I Have Been Processing My Thoughts on Dear Evan Hansen Since 2017

Sunday, September 18, 2022

Dear Evan Hansen is closing on Broadway and it's got me really starting to formulate my thoughts on this show fully in a really long time. I was one of the fortunate who got to see the original cast (Mike Faist!). I say fortunate just because to be able to get tickets to a blockbuster musical during the original cast's, especially with someone giving a performance like Ben Platt, is fortunate. Honestly, a lot of his problems of being wrong when it came time to the movie was that awful hair. Not to knock the understudies or new casts, because some of the performers we discover or come in for a run are phenomenal, and in this show specifically I would've loved to witness Jordan Fisher perform "Waving Through a Window". But to be able to get a ticket to the original run of a production is always a special thing. So I'm glad I was able to see it while it was a hard ticket to get. All that being said, now onto my issues with it. 

A Night at Harry's House

Friday, September 16, 2022

I was one of the lucky ones that ventured into Harry's House at Madison Square Garden. 


I'm not somebody who goes to concerts a lot. I don't really like being in big crowds, especially screaming crowds. And if the bass settings are too high, I start getting a migraine like halfway through the night. But I have been to some shows over the years, including to One Direction's first two US tours. At those One Direction shows, people lost their damn minds. At the Up All Night tour, someone had spotted Niall behind the amphitheater, it was a stampede to get a peek at him.


I was scared that that would be the vibe at a Harry show. It wasn’t thankfully. I mean, girls still screamed their faces off, but there was moire actually singing along and dancing than there was at those One Direction shows. And Harry didn’t really stop and chat that much. He kept the show moving along, which I think ultimately kept the crowd under control. The one time he did stop though, he found someone in the crowd who was celebrating here 21st birthday and got all of Madison Square Garden to sing “Happy Birthday” to her.


The actual music was amazing to hear live, especially when he brought out the horn section. The set list was structured great, where each sing really flowed into the next and there weren’t drastic energy changes. For his encore, he did “Sign of the Times”, “As It Was”, and “Kiwi”, and judging by the audience reaction to that last song, it’s not a common occurrence.


Just. a great show and a great night of music. 

Finally Saw Jaws For the First Time (and on the Big Screen)

Tuesday, September 6, 2022
Saturday was National Cinema Day, and to celebrate it, all movie tickets were sold for $3. Normally, I hear about things like this the next day and wish I'd heard about it earlier. Not this time. This time I heard about this deal two days before managed to get a ticket. And the movie I chose was Jaws.

This was doubly good, because I had never seen it before. I’m scared of sharks, so a monster movie where the monster is a shark is not something that would interest me. And I knew that the shark wasn’t in it that much, but still. Shark bad.

But it’s been one of the major gaps in my film watching for so long, this was the perfect opportunity to cross it off my list. And it was great! Finally got to see the USS Indianapolis monologue in its full context. The shark is still scary, and with almost 50 years of jump scares between then and now, it still makes you jump. And thanks to Roy Scheider, I want to watch All That Jazz again, and for Richard Dreyfus’s, maybe check out Close Encounters of the Third Kind, another Spielberg classic I haven’t seen yet.

Thanks to this experience, it also makes me want to see more classic films on the big screen, whether it be an epic, a film noir, a musical, or a classic comedy or drama. Movies in the big screen improving the viewing experience, who’d a thunk it?

Can MTV Put Back the "Music" in Music Television?

Friday, August 26, 2022

On most days when you turn to MTV, it's usually Ridiculousness filling up the airwaves. And I get it, Ridiculousness can be fun, but not for all hours of the day. And it really makes you think of MTV's current programming slate compared to it slates of days gone by. There is the MTV Classic channel, which plays a lot of old music videos, but it’s not been a part of MTV’s programming really since TRL ended in 2008. I know television ratings aren't what they used to be, for every network, so I get the cost benefit analysis for all of the Ridiculousness. And especially in the seemingly unstable age of streaming. But, there seems to be no effort to do any sort of music programming. And I am saying this as a casual observer of the network who really only watches MTV for The Challenge.


But there’s so many interesting things happening with music right now, they could go back to being Music Television.


Since there is no longer a monoculture where everyone is watching the same stuff, you don't have to go for juggernaut ratings, and you can get more creative with what you put on the air. Especially with Paramount+ as their parent company’s streaming service as a place where their programming can be made available. TRL doesn't have to be hitting the same numbers it was when it was the show. It can be retooled. It could be prerecorded, with maybe live specials if a major artist wants to do a big promotion for their video or album. Something to take us through the week in music. With this, you could bring back the VJ. Program music videos and performances of now and yesterday, and have the VJs guide us through it all. It would also make the Video Music Awards kind of matter again, too. It feels better to hold them when MTV is actually airing music videos on the network. And make MTV Unplugged a bit more of a regular event. NPR's Tiny Desk Concert gets a lot of views so there is an audience for an artist doing an acoustic performance. 


Bring back MTV News. There could also be roundtables with music critics and music writers. Whether it be a round up of music of the week, or talking about what's happening in music at the moment. A major bit of programming MTV News could do is festival coverage. With the amount of festivals that are being put on right now, that's an opportunity to send out reporters to talk to artists, festival goers, report on the highs and lows of the festival on the ground. I don't think we're in danger of another Woodstock 99 happening, especially after the HBO doc and the Netflix docuseries about it, so it would be safe to have your crews there. 


Another thing they can do is to redo all those old VH1 countdowns. Top 100 albums, artists, women in music, music videos, break it down by genre. As many topics as you can think of. Even bring back the I Love the Decade franchise. Do you know how many days I spent glued watching those when they would rerun them on weekends. Again, if you want to break up the Ridiculousness reruns, make of these and you can really diversify the days. But, really, doing some programming about music history and pop culture can be very instrumental. Lots of people love music docs, so produce or squire docs on artists, eras, events, and keep all that music alive for people. 


The point is, we're in a different age where I think MTV can shift back to their original mission statement. Music Television. That's not to say you have to abandon all their reality stuff. Keep The Challenge going for as long as it's good. But there could be an appetite for music television again.


The Baked Good Trick to Stop Snacking

Monday, August 22, 2022
I've been having a snacking problem of late. They are provided at work, and the selection is great. Top tier snackage is going on. So I needed to find a way to curb it.

Enter: the baked good.

One day, I had grabbed a muffin from crafty, but I guess I got caught up in something, so I didn't eat it immediately, so it stayed next to me at my table. And once I got less busy, I didn't eat it, it just sat there. And sat there. 

But because it sat there, I didn't grab other things to eat. I had food near me, so I didn't feel the need to grab other snacks. I had a snack, so why grab more? And it's really helped. When I do grab a snack, it immediately goes into my backpack. Out of sight, out of mind, and I get a snack for when I get home.

That's really it. Just my little mental tricks to not snack during the day. Passing on the knowledge if you want to curb unnecessary snacking during your day. 

Narrative Won't Compute

Thursday, August 18, 2022

Cannot. Process. Story. Narrative. Won't. Compute. Test Failed.


And it sucks. There are so many shows and movies piling up in watchlists and DVR space that are waiting for me to hit play. But I can't pay attention to story right now. I don't know why it happens. 


There are things I can put my focus on. I can watch documentaries. I loved The Last Movie Stars, Ethan Hawke's documentary series about Joanne Woodward and Paul Newman. Also, been watching a lot of Mets games this year. This fact also coincides with the fact that they're good this year, but still, when I can I've been watching games in full, or at least a couple innings before I go to bed. 


I haven't watched The Bear or Prey yet. I have Scorsese's The Age of Innocence recorded. And Paris Blues, one of the films Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward made together, this time with other star couple Sidney Poitier and Diahann Carroll. So many other movies that just keep getting added to my various watchlists on streaming platforms just sitting there, waiting to be watched. 


I think I just don't have the brain power after twelve hour days to pay attention, and then it can bleed into my weekend viewing. I think I really just need to force myself to watch something. Now something I care about, so if this test fails again, I won't be disappointed that I didn't pay attention to something I actually wanted to see. But it also can't be something I'll hate, and just sit there and stew while forcing my brain to process garbage. Now I have a plan: watch something that's not top priority on my watchlist, but something I'll still actually like. 

I Think I've Figured Out How to Use My Letterboxd

Monday, August 8, 2022

So, I started a Letterboxd account in May. And as I logged films, I started figuring out how I wanted my page to function. 

Can We Stop Giving a Shit About the Kardashians?

Thursday, August 4, 2022

Why do we still follow them after all this time? This is a serious question. I’m not being facetious or cutesy about this, I genuinely do not understand why we still give a shit what they do and what they ‘say’.

Release Batgirl, You Cowards

Tuesday, August 2, 2022

It was revealed that the new Batgirl movie that was originally going to stream on HBO Max, maybe have a theatrical release, is no longer being released. And I think that’s the wrong the decision.


Since this movie was made under a different regime, I guess they’re taking stock of what they have in the pipeline. And their reasoning for scrapping Batgirl is that they want DC movies to be big theatrical events. This is a movie that has the live action film debut of Batgirl, Brendan Fraser as a villain, and Michael Keaton back as Batman. How is that not an event?


I think what they’re trying to say is that it’s not a blockbuster event like the majority of superhero movies. One reason people say they have superhero fatigue (*ahem*) is that all these movies feel the same. Wouldn’t it bring more interest to your movie if you present something different? I want to see a smaller scale superhero movie in theaters. It’s why I like Birds of Prey so much. It was ground level and character driven, and isn’t that way Batgirl is all about?



Clips That Bring Me Joy, Vol. XIII

Tuesday, July 26, 2022
If you need some joy in your life, try these clips. They've given me some.
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