Thursday, May 31, 2012

A movie review- Beginners

It has been 4 months since the Academy Awards but I am still watching those that won or were nominated. Airing now on Cinemax is the independent film called Beginners. Christopher Plummer won the Oscar for best supporting actor for his role as a dying man who at the age of 75 tells his adult son that he is gay.The film is based on its writer/directors Mike Mills real life.
   Beginners is told through the point of view of the son Oliver a graphic designer played by the magnificent Ewan McGregor. The film it edited in a way that lets his story be seen through flashbacks The flashbacks time range go back to when Oliver was a boy to when his father first came out to him and then his father's death. The film really has two stories, one about a father and son the other about his new relationship with an french woman (Melanie Lautent).
   The story between father and son is one of not really ever knowing who each other are. As a boy Oliver's father wasn't around as much as he should of been and his parents barely spoke to each other. When his father admits his true sexuality years later Oliver narrates that having to hide who he was may have contributed to his absence. It isn't until after his mother's death that Hal, the father finally allows himself to be who he is and does so to great joy. He buys new clothes, goes out to night clubs and does indeed meet and falls for a younger man named Andy (Goran Visnjic). When Hal gets the news that he is dying he never tells Andy and Oliver gets him home and takes care of him until the end.
    Afterwards being Hal's only son Oliver inherits what is left of his father including a cute dog named Arthur who does not want to leave his side as Oliver shows him around his house "This is the kitchen". He friends end up talking him into going to a party and he takes Arthur. There he meets a voiceless actress named Anna. She is in the city shooting a movie and lives in a hotel. Oliver goes to her room after the party and now he has to figure out what this new relationship means to him and how does it work into his life and future.
   If you have Cinemax or don't know what to rent for a movie night and want something small and sweet check out Beginners.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Vermont Vaudeville

Vaudeville (Wikipedia)-a theatrical genre of variety entertainment in the United States and Canada from the early 1880s until the early 1930s. Each performance was made up of a series of separate, unrelated acts grouped together on a common bill. Types of acts included popular and classical musicians, dancers, comedians, trained animals, magicians, female and male impersonators, acrobats, illustrated songs, jugglers.

        About two weeks ago I got to see a real vaudeville act, well as close to real as one can get in the 21st century. the night was full of jokes, music, magic and even an acrobat. It has been a long time since I had laugh so much in one night and it felt good. Let me tell you about this particular group of entertainers/performers in hopes that you will get to see them one day.
           It was a two hour show that opened with a MC telling jokes, and yes some of the jokes you've heard before but that doesn't make them any less funnier does it? He was followed by a man who allowed me to see my first in person prat falls and then he stood on-top of a ladder ,being held by no one, and juggled at the same time. In the second half he did some cool and fancy plate spinning which I had only seen on late night TV before that night. Then there was a very flexible woman. She was able to move her whole body around and through a folding chair with ease that there were times I couldn't tell her feet from her fingers. She came back in the second half and did amazing movements with a hula-hoop. There was a man who could do tricks with numbers. There was audience participation moments throughout the show including using two male members and involving them in a contest in which they had to throw tennis balls into a basket on-top of their heads. There were gorillas preforming to opera and speaking of music there was a lot of it. There was the house band which was just a piano and drums but they were really good. There was a prefromance by a local all female singing group, a member of the vaudeville group who played the ukulele and then there were the funny song parodies. From now on whenever I vacuum I will sing "I will always...vacuum".
               I think my favorite part of the night was the bubble guy. This man did things with a simple child's toy that I could not believe and made me feel like a kid again. The smoke bubbles, the caterpillar, the merry-go-round and the pile of bubbles that stacked taller then the kid holding them. Then there was the way the bubbles caught the light making each simmer and sparkle like magic. It really was a magical night for those watching, the kids and adults.

 They only do a few different shows a year but if you are in Vermont try and catch Vermont Vaudeville.
                     YOU WILL NOT BE DISAPPOINTED!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

The End of a series

Everybody Lies. What a fitting catchphrase for a character as wonderful and complex as Dr. Gregory House. When House first premiered  I knew I had to watch. I’m not a fan of medical series because well I’m just not a fan of hospitals and avoid blood and guts in real life so why watch but from its first ad I could tell House was going to be different. (Note: I can usually tell from the 1st ad if I will like a show) From that first episode to the end the series was more then a medical drama it was about the title character and his co-workers. Although each week the show opened with a new person collapsing allowing the format of a new illness to diagnose. Dr. House and his team were there to help and made the show a must watch each week. In order for me to diagnose this particular patient I have to start with the individual characters. The first group of young docs on his team included Robert Chase, Eric Foreman and Allison Cameron.

Chase (Jesse Spencer)-Good looking playboy surgeon. Wasn’t afraid of House and would even act like him at times. Married Cameron. From Wikipedia- Arguably the most creative member of House’s staff, often proposing unconventional treatments that had not previously been considered, but whose perceived effectiveness is generally agreed upon
Cameron (Once Upon a Time’s Jennifer Morrison)- The heart of the team. Once married a dying man because she felt bad for him. Called out House on his most insane antics.
Foremen (Omar Epps)- Most uptight and House’s match in every way, which made him the perfect choice for the head of  the hospital when Cuddy left.. Wikipedia- he frequently voiced his disapproval of House's maverick methods and daring decisions.

When Cameron left House needed new team members and instead of the usual hiring interview he gathered many prospects gave each a number and had a contest the results were…

Lawrence Kutner (the great Kal Penn)-The most enthusiastic contender of them all, wanted the job so badly that when House rejected him as #6 he came back as #9. With a surprise twist died from an apparent suicide.

Chris Taub (Peter Jacobson)- Ex plastic surgeon who wanted to do “better work” with his skills. Chosen by Cuddy to keep House focused. Married, cheated, divorced and had a doughter with ex wife and nurse at hospital both named Sophia.

Remy “13”  Hadley (Olivia Wilde)- Got her nickname 13 by her contest placement. In my opinion was House’s equal which is why when she discovered she carried the gen for Huntington's he was only to happy to kill her if she wanted instead he fired her for her own good.

For a couple of episodes there was Martha Masters (Amber Tamblyn)-A young naive doctor.

There was also

 Amber Volakis (Anne Dudek) Another contestant who House nicknamed “Cutthroat Bitch," Wikipidia- Her persistence and unorthodox approaches initially win her praise, but she is ultimately eliminated because House feels she cannot accept being wrong, something he says she would need to be able to accept on a regular basis if she were to work for him. Dated Wilson, Killed in a  bus accident in a two part well made episodes entitled  House’s Head and Wilson’s Heart

By the last two seasons House had two new team members…

Chi Park (Charlyne Yi)- A young smart woman who lives with her mother and grandmother. After punching a older male doctor for sexual harassment House was the only one who would hire her.

Jessica Adams (Odette Annable)- Comes from a good family, believes in redemption and second chances

Then there is

Lisa Cuddy (Lisa Edelstien) Dean of Medicine at Princeton Plainsboro, Hired House because she knew he was a good doctor if not a good man. Even when he got out of hand would not fire him and picked up after every mess he made. Trust House even if his decisions and treatments were seen as unorthodox. Adopted a teen patients baby named her Rachel. Cared about House and dated him until she realized she could never fix him. Left the hospital after House ran his car into her dining room.

James Wilson (The amazing and magnificent Robert Sean Leonard) If you couldn’t tell from my previous post my favorite character. If I ever got cancer and need a Oncologist he would be the one I want. House’s conscience and best friend, they met at a conference where Wilson was arrested for a bar fight and House paid his bail because Wilson “amused” him. This first introduction turns into in my opinion the best Bromance on TV. Respected by all others. Would defend House til the end. Underestimated. I will miss and always love you my sweet and wonderful Wilson.

Which brings me to the man himself 

Dr. Gregory House (the very cool and talented Mr. Hugh Laurie)- The vicondin addicted, cynical, mean, hates pattients and working in the free clinic but loves a good puzzle, has been arrested, in jail, in rehab, loves prostitutes, drives a motorcycle, fellow GH fan and likable even if he doesn’t want to be tall man with a limp and a cane. Is there anything I’ve missed?

Let me raise a glass one last time to the creative and well made series simply called House m.d. Thank you David Shore, the entire crew and the rest of the cast (regulars and guest stars) for all the amazing  years. You made me laugh, cry and thought I had a new illness every week. There will be no more white board of symtoms, no more patients coughing up blood and no more guesses that it is Lupus. I will miss the antics of House but am so happy to have been a fan from day one (even before I knew Hugh Laurie was British). You will forever be in my heart and a big part of my TV family. Goodbye

House M.D
November 16, 2004-May 21, 2012
8 seasons 177 episodes

House Final episode recap-Everybody Dies

 Spoilers--We open on a close of House and then as the camera moves out we see that he is sitting on a floor next to a dead body. Then we quickly learn that the building he is in is on fire that is when the late Dr. Kutner appears and House begins to tell the story of his final patient and how he got to this place in life.
As he lies on the floor there are more visitors from his past to talk to some alive others not. His final patient came into the clinic looking for drugs but House decided there was something more which was very unlike him. The sick found him he never went looking.
His team went into action as they, like in every episode, went to his place of residence and search his dorm room. There they found a picture in his drewer of a young boy. The boy happened  to be his dead brother who he admits talks to him. Through talking it out with these visions of his pass we the viewer found out that the patient had a inner ear problem. At the same time House’s team was working on healing him House was trying to get his best friend Wilson to fight for his life.
In the end Foremen and Wilson are able to figure out, through clues he left behind, where House is and just as they see the fire and reach for House there is a explosion.
There is a funeral for House.
Chase gets his job and the team.
Taub learns how to be a better father.
As a ver much alive House and Wilson drive off together

Monday, May 14, 2012

We'll never know...

I hate this time or year. It is a time in the TV season when networks decide what stays and what goes. What TV series to pick up (old and new) and what ones to throw away. Which brings me to those series that I liked but will now not get the chance to know. R.I.P. September 2011-May 2012
   The Finder- You were a cute spin-off of Bones and i think if you were given the right chance to live you would have only gotten better. Cheers to Walter, Leo, Willa, Isabel and Timo. We although we won't get the chance to know you you all will be missed and I am happy for the time we did get to spend with each other.
  Alcatraz- We will never know where the 63s disappeared to, why they came back and how Rebbecca's grandfather was involved.
  The River-it is nice to know that the Cole family was reunited but now they will stuck on the river forever.
   Tera Nova-Will going back to the prehistoric past really make our future better?
   Awake-I like to believe that both worlds were dreams and when Michael Britten really wakes up his family and work will all still be in tack.
   Ringer- I like to think Sebhian ended up with Henry ans Bridget with Andrew
                                               Farewell to the series that might have been

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

A TV Poam

May- The saddest month of the year for a TV viewer. May is not just the final sweeps month it is also the time for finales and the end of the fall TV season. It is a time full of suspense, laughter and tears. It is a time to say goodbye to new episodes of each series for 4 months or 4 ever. There are weddings to attend, deaths of favorite characters to morn and the almighty cliffhanger to endure. When it is all over all the characters we love disappear (sometimes unsure if they will ever return) Every fall season it all comes down to one episode and a lot can happen in that episode. It is when the viewer realizes this is it , this is what the entire season has been leading up to. When the screen fades to black it will feel like a long time before we get to all our TV friends again. So for now goodbye to the doctors, lawyers, cops and the rest. I look forward to when we meat again in September. That, is what May means to me.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

The Art of Watching TV

Recently a family member came to me with a TV dilemma-What do you do when more then one show that you watch happens to air at the same time? My name is Sarah and I am a TV addict. I watch 30+ hours of TV a week during the regular fall/spring season and there are times when I think doing so should be an Olympic event. There are 7 days in a week and each day multiply series air from 8-11 pm on all the networks, this gets really difficult if you have cable (basic/premian). So since her question was about Sunday night I will stay there. Let me start simple, if you have basic cable but no DVR then the key is in the re broadcasts. Cable networks like AMC, TNT, and USA only got into the original TV series game in the past decade and this gives them time to re-air each series. In other words if you can’t watch Mad Men at 10 pm you can catch it again 2 hours later or the next day at 11 pm. Sometimes when the season is coming to its end these networks may have a marathon in case you missed any episode. Next step is if you have cable and a computer connected to the Internet. There is a good chance you can catch the episode on the networks website or some other source. I find watching a series on-line difficult, uncomfortable and a little distracting (I find myself wanting to check e-mail, facebook and other websites) but eventually I will get through it. The best way to deal with the dilemma of Too Much Good TV takes a DVR. Cable and money to afford it all. My personal TV schedule-I record about 20 hrs, use the cable on-demand channels for another 10 hrs leaving room for me to watch about 3 hrs a night “live”  (not counting the daily daytime and late night shows)  
I never wanted to admit this but if you want to know anything about me this is at the top of the list. Although if this were a dating site I would also say my other interest include-playing with my dogs, swimming, going to the gym, if I have a good recipe cooking, sitting in the middle of a lake with my dad in his row boat and if I had the money I would travel.
For now I will just sit at my computer and write.
In conclusion if you have a question about TV just write to Dear Sarah or follow me on twitter Sarah Joan @By_SJD