableless Life

Quite often when I’ve moved I’ve spent the first few days, weeks, or even months without cable. There is just so much to do when you’re moving it’s easy to forget about something as non-essential as cable. Back in the days when I had roommates we would sit around talking, maybe watching a Red Sox game on the bunny ears, and save a few dollars on cable until we just couldn’t look at each other anymore. This time, though, I made a decision not to get cable. And so far, it ain’t so bad. Continue reading

Best Show on TV

I may be admitting to being the world’s biggest dork but I just don’t care: I look forward to the end of the week so I can watch one of the best shows on TV; “Friday Night Lights.” If ratings are any indication, I may be the only one watching, but this is by all accounts one of the best shows on television. She plugs it every chance she gets, and did so again last night.

(Clip from an interview with FNL’s Connie Britton after the jump.) Continue reading

Real World BK!

It’s been years since I’ve really been able to watch MTV’s “The Real World.” Since the Las Vegas season it’s pretty much been nothing but drunks with questionable ethics, and anger management problems on that show (except for Isaac from Australia–he was awesome). Frankly, it’s a little sad that the same show produced both of these people:

Continue reading