Wednesday, July 30, 2008

So yesterday I was watching a preview of Chuck Season Two On youtube

When the ground started rolling. Seriously. Rolling. At first I thought that someone was just running down the hallway, but then it wouldn't stop. Puzzled, I glanced up and saw the hanging light fixtures above me begin to sway. And then I thought, wow this is a seriously long earthquake, and I'm on the 26th floor.

What's interesting about that is that I knew if anything really DID happen and our building collapsed, I'd be pretty much screwed. As in dead. There's an odd peace about that. I've lived in LA since I was two, so I just kept right on typing while my new work associate came out of his office. A recent New York transplant, he was certainly shaken. Everyone was looking for direction, and then we were evacuated. Which meant a long trek down 26 floors.

Seriously? I didn't like it. I don't know how firemen do it. My legs hurt so much right now. I need a massage.

And it was my birthday. Quite a way to celebrate.

Because I'm A Sap: Top TV Couples of the Moment

I'm a romantic at heart, and even though some of these couples are just pipe dreams, it's always fun to dream, isn't it?

My Top Television Couples

1. Chloe & Clark - Smallville

Smallville screws me over time and time again, and yet the reason I can't quite give up on the damned show is because of Chloe & Clark. Despite the fact that Clark has spent seasons mooning over the boring and petulant Lana, Chloe has time and time again revealed herself to be the girl who should be the woman of his dreams. From her unrelenting search for the truth, her promise to keep Clark's secret, and her steadfast refusal to leave Clark's side, even at the expense of her own heart, Chloe is the best friend and sidekick in the world, and although she once confessed that she hoped to be the woman Clark would grow into, it's Clark who needs to become the man that Chloe deserves. And despite his blinders for Lana, Clark has proven more than once that he truly loves and appreciates Chloe - it's just that timing thing that always seems to get them.

Youtube Video -

2. Chuck & Sara - Chuck

It's very rare that I go for the obvious OTP, but for this shy nerd and emotionally stunted CIA agent, I'm so easy I'm a slut. Chuck's naive lovestruck earnestness unexpectedly breaks through Sara's hard walls, and that's just devastating, because they CAN'T be together. It's a matter of National Security. Life and Death. And yet, despite that, I just root for them because despite the fact that Chuck knows nothing about Sara and she knows everything about him, you get the fact that he truly SEES her and loves her for who she is. And she loves him for it.

Youtube Video -

3. Nikki & Helen - Bad Girls

When the new governor of an all-women's prison clashed with an inmate imprisoned for killing a cop who raped her girlfriend, sparks immediately flew. They continued to fly for three seasons, as the well-meaning (and engaged) Helen found herself drawn to the hot-headed but vulnerable Nikki, and found her world tripped upside down because of it. They were star-crossed lovers, and stuck in the unequal world of prisoner and capter, they had no outlet for their feelings and no way of getting over them. The result was three seasons of tumulteous power struggles and genuine affection, and a fascinating, gorgeous love story.

Youtube Video -

4. Jack & Liz - 30 Rock

Okay, if this ever happened in real life, it would never work, but Jack & Liz just GET each other, in a weird, happy way. They're best friends and each other's biggest fans, and fully aware that they're emotionally unstunted and incapable of a healthy relationship. Maybe that's why they get along so well, even if he's a big-headed Republican and she's a nuerotic crazy lady.

Youtube Video -

5. Lindsay & Cindy - Women's Murder Club

Let's face it - if Cindy or Lindsay was a boy, these two would have been touted as the next meant-to-be Reporter-Cop pairing by the main stream media. Sadly, Women's Murder Club has long since been cancelled, but the energetic reporter with the perfect image recall and the cynical, ball-busting detective she unexpectedly charms will live on in fan fiction. And why not? As two of four women seeking to solve murders and find justice, these were the two most driven by their need for justice and truth. Friends or more, Cindy was the perfect Robin to Lindsay's batman, and in my head, they're still running around San Francisco, solving crimes and kicking ass.

Youtube Video -

6. Barney & Robin - How I Met Your Mother

He's a slut, and she's a commitmentphobe, and yet they seem to just get each other. As the former ex-girlfriend of Barney's best friend, she's unattainable, but as Barney the philandering executive has pointed out before, they make a lot of sense. And more than that? He genuinely loves her, something that is rare and puzzling for him indeed. But it was meant to happen. Because they're bros and Barney loves his bros.

Youtube Video -

7. Bianca & Maggie - All My Children

They're a supercouple from a soap opera, so you can expect a ton of drama, and Bianca and Maggie brought it in spades. From murdered twins to rape to dead babies, these best friends were there for each other during the worst and best times of their lives, and neither never ever forgot that. They forever remain the love of each other's lives, and hopefully, remain in Paris now, together and in love.

Youtube Video -

8. Angel & Cordelia - Angel

I have to admit it. I'm an absolute sucker for best friends who fall in love, and what I loved about Angel and Cordelia (before Angel Season Four screwed it all up), was that they were just that. Friends first, who were there for each other no matter what. They weren't perfect, they would hurt each other deeply, but when it came down to it, this former-Mean Girl and Vampire With a Soul didn't need destiny or kismet. They just had affection, and they knew how to make each other smile in some of the worst moments of their lives. And that's true love.

Youtube Video -

Honorable Mentions:
Brian and Justin - Queer As Folk
Joxer & Gabrielle - Xena
Xander & Cordelia - Buffy
Tom & Alana - The 4400
Paul & Isobel - Monarch of the Glen
Tony & Alex - Wire In the Blood
Sharon & Helo - Battlestar Galactica
Dexer & Rita - Dexter
Zach & Kendall - All My Children

Monday, July 28, 2008

Imaginary Bitches Episode 10: Better Cleansing Through Vodka

Elizabeth Hendrickson, the little soap star that could, finally got a chance to shine on the latest episode of the webseries 'Imaginary Bitches'. Until now, Liz has been doing a lot of press for the webseries with a minimal amount of 'screen time'. Of course it does make sense. This is Eden Reigel's show, a pet project of her and her husband, and Liz herself is merely a recurring character. And getting Liz to do press makes complete sense, because Eden and Liz do have the great support of the community of fans of their crazy popular Bianca/Maggie pairing from All My Children.

Elizabeth herself is now on contract with 'The Young & The Restless', playing such a crazy stalker type of character it makes me wince. She does play it with glee, but honestly, it's a lot more fun to see the kind of crazy that doesn't make me want to duck and cover. Witness her turn on the latest episode of Imaginary Bitches:

In this episode, 'Couple-Poster-Girl' Lizzie finds herself on the outs with her boyfriend Jake, when she experiences a slight hiccup in her domestic bliss. The subject of marriage has been broached, and Jake has apparently freaked out just a little bit. Lizzie freaks out right back, and the result is a hyper-anxiety induced drunk girl crashing at Eden's pad, drinking shot after shot of vodka and, taking a page from her good friend Eden and her imaginary bitches, invents herself an imaginary wedding.

Nice to know those bitches can do some good, even if they have to crash an imaginary wedding to do it.

Quote of the Ep:
Eden: "Jake's dad just had to rush Jake's grandmother to the hospital! Apparently she's very allergic to roses."
Lizzie: "What do you mean?! She was fine at the ceremony! I mean, she looked gross but I thought that was just because she was old!"

Nature Bound - Camping In The Sequoias

Sequoia National Forest

A few weeks ago, my mother sent a mass email to my (being Latino, typically large) family, stating that she decided that she and my aunt were going camping, and being of the proactive sort, had already booked the campsite.

The designated location was the 'Three Rivers Hideaway', up near the Sequoia National Forest. I had to work, so I couldn't ask for the three days off she was asking for, but as a compromise, I did take the weekend off, and corraled one of my best friends into going with me. This is what happens when you're good friends with me, by the way. You get semi-adopted by the family and have to deal with bugs, birds, and lots and lots of little chatty cousins who hang on you constantly.

Fair warning, right?

Anyway, Friday at work proved to be particularly brutal, so I ended up oversleeping on Saturday morning. The result? We were a little late getting on the road, which was just fine with Sam, because she is NOT a morning person, and still insists that getting on the road at 8AM is not getting on the road late at all. My dad, who called at 6AM and wondered openly why we weren't on the road yet, did not agree. Agree to disagree then. Sheesh. ;-) But then again, she could have also been grumpy because my big ass SUV did not have air conditioning. Either way, interesting morning.

Three Rivers Hideaway

When we finally arrived at Three Rivers, we discovered a small, empty hot-as-hell campsite, with only my grandmother as the patron. The rest of the family was at the watering hole, so Sam and I went down to join them, and discovered a little cove where the river was quiet, except for the kids, the parents, and the dogs.

There was tons of tadpoles and fish, and because it was hot as hell, Sam and I soon joined them. I'm somewhat of a nature freak, who also becomes a bit of an idiot when it comes to camping, so it was quite soon before I got tired of the little peaceful lagoon and proceeded to convince Sam to join me into going UP the river current, slipping on rocks and feeling our way with hands and feet, to get up to where the river forked. Down the ways we spotted another lagoon, and then as the current grew stronger, discovered we could actually 'ride' the current like a wave down the other side.

Three Rivers Hideaway

This was actually quite fun until we discovered that about seven kids had followed us over the dangerous rocks, and were now ready to slide on down themselves.

"We're setting a bad example, aren't we?" I asked, immediately forced to be an adult.
"Lil' bit," Sam replied, and not wanting to be responsible for any accidental drownings, we headed grudgingly back to the boring and peaceful lagoon.

Here's the thing about camping for me. I like it. I do. I don't mind tents. When I was fifteen I lived in one for two months when I was in the Philippines. But I either want to REALLY rough it, you know, with trails and lakes and digging a hole for your poop, or I want to be in a nice hotel with a television with air conditioning and a swimming pool. Being in a camp with nothing to do or nowhere to go gets boring fast. We ended up playing uno all night with the kids, and then embarking on a long, long walk in search of ice cream. We followed the road, and the entire time I kept thinking two things: a) My feet hurt. b) This is so the setting for the Texas Chainsaw Massacre or that creepy movie with Emily Blunt where she's stranded on a road and that ghost cop comes... So we gave up after about two miles, and joked to our selves that it was 'just around the river bend'. Stupid ice cream.

Night time fell, and we shared a cabin with my grandmother. During the night I had a dark, disturbing dream involving lesbians and zombies and a camp ground and lot of violence and assault. Fun stuff. Morning arrived and I was called to my aunt's tent, because my uncle had apparently already gotten up, and she needed someone to 'level out the air mattress'. Right.

It was time for the Sequoias. Yep, down to the National Park Sam and I went, for lots of picture taking and scenery. The problem is, we only had a few hours and well, that place is big. The bigger problem: we had no gas. Like, we forgot to fill up and so halfway through tripping around great big trees and oohing and ahhing over great landscapes, we discovered the gas meter reading at red. What followed was a grand, hilarious, stupid game of discovering how far we could get down the mountain (after an hour of driving) with no gas and going downhill with no foot on the pedal.

Sequoia Park Rangers? How about a gas station less than 100 miles away? You think? Maybe? Please? Sheesh.

Too bad, though. We were so worried about gas we had a hard time enjoying ourselves, but the views were fantastic:

Sequoia National Forest

Check Out More pics at my flickr account.

Oh yeah, after we went to get gas (and didn't stall! Hooray!), we found the ice cream store. It literally was maybe twenty feet before we turned back the night before.

Stupid ice cream. Stupid YUMMY ice cream!

If This Were A Farside Cartoon-

IMG_1034, originally uploaded by Mistiec_Flores.

The caption would read:
"It was then that Earl realized that he did not lock the Great White cages...." - tm findley

The Farside is so much better than real life sometimes.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Hairspray 2 - Electric Boogaloo

According to Variety, New Line has asked definitive director John Waters to pen a treatment for a sequel to the popular Hairspray movie musical that was the adaptation to of the broadway musical that was the adaptation of the John Waters movie starring Ricky Lake *inhales*. So yeah, that movie.

They're writing a sequel. I'm simultaneously frightened out of my wits and kinda excited. John Waters is kind of a genius, and if they get the music right it might be interesting to follow Tracy, Link, Penny and Seaweed into happily-ever-after to find out what happens when their big thinking collides with the stupids of the world.

But on the flipside? This started because of the 'High School Musical' fad. If this is a success, what's next? Wicked 2 - Escape to New York - in which Fiyero and Elphaba run away from Oz and end up in New York City, where they encounter hilarious escapades as only a green witch and a straw man can?

I'm just so confuddled.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Top Female Buddy Films That Aren't 'Thelma & Louise' & The Bechdel Test

The Hathor Legacy recently posted a really interesting blog called 'Why Film schools teach screenwriters to fail the Bechdel test'.

For the unknowing, the Bechdel test derived from a cartoonist named Alison Bechdel. In one of her comic strips, two women characters talk about what movie they're going to see and one says she only sees a movie if a) there is more than one female (named) character in it and b) the two females must have a conversation that is involving something OTHER than a man.

It seems silly, until you look at the top ten box office sales for the past weekend and discover... wait a minute, is there EVER more than ONE female prominent figure in a high grossing movie?

This week, we have Mamma Mia, which raised our curve, but honestly: Dark Knight, Hancock, Hellboy II, Journey to the Center of the Earth, Wanted, Get Smart - is there ever any more than just ONE featured female in any of these? Do they talk to ANY other women?

Recently one entertainment president, following the 'disapointing' success of "The Brave One" cited that there would be no more female fronted big-budget films because 'there's no money in it'. Really? I mean, let's put this into perspective and remove 'female' and substitute: male. or black. or hispanic. Sounds ridiculous, doesn't it? And yet, he got away with it, because that's how Hollywood thinks.

Things are slightly better in television. The sucess of Alias, The Sarah Connor Chronicles, Le Femme Nikita and other female oriented action series proves that a female can front a franchise, but why is there such a long way to go in movies? Why can we never have more than one woman in a film?

This is especially frustrating for screenwriters, because you want to write from within yourself and yet you're often told to sell yourself short to write for a 'formula'. Some, like Diablo Cody, manage to break the code and give us gems like 'Juno' but other times, we take well written dramas like 'Women's Murder Club' and wittle them down to 'Sex & the City! With Guns!'.

Females are so much more than that.

To celebrate this idea, I've put together a small list of five movies that featured women talking to each other about things OTHER than men. These aren't the only films out there, and some are certainly not the best, but there should be more of them, that's for sure.

And no, Thelma & Lousie isn't on this list. Why? Because it's on EVERY list when someone brings up 'female driven movies' and I don't think (SPOILER ALERT!) a movie where the women go on a rampaging crime spree and then pitch themselves over a cliff rather than live in a man's world (/SPOILER ALERT) is the definintion of the world's best female buddy film. Until I see Rush Hour 10 or Bad Boys 12 end the same way, I'm not buying it.

1. Gentlemen Prefer Blondes - imdb link - clip on youtube

It's really too bad that Jane Russel and Marilyn Monroe never made another movie together. In this one? They were pure odd-couple gold. Dorothy is a no-nonsense fun-loving gal who performs with her best friend, gold-diggin, show-stopping Lorelei. Lorelei is engaged to marry a lovable doof of a millionaire, but when he allows her to go on a cruise , her love of money and diamonds and rich men may get them both tossed into the poor house on their sequined behinds.

What's wonderful about this film is their fierce devotion to each other. No matter who's wrong, or who's right, who's in love and who isn't, they steadfastly remain best friends with nary a catfight in sight. Isn't that refreshing?

Memorable Quote:
Dorothy Shaw: Honey, did it ever occur to you that some people just don't care about money?
Lorelei Lee: Please, we're talking serious here.

2. FEDS - imdb link - clip on youtube

Another odd-couple comedy that is sadly underrated, this film starred Rebecca De Morney and comic Mary Gross as the lone two female cadets who have been accepted into the FBI. One a jock, the other a brain, they come together when they face sexual discrimination and learn to fight for what they deserve: the right to be FBI agents.

Just a lot of fun. It's hard to find, but if you do, take a look. You'll get a lot of laughs and you'll be cheering for the girls in the end.

Memorable Quote:
Ellie: “I hope the people of United States of America will be able to sleep better knowing that women like us have guns- thank you.”

3. Romy & Michelle's High School Reunion - imdb link - clip on youtube

A modern classic and with good reason. These best friends-without-a-clue are lovable losers who decide to attend their high school reunion to show up the mean girls who tormented them in high school. The problem: they don't have much to show them up with. With fake jobs, fake suits and fake stories, they head back and discover nothing is more impressive than just being yourself.

Dumb and Dumber with a heart, it's just a fun, silly film with a penchant for the outcast.

Memorable Quote:
Romy: Isn't it weird when you're not friends with your friends anymore? I mean, Michele and I just fell out of touch about two hours ago.

4. Resident Evil Trilogy - imdb link - clip on youtube

Not all female buddy films are comedies. The Resident Evil films features ultimate Mary Sue 'Alice', an agent who has been infected with a virus and battles zombies. In each movie, she gets a team of ragband fighters who work with her, and each time, we get another ass-kicking female who shares quips and gunfire with the ambivalent heroine. Hey look! More than one woman in a film! Kicking ass! Taking names! It can be done!

Memorable Quote:
Alice: You won't have to wait that long, boys. Because I'm coming for you. And I'm gonna be bringing a few of my friends.

5. The Heroic Trio - imdb link - clip on youtube

Hong Kong Action Hero Michelle Yeoh broke ground in the eighties and nineties when she starred in a slough of sucessful action flicks that proved that females were ass-kickers too. One cult favorite is 'The Heroic Trio' and featured not just Michelle, but Hong Kong Legend Maggie Cheung and Hong Kong's version of Madonna, the deceased Anita Mui (RIP).

In a dark version of the world, an evil Eunich steals the newborn sons from terrorized couples, with the help of the mysterious 'Invisible Girl'. But Hong Kong has an Action Hero in the form of 'Wonder Woman' who teams up with mercenary for hire Theif Catcher to stop the crime and in the process, learn the true identity of Invisible Girl. When the three woman finally come together to stop the Eunich, they become the ultimate crime fighting team.

It's a dark, dark fantasy, but features amazing actresses and strong performances from all the leads. Definately worth watching if you're looking for some good female roles played with conviction. But I would avoid the sequel 'the Executioners', because if you think THIS one is depressing, baby? You ain't seen nothing yet.

Memorable Quote:
Theifcatcher (while keeping the other two from falling off a cliff): Um... EXCUSE ME? Can you two please hurry up and make a decision?!

Any films I missed? what are your suggestions?

Sex In Christ: Apparently it's just a matter of semantics...

Apparently those Imaginary Bitches have it wrong.

According to, Anal Sex is actually a Christian alternative to ... sex sex, I guess.

So is a threesome.

And pornography.

Umm... there is such a thing as reaching here...

But I don't want to be the one to break it to this webmaster.

Move along. Nothing to see here.

Nice to see that the Priest had the right idea, though.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

No Good Musical Goes Unpunished: Casting Wicked

It was just a matter of time, wasn' t it? Although the rights had been bought years ago for Wicked, the tremendously successful fluffy musical adaptation of the much darker politically inspired book written by Gregory Maguire, it seems, according the Variety, that steps are finally being made to bring the story of BEFORE Dorothy came to Oz to the big screen.

Honestly, I'm less intrigued by this than I would be if someone actually adapted the actual book. Because the book itself? Complicated. Brilliant. Dark as hell. It tells the tale of a land in the midst of political upheavel and corruption, so entrenched in it's own dirty deeds that an outcast turns her back on the only true friendship she's ever known in order to do what little she can to try and change it.

The musical? ... Let's call it a fluffy version of those events. No bloodshed. No murder. Just a lot of singing, a lot of magic, and a twist ending that makes the audience think about The Wizard of Oz in a whole new manner.

Still, it's a powerful musical, and a damned successful one. Part of the sucess was thanks to the originators of the two lead characters. Idina Menzel as prickly do-gooder Elphaba (aka The Wicked Witch) and Kristen Chenowith as shallow, charming Glinda (aka The Good Witch of the North) - both scored Tony nominations and legions of fans. Of course, the problem is, that as wonderful as the actors are, they're just too old. They are. These are supposed to be college age girls who are driven by their idealistic zeal. Casting thirty-somethings Idina and Kristen would be like watching poor Gabrielle Carteris pretend to be a high school kid when she was in her late twenties in 90210. They tried casting the originals for RENT the Movie and all that really did (despite the fact that I LOVED Rent) was make you want to smack the whiny 30-somethings who didn't want to pay their stupid rent and tell them to get a job already.

The success of a Wicked movie depends on the leads, for sure. Elphaba, the girl born green, driven to try and help the less fortunate and forced into a life as an outcast and 'Wicked' because of it, speaks to the inner outcast in everyone. She is angry, she is timid, she is hopeful and earnest and bitter. Glinda is the incarnation of every mean girl that's existed, who lives on stereotypes and finds herself challenging her own beliefs and reinventing herself thanks to her unexpected roommate and best friend.

So much hinges on finding the RIGHT Elphaba. The right Glinda. Even the right Fiyero, because how do you find a shallow pretty boy who has enough depth hidden deep down to appeal to both the outcast and the popular girl?

It's worth taking a look at. We need young girls - mid-twenties who can play college age and still older. Who can sing an incredible range and act the hell out of a role that could EASILY be over-acted on the big screen. My friend Angela had some suggestions. I've got some of my own.

aka the Beautifully Tragic

The Shortlist (aka My choice - and Angela's): Anne Hathaway
I know what you're thinking. What? Princess Mia? Yes, Princess Mia. The girl has grown up, and as a former soprano has the range and the chops to pull out the subtle, nervous Elphaba. And if you don't think she has the right internalized rage, let's witness the tabloid fervor that has driven the industry the last few weeks over her public breakup with her con artist boyfriend. Or being forced to work with Kate Hudson on a film called 'Bride Wars' after hanging out with Steve Carrell and The Rock on Get Smart. That'd drive anyone batty.

Youtube Evidence: Anne Hathway performing on stage.

The PLEASE GOD NO List: Katherine McPhee
Okay, so the American Idol Runner Up sang 'Somewhere Over the Rainbow'. For the love of GOD keep her away from this film. No, okay? Just... no. There is just not enough experience. And she is NOT Jennifer Hudson.

aka She'll Make You Popular

The Shortlist (aka My and Angela's choice): Kristen Bell
The girl is a trifecta of talent. She can sing, she can dance, and she is hot as hell. Oh yeah, and she also has that acting thing down. A perfect Glinda if there ever was one.

Youtube Evidence: : D'ya remember her in 'Reefer Madness'?

The PLEASE GOD NO List: Scarlett Johansson
Yes, she's beautiful. Yes, she can sing. No, she cannot be Glinda. She's got a low, smoky voice. Hearing her try to hit those soprano hits? Ouchies.

aka Mr. Life isn't As Painless Being Brainless As You'd Think

The Shortlist (aka My choice): Zac Effron
I'm just going to pretend High School Musical doesn't exist. Life is so much better for me when I do. And I'm going to remember what a DAMNED good Link this guy was in Hairspray. And let's face it, isn't that exactly who Fiyero is? The pretty boy who falls in love with the outsider? And dumps his blonde girlfriend? Come on. We know he can play the part. Recent pictures have shown him buffed up, and with those looks, that voice, and that body? He can be my deadbeat prince anyday.

Provided I don't remember about those damned High School Musical movies...

Youtube Evidence: Link living it up for 'Ladies Choice'

The PLEASE GOD NO List: Any of those Jonas Brothers.
I'm not even bothering to link them. Keep those guys away from my musical, yo. I'm serious.

*ahem* But you don't have to take my word for it. What are your cast suggestions? Lindsay Lohan? James Marsden?

Imaginary Bitches Episode 9: Evil Does Anal

Episode 9 of the Imaginary Bitches web series has gone live, and of course, those bitches went and seduced another man. This time, they got themselves a priest! That brings the grand total of seemingly sane men who have been seduced into insanity by the blatant sexual come-ons of those Imaginary Bitches up to three. In 9 webisodes.

Touche, bitches. Of course, this does bring up the 'Jerk Theory' in reverse. You know the theory, right? The idea that girls only like guys when they're assholes, and nice guys finish last, and all that? Yes, well the idea seems to be so fascinating that they've actually built a whole movie around the idea. Yes, I know. Let's all go. Forget Dark Knight!


Seems now that Eden has found her inner jerkettes, the boys are coming running. The problem is, it's all the wrong boys. Masterbating finance gurus, crazy shrinks, and ex-porn star priests.

Oh, Eden. Between you and me? I would have gone for it. He was hot. Crazy? but hot.

Episode Linked Below:

Quote of the Ep:
Priest: In the movie: Good and Evil! Battling for my soul! I had sex. With both of them! Evil won. Because she would do anal.

Monday, July 21, 2008

The Drowsy Chaperone @ the Ahmanson Theatre

The last of my season tickets for the Center Theatre Group went to 'The Drowsy Chaperone', a play that I knew next to nothing about, except that a good friend claimed the ticket and exclaimed that it was 'awesome'. That, and it was supposed to be about the twenties, which I'm all for. The twenties were crazy. What with the gangsters and the prohibition and what not, but I do feel like my Broadway experiences have been semi limited. I mean, I've never seen Les Miserables or Cats or any of the genuine classics. So despite the fact that I knew nothing about the show, in the season package it only cost me 25 bucks for a balcony seat.

I was expecting roaring twenties. Color me surprised when the curtain lifted into a drab, modern apartment set, and we were introduced to a gay narrator, wrapped in a Mr. Roger's style sweater, proclaiming to everyone that he was 'feeling blue', and the only cure is to listen to an original recording of a broadway musical. Also? This guy is really, really gay. In case you haven't noticed. Which is, of course, the perfect musical cliche, and one that's destined to be made fun of.
Our narrator then decided to treat us to his favorite show 'The Drowsy Chaperone', and as the 'record' started, we began to witness the show coming to life in his own living room.

It's kind of genius. It's a show, within a show, within a show. So very META. So very on crack. Not only are we watching the show, but frequently the narrator 'pauses' to provide tidbits about the 'actors' behind the roles. The result is a geniunely hilarious, off-beat musical with great music that's not at all shy about poking fun at itself and the cliche of musical theatre at large. Over-acting, silly lyrics, impossible set changes, and mind-boggling farce abounds, and it's all so tongue-in-cheek you can't help but adore it.

Linked below is a youtube video of the TONY's performance of the show-stopping, aptly named 'Show Off':

You see what I mean?

Thursday, July 17, 2008

It's Bullet Time: Max Payne Gets A Trailer

Because I'm a gamer, I get geeky over silly stuff that no one else would care about. Case in point? The upcoming Max Payne movie, which has now released a trailer.

Max Payne and Max Payne II are my favorite video games ever. I don't know if it's the over the top dialogue, or the bullet-time, or just the unrelenting noirish cheese, but I'm a sucker for a good story and complicated characters. The Max Payne universe has it in spades. A dark, tragic hero, a serious femme fatale, and bad guys who are ... well... genuinely bad. And not at all stupid.

So of course it was only a matter of time before some movie studio would by the rights to take the great story and make it into a two hour shoot-em-up action flick. As a fan, I was worried. And a little obsessed. Then they cast baby-faced Mark Wahlberg as the iconic, scruffy, pill popping grisled detective Max Payne. More worried. Then they cast impossibly beautiful Mila Kunis as Mona Sax. I was... surprised. I got a hold of the script, but haven't had a chance to read it. So far it looks like it's going to follow the first game pretty much to a Tee, but with more Mona, which means Mila, best known for playing screechy rich girl Jackie on That '70s Show and helping that guy on How I Met Your Mother get over Sarah Marshall, has her work cut out for her, playing the bad ass hardened assasin Mona Sax.

And now we have a trailer:

It's very very pretty.

Content? We'll see. But at least Mila Kunis looks the part. And Mark Walhberg got the scruffy voice down.

Off Topic but still relevant:

It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia, the screwball comedy about four losers (and Danny Devito) who run a bar, has been picked up for 39 more episodes. That's a LOT of underachieving to giggle at.

The Emmy Nominations came out. 30 Rock continues to rule all, but Two and Half Men? Again? Seriously? Are all the emmy voters over 60? And who on earth still thinks Boston Public is one the best shows on television? Are we stuck in a repeat? New blood, please. NEW BLOOD! Color me thrilled though, that Kathy Griffin got a nomination for 'Straight to Hell'. She already told Jesus to suck it and outed Barbara Walters as a lube user. I don't know what else she can do to offend the masses.

Joss Whedon took over the internet with a web miniseries musical starring Neil Patrick Harris and Nathan Fillon called 'Dr. Horrible's Musical Sing-Along'. For the record? I hated the Buffy Musical. I thought it sucked. I'm still watching this. You should too. Watch it. Because everyone else already is.

Also, as if Wii can't get any sillier, they're giving us light sabers. Honestly, people, these things aren't making it any easier for us twenty-something losers to grow up.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

It Never Rains But it Pours (Dogs and Cats)

Oh my God, you guys.

Good news first: We've found a home for the kitty. A friend of my sister is coming to pick up the kitten this afternoon, and luckily, aside from her eye problem, she's in perfect shape for it. She's a happy, fat little thing, who has taken over the household, scrambling up and down the stairs, playing with Lucy, and snuggling up to everyone and everything she can. She responds to 'kitty' now, but that's hardly my fault, since we had to call her something. But looks like she'll be getting a good home nevertheless.

And the Bad News:
My grandma has a poodle that she deliberately got pregnant. Let me preface this story by saying I did NOT agree with that. I'm a big supporter of PETA and am viciously aware of how many animals don't have homes (witness my cat rescuing), and believe all pets should be spayed or nuetered. When my grandmother and my aunt mated their white minature poodles to have 'just one litter' I complained vehemently. But the deed was already done, and my grandmother is relatively old fashioned and has had litters of puppies before, so she just thought this would be business as usual.

So last night I came home late because I stopped at PETCO to pick up some kitten formula and food for the kitten. Thank God, I did, because I had been home little more than an hour whwen my sister finally told me that J-Lo had her puppies that afternoon. At the time, my Grandmother and my Mom had gone to the store, and no one had checked in on the dogs (my Grandmother has recently moved into the back guest house) all afternoon. The minute my sister said the dog had 'already killed two' I heard warning bells in my head. Immediately, I raced to the backhouse and sure enough, J-Lo was in the corner of her bed, and on the other side, freezing and barely moving, were six puppies. Three were already dead. Two had bite marks on their heads, one bleeding profusely, and only one seemed actively moving around, searching for a nipple that J-Lo refused to let her have, preferred instead to shove her away with her paw. My Grandmother arrived home at that time, and I grabbed her, and we both managed to get the three remaining puppies and brought them to the main house. We had no puppy formula, all we had was the kitten formula I had just bought, and so that's what they had as we vigourously rubbed them like crazy, trying to bring their body tempature up, as they were freezing cold.

Research on the internet gave us a little insight as to what we could do, and so the rest of the night me, my mom and my grandmother spent very long hours trying to save the tiny newborns from certain death. Lucy, the little nurturer that she is, didn't understand what was happening, and spent most of the night sitting next to the heat lamp, whining as the puppies cried, unsure what to do.

Luckily, they survived the night, and my heartbroken Grandma is going to go to Petco to pick up some formula and a heating pad to try and keep them going.

Meanwhile my sister got delegated the task of giving the kitten a bath, which she got through lots of little scratches and a yowling kitty. Who now smells fresh and not of stinkiness.
So our house has become some sort of impromptu animal hospital, with three newborn (two still sick) pups and a bouncy kitty who doesn't quite know what to do with the new arrivals and has even tried to sit with them in an effort to warm them up.

Of course, this could all have been avoided if my grandmother had just spayed J-Lo like we all advised her to do, but lesson learnt, I guess. All we can do now is do what we can to save the little guys.

Odd night for me, but here's hoping at least one of those little guys make it.

Monday, July 7, 2008

A Chorus Line at the Ahmanson Theatre

One of the best things I did with the meager amount of cash I had last year, was spend a few hundred bucks on tickets for the Center Theatre Group. I love musicals, but as a broke wannabe screenwriter, I often barely have cash for anything other than gas (thanks, Iraq!), much less the steep prices these big ticket venues require. Because of my little splurge, I was able to see My Fair Lady, Avenue Q, Sweeney Todd, The Jersey Boys, A Chorus Line and coming up, The Drowsy Chaperone.

I've never seen A Chorus Line; not the movie, not the play, so it was a pleasent surprise to watch it come to life on the stage, particularly because the original 'Brooke' Nikki Snelson from Legally Blonde on broadway was playing the lead Cassie. I love her. Her entire role on Legally Blonde was to do the world's hardest jumprope routine, freeze in crazy uncomfortable positions, and still wail with an insane voice:

Needless to say, I was thrilled when I saw she was playing Cassie. She has her own ten minute solo midway through the production, and it was through her, and the contrast she depicts with the other dancers, that I truly understood what it means to be part of 'A Chorus Line'. The play itself centers around an audition. The actors never really leave the stage, apart from three solos, and there is constant dancing, and singing. It's a tough, tough role for anyone to play, and the dancers really rocked it out.

I will never, ever stop envying dancers bodies, and their ability to do incredible twists and flips without twisting their ankles. My feet ache just thinking about it. And they're jealous.

As am I.

That said, the show was particularly poignant for me because of the theme 'what do you do when you can't dance'. To these dancers, getting into the chorus line was EVERYTHING, and when do you really say when?

How do you know when you should stop, when you know you're never going to do what you wanted to do and need to settle for something else?

For an aspiring screenwriter, it's an intimidating thought. And a little sobering for a matinee, but I coulda just been projecting.

I tend to do that.

Lifetime Casts for 'Mistresses', poaching from across the sea.

I clearly need to stay on top of my reading, because I can't believe I didn't know that Lifetime poached 'Mistresses' from the UK. It's a surprisingly early pick up. The BBC Drama has only had one season (and six episodes), but I have to admit, the season itself was stellar. Mistresses tells the story of four friends who have stayed close since college, now middle aged. It's a transition point in their lives, and as life would have it, each woman experiences infidelity; either they are the cheaters, or they are cheated on, or they become a mistress outright. It's an interesting premise, and carries well considering these are the fabled 'other women' who are often hated and their stories aren't often seen.
Lifetime has apparently tapped Holly Marie Combs, Brooke Burns, and Rochelle Aytes as three of the four friends, but I'm curious to see how far they'll go with some of the storylines in the adaptation. One of the most poignant and interesting storylines (though they were all pretty damned intriguing) involved the 'baby' of the group and self professed commitment phobe being tapped to plan a wedding for a lesbian couple, and finds herself perplexed, bewildered and astonished to realize she is falling in love with one of the brides-to-be.
Check out a clip from the series:

Whether or not they pick up this storyline remains to be seen, but it is a pivotal character moment for the character and forces her to see what it really means to be the other woman and not have the option of having the one you love for yourself only.

Between this and HBO snagging Bad Girls after FX couldn't make it work, it should be an interesting season in cable for British Women's television. Oh, I'm sorry - American women's television adapted from British shows.

Not that I'm complaining. They've got better stuff anyhow.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Weekend went by fast, but the kitty is still with us.

Went by like lightning, with a lot of things done, which I will post to my blog later, but of course, had to update on the kitty.

Thalia and the kitty

The feralness is almost completely gone now, after spending the entire weekend with me. She's bouncing around, pooping and peeing regularly, and gets along well with the dogs. Thalia has adopted a 'i'll sniff you when I'm curious but otherwise let's just ignore each other' stance, whereas Lucy has fallen completely in love. She bounds into my room first thing in the morning in search for the little ball of fluff, and a good part of her day is spent chasing after it, licking it repeatedly, and whining when it can't be found.

On the kitty's part, she's doing well. She recognizes my voice now and comes to me when I call her, and has learned how to use the litter box, eat solid foods, and climb the bed. Quite a surprise when I wake up to a purring pile of fuzz underneath my chin. She doesn't cry when she's picked up anymore, and has taken to spending most of her day playing with anything she can find, including the dogs. It breaks my heart that we can't keep her. But I have a deathly allergic grandmother who lives with us, and the family's firm 'no cats' policy, so we're working hard to try to find her a home, and get her to a vet for her eye infection. Thus far it's manageable with a little drop of visine and regular cleaning, but she does need to go to the vet soon.

Because kittens are cute, and because she needs a home, and because Lucy fawning over her is adorable, I uploaded a quick music video with some of her antics. No name for the kitty yet, it's the one thing that's keeping me from getting too attached. Downside? She's starting to answer to kitty, and comes out of her hiding places whenever she hears the word. Oops.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Got an unusual surprise this morning...

I live in the ghetto, but my Dad, who grew up on a farm in Mexico, sometimes forgets that, and as a result we have an abundance of plants in our backyard. It's a little freaky honestly. We're tripping over plums and tomatoes and figs and avocados and now, a small pineapple, that he's especially proud of.

Because of the whole 'ghetto' thing and my dad's plant menagerie, we sometimes get more of the urban wildlife than we'd like. Particularly squirrels and stray cats. The squirrels eat our plums and avocados and the cats like to dig into our basement and have a colony of feral cats that we then have to trap and take the shelter. One time I found a cockatiel.

Anywayz, early this morning I was taking the dogs out for their morning peepee, when I heard an odd scuffle. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw something fluffy, that could either be a rat or a kitten. Taking the chance, I walked over and there, hidden behind my dad's tomato plants, was a teeny tiny kitten, scared out of his or her mind and hissing like there was tomorrow.

Unsure what else to do (since I had dogs and the Mom was nowhere in sight), I scooped up the little guy and brought him in. Bad mistake. I'm already taken with the little bugger. As is my Mom, who has decided, even if we're not sure if we're going to keep it, that it shall be named Indy (for Independance Day). Thalia wants absolutely nothing to do with the foul smelling creature (Odd considering she's the one who actually grew up with a cat), but Lucy has decided that the new kitty is her new toy. She wags her tail, wines incessently, and begs and pleads and does every trick in the book that usually gets her a treat, in an effort to be given the cat.

Thus far her pleas have gone unheeded.

So now I've got a kitty in need of a vet appointment and some TLC. Anyone in LA need a kitty?


Wednesday, July 2, 2008

I may have been the last person on the planet to have seen this link -

But I still have to share it. Because it's made of awesome.

Basically these guys rescued a lion cub from a Harrad's and when it got too big to keep in their flat, they had him reintroduced to the wild in Africa. A few years later they went to visit, but were told he wouldn't recognize them.

And to prove this story is actually real: