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London TV Club

I haven’t been writing much over here because I’ve been busy with a) a course in writing Young Adult fiction and b) my new project London TV Club which is having it’s first ever meeting this week.

On the off chance that you haven’t heard me blathering on about it, London TV Club is like a book club, but for TV shows and the first meeting is (seasonal aptly) a discussion about Halloween Specials.

Anyway, here’s all the info – I’m very excited about it – and it would be lovely to see you there.

Halloween Special

Reasons To Get Excited For Fall Part 1 – TV!

Yes yes, I know it’s raining, and it’s getting darker earlier and it’s time to think about putting the winter duvet back on the bed.  But it’s not all bad! Autumn/Fall is my favourite season, and I’m going to convince you of it’s impending rad, in a series (well, I’m intending to write a series, but I’m really busy with actual work) of posts each detailing another aspect of the season I like to call Awesumn… (admittedly that was a little more Seth Cohen than I was planning on going)

Part 1 -TV

What is greater than the Fall Schedule? Basically nothing. You emerge from the sprawling TV wasteland that is the Summer Season and suddenly there’s a show every night. And sometimes, they’re good! This usually means they’ll get cancelled, but that’s another story.

Here’s my pick of the Fall Schedule 2011

1 – Two Broke Girls

Right of the bat, I want to say that if Kat Dennings wasn’t in this show I wouldn’t be giving it a chance, but I love her sooooooo – and she looks smokin’ in a waitress uniform too. It’s probably not going to be great, but it will probably provide some much needed light relief.

Two Broke Girls Premieres on Monday 19th on CBS

2 – Parenthood Season 3

I’ve really missed the Bravermans this Summer. This is probably the show I’m most excited about returning. Apparently the show has jumped forward a while, given the size of Kristina’s baby bump. I am in no way worried that this show will suck.

Parenthood Premieres on Tuesday September 13th on NBC

3 – Supernatural – Season 7

Supernatural jumped the shark so long ago that it can get away with basically anything now. Sure last season had a lot of filler, but I’m never going to give up on Sam and Dean. AND Charisma Carpenter AND James Marsters are guesting this season. Buffy/Supernatural mash up. TOO EXCITED. It’s still in the Friday night death slot though, good job CW!

Supernatural Premieres September 23rd on The CW

4- New Girl

I love and hate Zooey Deschanel with equal measure. That being said. I will watch this, because she’s very pretty. It looks terrible though, like Sex & The City meets Shasta McNasty.

New Girl Premieres on Fox on September 20th

5 – Pan Am

Yes, it’s Mad Men in the skies – complete with hot stewardess outfits and Christina Ricci – how can it go wrong?

Pan Am Premieres Sunday on ABC

6 – Up All Night

Will Arnett – Christina Applegate – Maya Rudolph and written by SNL ‘s Emily Spivey? Consider me in. It differs from the usual family formula by having Arnett play the stay at home dad. Will Arnett as a Dad….

It premieres on Monday September 19th on NBC

That’s it for now. There are loads more I’ll probably end up not watching along the way.

I’ll be back with more Autumn greatness as soon as I have the time.

 

An indie rock soundtrack and girls talking about their feelings

Or why I’m a sucker for Life, Unexpected.

The beauty of Life, Unexpected is that there hasn’t really been a show like it since the days of My So Called Life and Party Of Five. A show that’s as interested in the grown ups as it is with the kids. Master stroke number two is the casting. Two of the said adults (Shiri Appleby and Kerr Smith) came of age in 90s teen staples Roswell and Dawson’s Creek, and now they’re playing the parents. (This isn’t a totally new trick, Rufus and Lily in Gossip Girl have been pulling the same shit for seasons)

The reason that Life, Unexpected harks back to the 90s more than anything I’ve seen in the last decade are the unapologetic earnest levels of tear-inducing schmaltz. This is the guiltiest of all guilty pleasures. Do not attempt to view this show with a cynic (or indeed a boy) it’s safest to watch alone, ideally in bed or at least under a duvet to maximize the effect.

The premise of the show is simple. 15 year old Lux shows up at the home of her biological father who she has never met to get him to sign papers for her emancipation. From her father, the dashing Baise, she discovers the identity of her mother Kate. A girl Baise impregnated age 16 after the winter formal. Kate is now a successful talk radio DJ in a relationship with Ryan. Through a couple of twists of fate the judge ends up not granting Lux her emancipation after all, but instead releasing her in to the joint custody of Kate and Baise. Hilarity ensues, right?

Not really. Instead of taking the early 90s sitcom angle a la My Two Dads, Life, Unexpected opts for the more sensible route. The interesting thing here though is the none too subtle subtext. The only way our arrested development ridden generation (x) can cope with a family [tv show] is too have it sprung upon them with no choice. Throughout the course of the first season Kate and Baise have both been forced into growing up and dealing with getting their lives in order, albeit in different ways. Realistically they’re only supposed to be 5 years younger than Graham and Patty in MSCL, but they’re a world apart.

The thing is, I feel way comfier with this, I can understand a world where 3o something parents own bars and are still living paycheck to paycheck in Portland. Life, Unexpected makes me feel better about growing up, eventually. And I think that might be why I love it.

Oh, and Baise.

Dysfunction never looked so good.

Poor Bill Compton

eric-poster2So, season 2 of True Blood. Now we’re 6 weeks in I feel I can make a couple of observations …

Observation One. Bill Compton is totally over. EVERYONE is crushing on Eric. There are a number of reasons for this, they include;

Eric not being English. Remember the day you learnt the dude who plays Bill is just a middle aged English Guy? All the paparazzi pics you ever see of Steven Moyer and Anna Paquin feature Moyer wearing some kind of Dad cargo pants. Take away the accent and the vampire and you’re left with a dude that hits on you in Bar Uno. Eric being T-A-L-L. Most of last season Eric was seated, but this one he’s all up and around all the time, whether ripping people limb from limb in the basement of Fangtasia or chatting with Bill in women’s departments he’s always towering over everyone. I did some research, he’s 6’4″ (Moyer is barely 5′ 9″ depending on who you ask, but the evidence seems pretty clear) Eric Got a Hair Cut. Yep. After the aforementioned ripping limb from limb incident Eric had to get his hair chopped (there was blood in the bleach) and now his hair is short. Girls like short hair. All of them. Eric is Not a Pussy. This may the the most important factor. Bill is such a massive none blood sucking goodie. (The occasional orgasmic bit doesn’t count) In episode 6 while Eric is sucking on an escort in a hotel foyer he declares that it’s so much less fun when they’re willing.

Observation Two. Jessica is awesome. She has great hair, nice teeth and fucks Bill off. Enough said.

Observation Three. This is more of a question really, but why is Tara still in the show? What value does she add ? Why are storylines revolving around her? And is the woman that plays Marianne totally type cast to play crazy bitch the way Zooey Deschanel is with Manic-Pixie-Dream-Girl?

Observation Four. Holy fuck the sex is hot this season. Sookie’s got a taste for it and turned into a massive slut. Marianne hosts demon orgies every other night, Jason has been shown the way back to joy in the bath-tub and Sam, well…. HBO and Alan Ball seem to want to sever as many ties with the PG13 books as possible.

hot vampire/shapeshifting action

I wish all tv promos were like this, but then I wish all tv shows were like True Blood. Even Jason Stackhouse looks fuckable in this trailer. And don’t get me started on Bill, and is it me or is Sam a little more attractive since his lycan like changes? It’s all too much. Thank you HBO for saving us from the TV wasteland that is the summer season. Roll on June 14th.

oh yeah, and don’t forget this season Evan Rachel Wood joins the cast as Sophie Anne the vampire queen of Louisiana. There aren’t even words. Hottest show on TV I tells ya.

evan-rachel-wood-gq

Oh, and the soundtrack is out on May 19th, tracklisting can be found here. It’s a heady mix of alt.country, americana and southern sleaze. Perfect for getting laid.

I'm not sure how I feel about this

So, MTV seemed to have ripped off Josh Schwartz’s web only show Rockville CA, with their very own fake reality vehicle $5 cover. Why in the hell am I posting about it? Lucero are in it, that’s why.  Watch and try and figure out how you feel…. There are interviews and shit up on the site, but it’s geo filtered and I can’t be bothered with proxy stuff tonight.

MTV five dollar cover Trailer (HD)

pop culture overload

Hi. It’s been a little while, I’ve been using my tumblr ‘cos I haven’t really felt like writing much. My life continues it’s flux heavy passage so I decided to stay in this whole weekend to make sense of it. In fact what I did was consumed popculture by the bucketload, I’m warning you, don’t come near me – I can’t interact with you unless you’re a text.

So far this weekend I have watched:

  • The Unusuals – S01E01 – I read a Salon blog about the pilot and was stoked it was released. I can’t tell if it’s a dramedy or not. If David Lynch had directed Hill Street Blues but imagined it to be NYPB blue set in Picket Fences. That might be this. Oh, and Amber Tamblyn and Adam Goldberg rule. Really. I have missed Adam Goldberg
  • Harpers Island – S01E01 – If Point Pleasant (minus the Supernatural) met I Still Know What You Did Last Summer but was set in the Pacific Northwest, this’d be that. It features some pretty good death scenes, a somewhat intriguing plot and camerawork I haven’t seen the likes of since The Colbys. (points for having the dude who plays Bobbly from Supernatural in though)
  • Parks and Recreation – S01E04 Hmmmmm – Was it me or was this pilot a little bit on the meh, side? I was expecting a little more from Amy Poehler. It’s nice to see Paul Schneider (swoon) in something un-Southern though. I’m gonna give it another couple of episodes before I quit
  • Party Down – S01E04 – Party Down continues to rule, hard. It’s the laugh out loud funniest show on Tv right now, it’s helped me rekindle my crush on Adam Scott and it’s the type of thing I’d quote with my friends if only they’d stop doing so much real life stuff and watch more TV
  • Dollhouse – S01E09 – Lets get this straight, I’m only still watching this show out of loyalty to Whedon and the hope that all of this backstory is going to amass into something extraordinary. What’s up Joss ? I forgave Firefly, but we’re on uncertain territory.
  • Southland – S01E01 – It’s everyone you ever had a crush on in a teen movie in a TV show. Well, really it’s Ryan from the OC and Tom Everett Scott and Shawn Hatosy and a bunch of other people you remember from TV shows. I really liked it. Apparently I like cop shows this week. Cop shows starring grown up teen tv stars.

There was a load more, but I just re-read what I’d already typed and even I found it kind of scary.

I also rewatched both The Signal (awesome goodness) and The Outsiders (I’d listened to too much lifetime) and read half of ” Wish You Were Here: An Essential Guide to Your Favourite Music Scenes” the first 5 chapters of “DIY: The Rise of Lo Fi Culture” and played Bridge & Tunnel – East West to death – particularly Rubrics. Bridge and Tunnel are playing the Windmill next saturday. It is going to be awesome.

Here’s another one of the tracks from the Pink Couch Sessions at IYMI. I heart IYMI and so should you. Donate them some money!


Bridge and Tunnel – Call to the Comptroller’s Office from If You Make It on Vimeo.

Teen TV and That Boy

Yesterday I was thinking about what had become of Adam Brody and how he being typecast as Seth Cohen hadn’t helped him out any… then I got the idea to write a blog about the “that boy” character, but then I watched an episode of the OC as “research” and one turned into 5 and that’s why it’s taken me this long.

In an attempt to explain the that boy character I’ve made a list of qualities that the character in question should possess, not all are compulsory, but we’re looking for a good solid 4 out of 6 to qualify.

  1. That boy cannot get the girl too early
  2. That boy must skateboard
  3. That boy must like comics/books/movies to an unhealthy degree
  4. That boy must be picked on by jocks
  5. That boy must have a female best friend ( who is usually secretly in love with him, while he lusts after the prettier more popular girl)
  6. That boy must have a strong moral code
  7. That boy maintains a GPA in the high threes.
  8. That boy always has a wisecracking remark to add.

In the medium of teen TV the original that boy can be traced back to Brian Krackow in My So Called Life. As this was an early attempt the writers hadn’t yet figured out that this character had to be hot as well as nerdy. Alas for poor Brian his ridiculous hair and love of corduroy got in the way of Angela crushing on him, who knows though, had they made a second season and Brian had gotten a makeover…..
There wasn’t really a that boy in Party of 5, Griffin was basically Catalano and Justin was too fricken nice (and not indie enough) luckily though along came Kevin Williamson offering up a TV show with not one, but two that boys, and this time they were best friends. Pacey and Dawson both qualify, yet both are lacking something, combined though Capeside’s finest become an almost unbeatable that boy. Bad boy with moral code, amazing artistic sensibilities and a GPA to match? Wowzers.
Around the same time in the small town of Sunnydale CA, a that boy was emerging in the form of Xander Harris, sidekick and member of the Scoobies, in season one he showed much promise as a that boy. Willow’s unrequited love for him, his skating antics and crush on Buffy all stood him in good stead, but as the seasons drew on and the characters grew more complex, Xander transformed before our eyes, into an actual man.
In Stars Hollow, Jesse had that boy potential, but although bookish and troubled he was way too cool and attractive to ever pull it off.
On to the most important boy in all of Orange County. Seth Cohen is the ULTIMATE that boy, the that boy which all other boys will aspire to be, he possesses all the required qualities (sans the female best friend, although it can be argued Anna played that role from time to time) to such an extent that I remember the show as being about Seth, when really he was only ever supposed to serve as Ryan’s wisecracking BFF.
The current contender to the throne is one Dan Humphrey. Yes Dan has a similar self-deprecating witticism, but the fact he started dating Serena in episode one? really.. come on now.
As bookish girls who liked comics, we fell in love with these ficitional characters in the hope that they actually did exist, what we didn’t realise at the time was all these characters are written by former real life that boys (Joss Whedon, Josh Schwartz I’m looking at YOU) who really did want to date the Prom Queen.
Hell though, a girl can dream…