February 16, 2010

Weekend In Reviews

I just wrote a pretty good review post and lost it. I hate today! And now that I already said all I wanted to say about what I watched the last three days, I can't really remember what I said and I don't want to talk about it anymore. So I'm sorry if this post is boring and short.

The Blind Side - Do I think this was the best movie of this or any other year? No. Did I enjoy the hell out of it anyway? Yes. This movie has nearly all the things that I'm a sucker for in movies - underdogs, sports as a metaphor for life, a heartwarming story, hugs.

Michael Oher was a sweet kid with a tough life and the Touhy's were a family of really good people who didn't think twice about taking someone into their family who needed love. The sad parts of the movie made me cry, the happy parts of the movie made me cry. I was pretty much a sobbing basketcase from start to finish.

There were parts of the story that were absolutely heartbreaking - when Michael spent the night at the Laundromat washing his only extra shirt and sneaking it into some else's dryer - but I cried every bit as much when he called Leigh Anne Mama as I did at that. As much as the trailer moments get to you (Michael noting he's never had a bed before, for example), it was the littler things that really tugged at my tear ducts. When Sean put himself down as Michael's emergency contact, the way Leigh Anne didn't want her family to see her cry, Sean helping Michael pick something to write his English paper on, everyone thinking of each other as family.

I'm not in favor of the way the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has decided to turn what should be a merit-based awards program into a popularity contest aimed at mollifying the masses (Avatar? Just, no!) but while I don't think this movie was worthy of a best picture Oscar nomination, I do think Sandra Bullock did a remarkable job transforming herself and I support all the accolades she's received. I'd definitely recommend you watch this one.

One Tree Hill - The death of Lydia James is obviously going to hang around just long enough to rip out my heart and stomp all over it. I really love Bess Armstrong and I thought she had some fantastic scenes last night. Particularly the scene where she told Jamie that she'd be spending next Christmas in Heaven with grandpa and the scene at the end with Nathan. The two of them not crying was about the tear-jerkiest moment of the entire episode for me.

I'm in support of the Mouth/Millie/Owen/Lauren storyline. I'm pretty sick of Millie's whiny, self-pitying, petulant refusal to lie in the bed she made for herself and I like the way Owen helps her see shit the way it is. I also think Lauren is great and she's, like, the only person on this show that isn't 95% drama so I'm excited for the relationship between her and Mouth. Plus, I look forward to Millie being forced to deal with her shit and then move on with her life.

I'm a little bummed by the tennis player who I'm guessing is the younger sister of Dead Wife (seeing as how she looks EXACTLY like her) because I just know that her existence is going to drive a wedge between Clay and Quinn when her face inevitably brings up all kinds of emotionally crippling shit for poor Clay. What does this show have against people smiling exactly?

I would vote for more Grubbs and Miranda but I am incredibly bothered by the fact that Miranda sat on a bar stool in her underwear. That is NOT sanitary!

Finally, I believe I'm at the end of my rope with Brooke and Julian. I was relishing Old Brooke's presence and getting really excited about her and Julian getting back together which is what it seemed was going to happen all episode until New Brooke came screeching back into the picture when she stumbled upon a naked Alex asleep in Julian's hotel room. Look, there is a lot of fucking drama on this show - drug addicts, parents sleeping with each other and then being stood up, dead wives, dying parents, divorce, crazy siblings, and a whole host of people dating people who've previously dated various friends and relatives - why must we force drama into Brooke and Julian's relationship that is so completely false and trivial? WTF Schwan? Get it together, man!

Life Unexpected - First and foremost I need to mention that I love Bolt the three-legged turtle!

I also really enjoyed that the show finally answered my request to include some good interaction between Lux, Math and Jamie. Good stuff there. Actually, this episode was mostly good stuff. I liked that they made Grandpa Baze more layered by indicating that he isn't a dick to Baze simply because he is pure evil, but rather because he's incapable of expressing his love for his son in a kind way. I believe most of us know someone who has a similar problem and it's relatable.

Tashia was given another dimension that I enjoyed but they took Bug in a direction that disappointed a little. I'm not saying it's unbelievable that Bug would steal a car but I wish they'd gone another way with the character. That said, I'm sure this opens up some options down the road.

Unfortunately, it looks like I may be the only one who was interested in Ryan remaining in the picture. I've been convinced that the larger story of this very non-traditional family and in particular Ryan's place in it, was rich with possibilities for the show. But the writers have decided they'd rather go the more average and well-worn route of making Cate and Baze some kind of "soul mates." It isn't my favorite choice obviously, but at least they addressed Ryan at all this episode. So much of the time they treat him like a total afterthought. Poor Kerr Smith deserves better.

Earlier today, The CW renewed several shows including Gossip Girl, Supernatural and The Vampire Diaries. OTH and Life Unexpected weren't as lucky, their fates continue to hang in the balance. I'm not too worried about OTH as the show has long been a work-horse hour for the network and is fairly likely to get a green light for another year. But Life is in the grayest of areas right now. It's managed much higher numbers than the surely-doomed Melrose Place, but hasn't posted quite posted the barely-adequate ratings of Gossip Girl in the same time slot. It deserves another season but that hasn't stopped the network from killing a show before. Here's hoping for another year of both shows so that I can continue to rant about them here. Otherwise what the hell are we going to talk about on Tuesdays?

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