Thursday, April 26, 2007

a week of entertainment thwarting

I have been thwarted repeatedly this week in my entertainment choices. First of all, I can only watch Scrubs in re-runs as I work Thursday nights. All of the episodes that have aired this week were ones I had seen already, a couple of them more than once. Why can't the channels airing the episodes in syndication have the courtesy to air them in order? Is that too much to ask? Apparently. Secondly, when trying to pick a movie to view this weekend my friends and I discovered that neither of the films that we wished to see (Grindhouse and Hot Fuzz) were playing locally. Or even a little bit off. Oh no, we would have to drive for at least one hour to the pulsating hotbed of cinemas: Charlotte. Yes, my life has come to this, I must drive for an hour each way to enjoy films with any sort of intelligence. I will cut our local cineplex some slack on Grindhouse, it is three hours long which means fewer showings which means fewer dollars. However, it makes no sense to not show Hot Fuzz. It will show all of those torture flicks and lame teen movies for weeks at a time, but not something like Hot Fuzz. Maybe they are showing all this dreck so that no one will complain when those films get kicked out to allow ten screens of Spiderman-3 next week. But I digress. Finally, my good friend Mockingbird phones me last night to inform me that Fox has canceled their new show Drive after four episodes. Four. Now, I'm not saying that Drive was television gold, but it was certainly interesting and with such a large ensemble cast it would take a while to get all of the plot in place. But, oh no, Fox pulled the plug. Why broadcast a show with even a scrap of intelligence when they can glut the television landscape with vile content like Temptation Island, or the notorious "If I Did It" interview? And does anyone else find it disturbing and hypocritical that Fox brings us both the most conservative network news program in the US as well as the tawdry tripe I just mentioned? Sigh. Thus, I have been thwarted. I don't like it at all.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Channeling Garbo

Yesterday, when I arrived home, I was in a sulky sort of mood. After fixing myself a rather tasty sandwich for supper, I settled down on the coach to veg out. I wanted some peace and quiet and time to myself. Easily achieved you would think considering I live alone. Oh no. First, my mother called, which was fine, and actually expected. Unfortunately, I don't have a phone hooked up in my living room, it is in my den, so in order to answer the phone I must get up and run through the foyer, the hall and into the den to grab the phone, dodging the floor lamp that I moved so that I would have better light for a project that I am working on. So, I hang up and go back to coach. The phone rings again and this time it's the credit card company. This is the third time in a week that someone from the credit card company has called and it is to lecture me on the dangers of identity theft. I yelled and argued and finally hung up. If they call again I may have a hissy fit! (Oh yes, I am Southern!) Then, just when I am settled down again, my neighbor rings my doorbell because he wants to offer me radishes from his garden. I felt like screaming "I want to be left alone!" Solitude is so hard to come by sometimes.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Waxing rhapsodic

While keeping my grandmother company this weekend I discovered that TCM was airing one of my all time favorite movies, Roman Holiday. My grandmother is almost 92 years old, very little holds her interest, and movies hardly ever. Flashbacks, complicated plots, special effects and dream sequences all confuse her, primarily because she has trouble hearing the dialogue, but also because if it doesn't appeal to her she doesn't pay attention. Well, Roman Holiday caused her to put her word search book down and actually ask me questions about the plot. The last movie I remember her enjoying was Happy Gilmore, and that was mainly because Bob Barker gets to beat up Adam Sandler. Roman Holiday is a fantastic film, with a charming plot, outstanding performances by Audrey Hepburn (who really could do no wrong) and Gregory Peck, (personally, I could lay on a concrete floor and listen to Gregory Peck read from the phone book and be happy but that is neither here nor there), and a fitting ending that is not schmaltzy or unbelievable, but is also not weep into your pillow. They don't make movies with endings like this one anymore. It's always either unbelievably happy (they elope together) or heartwrending (she dies or is married off to some toad). Shot on location and in black and white the film is also the best advertisment for Rome that could possibly ever exist. Every time I see it the wanderlust grips me and I fantasize about strolling through the streets of that great city indulging in a gelato, throwing coins into fountains, zipping about on a Vespa, and basking in the Mediterranean sun. (I also want to visit the catacombs but that didn't make the cut in the film-a rather morbid place for an incognito princess to visit don't you think?) However, the stark reality of the exchange rate and my mortgage quickly nip that dream in the bud. Frankly, I think Rome should send all of the descendants of anyone involved in the making of that film presents every year. If you have never seen Roman Holiday (yes, even if you are a straight man) you should rent it immediately. Don't wait for the serendipity of finding it on television, only TCM airs it without commercials.