Oh, Gilmore, you got me again

Happy Easter weekend, everyone. I hope you all had a good time, and enjoyed the gorgeous weather. (If you live on the East Coast, anyway – I’m not sure what the weather was like elsewhere.)

I got the weekend to myself, and had a perfectly luxurious time. I ran a few errands, cleaned up stuff on my computer, did some reading, and reaquainted myself with some old friends from Stars Hollow.

Now, those of you who know me know of my former major obsession love of the Gilmores. And you also know of my disenchantment, anger, broken heart, and temporary break-up with Gilmore during its final season. I eventually caved and finished out the season, but since the show ended, I’ve only watched a handful of episodes.

Until this weekend.

I don’t know if it was the nice weather, the resurgence of Lauren Graham on my TV again, the fact I had a weekend to myself, or my rediscovery of this* coupled with my rediscovery of a Lorelai mix I made three years ago, but I found myself jonesing for some Gilmore all week long.

You know how you have those friends who you used to be really close to and now, for one reason or another, you don’t get to see them very often? Maybe you live in different cities, maybe one of you got married, maybe you’re in grad school and have no time for a social life, but you’re just not as close as you once were.  Every once in awhile though, you get to see each other, and your bond is so close that it feels like you were never apart? That’s how this was. (Yes, I am aware that I am talking about a TV show, thanks.)

For me, Gilmore has always been a comfort. (Except when it wasn’t, but we don’t like to talk about that time.) It’s the TV-equivalent of pot roast and chocolate pie. And even though it’s been years, and things have changed, and I have changed, when I put in my season 2 DVD and started watching, it was as though I never stopped. I was back in my apartment in Chicago, watching my illegally-burnt copy of A Film By Kirk, pausing it to go get my roommate, because Sean Gunn dancing was something he had to see.

I decided to watch episodes I often skip over. I’ve seen Rory’s First Kiss and Last Week Fights, This Week Tights too many times to remember, but what about those hidden gems in seasons 2 and 3? I always gloss over seasons 2 and 3, in favor of season 4 (the ultimate season) and season 5 (because Luke and Lorelai are FINALLY together). So this weekend, I rediscovered hidden gems like Lost and Found, where Luke looks for a new apartment, and Dear Emily and Richard, which is both hilarious and heartbreaking at the same time. I watched Paris melt down on C-Span in The Big One and Emily battle it out with the original Lorelai in That’ll Do, Pig. These are episodes no one really thinks about, because they are episodes that don’t advance the plot much. Not a lot happens in these episodes, and yet everything happens.

So that’s how I spent my weekend. Should I have gone outside more? Perhaps. But I’m happy with my decision. I got reacquainted with an old friend, and remembered what made me love the show in the first place. I rediscovered the awesomeness of high school Rory, Lauren Graham’s amazing hair and beautiful eyes, and that Luke, was, on many occasions, a very funny man.

Now. The only problem with this is that…as many of you know…I had a…*slight* problem with Gilmore. As in, you know, some might say, a wee bit of an addiction. So my goal this week is to not spend it with my head halfway in Stars Hollow. I need to be in the real world. I think I can do it. I know I can do it. Because, even though I remember the girl who spent her nights locked in her tiny room in Chicago, watching those bootlegged DVDs, I am not that girl anymore. Really. I swear. I can stop any time I want to. Gilmore doesn’t control me, I control when and where Gilmore watching takes place. Seriously. Wait, stop. Don’t take the DVDs away from me. I can handle it! Where are you going? Stop!

Video of the Day: Enjoy some highlights from season 3. (Really, I forgot how much I love this season. If you have the DVDs, go back and watch. You’ll be pleasantly surprised.)

(*We’re never supposed to talk about it, but the Gilmore fandom produced a MASSIVE amount of fanfiction. Right around the height of it, I got my first post-college job – a job that required me to to absolutely nothing, and thus had a lot of free time on my hands between the hours of 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. So, I got pretty familiar with the stuff – at least, stuff written from 2004 to 2006. A lot of it was crap, but that story is really, really good. So, if you have several hours to kill, check it out.)

The best thing you’re not listening to

People of the Internet: After you read this, get thee to Itunes and subscribe.

I recently discovered the best podcast currently running in cyberspace: The Tobolowsky Files, starring the man himself, Stephen Tobolowsky.

Who?

You know him. He played Ned Ryerson in Groundhog Day (so I’m told; truth be told, I can’t stand that movie and only saw it once); Sammy in Momento; Hugo Jerry on Deadwood; Bob Bishop the gold man on Heros; and most recently, Sandy Ryerson on Glee. In other words, he is the ultimate “Hey! It’s that guy!” guy.

On the Tobolowsky Files, he tells stories from his life. I know this does not sound engaging, but trust me, it is. Tobolowksy, it turns out, has not only had a fascinating life, but is also a gifted writer and storyteller. I was hooked from episode one, and he had me crying by episode two. My only complaint is that the podcast just started in November, so there are only about 18 episodes so far. I got through the first 11 fairly quick, and have had to force myself to ration the rest out.

Not much else can be said about the show; it really speaks for itself. If you enjoy hearing interesting stories (and who doesn’t?) check out The Tobolowsky Files. It’s in real danger of knocking This American Life out of first place for my favorite podcast. And for those of you who know about my undying love for Ira Glass, well, that’s really saying something.

You can listen to all shows directly here, or subscribe to it on Itunes.

You’re welcome, Internet.

Wow. Color me impressed

So, I’m not on Twitter. While I find the whole idea a little more intriguing than I did when it first came out, I still kind of refuse to join. (I say “kind of” because I do on occasion go to some people’s Twitter pages and read them. No, I’m not saying who. Yes, it’s because I’d be embarrassed if anyone ever found out.)

However, if there ever a reason to join, this is it: Mr. NPH himself has now joined. And yes, it’s real. @ActuallyNPH.

I think he’s been on for about four hours and already has over 20,000 followers. (and counting.) If you have a few free minutes, go to his page, hit refresh, and watch the numbers climb. It’s really kind of amazing. They go up by the hundreds like, every 10 seconds. (Why yes, I did have a free few minutes. Shut up. See, this is why I’m not saying whose pages I sometimes frequent.)

Yeah, in the time in took me to write this, it’s jumped to over 21,000. Amazing!

Also, HIMYM tonight? Awesome. (Ding!)

Short takes

  • Sorry, Jon Cryer. But REALLY? WTF, Emmy people? If NPH had lost to Rainn Wilson or one of the 30 Rock guys, I’d understand. But John Cryer??  Other than that (and Dexter‘s snub…again) I was pretty okay with the outcome of the Emmys. If Drew Barrymore couldn’t have won for playing Little Edie in Grey Gardens, then Jessica Lange was a good choice. And, obviously, NPH rocked it as host. Can he just host everything now, ever?

I mean, really. And I don’t even think I need to mention Dr. Horrible hijacking the ceremony. Awesomesauce.

  • Speaking of Dexter, I’ve seen the season 4 premiere. Without giving anything away: YOWZA! It’s a doozy, and it’s wonderful, and I’m so glad it’s back. Or will be, officially, on Sunday. Also, note to viewers: This season promises to be creepier than the last two. I got used to being able to watch it alone in the dark. Umm, maybe don’t do that this season. I had to take my teddy bear with me for protection to the kitchen and bathroom after watching it alone, in the dark, in my room, at night.
  • For anyone in the DC area: The National Book Festival is this weekend, on the mall. And before you scoff, let me tell you that both Mr. John Irving and Ms. Judy Blume will be there. I’ll give you ladies a moment to calm down, because JUDY BLUME! I feel like I owe it to my former pre-teen self to go. She did after all, write one of my favorite books of all time.  
  • Glee continues to be fantastic. Did everyone see last night’s episode? I have three words: “Yes, we cane.” Brilliant.
  • Both HIMYM and Big Bang Theory had delightful premiers. And umm…excuse me for a minute while I reveal my inner fangirl: ROBINANDBARNEYOMGSOCUTE! There. Also, I’m still laughing at the emoticon jokes from Big Bang.
  • So, in other words, yay fall TV!

Video of the Day: One of my favorite things ever. Also, I read a rumor that David Hyde Pierce was on the shortlist of people to play Albert in the Birdie revival, and a small part of me died. Honestly, he’s not the right type, physically, and he’s probably a bit too old, but still.  Anyway, this and “Show People” from Curtains are my current go-to songs for a.) getting psyched and b.) making me happy. My favorite part is the terrible dancing combined with the bouncing hair.

Going steady! Going steady!

birdie poster

This past weekend, Liz and I went to New York to see a preview performance of Bye Bye Birdie. We also ended up going to The Strand, eating at Joshua Tree (hee!), and seeing the madness that is Broadway on Broadway. Needless to say, by the time we got back on the bus Sunday afternoon, we were exhausted.

So, let’s start with the show, shall we? There’s good and there’s bad. I’ll start with the bad, since there’s really only one negative to the show. Unfortunately, it’s a pretty big negative: Gina Gershon. I’m sorry, cast and producers, but your Rosie is terrible. Awful. She might be great in the right role, but this isn’t it. Rule number one when casting a lead in a musical: cast someone who can SING. At the very least, cast someone who knows their limits. (Readers of this blog may recall I saw Guys and Dolls earlier this year. A lot was said about Lauren Graham’s voice. I agree that she is not a singer. However – she knew her limits, didn’t try to stretch them, and generally has great charisma. Is that a biased review? Perhaps. But I also think it’s pretty accurate.)

Earlier that day, we met up with a mutual friend, who said she had read reviews on Broadway.com that were pretty disparaging to Ms. Gershon.  We decided not to pay any attention to that, because after all, it is the internet, and it is message boards, and it is theater, and all three of these things can add up to catty, mean-spirited, and ridiculous behavior.

After Ms. Gershon finished “An English Teacher” (where, in addition to being off key, she went up several times), I knew the posters on Broadway.com were correct.

It’s really a shame, too, because this show could be great. In fact, the rest of the cast is fantastic. John Stamos is very charming, has a pleasant voice, and is the right casting choice for Albert Peterson. (He also wears suspenders in one scene, which is adorable.) He was nervous, and is obviously still adjusting to the role, and to being on stage again, but it’s apparent that after a couple more weeks, he’ll be great. Allie Trimm (Kim MacAfee) has an incredible voice, and is excellent as the young teenager selected to kiss Conrad Birdie goodbye. Nolan Funk, in addition to having a hilarious name, is fabulous as Conrad Birdie. Matt Doyle is adorable, and reminded me that Hugo Peabody is actually funny, not an annoying sap, as I had remembered. Also, even though he only sings in one song, he has a beautiful voice.

And then there’s Bill Irwin, who really is on a different level and needs his own paragraph. He’s delightful as father Harry MacAfee. He tips his hat a few times to Paul Lynde, who originated the role, but for the most part, makes it his own. (Also, sidenote and tip for Gina Gershon: Bill Irwin is not a singer. But he knows his limits.) Without giving anything away, I’ll just say that the director takes advantage of Mr. Irwin’s clowning and physical comedy background.

bill!

Also, he was the only “main” actor who came out after the show. We did the stage door from a distance, happy to observe without actually interacting with any of the actors. Liz because she says she’s afraid of famous people, and me because I don’t want the illusion shattered. (Though, if what we observed was accurate, I had nothing to worry about. Mr. Irwin was all smiles, happy to sign and pose for pictures, and talked with everyone he signed for.) He’s the smiling one in the hat in the picture above.

The highlights:
The Telephone Hour – which is reinvented, but in a good way.
One Boy
Honestly Sincere
Hymn For a Sunday Evening (I forgot to mention that Jake Schwencke, who plays Randolph MacAfee, has a stunning voice at 10 years old.)
One Last Kiss
A Lot of Livin’ To Do
Baby, Talk to Me

Sunday, we woke up early, intending to get downtown early, have brunch and get a good spot for Broadway on Broadway. Well…even with good intentions, it didn’t quite happen that way. We didn’t get on the train until 10, got into Grand Central around 10:40, had to wait in an obsurdely long fare card line, and didn’t get to the concert until just after it started. HOWEVER, it was insanely crowded, so we felt justified in knowing that, had we gotten there an hour earlier, we still would have been stuck in the crowd. All things considered, we had a great view – we could see the screens, and even the stage at times.

Highlights:
In the Heights
Next to Normal (Superboy and the Invisible Girl)
Chicago (All That Jazz – despite the sound issues, they rocked it – and the dancing was incredible as always)
Bye Bye Birdie (One Boy)
Hair (I have no desire to see the show, but that cast can sure sing)
Burn the Floor (anyone want to go? Those dancers are nuts!)
…and probably more, but those are the ones that stuck out.

The show ended with a group sing of New York, New York, and then….

confetti 3

confetti 4

Crazy confetti! Confetti everywhere! I now never need to go to Times Square at New Year’s. Also, who drops it? Where does it come from? Anyone know?

sarah liz times square

All in all, it was a fabulous weekend. Huzzah for Broadway!