Friday, September 19, 2014

The 'Creek' Mystique: Why Teenagers Fell For Dawson's Creek

If you were a child of the nineties, then Paula Cole's I Don't Want To Wait will inevitably evoke memories of a certain creek, namely Dawson's Creek.  In its heyday, Dawson's was so prevalent that even if you didn't watch it regularly, you constantly heard about it.  Reviewers criticized its seemingly "too smart for teenagers" dialogue, the Parents Television Council and other like-minded organizations continually called it the most offensive show on television, and your parents either forbade you from watching the show due to its implied sexual content or they tuned in with you (like mine did).  Dawson's was created by Kevin Williamson and starred James Van Der Beek (Dawson), Joshua Jackson (Pacey), Michelle Williams (Jen), and Katie Holmes (Joey).

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Why Richard Linklater's "Before" Films Are In My Top Ten Films of All Time

When your passion is film, people often ask you what your favorite movie is.  For me, that is like asking a parent to pick their favorite child.  Choosing a favorite is nearly impossible, but I do have a top ten list.  In college, my friends joked that Richard Linklater's Before Sunrise (1995) and Before Sunset (2004) were my litmus test for choosing boyfriends (they must have enjoyed or at least appreciated them). All kidding aside, these films, along with Before Midnight (2013), are superb enough to stand on their own; together, they masterfully explore time, aging, and relationships like few, if any, other films have.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Why I'll Be Watching The Mindy Project Season 3 Premiere this Tuesday (and Why You Should Too)

I came late to The Mindy Project.  I began watching in the middle of season two right before its two-month hiatus, became hooked, and then went back to the pilot to watch it from the beginning.  I'll be the first to admit that I didn't love every single episode (the show does get progressively stronger and really hits its stride in its sophomore season), but the initial something that always brought me back to the show was Mindy Kaling.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Catfish: A Window Into Society's Obsession with Social Networking

To say I am a pop culture enthusiast is to put it mildly.  And yet, I recognize that I am often happier spending an afternoon with a friend without my iPhone.  An attachment to technology and social networking has become a full-blown addiction for many of us, myself included.  Text and e-mail have replaced telephone calls and in-person meet-ups.  Chatting anonymously or with "friends" on the internet has taken the place of attending parties and other social events.

Why have these fundamental shifts occurred?

I watched Nev Schulman* speak with Larry King on the web series Larry King Now last night and much of their discussion dealt with how we communicate.  Schulman rose to fame with Catfish, a documentary capturing his experience falling in love inadvertently on the internet. When Nev finally meets his online girlfriend, he learns she was just a figment of a lonely married woman's imagination.  Nev has made a career out of lemons with Catfish: The TV Show; his film coined the term catfish, which is slang for somebody pretending to be someone they're not using social media, often to pursue a romantic relationship.  The show, now entering its fourth season, continues to confront a new catfish each episode and shows no signs of waning.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

My Vagina Is So Dry... Farewell Joan

While listening to Howard Stern reminisce about his dear friend Joan earlier today, tears came to my eyes as he described her literally bouncing into his studio when he saw her last, which was just this past July. Howard said that every time Joan showed up for an interview they performed a terrific dance together and that he had no idea this July was the last time they would get to dance.  I guess we never know.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

So Long, Uncle Frank: We Will Miss You

Uncle Frank and Jimmy
Uncle Frank, 1933-2011

Over the past few years, I have grown to love the Jimmy Kimmel Live show.  I remember watching Jimmy when he was the goofy sidekick to Ben Stein on the gameshow Win Ben Stein's Money.  He had an irreverent brand of humor even back then, but it seems that in the past decade, Jimmy has really honed his hosting skills.  He is great with guests and manages to be both biting and kind, which can be a tricky feat.  Many of Jimmy's family members are employees of the show; most work behind the scenes but one in particular, Jimmy's Uncle Frank, could always be seen in front of the camera.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Footloose Reboot: Everybody Cut... Again?

Kevin Bacon, Original Ren
Kenny Wormald, Reboot Ren

I remember the first time I saw the movie Footloose (1984).  I was ten years old and had an insta-crush on Kevin Bacon.  He seemed so earnest yet cool as Ren: a Chicago boy forced to move to Beaumont, Texas, a fictionalized town that has banned rock music and dancing.  Footloose was not well received by critics, but it did become a classic dance movie with a cult following, similar to Flashdance and Dirty Dancing.