Archive for the ‘TV Shows’ Category

Two Blondes Make Their Emmy Predictions

August 28, 2010

Emmy time is upon us!  Here is our breakdown of who we think will win and who we want to win for each category for the 2010 Primetime Emmys:

Outstanding Comedy Series

Jessica’s Vote:  30 Rock – If it my choice here comes as a surprise to you, this is obviously your first time visiting our blog because I mention my love for this show and Tina Fey about once every other post.  Love, love, love, love.

Alison’s vote: I’m going to have to agree with Jessica on this one.  I love 30 Rock, but I am a little torn, because Modern Family has made me very happy this year.

Jessica’s Prediction:  Modern Family – There has been so much buzz about this show this year, it would come as a surprise if anything else won.  Glee is obviously a much buzzed about show as well, but I’m giving the edge to Modern FamilyGlee is an hour-long show, which is unusual for the comedy category and there was some industry grumbling about whether or not it belongs in this category. I think Emmy voters will be drawn to the fact that Modern Family is a traditional-style sitcom.

Alison’s Prediction:  I also second Jessica’s prediction for Modern Family.

Outstanding Comedy Actor

Jessica’s Vote & Prediction:  Steve Carell (The Office) – I know Tony Shalhoub has taken this category in the past, but I think this is finally Steve Carell’s year.  He’s announced he’s leaving The Office at the end of this upcoming season and has yet to win for this role – one that it’s hard to imagine The Office without.  Hmm, it might also go to Jim Parsons for The Big Bang Theory.  He has buzz still going from last year.

Alison’s Vote & Prediction:  I have a real soft spot for Monk, but also am constantly amused by Alec Baldwin and Steve Carell.  I’m gonna have to vote for and predict Steve Carell.

Outstanding Comedy Actress

Jessica’s Vote:  Amy Poehler (Parks and Recreation) – While Tina Fey is awesome, when it comes to specifically being a comedic actress, I can’t think of anyone working in TV who is better that Amy Poehler.  She manages to make Leslie Knope, a character who in lesser hands would be irritating, endearing.

Alison’s vote: Tina Fey.  I heart 30 Rock.

Jessica’s Prediction:  Edie Falco (Nurse Jackie) – I have never seen this show*, so I have no idea what her performance is like, but I hear good things about her and the show constantly.

Alison’s Prediction: Not sure who to predict, as I’m a little behind on what’s going on in television these days and haven’t seen all of these shows.  Wait, Alison, you haven’t seen these shows and you’re still voting on such important issues? Yes, yes I am, it’s my blog and I can blindly vote if I want to.

Outstanding Drama Series

Jessica’s Vote:  Lost…or Mad Men…how can I be expected to choose one?  I mean, I love Lost.  Loooove, and I’m still mourning my loss from the show ending.  It deserves the Emmy win for best drama for the overall show, not just this season.  However, I also love Mad Men and…OK, if I have to pick one, it’s Lost.

Alison’s Vote:  I really don’t know how to choose between Lost and Breaking Bad.  They’re two of the best television shows you will ever see.  Best writing, directing, acting, everything!  I love both of them to the point of watching multiple episodes in a row and not getting enough sleep on many occasions.  Jessica is telling me I have to choose…. KA-PLOW!!!!!!

We interrupt this blog to let you know Alison’s head exploded because she could not decide which is better, Lost or Breaking Bad.

Jessica’s Prediction:  Mad Men

Outstanding Drama Actor

Jessica’s Vote:  KYLE CHANDLER!  Sorry, I’m just so excited that he’s finally nominated I couldn’t contain myself.

Alison’s Vote: I don’t know how to choose between Matthew Fox and Bryan Cranston and am terrified to even try because of the previous incident.  They both amazed me this year with their work.  Also, like Jessica, I am a huge fan of Kyle Chandler’s.  He should win the award for portraying the kind of husband every girl wants with eyes that reach into your soul.

Jessica’s Prediction:  Bryan Cranston.

Outstanding Drama Actress

Jessica’s Vote:  CONNIE BRITTON.  Sorry, same problem again.  Connie Britton and Kyle Chandler are my favorite couple on television.  However, I fear not enough people watch Friday Night Lights for it to win, so…

Alison’s Vote: I really, really want Connie Britton to won. The way she portrayed a mother’s struggles with her teenage daughter really made me want to call my mom and apologize for a lot of incidents in high school.

Jessica’s Prediction:  Julianna Margulies.  She’s already won every other award for which she qualifies with The Good Wife and it is a good show.

Outstanding Reality – competition Series

Jessica’s Vote:  Well, my vote would be for So You Think You Can Dance, but it’s not nominated.

Alison’s Vote: I don’t watch reality TV, so I leave this one to Jessica.

Jessica’s Prediction:  Amazing Race because, well, they always win.

Outstanding Variety, Music, or Comedy

Jessica’s Vote & Prediction:  Gee, I don’t know…maybe THE TONIGHT SHOW WITH CONAN O’BRIEN!!  Do I enjoy and watch all the shows nominated in this category?  Yes.  Did I work on one of them, namely The Tonight Show with Conan O’Brien?  Yes.  It’s just like my mom told me when I wanted to be in student council in junior high and one of my friends told me she would vote for me, if I would vote for her.  Mom said if you’re not willing to vote for yourself, then why would anybody else vote for you?  And I’d really like us to win this.

Alison’s Vote & Prediction:  Jessica’s words on this subject were perfect.  I loved working on this show with this group of people and we all worked really hard to make something special. Just getting a nomination already is of course wonderful enough recognition on its own, but it would also be nice to watch our friends holding up a shiny, dangerously pointy award on stage.**

Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series

Jessica’s Vote:  30 Rock “Anna Howard Shaw Day”  In case you don’t remember, this is the episode where Liz Lemon schedules a root canal on Valentine’s Day.  Look it up on Hulu, if you haven’t seen it.

Alison’s Vote: I can’t choose between 30 Rock and Modern Family.  Both shows make me incredibly happy and both shows are what I take the time to watch on a regular basis.

Jessica’s Prediction:  The Office “Niagra”  It’s the Jim and Pam get married episode.  Very good, but my heart belongs to 30 Rock.

Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series

Jessica’s Vote:  Well, this is really impossible for me to choose.  I’m having the same Mad Men versus Lost conflict in my head, but this time it’s complicated even further by the fact that one of my friends, the lovely and talented Ms. Erin Levy, is nominated for co-writing the “Shut the door.  Have a seat,” episode of Mad Men.  Plus Friday Night Lights is also nominated.  This is impossible to choose.  I know the finale of Lost was controversial, but I liked it.  In the end, I’ve got to go with my friend – “Shut the door.  Have a seat.” from Mad Men (yay Erin!).

Alison’s Vote: LostLostLost.  Never before has a show captured my attention so completely from start to finish.  I have almost ended friendships because of ignorant friends who didn’t know they were not allowed to talk while Lost was on.  I love Lost.  It transformed television and I can’t thank the creators enough for making something so amazing.

Jessica’s Prediction:  “Shut the Door.  Have a Seat.” Mad Men.

*Nominated Shows I (Jessica) Don’t Watch (and therefore can’t really have an opinion on.  And don’t yell at me, I know I should be watching a lot of them, but I do have other things to do in life.)

Nurse Jackie, Monk, The New Adventures of Old Christine, Breaking Bad, Dexter, House, Curb Your Enthusiasm, The Closer, Damages

**Alison was lucky enough to attend the Creative Arts Emmys this year.  Here is her report:

The Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien's table at the Creative Arts Emmys 2010

Alison at the Creative Arts Emmys 2010

I was lucky enough to attend the Creative Emmys last week and thought I should dole out another award in accordance with my time spent there.

OUTSTANDING PEOPLE TO SPOT AT CREATIVE EMMYS

The award is a tie between Jon Hamm and Damon Lindelof. Jon Hamm will someday be in the dictionary next to handsome.  I realize he’s also a talented dramatic actor and was also very funny on 30 Rock, but it’s hard to even think about that while standing in the same lobby.  He’s just so gosh darn handsome, it’s like looking into the sun.

Damon Lindelof is adorable and a genius.  He is part of the team behind Lost and I obviously am a big fan.

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Two Blondes Goe to a Movie: The Hangover

July 1, 2009

Two Blondes review a movie and mostly rambles about themselves.

JESSICA SAYS:

I will acknowledge that we are late in writing this review.  Alison and I saw The Hangover weeks ago, but between moving and changing jobs, life got in the way of our writing schedule.  We’re back and settled in at our new homes and jobs now though.  The only problem is, much like what takes place in The Hangover, I’m struggling to remember exactly what I experienced watching it.  I know it was awesome, but I’m trying to remember exactly what made it so…

Ah yes, it’s starting to come back to me – the delicious Mr. Bradley Cooper!  So…I may have had a *slight* crush on Bradley Cooper for the past six or seven years – ever since I came to know him as ‘Will’ on Alias.  By *slight* crush I mean that a few years ago I met a girl through my flatmate who had dated/was dating one of Bradley’s costars of Kitchen Confidential.  I think I squeaked out, “Kitchen Confidential, with Bradley Cooper?!”
She replied, “Oh yeah, Bradley’s lovely…”
Me:  “You know him?”
Her:  “Yeah, he’s a bit mental…” (and I’m using the ellipses there because that’s where I stopped listening and started imagining the long and happy life Bradley and I would lead together after this girl set the two of us up.  She could have been saying he enjoys harming puppies and I would not have heard a word of it.)

Besides Bradley, what’s not to love in the other two stars, Ed Helms and Zach Galifianakis?  They are adorably funny men.  Just as proof on how funny they are, here is a clip from Zach Galifianakis’s Funny or Die interview series, “Between Two Ferns.” Oh yeah, there’s a v. cute baby wearing sunglasses in the film too!  All in all, The Hangover is a fun, funny movie.  A tiger loose in a bathroom, Mike Tyson singing Phil Collins, roofies – you can’t go wrong.

I recommend seeing The Hangover in the theater (although most of you probably already have by now).  I even recommend it to my mom, who will probably pretend she is offended by some of the bluer jokes, but she will still laugh at them.

ALISON SAYS:

You know a hangover is bad when it takes you over a month to review a movie that was probably one of your favorites of the past 5 years.  Okay, I may be exaggerating just for the sake of having a dramatic first sentence to this review, but the truth is I was hungover when I went to see The Hangover.  I believe it was from tequila.  There isn’t anything much worse than a tequila hangover.  Especially if you’re someone like me who doesn’t drink very often and thus has a super low tolerance (I’m a cheap date).  I didn’t wake up with a tiger in the bathroom, but I did wake up wondering about some of my tequila-induced choices from the night before.  Like ironically dancing on a bar.  Even if you were doing it ironically (to make fun of the girls who were doing it for real), it may still be a choice that could prevent one’s future bid for Congress.  Luckily I work in comedy and have no political aspirations.  Anyway, back to the movie review…

I loved this movie.  There are soooooooo many movies that call themselves comedies, where you’re lucky to even laugh once.  I was laughing (big guffaws) throughout the entire film and the revealing title sequence.  I find the term side splitting to be cheesy, but it’s an accurate one for this film.  It’s fucking funny (I realize I just used the f-word, but it’s accurate – this movie is fucking funny).  And what an awesome cast.  Bradley Cooper is as funny as he is easy on the eyes, am I right ladies?  (This is where IF Jessica and I wrote sitting side by side, we’d high five, but we don’t, so no high five for now.)  I’ve always liked Ed Helms from his work on The Office, but now I’d say he’s inching his way into the love list with little hearts next to his name.  He really holds his own in a huge summer movie.  And then there’s Zach Galifianakis…if I could do a cartwheel in his name, I would.  He’s awesome.  I was already a huge fan from his work on “Between Two Ferns” (see above link).  He can make anything funny.  And I would say he is the hilarious center of this movie’s success. 

LA Viewers: You’ve probably already seen it by the time I’ve written this review, but if you haven’t, go now and then watch Between Two Ferns on Funny or Die.  Worth paying full price at the Grove or Arclight.
Translation for non-LA viewers: Unless you’re my mom, go see it right now (Mom, if you’re reading this, you will not like this movie).  Go with friends and laugh your ass off.

Two Blondes Go To A Movie: Frost/Nixon

December 28, 2008

Two Blondes review a movie and ramble about themselves.


JESSICA SAYS:

I am not old enough to have any first-hard knowledge of Watergate or Nixon.  I only know the handful of TV clips that get replayed:  sweating during the debates, “I am not a crook,” the wave as he boarded Marine One for the last time, etc.  Also, I grew up hearing my grandmother refer to Nixon, almost exclusively as Tricky Dick.  I remember asking my Mom once, why was he ’tricky.’  “He lied,” she told me.  “Don’t all politicians lie?”  “Well, he lied about trying to spy on people who disagreed with him.”  I didn’t get any more information than that about Watergate in school because our textbooks always seemed to stop right after World War II, as if nothing noteworthy happened after that.  Perhaps that is because I went to public schools with text books that were at least a decade old, which means Watergate was still recent history when they were written.  It’s OK though, you don’t have to be a historian to enjoy this movie.

The synergy of Frost/Nixon being released during a scandal involving a powerful politician brought down by taped conversations where he talks about, amongst many appalling things, going after the press for criticizing him is remarkable.  Even more remarkable to me is that out of the two of them, Richard Nixon is more sympathetic than Rod Blagojevich.

Frank Langella is absolutely fan-freaking-tistic as Richard Nixon.  If he doesn’t at least get an Academy Award nomination, then I don’t want to know ya, Academy.  Michael Sheen and Langella are as well matched as opponents as Frost and Nixon were.  You find yourself rooting for the good guys to pin the bastard to the wall, while at the same time sympathizing with the villain (his dad was mean to him and he just wants to be liked…).

Was Diane Sawyer really part of the team trying to put a shine on Richard Nixon’s image after he resigned?  I don’t want that to be true because I like Diane Sawyer.

I recommend this movie to…everyone.  Seriously.  Go see this movie.

ALISON SAYS:

I’ll be honest, I’m not the biggest history buff.  My knowledge is spotty at best when it comes to basic things having to do with the history of our country and the world.  I wish I was like my father and retained that kind of stuff (he would kill on Jeopardy orTrivial Pursuit), but I don’t and I sometimes find it boring. So I was kinda concerned that I would find Frost/Nixon boring and wish I had just stayed in and watched more DVD’s of Friday Night Lights.  I was also concerned I wouldn’t know what was going on, because when I think of Nixon, the first thing that comes to mind are the Nixon masks Patrick Swayze’s gang donned in Point Break.  But all my fears were unfounded.  I loved the movie.  I’m not saying it’s a perfect film by any means, but it is interesting and really sucks you in.

Frank Langella’s Nixon broke my heart.  I was shocked to find myself sympathizing with Nixon, but Langella’s amazing performance won me over.  I just wanted to give Nixon a hug.  I was also really impressed with Kevin Bacon, because there were definitely times where I forgot it was Kevin Bacon and just saw a loyal, tough colleague to the ex-president.  I can’t really think of one weak link among the entire cast.  And of course there is their fearless and adorably red-headed leader; Ron Howard is a pro. The guy knows how to direct and how to make a great film.  He will always hold a special place in my heart, because he made Splash and he brought the world Arrested Development.  I also love that he and his producing partner, Brian Grazer, have been together from the beginning.  It’s a bromance made in Hollywood heaven.  I kinda stumbled into Brian Grazer the other day in Beverly Hills (yes I am very, very clumsy), and he was super nice, not at all blustery or asshole-ish like some big film producers would be.

LA Viewers: It’s worth paying full price at the Grove or Arclight.

Translation for non-LA natives: Get to the theaters

Two Blondes Watch TV: 30 Rock

November 14, 2008

Two Blondes watch their TiVo and ramble about themselves:

JESSICA SAYS:

Alison and I discussed writing a review of the season three premiere of 30 Rock, but then, to quote Alison, “Who are we kidding? It will really just be us worshiping Tina Fey.” It’s true, even the worst episode of 30 Rock is funnier than nearly everything else on TV (The Office can give it a run for its money). Anyway, life got a bit hectic for the two of us, so the review got put off. So here is my review of the first two episodes: “Do-Over,” and “Believe in the Stars.”

It’s true; I worship Tina Fey. She is at the top of my list of celebrities I’m positive I would be friends with, if only we had the chance to meet. Others on this list include: Rebecca Romijn, Lauren Graham, Christina Applegate, Gwyneth Paltrow (yes, I know she annoys many, but I find something about her to be charming), and of course, Oprah. It seems Oprah is one Tina and I had in common. That’s how Oprah ended up as the special guest in “Believe in the Stars.” In that episode, Tina acted much the way I would imagine myself acting, if ever seated next to Oprah on a plane (freaking out like an over-excited fanboy), which means maybe I won’t ever be besties with Ms. Winfrey.

Let’s back up to, “Do-Over,” the first episode of the season. I started laughing out loud in the opening scene. Liz (Fey) sees her old boss, Jack (Alec Baldwin), on the street. He left the company at the end of season two to work for the Bush Administration. Liz tells him how happy she is to have him back because his replacement, Devon (Will Arnet), “is the worst. It’s like he doesn’t even care when we should have cake for people whose birthday is on the weekend.” “The Friday before. At lunch,” Jack answers without giving it a second thought. Everyone in this show is hilarious, but especially Alec Baldwin. All that comedic prowess he showed in his numerous appearances on Saturday Night Live is finally being put to good use on a regular basis.

To be completely honest, “Do-Over,” wouldn’t be in my top five episodes of 30 Rock. It has some great jokes, but the plot of this episode was a bit too far fetched for me. Liz is trying to adopt a child, which seemed to come out of left field at the end of last season. In this episode, a woman (Megan Mullally) tries to evaluate whether Liz is a good candidate to adopt. As someone who works in TV production, I got a nice little kick out of Liz’s response to how many hours a week she works, “60-80.” Ah, if only that was a joke.

“Believe in the Stars,” was a lot better. This is the genius of Tina Fey—she is consistently able to make jokes that are so smart and insightful, yet they feel like something that could have easily been said by you or one of your friends last night at the pub. For instance, this is how 30 Rock talked about sexism today–Liz and Jenna (Jane Krakowski) are talking about a lawsuit between Jenna and her costar, Tracey Jordan (Tracey Morgan) over royalty payments:
Liz: Well of course Tracey takes care of his boys and not you. He thinks he can take advantage of you because you’re a woman.
Jenna: Men think they can get away with anything. It’s like when Adrien Brody kissed Halle Berry at the Oscars.
Liz: No one has it harder in this country today than women. It turns out we can’t be president, we can’t be network news anchors, Madonna’s arms look crazy.
Jenna: Mmm hmm.
Seriously people, I don’t understand why more of you aren’t watching this show.

ALISON SAYS:

Dear People Who Don’t Watch 30 Rock,

What the BLEEP is wrong with you? What is it? Did someone sketchy touch you in your bathing suit area and cause some permanent damage to keep you from enjoying what is arguably one of the best shows on television? Really, I want to know. What are you even doing with your time? I can’t imagine a better use of one’s days on this earth. Maybe you’re a little scared of change and something being that funny and that smart at the same time. But it’s okay. Just try it. Try one episode. See what happens. See if your concept of television comedy doesn’t change. See if you don’t wake up the next day and hear the birds singing just a little bit louder. See if it doesn’t erase all those shudders from accidentally stumbling onto Two and a Half Men on television. It may hurt a little at first to love a show that much, but you will be a better person for it.

Thanks,
Alison

Dear Tina Fey,

Hi. (insert nervous laugh) I love your show! And your glasses!

Alison

Two Blondes Go To A Movie: Changeling

October 25, 2008

Two Blondes review a movie and ramble about themselves:

JESSICA SAYS:

WARNING:  This film is TWO HOURS AND TWENTY ONE MINUTES LONG.  That is a really long time to sit without fidgeting too much.  I’m always afraid I annoy the people who sit next to me in movie theaters because I fidget.  It’s just not comfortable to sit that long.

In case you hadn’t yet noticed, Angelina Jolie is beautiful.  I mean truly, truly beautiful.  She owes the DP and editor a cut of her salary.  Throughout the entire film she was lit to highlight just how stunning her face is.  Sometimes the focus was the color of her eyes, sometimes those amazing lips.  We get it, she’s beau-ti-ful.  You could have cut out at least 30 minutes of the film if you just spent less time admiring how pretty she is.

For a quick synopsis, Changeling is the true story of a single mother, Christine Collins (Angelina Jolie), who loses her child in 1928 Los Angeles.  In her efforts to find her son, she is forced to deal with the corrupt and incompetent LAPD.  The police tell her they have found her son.  When the two are reunited, Mrs. Collins realizes the boy they found is not her son.

Mrs. Collins’ struggle against the LAPD pits her against Captain JJ Jones (Jeffrey Donovan).  I never really thought about the fact that Irish-Americans in the 1920s would have still sounded pretty Irish.  Captain Jones had quite a brogue in the scenes where he was agitated (which were most of his scenes).

At one point, the police have Mrs. Collins committed to a state mental facility.  The phenomenal Amy Ryan plays another mental patient Mrs. Collins befriends in the institution.  I have yet to see Amy Ryan’s nominated performance in Gone Baby Gone, but I have completely fallen in love with her as the new HR manager on The Office.

I felt like the movie had ended, looked at my watch, and realized there was still going to be another forty minutes of admiring how beautiful Angelina Jolie is.  Actually, those last forty minutes felt more like an episode of Law & Order:  SVU, 1928.  The movie took an odd plot turn and began to reveal what actually happened to Mrs. Collins’ son.  Adding to the SVU vibe was character actor, Denis O’Hare, as Dr. Jonathan Steele.  O’Hare is one of those actors that you’ve seen in a million things, but never remember.  For instance, he has been in Charlie Wilson’s War, Law & Order (original, SVU, and CI) Brothers & Sisters, CSI, Michael Clayton, Garden State, A Mighty Heart, 21 Grams, and Half Nelson.

My overall opinion of this movie was…it was OK.  Too long, sometimes too melodramatic, too many subplots, etc., but good performances with a good director.  I recommend seeing this on a Sunday afternoon, but make sure you’ve blocked out the rest of the day on your schedule.

Overall, I still think Clint Eastwood is a master director.  However, this is not his best work.  Mystic River is better.

P.S.  I can recommend a much more entertaining story about a missing child set in the past.  This American Life, the NPR radio program, aired the story of Bobby Dunbar in episode 352:  “The Ghost of Bobby Dunbar” on March 14, 2008.  Along the same lines of Changeling, the police bring a boy back to the Dunbars claiming it’s Bobby, but the parents don’t believe them.  Check it out at http://www.thisamericanlife.org/Radio_Episode.aspx?episode=352.

ALISON SAYS:

I’ve never wanted to be a hat person more than after I finished watching Angelina Jolie’s new movie Changeling.  I don’t usually sound like such a girl, but Angelina’s hats and clothes were absolutely gorgeous.  It made me think I was born during the wrong era, but then again I’m the kind of person who spills everything everywhere, so such beautiful, detailed clothing might have become an issue.

Jessica and I went to see this movie at the Arclight.  Before it started, one of the adorable little ushers announced that the movie was two and a half hours long.  The entire audience groaned.  Don’t get me wrong, the movie is amazing, as long as you’re okay with thinking it’s ending on four separate occasions and still having to continue watching for another forty minutes past that.  It’s long.  The directing and acting is superb.  On all levels, it’s a gorgeous, moving, well-made film.  You will be stunned by how beautiful the lighting and Angelina are.  You’ll realize how important a good director is when you see the performances of everyone in the cast.  Yet, there’s still something…

Have you ever had a conversation with someone who is well traveled, intelligent, interesting and completely aware of themselves as a well traveled, intelligent, interesting person?  And while you enjoyed listening to their stories, you felt like maybe they enjoyed hearing themselves talk a little bit too much?  There’s a similar feeling in watching this movie.  The film is a little too in love with itself and its star.  But then again, you can’t really blame it.  First off, you have Clint Eastwood directing.  He is the one of the most talented men on the earth, not to mention he’s aging really well.  Then there’s the lovely, hauntingly beautiful Angelina Jolie. It’s definitely one of Angelina’s best performances and I am a huge fan of hers.  During crying scenes, she’s able to create a quiver in her chin to show she’s on the verge of tears.  It almost seems like CGI, because how is someone able to make her chin quiver on cue?  It’s an awesome skill and a perfectly understated way to show the character’s tremendous undercurrent of emotion.  So it’s easy to see why this movie would be a little too in love with itself and then decide that it’s deserved the right to go on for two and a half hours, but for me, it just left me with restless butt syndrome by the end.  And some of the ending(s) got a bit heavy-handed for me.  But I would still watch it again, just to live in that world again and to have the pleasure of watching what awesome talent can create even when there may be too much talent going around.

LA Viewers: Worth paying matinee price at the Grove or Arclight, but just keep in mind you’ll be sitting for a while.

Translation for non-LA viewers: Go see a matinee.

Two Blondes Go to a Movie: Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist

October 18, 2008

Two Blondes review a movie and ramble about themselves:

Note: Our review may have some similar sentiments, but we swear we wrote them separately. Great minds think alike sometimes…

ALISON SAYS:

I haven’t loved a cast this much in a long time. First off, I love Michael Cera. Not in a creepy way. I’ve never gone looking for where he might live in Los Angeles and stood outside wondering if he’d walk out, see me and find me as charmingly awkward as I find him. Really, I haven’t. But I have watched DVD’s of Arrested Development and been amused for hours. Clark and Michael has distracted me from doing work many a time. I may have even considered writing a non-creepy and comedic love ballad to express my thanks for there being a boy-man like Michael Cera both on the big and small screen.

Second, there’s Kat Dennings. Can we just talk about talented and beautiful this actress is? Angelina, we have a real contender for “best lips in Hollywood” now that Kat Dennings is on the scene. And Kat is beautiful in a way that’s real and not just good make-up. She was the perfect slightly insecure, but knows who she is teenage girl. Here’s two quotes I read on IMDB from Kat: “There’s nothing else I would rather do, unless there was a profession that involved cuddling bunny rabbits and kittens all day for money.” “I’ve basically made a career out of my imagination.” How cute is she?!

Then we also have Ari Graynor with her portrayal of the drunk best friend, Caroline. I wanted to stand up and applaud her hilarious, spot-on portrayal of what drunk teenage girls act like. She was able to be charming at the same time as being obnoxious. Then I also loved the boys who played Nick’s gay friends. They were funny and sweet, and never felt like a stereotypical portrayal of the gay best friend.

Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist felt very real to me. Possibly the realest (is that a word?) movie about teenagers I’ve ever seen. Some past teenage movies (like Juno) left me feeling manipulated and like someone was just trying to sound “cool.” Nick and Norah just felt real and left me happy, amused and charmed. It reminded me of being young, insecure and trying to figure out love. And made me somewhat nostalgic for the days of kissing boys in the streets of New York just when the sun is coming up, or being seventeen and asking a boy if “he’s interested” and being so scared of rejection. It’s a movie that leaves you with that attitude of life being full of infinite possibilities, not to mention lots of great music.

LA Viewers: Worth paying full price at the Grove or Arclight. Yes, I realize what’s going on with the economy, that’s why being entertained is so important right now.

Translation for non-LA viewers: Unless you’re dead inside or hate young love, go see this movie right away.

P.S. The director’s first film Raising Victor Vargas is worth getting on Netflix. A grittier, lower budget look at young love.


JESSICA SAYS:

I like to consider myself to be somewhat of a master when it comes to the mix CD–incidentally, I still feel the urge to call it a mix-tape. ‘Mix CD’ doesn’t have the same ring to it. As of today, my iTunes library has 5,238 songs in it, which is 343 days worth of music, so there is a lot to pull from. There is an art to a good mix. One song needs to lead to the next and you certainly never put back-to-back songs by the same artist. That’s the antithesis of the mix.

So, I was already into this movie, simply from the title. A title that is also, admittedly, a bit clunky. Although this irritates me about other people, I am also someone who is annoyed when my new, favorite, quirky, little band that no one has heard of becomes big, e.g. Vampire Weekend. I have been known to grumble when a song I like is featured on Gossip Girl, or the like. This movie is full of bands to whom this has already happened, or they are dangerously close to it happening. To my point, Vampire Weekend is on the soundtrack.

Two minutes into the movie, watching Michael Cera leave a squirm-inducing voicemail to his ex-girlfriend, and I knew I was going to like it. As we were leaving the movie, I realized what was so familiar and likable about it–it felt just like a John Hughes movie. Instead of Chicago suburbanites, they were New York. Instead of finding the meaning of life at the end of a rollicking day that included singing on a Von Stuben Day float in a parade, they passed through a gay Christmas musical review. And of course, instead of cassette tapes, there were mix CDs.

For full disclosure here, I wrote my Master’s thesis on John Hughes movies. I chose them because I figured if I was going to spend that amount of time reading about and watching something, I had better like them. Plus, I had already seen them each at least five times. As much as I loved Jake Ryan by the end of Sixteen Candles (OK, who are we kidding, I still do love him.), I think I love Michael Cera more. He’s just so funny and sweet and adorable.

So yeah, I really liked this movie. My one criticism would be there were parts that dragged a little bit, but on the whole I really liked it. If there were a competition for best bee-stung lips, Kat Dennings could give Angelina a run for her money. As someone who has had friends that were carbon copies of Caroline, the attention needy intoxicated friend, I can attest that Ari Graynor was perfect in the part.

Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist is worth the full Friday night price. I especially recommend this if you ever had a crush on Jake Ryan, Ferris Bueller, etc.

Two Blondes Watch Their TiVo: The Emmys, Part 2

September 30, 2008

Two blondes watch their TiVo and pass judgment on the world of television and the Emmy winners.

OUTSTANDING DRAMA SERIES
Winner: “Mad Men”

JESSICA CHOOSES:
“Mad Men” – I was very torn with this one. “Lost” is one of my all-time favorite TV shows and pretty much any other year, it would be my choice. However, “Mad Men” is truly outstanding and “Lost” has already won this award. Therefore, I’m going with “Mad Men.”

P.S. “Friday Night Lights” should have gotten a nomination in this category. Seriously, some of the best programming on TV. “Boston Legal” can’t even carry the shoes (or should I say cleats…get it? Because they’re a football team…cleats) of “Friday Night Lights.”

ALISON CHOOSES:
“Mad Men” – I was very happy “Mad Men” won. But I wish that there could have been a tie between “Lost,” “Mad Men” and “Dexter.” Those are the three shows that both my TiVo and I worship. I also think “Breaking Bad” should have been nominated.

P.S. I am aware Jessica’s cleats joke is a pun, thus the lowest form of comedy, but it makes her giggle at her own cleverness every time she reads it. Sorry readers.

OUTSTANDING COMEDY SERIES
Winner: “30 Rock”

JESSICA CHOOSES:
“30 Rock” – If I haven’t yet made my love of all things Tina Fey-related known, then let me proclaim it now. Tina, I would give up my Sandwich Day-sandwich for you. This show is simply sublime. Episode 210 and Sandwich Day are some of the funniest things I’ve ever seen on TV. If you’re not watching this show, I’m not sure we can be friends.

ALISON CHOOSES:
I agree with Jessica and that is why we can be friends. And if you’re someone who has no idea what “Werewolf Bar Mitzvah” is, then I feel sorry for you and think you should take a serious look at your life and your taste in television.

Speaking of taste or lack of, is “Entourage” actually worthy of even being in this category? I’ll admit I enjoyed this show the first two seasons, but it’s not funny anymore. It’s starting to feel douchey at this point.

To the fans of “Two and a Half Men” who helped get it nominated,
Really?
Alison

OUTSTANDING ACTOR IN A DRAMA SERIES
Winner: Bryan Cranston (“Breaking Bad”)

JESSICA CHOOSES:
Kyle Chandler (“Friday Night Lights”). Yes, I realize the academy did not even nominate him, but that is not stopping me from giving him the award.

ALISON CHOOSES:
Bryan Cranston (“Breaking Bad”) I actually furiously clapped when Bryan Cranston won, despite sitting in an apartment with four other people (who were not clapping). I love this show and am constantly surprised and impressed with his performance in it. But if the world were a more magical place full of rainbows and unicorns (like it is in my head), I would also give an award to Michael C. Hall for “Dexter” and Jon Hamm for “Mad Men.” I would also give Jon Hamm some kind of award for being kind enough to go with Regis Philbin to surprise his wife, Joy.

OUTSTANDING LEAD ACTOR IN A COMEDY SERIES
Winner: Alec Baldwin (“30 Rock”)

JESSICA CHOOSES:
Steve Carell (“The Office”) – He manages to show the heart of a character that in anyone else’s hands, might just seem like a dolt.

ALISON CHOOSES:
Alec Baldwin (“30 Rock”) and co-winners Jermaine Clement and Bret McKenzie (“The Flight of the Conchords”) – Alec Baldwin deserves to have Emmys coming out of his ass for what he does on “30 Rock.” There’s no question about that. But I’d also be super happy if Jermaine and Bret got a little notice for their wonderfully hilarious and original show.

OUTSTANDING LEAD ACTRESS IN A DRAMA SERIES
Winner: Glenn Close (“Damages”)

JESSICA CHOOSES:
Connie Britton (“Friday Night Lights”) – Again, I know she wasn’t nominated and I know the women who were nominated have either won the award before or are big movie actresses, but I feel very comfortable saying Connie Britton is better in FNL than any of them.

ALISON CHOOSES:
Kyra Sedgwick (“The Closer”) – I have to admit I haven’t watched “Friday Night Lights,” so maybe I would agree with Jessica if I knew otherwise. But I’m a fan of “The Closer” and think Kyra deserves recognition for her work.

OUTSTANDING LEAD ACTRESS IN A COMEDY SERIES
Winner: Tina Fey (“30 Rock”)

JESSICA CHOOSES:
Tina Fey (“30 Rock”) – Did I not make myself clear on this yet? If Tina Fey is eligible for a category, I’m picking her.

ALISON CHOOSES:
Tina Fey (“30 Rock”) – Insert constant laughter and joy here.

OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A DRAMA SERIES
Winner: Zeljko Ivanek (“Damages”)

JESSICA CHOOSES:
Michael Emerson (“Lost”) – What I marvel at here is that Michael Emerson is so skillful (with the aid of some pretty amazing writing) that he has not changed the way he plays the character of Ben, yet he has managed to make the audience go from seeing him as a villain to a hero.

ALISON CHOOSES:
Michael Emerson (“Lost”) – There has never been a better, more complicated villain than Ben. The writers are due some credit for that, but Michael Emerson always delivers on the material.

OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A COMEDY SERIES
Winner: Jeremy Piven (“Entourage”)

JESSICA CHOOSES:
Neil Patrick Harris (“How I Met Your Mother”) – I would marry him and make lots of adorable, witty babies…if only he weren’t gay.

ALISON CHOOSES:
Jack McBrayer (“30 Rock”) – If NBC put Kenneth’s smiling visage on a pillowcase, I would buy it. There is no other character on TV who gives me the same warm, happy feeling in my tummy as Kenneth does. I feel like he and I would be best friends and warm the world with our positive outlook on life.

OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A DRAMA SERIES
Winner: Dianne Wiest (“In Treatment”)

JESSICA CHOOSES:
Evangeline Lilly (“Lost”) – Admittedly, I’m not sure if she would really be up for this or the lead actress award, but I didn’t want to pit her against Connie Britton in my head.

ALISON CHOOSES:
Evangeline Lilly (“Lost”) – I’m gonna agree with Jessica.

OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A COMEDY SERIES

JESSICA CHOOSES:
Jenna Fischer (“The Office”)

ALISON CHOOSES:
Kristen Schaal (“The Flight of the Conchords”) – She’s pure comedy genius in a cute, awkward bottle.

OUTSTANDING REALITY-COMPETITION PROGRAM
Winner: “The Amazing Race”

JESSICA CHOOSES:
“So You Think You Can Dance” – This and “Project Runway” are the only programs in this category where all of the contestants actually have talent and seem to have studied some sort of craft. You can’t just walk in off the street, having never done it before, and be a good dancer. “So You Think You Can Dance” is a show tailor-made for me–the dancing, the costumes, my same-sex-non-sexual love for Cat Deeley…

ALISON CHOOSES:
“Project Runway” – It’s the only reality programming I can stand to watch.

OUTSTANDING VARIETY, MUSIC OR COMEDY SERIES
Winner: “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart”

JESSICA CHOOSES:
“The Daily Show with Jon Stewart” – Come on, like there is any contest here.

ALISON CHOOSES:
“The Daily Show with Jon Stewart” – Agreed.

OUTSTANDING MINISERIES
Winner: “John Adams”

JESSICA CHOOSES:
“Roots” – Um…they still make miniseries? I guess I choose “Roots.” That’s the last miniseries I saw.

ALISON CHOOSES NOT TO CHOOSE:
They all sounded boring to me.

OUTSTANDING WRITING FOR A DRAMA SERIES:
Winner: “Mad Men”

JESSICA CHOOSES:
“Lost” – I think there is a huge problem with the way this award is set up. Excellent TV writing has to involve both great stand-alone episodes, AND great story arcs that are spread out over a season or more. That fact that they vote on individual episodes only, I feel, can be the only reason that “Lost” hasn’t won this award every year since it’s been on TV.

ALISON CHOOSES:
“Lost” – Most. Amazing. Show. Ever!

OUTSTANDING WRITING FOR A COMEDY SERIES
Winner: “30 Rock”

JESSICA CHOOSES:
“30 Rock” – You can’t be surprised by this at this point.

ALISON CHOOSES:
“30 Rock” – I have six words for you: “Boys becoming men, men becoming wolves.”

Two Blondes Watch Their TiVo: The Emmys, Part 1

September 24, 2008

Two blondes watch their TiVo and ramble about themselves.

ALISON SAYS:

And now the 60th Annual Emmy Awards are brought to you by extreme awkwardness!

When I was six I peed in my seat in front of an entire class of my peers. I just sat there while urine flowed over the sides of my tiny plastic chair. All the other kids stared at me, pointed and laughed. That was less awkward than the Emmy’s this year.

First, I’d like to know what was up with the bush wall between the “reporters” and the talent during the red carpet pre-show. Here’s my impression: “Kyra Sedgewick. Can I ask you a few questions from behind this cumbersome hedge? Oh shit, a twig caught my dress! I don’t understand why the fuck we have to stand behind this stupid bush. Sorry… so who are you wearing? Hey, where are you going?”

I’ve decided to review Mary Tyler Moore’s bare arms…. One word: terrifying.
Mary,
Please proceed to your closest Chico’s and find some shawls to cover that shit up. It’s totally cool to be old, you’re still a classy gal, but it is completely unnecessary to bare that much skin in front of millions of people.
Alison

I’ve already complained about Josh Groban once on this blog, but after watching his performance at the Emmy’s, I feel I must whine and bitch yet again. First off, he had crazy eyes. Maybe he realized what a shitty gig he had gotten himself into and it was really freaking him out. Then he would sing in a weird high voice for certain parts. I think he was trying to be funny, but instead Groban ruined some of my favorite TV show theme songs. The “Golden Girls” theme song is even my ringtone, and now I can’t stop shuddering when I hear it. I am currently shaking my fist at you, Groban!

Despite my overall discontent with the show, I do have to give them kudos for ending at 11pm on the dot. That really helped me out with getting enough sleep for work on Monday. So thanks for that Emmy’s!

JESSICA SAYS:

This may have only aired in Los Angeles, but did you see the sad red carpet review that ABC ran before the show? They had Randolph Duke interviewing celebrities about their dresses, and by “interviewing” I mean a lot of gushing that made frequent use of the word, “fabulous.” When Randolph Duke stopped Tim Gunn it felt like the episode of Seinfeld where they run into their doppelgangers. Can’t you just see them going antiquing together?

I want to hate Jeremy Piven, but then he goes and does things like taking shots at the horrible hosts in his acceptance speech of the first award of the night and I can’t help but like him.

Why was Josh Groban singing all the theme songs? Rapping to the Fresh Prince?? I’m fine with ‘celebrating’ TV theme songs, but Josh Groban? I’m so confused and from the sound of the audience, I’m not alone. Does Groban have a sense of humor or was he completely serious with this? Wait, I’m just remembering that I think he participated in the “I’m f*cking Matt Damon” (or was it Ben Affleck?) video, so maybe he meant to be funny. It’s yet to be determined.

Tina Fey is a goddess and I worship her.

Five hosts is possibly the worst idea ever. Heidi Klum seemed dumbfounded by most of the show. Why can’t Jeff Probst wear a tie? Howie Mandel must be the worst person to encounter at a cocktail party—he won’t shut up.

Why didn’t Jimmy Kimmel host? His bit giving out the reality host award was 100% better than anything the actual hosts did. Plus I’m bitter that Cat Deeley from “So You Think You Can Dance” didn’t get nominated and Heidi Klum did.

My crush on Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert only grows stronger everyday.

All in all, this made me really wish I still got cable. Ah Mad Men, our love affair was brief, but maybe the fates will bring us together again someday…

Two Blondes Go to a Movie: Burn After Reading

September 22, 2008

Two Blondes review a movie and ramble about themselves.

Alison says:

I am a Coen Brothers fan for one reason… “The Big Lebowski.” It is my favorite movie ever. I have been to Lebowski Fest three times. I even won “Best Maude.” And yes, I am very proud of that. And yes, I would call myself a Coen Brothers fan and not just because of my love for the Dude. But I didn’t love “Burn After Reading.” I liked it, but no, I will not be attending any festivals dedicated to this film, though I would attend a fan club for Richard Jenkins or J.K. Simmons after their performances in the film.

I was also really impressed with Brad Pitt’s performance There’s no question about Brad’s movie star quotient. It’s big, the biggest. But my favorite BP performances don’t involve him being a super star. It’s his “smaller” side performances that are truly awesome. Let’s rewind to 1993. Brad plays a small role as an LA stoner named Floyd in “True Romance.” He’s hilarious and perfect in this role. Another favorite “small” performance is his role of a crazy guy in “Twelve Monkeys.” He commits to that role fully. Then, there’s his portrayal of Mickey in “Snatch.” And of course we can’t forget “Thelma and Louise,” where the world first learned about Brad’s charm and abs. Maybe I’m just nostalgic for movies from the early 90’s, but I love seeing Brad playing more than just a hot guy. And he does that in “Burn After Reading,” In a scene with John Malkovich, he’s trying to act tough and mysterious. He does these little eye movements that cracked me up. There’s an earnestness and blind optimism that shines through in this character and shows Brad’s got comic chops. I also want to give a shout out to whomever did hair on “Burn After Reading.” Brad’s horribly tacky blond tips were stupendous.

With a lot of movies and TV shows, I usually find myself predicting what’s gonna happen. But I was happily surprised with some of the narrative and the violence in this movie. It felt really good to not know what was coming. But overall the film felt a bit disjointed to me. The whole didn’t always seem to match its parts and I also just didn’t care enough the characters to get super into the movie. I found myself wondering more about who Tilda Swinton’s dermatologist is, rather than being invested in what was happening to the characters.

LA Viewers: This movie is worth paying matinee price at the Grove.
Translation for non-LA viewers: If you can catch a matinee and go half price, go see this movie.

Jessica says:

How do the Coen brothers manage to get such attractive people to agree to look like such…dorks, for lack of a better word, in their films?  It’s impressive.  Brad Pitt actually seems to revel in his character’s dorkiness.  Well, let me back up.  I should probably explain that I am not a huge Coen Brothers fan.  I don’t dislike their work; I’m just not a fan.  I’ve seen Fargo and The Big Lebowski (but only once—I’ve been told I need to see it about three more times to really ‘get it’)*.

So, back to Burn After Reading, for the most part, I thought it was pretty funny.  John Malkovich was as creepy as always, but the performances I enjoyed the most were J.K. Simmons and Richard Jenkins.  I love J.K. Simmons in everything I’ve ever seen him in really.  They are both character actors, so let me help you out with where you might have seen them before:  J.K. Simmons was the dad in Juno and Dr. Skoda on Law & Order and Richard Jenkins was Nathaniel Fisher on Six Feet Under.

Now, I knew I was watching a Coen brothers’ movie and I knew that meant dark comedy and the possibility of some surprising violence.  Yet, somehow I got lulled into a relaxed state by the comedy/spy plot and then BAM you see someone get shot in the head with brain splatter.  That was mildly startling compared to seeing a character get axed in the face in the middle of the street.  I literally jumped and covered my face with my hands when the axe came down.  I’m afraid I really am my mother’s daughter.  She’s been complaining about violence in movies and TV for as long as I can remember and now apparently, so am I.  Oh, yeah, SPOILER ALERT.  Was I supposed to say that at the beginning?

Something about the whole film was just not quite right.  I had issues with the score.  It was written as if the movie was an actual spy thriller.  Imagine the score to The Fugitive and cut to Brad Pitt with frosted highlights sucking from a water bottle.  I’m sure that was supposed to be ironic, but it made me a little uneasy.  I was trying to decide if I was supposed to be horrified that I just saw someone get axed in the face or amused.  The feeling I ended up with was uncomfortable.

I recommend seeing it as a matinee.

*Alison vows to remain my friend, despite this fact.