Can Reality Singing Competitions Go Away Now?

Tuesday, May 24, 2022
A new American Idol was crowned and I have no idea who they and I think that means the time is done for reality singing competitions. When American Idol launched in 2002, even though we had the internet and more cable channels, there was still a monoculture. Everyone watched most of the same television shows, but even if you didn't, chances are you knew what was going on on shows you didn't watch. Especially a show as big as American Idol

The 2000s was probably the last period of the monoculture. Someone can't be an American Idol with only 5 million people of the American public watching the show.  They also can't be The Voice with those kinds of viewing numbers. And you can tell because in the decade-plus run of the show, none of the winners or contestants have become, not even superstars, just regular pop star level stardom.

I know singing competitions make their networks a lot of money, otherwise they wouldn't be on. I would much rather have all those hours of air time freed up for more television shows to make it on air and find an audience and not shunted until 10pm after these competitions air. When people complain about networks having boring dramas, I think singing shows are the problem. Because of course they're gonna have procedurals, but they no longer have the airtime or prime timeslots to give to some of their more ambitious shows, and those shows get canceled after a season or two without opportunity to truly build an audience.

Broadway Shows I Wish I Saw in Their Original Run

Sunday, May 15, 2022

I recently watched Spring Awakening: Those You've Known. And it really made me sad that Spring Awakening debuted when I was ten. So in the course of a bad night of insomnia, as one does, I kept thinking about the shows I was never able to see the original production of, for reasons of geography, being able to get a ticket, too young, my parents would never, or I just wasn't born yet. 


I will preface that this is pretty much all musicals. Not because I'm against plays, but I think because we have some sort of performance recorded for posterity for musicals, plays don't usually have the same feeling that you missed out on something because you can see another amazing performer in that role and not have something to compare it to. 


Trying to See as Many Non-Blockbusters in Theaters as Possible

Monday, May 9, 2022
Over the last couple of years, the pandemic has accelerated the changed in the theater-going experience that were happening over the last decade or two. Mid-budget and smaller movies getting small theatrical windows or heading straight to streaming, and blockbusters dominating theaters. 

After 2020 when theaters were closed, and 2021 when for most of the year it wasn't fully safe to be in a packed theater, it was nice to be in a packed theater for a blockbuster again when I saw In the Heights. I did see Promising Young Woman in a theater in its December 2020 theatrical run in a practically empty theater while wearing my mask. I didn't get popcorn, just a drink so I could slip the straw underneath my mask, and it just wasn't the same. 

So, now that theaters are back in full-swing, I'm going to do my best to see as many movies that aren't the big blockbusters in theaters. The only movies I see in theaters can't be the blockbusters. I've talked before about my blockbuster fatigue here, and I think in order to combat that, I need to prioritize seeing smaller movies. 

No matter how great a blockbuster is, it can get repetitive when they're the only movies dominating theaters, especially when three of them are coming from the same studio. Sorry, Marvel, but I'm #TeamScorcese, now. This doesn't mean I'm discounting the work of the actors, writers, directors, and crew, which is not what the people who are criticizing Marvel movies are doing. But, most of the movies have felt the same. You can only watch a series of films without much deviation for so long. 

What I'm considering a blockbuster are superhero and big time action franchise sequels. While In the Heights is blockbuster in nature, movie musicals are not the draw that those films are. So, sorry Marvel and the Fast & Furious franchise, my dollars are not going to you in the first week of release anymore. I'm going to be looking at movies like Everything Everywhere All at Once and Men, other small movies I don't know about yet, because that's the joy of seeing what's coming out. You don't have the release schedule mapped out years in advance as part of some grand plan. You find out a month before or maybe a couple weeks into its run, and find gems. 

I want to find gems. 

Going to Try to Keep Up a Letterboxd

Monday, May 2, 2022

So my sister over the last couple weeks has wanted me to start up a Letterboxd account. She appreciates my taste in films and I think she's curious as to what I'd say about them. 


Signing up for it, I forgot I had started an account years ago. And when I signed in again and looking at my page, I really didn't do anything with it. There were like twenty movies that I marked as watched, and ten I added to my likes. So, I was essentially starting from scratch.


The first thing I did was remove all the movies I had liked, for a true fresh start. Then I started adding a whole bunch of movies. As many as I could think of. When I was going through it, I noticed I was adding only the good movies that I'd seen. Letterboxd is all about being representative of everything that you've seen, so I started adding the so-so movies, the bad movies. I also had to make sure I got every franchise film I'd seen, and between Marvel, DC, and all the YA franchises of the 2000s and 2010s, that's a lot of movies. And I made sure to add a whole bunch of classic film, because film history is important, especially after all the hours I've spent watching Turner Classic Movies.


I haven't started liking films or reviewing them yet. For the likes section, I think I'll start doing that once I'm done playing catch up and really taking a look at the movies I've watched over my lifetime and deciding what really are my favorites. For reviews, I'm trying to figure out the kind of Letterboxd presence I want to have. Do I be funny? Do I write long winded reviews like I would do on this blog? I guess it would depend on if I have a really good line or a lot to say about a movie. As long as it's interesting I guess, but the movies and time will tell on that one.


So here's to this experiment! Let's see how this goes.

Earworm: "My Own Worst Enemy" by Lit

Thursday, April 28, 2022
So, April 16th, my family went to the Mets game. It was a great game that we lost, but they played a bit of this song during the game. There was a mini sing-along going on with it, you could hear some of the crowd in like a chorus, and obviously they cut it short because of copyright. And it has been stuck in my head ever since. It has been almost two weeks, and I can't stop listening to it. Both the actual song and Kelly Clarkson's Kellyoke of it. So I have been listening to it a lot in hopes of it finally getting out of my head, to no avail. Now, I'm cursing those who read this to the same fate.



Hugh Jackman Needs a Good Old-Fashioned MGM-like Musical

Monday, April 25, 2022

I got to see Hugh Jackman in The Music Man with the fam recently. Bought the tickets in December and the only date that worked for all four of us was in April, you know how that goes. And it was an enjoyable experience, even though it was The Music Man. The production was great, the actual musical was, fine. This was my first time ever experiencing it, I don't think it's a strong enough show, especially for today's audiences. But I did like Hugh Jackman in it, and it got me thinking about his past musicals and movie musicals.


Les Miserables' issues have nothing to do with Jackman's and the majority of the other performers' work. (Sorry, Russell Crowe.) And I think The Greatest Showman is trying so hard to be earnest and uplifting it fails as a story. What would have been more interesting was to use the artifice of a movie musical as part of P.T. Barnum’s schemes, cons, and deceptions. (But that's a rant for another day.) Hugh Jackman is the kind of star that can do a Broadway residency and an arena tour because he can, and sing all the standards and incorporate the new show tunes into his act, I want to see that Hugh Jackman. 


The kind of movie musical I would like to see Hugh Jackman in is a good old-fashioned MGM-style movie musical. Particularly of the Gene Kelly type. Dashing leading man, that's cheeky and kind of shady meets girl who turns his life around, with a dream ballet at the end. 


Here's how I think this should go. It should be a love story, maybe while they're putting on a show, that classic trope in the classic movie musicals. And he falls in love with an age appropriate co star. No 40 or 50 year old being put together with a 19 year old here. And then you could add in the finding love for the first time, or again, later in life, so there's a bit more poignancy. Might I suggest his costar in The Music Man, Sutton Foster. There can be a tap number! And you gotta do the dream ballet. You can't have Hugh Jackman and not let him dance for six minutes. 


For the songs, maybe do one or two originals, gotta get the Oscar nominations where you can, but it would be interesting to look back at the Great American Songbook with a modern lens. Songs like "Puttin' on the Ritz", "Embraceable You", "I Got Rhythm", and pretty much anything Cole Porter and Irving Berlin wrote. There's a reason those songs are classic. Maybe do some new arrangements or put them into different contexts than they've been in in previous films. The possibilities are endless!


Moral of the story is that if you get Hugh Jackman to sing and dance in something quality and you'll have a winner!

Clips That Bring Me Joy, Vol. XII

Sunday, April 10, 2022

 These clips make me happy and I hope they do the same for you.

The Modern Phenomena of the Actress Turned Producer

Saturday, April 9, 2022
It's no secret that women's stories in Hollywood are not treated with the same importance as men's. It's why very rarely are movies that are nominated for Best Picture at the Oscars are movies about women. That's one of the many reasons why it hurts when films directed by women have been ignored in major categories at awards shows. There's a pattern of actresses nominated for Best Actress in movies that were not nominated for Best Picture, or Director, or Screenplay. 

I've Figured Out What I Like in a Baseball Player

Thursday, April 7, 2022

Opening Day is finally here and baseball is back! And now I can start following my first full season since I was a little kid. And since I'm starting to pay more attention, it's got me thinking about what makes me like certain players. I've finally figured it out. I like the players who do the crafty shit.


Yes, home runs are awesome, especially when it's a game on the line home run or a grand slam. Watching pitchers strike out batters is fun, too, and the tension that unfolds in games that matter, whether it's the postseason or a regular season games that becomes something else.


I love seeing amazing fielding plays. How did you make that catch, make that throw, kind of plays. Use all the speed, swim moves, and fancy slides on the base paths. So the players I gravitated towards watching highlights for have been Javy Báez, Trea Turner, Francisco Lindor, guys like that. So, I think I like elite shortstops. There's honestly nothing better than watching them make plays at short. They way they're aggressive getting balls, the incredible throws. Javy Báez made tagging an art form.


But the real fun is when they step up to the plate. Francisco Lindor's three homer game against the Yankees and Javy's bombs in tight situations. Trea Turner had two grand slams at the very end of the regular season, one a game tying one. He's also hit for the cycle three times, tying for the MLB record for most career cycles, with his most recent coming on his birthday last year.  The real fun though is when they get on the base paths and watching what they can do.


Francisco is fun to watch because you can see how much fun he's having. And honestly, no one has speed like Trea Turner. It is so much fun to watch him run. He's so fast, I want to know the time of his 100m dash. And Javy just does crafty shit. I mean, we all remember when he turned the Pirates infield into idiots, but he does stuff like that a lot. Takes wild chances, steals bases, does swim moves and avoids tags. I mean, he's called El Mago for a reason. 


So I'm so happy baseball is back, and I can follow the season from the beginning. Obviously I'm going to pay attention to my Mets, and I'm gonna follow the Dodgers because they were the first team I really watched when I dipped my toe back into baseball during the 2020 post season. I'll also be checking in on Javy on the Tigers because I'm still sad the Mets weren't able to keep him. Francisco Lindor and Javy Báez as your middle infield? Come on! But it's the past, and I am very much looking forward to this baseball season. 



Dearest Reader, It Has Delighted Me That Bridgerton is Actually Great This Season

Saturday, April 2, 2022

Bridgerton is back, and I gotta say it's better than before. It's a wonder what happens when you actually like both halves of the love story. 


And a heads up, this gets long as I cover my thoughts on the first and second seasons, and the future for the show.

Weather Whiplash

Sunday, March 27, 2022

Winter in New York can be beautiful. Spring is definitely beautiful, especially when the blossoms are in bloom. What is not beautiful is the bouncing back and forth between them. One day it's freezing and I need as many layers as I can manage, the next I'm in shorts and a tank top and questioning whether I need to put on sunscreen and thank myself that I was smart and have aloe.


I just want the weather to make up its mind whether it’s winter or spring. That's all. This is the winter season, this is the spring season. That's it. No more back and forth between the cool spring and the frigid winter. And tomorrow's high is in the low thirties? At the end of March? This climate is ridiculous.


I would like spring to last longer before the horrible New York summer kicks in, too. Much appreciated. 

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo Should Be A Limited Series

Saturday, March 26, 2022

The adaptation of The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo was finally announced, something I’ve wanted and been intrigued by since I finished the book.


However. It’s going to be a movie on Netflix, and that doesn’t feel right to me. Not just because it's a movie, but because it's Netflix and I have a feeling that it might not be the right fit for this book. Just from the tone of the book, I would've guessed it would be more in tone with HBO or Hulu. It's an epic period drama about Hollywood, and women-centered. HBO and Hulu have had success with stories about women adapted from novels, as evidenced by Reese Witherspoon's projects with both networks, Big Little Lies (season 1) and Little Fires Everywhere.


Now to the crux of my argument: you cannot pack this novel into two hours. You want to tell a multi-decade story about a woman, her career, and her seven husbands in two hours? Ha! It needs multiple episodes to breathe and giver her marriages enough time to show the impact each one had on her and how she lived and worked. I don't think it should be seven episodes, one per husband. I think it should be nine. One for Evelyn's early life, seven per husband and those parts of her life, and one for Monique and how this interview and all these revelations impacted her, make her a true character and not just our conduit. 


When adapting something, it has to be the right medium and storyteller. Storyteller, we'll have to wait and see, but I just don't think a Netflix movie is the medium for it. Unless, it's an awards movie, sometimes, Netflix movies aren't talked about for longer than a weekend, if that. I think this material needs the prestige of an HBO or, lately, Hulu series to give it all the time and attention this story deserves.

My Jeans Shopping Odyssey

Saturday, March 19, 2022

So, I have not had luck shopping for jeans over the last few months. And at first I was just looking to add another pair to my rotation. Then, all my jeans decided to wear out at the same time. And I got a new job where jeans are the best option. So, I needed jeans. 


Unfortunately for me, I am 4'10" and not a stick, so buying jeans is hard for me. I can't just buy some online and know they'll fit right. I need to try them on and see how the waist fits and, importantly, how long the legs end up being so it looks like I have massive ankles.  


When I do go jeans shopping, I do not care where I get them, as long as I can find pairs that fit me. I am not a jeans snob, because I can't be. So whether it be Zara or Walmart, if they fit me and they're cute, I will buy them. 


I decided to go to Times Square and check out Forever 21 because I can usually find jeans that fit me there. And I found a few pairs and a cute skirt to try on, but their dressing rooms are still closed. So that was a bust. Especially cause the skirt was cute, but it was a style and material I'd never worn before so also something I needed to try on. Onto the next store, but I was already starting to get frustrated and I hadn't even tried anything on. Thankfully I was in Times Square, which means I was surrounded by stores I regularly get jeans from. So I decided to head to H&M. There, I could actually try on the jeans. And all three pairs I tried on did not fit, and those were also the only jeans I could find that were my size and not those stupid 90s jeans that are trying to make a comeback. 


I was starting to feel more defeated after almost two hours of trying, so I thought I'd try again tomorrow. I went to the Times Square subway station, but decided to maybe try the H&M that's a twenty minute walk from home. So I changed subway platforms and headed to a second H&M. I found a couple different styles of jeans but those also didn't fit. So I left.


But, I saw the Old Navy across the street and thought why not, what else have I got to lose? Well. I found three pairs of jeans and they fit, including a pair of petite jeans. And then, even better, I found a cute pair of denim shorts that fit, too. And the icing on the cake was that there was a 40% off sale happening so I got all four for $78 bucks. And I had a visa gift card from Christmas so no cost to me, with $22 bucks left over as a nice cushion for when I have to buy actual fashion pieces, even though I've been having a hard time with that, too. But maybe this shopping trip will turn it all around for me.

Earworm: "You Can Have It All" by George McCrae

Monday, March 14, 2022

Oh this song is a good one. I first heard it in the season 2 finale of Love Life, a season of television everyone should go and watch. As soon as the episode had ended I immediately looked up the song and has been in regular rotation ever since. It soars and gives the feeling that I could fly whenever I listen to it. If I could dance I would dance to it.


It's also a very simple song, and I mean that in the best possible way. The fact that it doesn't have a traditional song structure allows it to build its end, like you're rising right along with it.


Holy Smokes Batman!

Thursday, March 10, 2022

The Batman is out now and it's got me thinking about all the past cinematic Batmans. The Batman was a good film noir, but he was still in the tradition of the grim dark that has encompassed Batman stories of over the last couple of decades. It's almost like a competition to see how grim dark they can take the character. Also literally dark, to where you can't really see what's happening on the screen. And on top of that, since The Dark Knight, each Batman and movie he has been in has gotten progressively dour. Somebody at Warner Brothers or DC needs to be brave and bold and take Batman into a whole new direction. 


There are a few different directions I would like to see Batman go in.


One is very simple: find a different kind of villain to be the antagonist. No more Banes or Jokers wanting the destruction of Gotham. Don't even repeat some of the villains from the older movies. Go to the comics and find a character from the rogues gallery that may not be as well known to the general public. Nothing shakes things up like new blood.


The second direction is to go full camp. Just go back to the style of the original Adam West show and update it for the 21st Century. Be fun and funny and bring color back to Batman. It is inherently ridiculous that a playboy decides to spend his wealth to dress up as a bat to "save the city" instead of donating it to charities or funding his own. Let's be real, Gotham really needs that money.


The third direction, and the one I hope that is taken, is put Batman into a 1940s film noir. The Batman is film noir, but I want classic Hollywood film noir. He is essentially a private investigator, and he's got quite the number of femme fatales, with Catwoman clearly on top. Have him actually be the world's greatest detective and make him solve a crime. Less brawling, more sleuthing. He should have plenty of rogues that aren't super powered, let's seem him go toe to toe with a regular human criminal mastermind. You want to be super stylish, film it in black and white with all the angles and hallmarks of a true film noir. 


I don't see why Batman needs to remain this one thing when he has a varied history. Why do we have to keep telling the same kind of stories about him? Is is just that people think that only one kind of Batman story can be told anymore? Or is it that the studios are trying to appease fans with what they want, and keep going further and further into the darkness with no sign of light?

In the Midst of a Personal Style Crisis

Wednesday, March 9, 2022

I've written about this before, but I just went clothes shopping and it has crystallized: I don't know what my personal style is anymore.


My style has always been a mix of prep and punk and "girly". Ringer tees, black jeans, floral tops and dresses, combat boots, military over shirt, denim skirts. I'd mix and match all those pieces to create my style. And it took a while for me to get there, because I grew up and went to school in the 2000s and early 10s, when fashion was atrocious and low-rise jeans were a thing. 


I just can't seem to buy anything. I got to stores, find great pieces, even try some of them on. But I just don't buy them. My hesitancy about buying anything even goes for basics like a simple pair of sneakers, t-shirts, and jeans, which is a problem because it's time for me to get new jeans. 


And the worst part about it is I have gift cards! Visa gift cards that I can spend anywhere. No expense to my bank account and I still can't do it. I just don't want to end up having buyer's remorse, because I don't know what my style is and I don't want to buy pieces and not be able to build a wardrobe out of it. 


So now I'm stuck with an old wardrobe, wearing out jeans, and gift cards waiting for me in my wallet, taunting me, waiting for this case of the shopping yips to go away.


(I did end up buying this dress because how could I not. You can't go wrong with too many little black dresses in your wardrobe, and I didn't have a cool little black dress like this before now.)




I Want to Get Better at Word Games

Friday, February 25, 2022

Wordle has been sweeping the nation, and I am one of the ones who got swept. I've been playing everyday for the last few weeks, and steadily improving my gameplay. I was very proud of myself when I got tacit and caulk correct. I also play Words with Friends with my mom most nights, with me winning more than not, because I take advantage of the bonus tiles more, but she's learning and has been winning more and more, good for her, I like when the games are competitive.


Now, the granddaddy of word games is the crossword puzzle. I am very bad at them. Vulture has started doing a weekday crossword so I've been doing those and mostly failing. I haven't even looked at the New York Times crossword because if I can't do the Vulture one, no way in hell can I do the Times. My sister, is great at them, and tells me so.


I do them every day, but there are puzzles I get most of the clues and puzzles where I get barely any. It all just depends on my pop culture knowledge, and my pop culture blindspots. I really don't want to google answers or do the reveal word option, but there are those major cross sections that you need in order to crack the puzzle I just don't know the answer to. So many puzzles with barely any words filled in because I know nothing about Survivor or RuPaul's Drag Race


I keep trying, and I will keep trying because I want to be able to do these puzzles. I also want to beat my sister at them. 

One Spring Day in February

Wednesday, February 23, 2022

For some reason, it was a 60-something degree day to day, and it felt like spring. So, I decided to take advantage. 


I decided to take a trip to one of my happy places, Barnes & Noble, but the downtown 6 train had other ideas. So many delays, that after about 15 minutes of waiting for a train, I decided to walk to the 2, completely forgetting buses were a thing. But, it meant more time outside. And that also means I had to walk from Times Square to the Barnes & Noble on 45th & 5th, which was also nice. I got to avoid the throng of Times Square which is always good, and walk past Bryant Park, which looks like Bryant Park now and not a winter wonderland. 


Finally, I got to Barnes & Noble, after about an hour, and none of the books I was eyeing on the website were there and for the life of me, I couldn't roam like i usually do. So I left after ten minutes and headed to Central Park. 


I had never been to the bottom of Central Park before so I'd never seen the Plaza or the bridge that you always see in romantic comedies. I guess you could say I didn't see the Plaza because it was under scaffolding, but I saw the building so okay. There were definitely more people there than the section of the park that I walk in. But I could see why because it was gorgeous. Just walking along all those winding paths. I hope I get to go back to that area more and keep exploring.


And now it's back to 30 degree weather and real jackets for the foreseeable future.

No Better Birthday Celebration Than Dinner and a Show

Wednesday, February 16, 2022

Yesterday was me and my twin's birthday and we decided to celebrate with dinner and a show. Honestly, the best way to spend a birthday.


Because it was my birthday, I wanted to pick out a nice dress, even though it would be hidden most of the time under my big coat and the darkness of the theater. So, I picked my new little black dress and I felt like a sophisticated lady. 


We went to a nice Italian restaurant and I got the beef bolognese and it was delicious. It's a restaurant we've been to a couple times before, and it's one of a few that's on our list of regular places to eat, which, as important it is to try new places, it's also important to have your regular spots. Just don't make them too regular, otherwise the feeling of going to those places goes away.


So the restaurant was in Bryant Park, and we were seeing Company at the Bernard B. Jacobs Theater, so we had to skedaddle once we got out, but we made it to the theater with ten minutes to spare. Nothing like the rush of making it to a show on time, an experience we don't usually have because we were raised to be early to doors opening. 


Company was fantastic. It was actually the first ever Stephen Sondheim production we had ever seen professionally staged. (My high school did Into the Woods, but it was high school.) We've been lucky enough to see Broadway shows since we were five years old, so we're happy to finally cross this off of list of shows to see, especially since Sondheim passed away. And to top it off, to see a production that was such a reinvention of the material, with Katrine Lenk as "Bobbie". We also got to cross off Patti LuPone, Christopher Sieber, and Christopher Fitzgerald off our list of big Broadway stars to see on stage. I do also have to give a shoutout to the production design and staging because that can sour a production of Company, as my sister can attest because she watched a filmed production and absolutely hated it, and the only reason we saw this one was because of me, and she liked it. So, you're welcome sis.


All in all, a great way to spend your birthday. Though it is odd see Company on your birthday. Like the existential questions that show brings up is odd on a day you usually celebrate. So. Fantastic show.

A Great Day at the Races

Sunday, January 30, 2022

Yesterday, the family went to witness the Millrose Games for the second time. But in order to get there, nor'easter!


I was meeting my sister so we could head over to The Armory together. But the nor'easter hit, the plows had come so I figured the bus would be the better option. It was not. So I ended up having to walk fifteen blocks in the snow. Not fun.


But then we got to the Millrose Games and it was so fun. Just being able to see sports in person again was great, especially after our last attempt at it was ruined by weather. So, being indoors was great. 


My family loves the Summer Olympics, especially track and field. So to see a track and field meet in person was glorious. It's a different vibe than any other sporting event I've been to, because unless you're rooting for an athlete in particular, you really just want to see a great competition. And we saw a great competition.


Then we had to leave The Armory and it was so cold, but at least it had stopped snowing. We went to dinner for a couple hours, had a great time, and I had to walk two avenue blocks to get to my train. My family's station was on the corner next to the restaurant. I had to walk two avenue blocks. So on my way home, I stopped at my corner deli and got a hot french vanilla to warm up after a very cold day. But a great day. 

More Places Should Serve a Hot French Vanilla

Friday, January 28, 2022

I've probably mentioned this before, but the hot french vanilla is one of the best beverages to have on a cold day. The richness and creaminess makes it feel decadent. But, it's not a heavy drink where it'll mess your stomach up after you drink it.


It's great if you don't want a coffee, and sweet, but not as rich as hot chocolate. It's delicious and the fact that it's more widely available makes me sad. No chains carry it, not even Starbucks, and their whole thing is hot drinks. 


It's just an unappreciated and probably less well known beverage. I wish it were more widely available so I can get it outside of New York deli.

Clips That Bring Me Joy, Vol. XI

Thursday, January 20, 2022

 We all could do with some joy right now.

I Think I'm Starting to Get Intellectual Property/Franchise Fatigue

Friday, January 14, 2022

Much has been made about franchise fatigue over the years. And I think I'm finally starting to feel it a bit. It's really just the average of how many of these movies are released in a year, and how many of them are bad, or even mediocre. Not mediocre in an "it was fine, I could watch it on cable on an afternoon" way, but in the "that was meh" kind of way. 


And we just keep getting more and more cause they are the movies that make money.


Now, consumers do inform these decisions, though. But when tickets and popcorn can add up to $30 for a single person, you're only gonna see a couple movies a year. So if you have to be picky, you're gonna choose to see the big special effects movie that looks better on a big screen and a crowd versus a smaller drama that you can wait to watch one it's available to stream. And that was before the pandemic made it even more of a decision to go to a movie, let alone a space with other people.


And it's not just choice that I'm getting tired of. It's the storytelling itself. Most of them follow the same formula with very few deviations. The only one I can think of that made different storytelling choices and switched it up was Birds of Prey, a movie I enjoyed quite a lot. 


All the fighting for the rights to intellectual property and older movies to be remade because it's a proven entity is taking all the risk of success or failure out of movies. It also turns fans of the old thing into righteous defenders so when a new take on a story or criticism of the original is an attack on the thing you love. And that's as far as I'm willing to go into the "Marvel movies are cinema" discourse.


I do like the Marvel movies, and this year was able to see Shang-Chi, Eternals, and Spider-Man: No Way Home in a theater safely with decent crowds. But I would have loved to see things like Passing and The Power of the Dog. Or even see people turn out for a different kind of blockbuster, a big musical like In the Heights or West Side Story


I just want more people to see the truly extraordinary films that are getting made, and the people who make them are able to make more and not have to join the superhero industrial complex in order to get a good paycheck and clout to greenlight their next smaller-budgeted project. A project those who live for superhero movies probably won't see.

Setting a More Attainable Reading Goal This Year

Saturday, January 8, 2022

In 2020, I set my reading goal at 20 books, and I read about 12. So, in 2021, I decided to set my reading goal at 10 books, which after the previous year seemed like a practical number. I read 3. And I couldn't understand why I wasn't reading so much, until my problem eventually seeped into my movie and television consumption. In December, I finally figured it out. The last couple years of the pandemic, I my brain just burned out and couldn't keep my attention on a story. But also in December, is when I started to turn a corner on this. I was actually able to sit through a movie. I even started a new book, The Mothers by Brit Bennett.


So, this year, I set my reading goal at 5 books. Perfectly attainable. If I reach it, I'd be pleased. If I pass it, I'll be jumping for joy. I've got The Mothers to keep chugging away at, and the new Taylor Jenkins Reid book, Malibu Rising, that I bought while in the midst of of my affliction. It has sat on my shelf untouched for the last few months, taunting me.


I have hope that I'll actually read it, and all the books I want this year. I just need to force myself back into it like I did with movies and tv. 

Sports Montages Make Me Cry

Thursday, January 6, 2022

 I don't know what it is about them. Edit it nicely, add a good score and I'm gone. Doesn't matter if it's an "emotional moments in sports" montage or Sportscenter's "Images of the Year". And now that another year has ended, that means more montages.


Is it the years spent watching sports movies, especially on tv day in school? (A day I am starting to miss more and more as an adult working in this world.)  Do I remember the emotion of the a lot of those moments? Or is it just the music they choose to score it?


Whatever it is, they get me every time. Maybe I should just stick to countdowns.

The Best TV I Watched in 2021

Monday, January 3, 2022

This was a great year for television, even the television I watched that I didn't fully enjoy and put on this list. I also had a problem where I could not process narrative, so that wasn't fun, so I ended up watching a lot of procedural tv to help me get through it, and it worked. But those shows did not make the list, and I chose them for that reason.


Here's the best television, whether it was new or new to me or a whole new season of a show I loved, that I watched this year. 

The Best Movies I Watched in 2021

Sunday, January 2, 2022

I did not watch a lot of movies this year, at least compared to years past. At least when it came to catching up on movies I had never seen before. But the pandemic messed with my brain a bit when it came to processing narrative, and I turned to television to help with that situation. 


So, here are the best movies I watched this year.

We're Never Gonna Get that Roaring Twenties Redux, Are We?

Saturday, January 1, 2022

At the beginning of 2020, everyone was hoping for another Roaring Twenties. And then the world changed two months into the decade. Now, in what will be year three of living in a pandemic, i don' think we're gonna get that Roaring Twenties Part Deux.


And in the summer of 2021, it felt like we were turning a corner. Especially with the vaccines available to all adults. Then the delta variant, just as I was getting used to being maskless outside. But we turned that corner and Broadway shows were coming back. And now with Omicron, all these shows being canceled feels like 2020 all over again.


I do have some informed hope that Omicron will be a short wave and not as deadly. Because, selfishly, I would like to see more Broadway shows, and my family has tickets for The Music Man with Hugh Jackman and Sutton Foster in April.


Hopefully, we get to a point when this is over and we can party. And there better be 20s themed parties that look like this.




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