Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful, beautiful boy. (Or girl, maybe)

How adorable is this?

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I wonder if that set is any fun right now, with two very pregnant ladies who are probably very hormonal.

99% of the time, I am very glad I don’t live in California. But when there’s events like this week’s An Evening With How I Met Your Mother, I wish I were a short car ride away from all that action.

Video of the Day: In which an old favorite and and a new favorite are combined. Watch till the end – it’s a great payoff.

Emotional Overload: Next time, remind me to encorporate some humor

In 2005, I tried to watch Six Feet Under. I got through the first season and partway through the second before I had to stop.

It’s not that the show wasn’t good; it was excellent. Maybe a little too excellent. I was going through an awkward period in my life -that post-college phase where you’re no longer a kid, but you don’t quite feel like an adult, and have no idea what you are supposed to be doing in life.  You spent 20-some years going to school and now that it’s over…what do you do next? (Anyone? Anyone?) I wasn’t in the happiest state. So, watching a show where bad things continue to happen to (semi) good people was a little too much to handle. For weeks, I found myself in this constant state of melancholy. It wasn’t overwhelming; it was just always there. I tried and tried to place it, and then one day it just hit me: it’s Six Feet Under. I had to stop watching, or I’d end up in a permanent state of depression.

So I did. And I felt better. (But don’t worry – I caught up in 2007 during the Writers’ Strike, and damn, that’s some good TV.)

I have had a similar feeling all day today, and I know why: I had the most depressing weekend of film and TV watching.

With the Academy Award nominations announced last week, by Friday, I had added a slew of films to my Netflix queue. The problem? I currently had three movies from Netflix sitting on top of my DVD player, where they had sat, untouched, for weeks. I wanted to see them; they just weren’t exactly, “Hey, come watch me!” movies. But I have a goal to see as many nominated films/films with nominated actors and directors, etc. as I can before the awards. My actual goal is to see everything, but I know this is not possible.

So, Friday night, I watched Mr. Saturday Night, on my queue from when I added Helen Hunt films after The Great Mad About You Re-watch. You guys…this is a real downer. And honestly, not particularly great. The only real reason to see it is for David Paymer’s Oscar-nominated performance. But seriously – the life of a mediocre-at-best comic, who’s basically an asshole? Not exactly uplifting. Why, Billy Crystal? Why?

Saturday, I had tentative plans to hang out with Liz, eat soup, and have an Aaron Sorkin/presidential marathon. But, I was sacked with a major headache that took up most of my day. So I stayed in bed and watched Stevie, a documentary by acclaimed filmmaker (and graduate of my school and film program!) Steve James. I saw this movie when it premiered at my school’s film festival back in 2002. It’s a great piece of film-making, if self-indulgent on James’ part. However – the story follows this dude, Stevie, whom James mentored while a student at Southern Illinois University. Years later, James decides to visit Stevie, see what he missed, and it turns out Stevie has been arrested and charged with sexually abusing his 8-year old niece. The film follows Stevie and his family for the 2 1/2 years in between the abuse charges and Stevie going to jail. Again, this is a great film. But not exactly uplifting. Also, it has these great shots of the southern Illinois landscape, which just made me homesick for my college town. (Weird, I know, in a documentary about child abuse, but there ya go.)

As if that wasn’t enough, I accompanied my parents to see The Wrestler on Sunday. I’d seen it before, and wanted to see it again, to soak it in a little more. The first time I saw it, I liked it a lot, thought Mickey Rourke and Marissa Tomei were excellent, and that the film was sad but not overwhelmingly sad. This time…I was heartbroken. It affected me so much more. I don’t know if it’s because I had already seen it, and so could concentrate more on performance and noticing little things, or if it was because I was with my parents, whom I knew would be more affected by it, or what. But by the time Randy walked in for his last match, and Sweet Child of Mine started playing, my heart was beating a mile a minute, my lip couldn’t stop quivering, and the tears came.

So there was that.

Then there were the SAG Awards, which were kind of depressing only because Sean fucking Penn won best actor over Mickey Rourke AND Richard Jenkins, Hugh fucking Laurie won best actor over my boy Michael C. Hall, and Dexter did not win best acting ensemble.

To top it all off, I decided to end my weekend by watching the  Cheers season 5 finale (More on this re-watch in a later blog post.) I wrote my immediate reaction to that in my personal blog. Here is what I said:

“Have a good life.”

I just watched the last episode of season 5 of Cheers. The one where Diane leaves. And um….I just spent the last 10 minutes weeping. WEEPING.
Maybe I am a little overly emotional this weekend, but, damn.
I watched the first four seasons pretty quick. (Side note – the final episodes of season 4? When Diane is spying on Sam and the politician? some of the hardest laughing I’ve ever done, right there.) 
Then I got to season 5, and Sam and Diane were finally happily together, and I started slowing down my watching. I didn’t want to get here. I remembered what this episode did to me.
It’s weird, how I watch old TV. I can watch it through my adult eyes, but I can also turn that off, and watch it through the same eyes I did as a child. So, when I watch old episodes of Lois and Clark, for example, Adult Sarah recognizes that this is not stellar television. But Child Sarah remembers how pretty they are, and how wonderfully schmoopy they are, and how I would get so excited on Sundays, waiting for 8 o’clock. It’s a nice thing to be able to do, actually.
This is how I’ve watched Cheers. And it doesn’t help that Cheers is actually a stellar show, both in acting and writing. So, Adult Sarah can get some of the more adult jokes she didn’t get as a kid. But Child Sarah still holds on to that feeling and joy she got to watching Sam and Diane. And Child Sarah was absolutely heartbroken when Diane left. (Let me just stop here and say – I totally watched the show through repeats. I was only a year old when the show started. I discovered it in sixth grade, and fell in love immediately. So, Child Sarah was heartbroken watching the reruns. In case there was any question.) 
Anyway, Child Sarah was heartbroken. Even though she knew that Diane left the show. She cried then. And it hurt just as much tonight, even though I knew it was coming. Again.
But you know what I had forgotten about? I forgot that Sam flashed forward in time halfway through, and imagined his life with Diane, and that they had grown old together. And I completely forgot he flashed again, and that is how the show ended. So, I was already getting ready for a good cry during the scene where they say goodbye to each other. But the part after? Oh, man.

Sam and Diane were the first TV couple I ever cared about. I LOVED them. LOOOOVED. Just ask my parents or my sister. You think Luke/Lorelai was bad? They had nothing on Sam and Diane. I don’t remember this, but my sister said that when the show ended, I cried and cried – not because the show was over, but because Sam and Diane didn’t end up together.

And yeah, it’s just a TV show, and I know that, and I’m tired and it’s been kind of an emotionally exhausting week, and weekend, so that isn’t helping any. And yes, this now happened over 20 years ago. But, it still makes me sad that Shelley Long left the show. Sure, we wouldn’t have had Rebecca, or Robin, and maybe Lilith wouldn’t have joined the cast as a series regular. Maybe the attention would have stayed on Sam and Diane, and the supporting cast wouldn’t have gotten more to do. And without that, maybe there would have been no spin off, no Frasier, and then we wouldn’t have Niles or Marty Crane, and that would be a shame in the world of TV.

But I do wonder what would have happened, had she stayed. Because this right here is freaking beautiful.

~~~~~~~
Now, my reaction was most likely 50% Cheers and 50% emotional exhaustion from all the other media I’d seen over the weekend. But the bottom line is, I cried for a good half hour last night. And getting ready for work this morning, a bit of the song from the above video got in my head, and I got all teary again and had to force it out of my head. (Which, BTW, is not an easy thing to do.) And all day today, I have had the same feeling of melancholy I expressed above.

The point of all this? Well, I guess it’s twofold:

1.) It’s kind of amazing how much good storytelling can affect a person.
2.) I am in need of a laugh, and some mindless, lighthearted entertainment.

To that end, I give you something that never, ever fails to make me laugh, as my Video of the Day

Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow – Part Deux

Back in my days of blogging for my old newspaper, I came up with a list of five male celebrities with effortlessly perfect hair.  So did Liz.

Mine included Matthew Perry, James Gunn, Kyle Chandler, Michael C. Hall and Paul Rudd. Liz honored Matthew Perry (cause really, have you seen the dude’s hair?) John Corbett (I’m guessing Northern Exposure-era), Naveen Andrews, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Seth Rogan and Gael Garcia  Bernal.

And that was that.

Until this weekend, when we watched Half Nelson, which is a great movie. But when all was said and done, and after we praised the film for its quietness, and for the great performances from Ryan Gosling and Shareeka Epps, and wondered if “half nelson” was some crack term we didn’t know about (we only know it from wrestling), we got down to the important stuff:

“Ryan Gosling is really, really hot.”

“I know.”

“And I know he’s playing a drug addict in the film, but…that’s pretty much my exact type – tall, skinny, disheveled.”

“Totally.”

“I’m not sure what this says about me. It seems whenever someone plays a drug addict in a film [see – Ewan McGregor, Trainspotting] I find them really hot.”

This led to a discussion of his hair, which brought us back to our lists, and the mutual agreement that if we ever made another one, he’d be on it. (We really are intelligent, sophisticated, cultured women, I promise.)

The next night, I was having trouble sleeping and (like you do) started thinking of who else could be on the distinguished list of Effortlessly Perfect Hair.

Disclaimer before I start: No head of hair will ever be more beautiful and perfectly effortlessly executed than Kyle Chandler. I mean, c’mon.

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It’s just a thing of beauty, is what it is.

So, without further adieu, here are my additional selections:

Ryan Gosling:
I admit it – Half Nelson was my first Ryan Gosling film. Yes, ladies, I’ve never seen The Notebook. And I am so okay with that. I’ve never seen Lars and the Real Girl or The Believer. (Though the latter two are on my to-see list.)  I knew he had been nominated for an Academy Award for Half Nelson, but I didn’t expect his quiet little performance to be as good as it was. Congrats, Ryan – you’ve graduated from “pretty boy” to “damn fine actor” in my book. And the hair…good lord the hair. So good. Add some tattoos and I am a puddle on the floor.

It’s good a little scruffy:
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and a LOT scruffy
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Michael Cera
Yes, he’s a little young for me – dude isn’t even 21 yet. (Seriously??) But that doesn’t mean I can’t appreciate a good head of hair. Think not so much George Michael Bluth as Paulie Bleeker and Nick (of Nick and Nora) – the more mature Cera, if you will. (If one can be mature at 20.) What I like about Cera’s hair is that it seems like he doesn’t use any product. He doesn’t need to. It stands well enough on its own. See:
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(Don’t judge me. You know you all wish he was older.)

Ted MosbyJosh Radnor
It almost feels like cheating to put him on here – because Josh Radnor’s hair is so not effortless. (Well, Josh-Radnor-as- Ted-Mosby-‘s hair, anyway). There’s product. There’s scrunching. There’s even a whole episode of How I Met Your Mother dedicated to Ted’s hair vanity. And still, it must go on, because it’s fantastic hair and because it does LOOK effortless.
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Say what you will about Ted as a character (I love him, but most don’t), dude does have an awesome head of hair.

Malcolm Gets
Yeah, that’s right. I’d say his hair is at least 20% of the reason he’s my new celebrity boyfriend. (Well, maybe not. But the hair is a part of the essence, and I’m all about the essence. Or something. Seriously… Shut up, his hair is amazing.) So, I’m not sure this is effortless either. But he does have that tousled “just got out of bed look” down. It’s long and there’s a hint of curl, but it’s not overly curly. Really though, he could be on here for volume alone. Just look at the volume.  As someone with thick, curly hair myself, I’m always impressed when one can wear it so well. Whether it’s in a movie (where clearly, there were stylists and such)
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Or at an event (where it probably looks like he just got out of bed because he just got out of bed. That takes some balls, man. I can’t pull that look off.)
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And, finally, we have the one, the only…

Taylor Kitsch
I know his hair is a THING, and everyone who watches Friday Night Lights LOVES HIS HAIR, but c’mon. He’s got to be on the list. Frankly, I’m embarrassed he didn’t make my list the first time around.  What is there to say, really? As Tim Riggins, dude makes stringy, greasy, unwashed hair somehow beautiful. And effortless? You bet. I don’t think Kitsch washes his hair or does anything to it when he goes on set.

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Which reminds me – FNL comes back on next week, you guys! Watch! I will! And I can’t wait to finally actually talk about the season. It’s been killing me, holding it in, y’all. KILLING ME!

Video of the Day: Classic TV Clip
A shout out another great head of hair – Mr. Peter Krause. He can be an honorary member of this exclusive club. Here he is – with fabulous hair – in one of my favorite scenes from Six Feet Under.

“Looks like someone’s got a case of the Mondays!” (I will wear no flare)

We’ve arrived – the time of year where things are merry and jolly, and there’s no more new TV for a bit.

I’m usually okay with this. As much of a TV junkie as I am, it’s always kind of nice to have a break. I can catch up on other things, be it books, movies, or other TV shows. Hell, during the writers’ strike last year, I got through all five seasons of Six Feet Under. Never would have done that if there hadn’t been a strike. (NOTE: This does not mean I want another one! Hear me, SAG?)

So we’re pretty much done with TV for 2008 . My DVR will tape tonight’s Pushing Daisies and then…nothing.

But that’s not what I want to talk about. I want to talk about Monday night. Earlier this fall, I was a wee bit overwhelmed on Mondays. Chuck, Heroes AND HIMYM? It got to be too much. So I decided to drop Chuck and Heroes. (GAASSPPP!) I know. But, here’s the thing – I was never a huge fan of Chuck. I think Zachary Levi is cute, and I like Adam Baldwin, but…it’s the same thing. Every. Single. Week. And it just got old. I didn’t care. Sorry, Internet. I don’t care about your beloved show. As for Heroes, well, I think we can all agree it peaked in season 1 and has been downhill since. No amount of HRG or Sylar can save it for me. (Though I would watch a HRG/Sylar spin off. I don’t know how it would work, but get on that, writers.)

So, my once super crowded Monday nights got whittled down to one show. Much less stressful. (Don’t believe me? Read this.)  A routine began – get home, do whatever till 8, start to make dinner (usually pasta) and be in front of the TV by 8:25. (Yes, I watch HIMYM live. I love it that much. That, The Office and 30 Rock. I’ll watch your commercials. I don’t care.) Thus, I kept on catching the last five minutes of The Big Bang Theory. I’d heard good things about the show, I’d heard not-so-good things. Despite the fact that Johnny Galecki talks in a weird nerdy voice the entire time, those last five minutes every week started growing on me. So, somewhere in October, I started my routine earlier – come home, do whatever until 7:30, start making dinner (usually pasta), and be in front of the TV by 8.

So about the show – it’s not the best thing ever. It’s not the worst thing ever. Sometimes, it is very, very funny. Sometimes it’s not. But I always enjoy at least part of it, and Jim Parsons cracks me up. (I know he’s the obvious character to like, but…) I still hate Johnny Galecki talking in a faux nerd-voice, because really, who is he fooling, we all saw Roseanne. However, this is made up slightly by the fact that Moist is cast member. He also has a nerdy voice, but it’s real. (Every time I see him, I think, “You need anything dampened…or made…soggy?”) Point is, it’s grown on me. I’m officially a fan. As I told my roommate on Monday, “It’s not the best show in the world, but it’s…pleasant.” It’s easy. And, as a semi-geeky girl myself (full disclosure – I went to Dragon*Con in 2003), I am amused by comic book/geeky humor. (One of my favorites  is “Rock-Paper-Scissors-Lizard-Spock.”)

So, if you’re looking for something to fill that 8-8:30 time-slot on Monday nights (seriously, Chuck is the same thing every week; you don’t need to watch), I recommend the Big Bang Theory. Come for Sheldon, stay for Penny and Walowitz. It’s a nice way to eat dinner and wait for HIMYM.

Here’s a snippet from the latest episode.  It had me rolling. Set up: Next door neighbor Penny buys Christmas presents for Sheldon and Leonard. This sends Sheldon into a frenzy, as he feels receiving a gift is nothing more than an obligation to reciprocate (which…I agree with to a point –we’ve all been caught off guard with an unexpected gift, and it’s awkward for everyone involved). So he buys a bunch of presents, intending to give her the one that best matches her monetary amount.

It’s even funnier the second time around. Maybe I’ll catch up on season 1 over the winter hiatus.

Video of the Day:  Happy Holidays from Barney Stinson!

Rock on, TV Boyfriends!

This just in from the Hollywood Foreign Press (Golden Globes):

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A TELEVISION SERIES – DRAMA

1. GABRIEL BYRNE – IN TREATMENT
2. MICHAEL C. HALL – DEXTER
3. JON HAMM – MAD MEN
4. HUGH LAURIE – HOUSE
5. JONATHAN RHYS MEYERS – THE TUDORS

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE IN A SERIES, MINI-SERIES OR MOTION PICTURE MADE FOR TELEVISION

1. NEIL PATRICK HARRIS – HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER
2. DENIS LEARY – RECOUNT
3. JEREMY PIVEN – ENTOURAGE
4. BLAIR UNDERWOOD – IN TREATMENT
5. TOM WILKINSON – JOHN ADAMS

I swear if Piven wins this again, I’m going to boycott all award shows. (Okay, that’s just crazy talk. But I will be pissed. NPH doesn’t even have to win, just NOT Piven.

Though, I am not sure how much clout the HFP holds for me this year, as both Mamma Mia! and Burn After Reading are best picture nominees. I will give them the Cohen Brothers, but…Mamma Mia!? Huh? That movie scarred me for life. And as talented as Meryl Streep is…she does not deserve her best actress nomination.

Sorry, no time for Video of the Day. Have to get back to work!