September 27, 2007

Private Practice

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I love Kate Walsh. She’s witty, she’s fun, she’s bubbly… All credits to her… I find most her castmates in PP quite alright too, in fact there is a certain something between Pauld Adelstein’s and Amy Brenneman’s characters that just makes me almost want to smile.

However, the first (official as a show) episode of Private Practice was, frankly, awful. I could not wait to see those end credits roll, and I repeatedly wanted to smack Naomi (Audra McDonald’s character) for no apparent reason, other than that she was boring. The whole composition.

The dialogues were too slow, the emotional scenes looked like a first draft, and the storylines felt stiff. Old. Boring…

There, that Bword again. The one that’s gotten into my head and just keeps repeating itself. What have they done to Addison? I probably should give it a second chance and sit through 1.02 as well, but then I might not be able to control that urge to shut down the TV. And that would just be awkward. You don’t just shut down Addison. Or Paul Adelstein for that matter… Damn it. Michael Grossman (director), you can do better!


September 25, 2007

'Into the Wild' with Sean Penn

"After graduating from Emory University, top student and athlete Christopher McCandless abandons his possessions, gave his entire $24,000 savings account to charity and hitchhiked to Alaska to live in the wilderness."

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I have a weakspot for Sean Penn, even though I have yet (!) to manage catching 'Mystic River' (which I nevertheless believe includes his greatest work as an actor). He has previously dipped his toes into the producing/writing/directing world and sure, it has been okay. His acting has, thus far and in my personal opinion, outshined his work behind the camera (and he is an amazing actor). His IMDB page states that he is capable of "intensely moving work" and this fall that capability could hit us full force through Into the wild.

The movie is based both on a book and a true story (see cursive plot description in the beginning of this post), and the very concept blows me away. Whatever he has in store is definitely worth watching (and savouring). So, kids, don't wait... Go see art. And be sure to swing by later to give me all the goods on the quality later (i.e. drop reviews).


tPoW Desideria

Bthw, check out for some more (granted wikipedia-fixed) information and then google the guy. You'll be amazed, intrigued, and confused...

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21st Century consumer guide ...

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Cell phones… They used to be these big bundles of scary and intriguing. Then they grew smaller, and the black and gray screens sported games and pictures formed by dots and letters in the text messages. I remember my first phone with polyphonic ring tunes. I was so thrilled, I even paid a smaller fee to download some signals.

Of course, today the world of cellular technology looks a little bit different. After all it has been a total of, what, six years? Seven? since Nokia launched the polyphonic section. Now I am battling an internal struggle where the logical futuristic part (and dad) says I should go for a so called smart phone. You know the type, with the tinsy keyboard, the easy online connectivity, the kind that reminds you of a PDA only it is a phone with all these possibilities that threaten to overload your head.

Yet all I want is that ordinary Samsung with the mp3 player and calendar. The one that is so far from ordinary in my world, but still manages to be somehow old school. It is a phone, not a computer in the package of a buffed up phone.

Logic says to go with the flow of the future. But I am going to go with old school on this one I think. There are some things that continue to work, at least for a little while longer. Like leg warmers, human receptionists, Metallica… Yes, some things are worth bringing with you into the new chapters or the techworld.

And if I ever have kids they will definitely not be receiving smart-phones for their fifth birthday. Maybe soccer shoes with built-in mp3, but not cells.

XoXo my dears,

tPoW Desideria

September 22, 2007

Disturbia, the movie

There is something wicked going on in the house next door. Is the shady man with the Mustang actually a mass-murderer, and how many bikinis does the new girl-next-door actually own? These are some of the central questions in the drama/thriller Disturbia.

Yet, I am not dismissing it entirely. When I sat down to watch this movie I had high hopes. Maybe it was the promotion (probably financed because both Carrie-Anne Moss (The Matrix trilogy) and David Morse (The Good Son) were cast), or maybe just my need to put myself through susiciously cliché teen-flicks, but in the end I was… Neutral?

The storyline is hardly new, the concept of suspiciour neighborhood activity has definitely been heard of before. However, the cast (a mix of mature talent from the grown ups and fairly fresh and not so mainstream faces in the teens) and a lot of energy put into keeping it on the mature side of the line. In the end, that’s what keeps it afloat.

The script is not all bad. In fact the standard of the movie on a whole is a lot higher than the I know what you did last summer version of teen horror I grew up with. There are a lot of loose ends and ‘oh, come on spare me’s, and the body shots of Sarah Roemer (Ashley) feel a bit overdone. Too many bad jokes, and too many potential comic moments missed. The end feels pushed and a little cliché (as we see it coming since, say, twenty minutes into the movie).

The bottom line is that this is a teen/young adult movie, and as such sure. I see sixteen year olds sitting down with their friends and a lot of popcorn to watch this during a girl’s night in or on a thursday night. A blockbuster? Far from it, and I doubt anyone ever expected that.

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The most shocking part of the experience is, for me, to watch Carrie-Anne Moss in the late thirties/forty-ish mommy role. She does a good and suttle job, and together with David Morse she adds (despite of little screen time, which is actually the only way to go about this script) the needed spice. Nonetheless, I’m feeling a bit shellshocked to watch her not kick ass in a tight weird material black suits and sunglasses. It’s…Scary how normal she does, and how natural it seems.

Anyhow, suming up it’s intriguing enough to stick focused on the screen until the end, but there is hardly any mind activity required and the ten thousand gadgets teens use these days (makes you wonder how much the salaries must’ve gone up over the years) or the awkward kissandmakeout moments you can easily ignore in between kitchen-runs to make more tea (yes, tea).

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Disturbia (2007) Directed by D.J. Caruso and written by Christpoher B. Landon and Carl Ellsworth.

Until next time, tutu

/tPoW Desideria

September 19, 2007

Gossip Girl, series premiere

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There are things about rich kids that fascinate us. We can't really put our fingers on it, but, hey, kids (and adults) all over the world tuned in to watch The OC. What the CW execs wanted to know, no doubt, was whether or not this interest had remained. Would anyone be watching to hear the latest on Gossip Girl?

Josh Schwartz has proven his excellence lies in a very specific genre; the world of teenage heartaches of the rich and fabulous. For the longest time I actually expected him to break free of the expectations and dazzle us all with something new. A movie maybe? Move on into the big world? Or perhaps take that dramatics he clearly has a knack for to a new level, and certainly bring the music with him? We got to know him as the wonder-boy, the too-young-to-be-true creator of an international hit which likes had not been seen in years (before it turned south, somewhere mid first season). Last night we learned whether or not the boy had grown up.

Gossip girl, based on the books by Cecily Von Ziegesar and turned to small screen format by Josh Schwarts and Stephanie Savage, may or may not be the hit the CW has been waiting for, their efforts in promoting it have certainlynot gone by un-noticed (is there even some desperation in the air?). The paralells to The OC are obvious and necessary, and cudos to the guys for not putting too much effort into downlplaying that.

The focus lies on a group of private school kids in NY, their stories told from the perspective of narrator and blogger gossip girl. There's Serena (Blake Lively), our very own (re-newed Marissa) good girl who used to be bad, or good, or maybe just misunderstood? We'll probably figure that out along the way. There is of course her best friend Blake (Leighton Meester) (who's boyfriend Serena screwed bthw) who is feeling a bit torn and angsty.

There’s also evil Chuck (Ed Westwick) who will probably turn out to have a sensitive side, although I'm hoping they just keep him an ass. So much more intriguing to watch. Dan (Penn Badgley) and little (naive) sister Jenny (Taylor Momsen) feel, what's the word, relatively normal.

Now we've moved further into the 21st century. Perez is blogging away much like the mysterious gossip girl, a new generation of fourteen-fifteen year olds are looking around for some new 90210 on tv, and, apparently, GG is now the only show shot entirely on location in NY. Certainly a whole batch of young girls will be tuning in to watch Blair balance impossibly high heels and Dan look hot and read books. Enough to be OC big? We'll see by christmas.

What of Josh then? Will he ever be more than the guy who makes teen-hit-gold on TV? Maybe he should stick to where his creativity fits best and the cash lies. Although I would still love to see him expand his horizons.

Quote of the topic: "I did punch someone." (Dan to Serena regarding their first 'date'... such Ryan Atwood flashbacks, good times good times.)

xo xo


Prison Break, S 3

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Paul Scheuring is back... The question on everyone's lips, of course, is whether or not he's returned with a blast.

Personally, I'd say he has a pretty good shot at going both up and down.

Incarserated in Sona, the prison of nightmares in Panama, sweet innocent little-brother Michael with the squinting eyes is trying desperately to survive without making waves while trusting big brother Lincoln on the outside to get him transferred, or at least to find Sarah. Whether or not he admits it, you can tell he's scared. Time to pull on the tough-guy facade pretty, only this time you might want to prepare yourself for reality. I have a strong feeling Paul will want to torture you a bit longer...

So to sum up a long story, it's back to basics. Prison Break has returned somewhat to the format which made viewers worldwide fall in love with the show in the first place. We're in prison, we've got one brother behind bars and one left to fight on the outside. We have returned to focus (hopefully season one style) on the bond of the two brother's, which last season escalated in a fist fight on the shores of Panama for a mere few seconds (not up to the standards of someone who created such a genious first season/show concept).

No, season two was no hit. Loyal fans stayed true to the show, and maybe it even gained a few new ones. However, too many storylines were left in the dark, and those told were not quite up to the standards we became accustomed to in season one.

Maybe we have been spoiled. No matter, one thing is for sure; season three will bring us new weekly cliffhangers. Love it, hate it, but tune in. It could crash and burn, or it could turn classic...


/tPoW Desideria

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September 16, 2007

The Fall Lineup -07

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Another year has begun, at least to those of us who live by the calendar of school or work. Or television. With all the depression over summer’s final hours and the back-to-the-real-world mania comes some happy points: the tv world is back in action!

With that a lot of us look to the US and the fall line ups for the goodie shots of reality-escape. The only question, which is resting on everyone’s lips, is whether or not there’s anything worthwhile in the newsstands.

The CW presents a number of new series to replace such classics as Gilmore girls, to which we bade adieu last spring, 7th Heaven, which finally ended after a mile long run, and of course the always fiery Reba, the lovely craziness will be missed. Will any of the newbies come through?

First off we see a theme being followed yet again in Aliens in America. Written by David Guarascio (who wrote/co-wrote some episode or another of the 90s comedy hit show Mad about you and is somewhat known for doing work on Just shoot me) and Moses Port (with a surprisingly similar bio as Mr. Guarascio), the show appears to be a mix of comedy and drama focusing on the life and family of a young boy who has found himself at the bottom of the high-school popularity ladder.

To aid him in his attempts at making friends mommy dearest orders in an exchange student. The brochure says he will be tall, blonde, and handsome, but instead a scrawny Pakistani little boy (who also happens to be a Muslim) ends up as the family’s latest temporary addition.

The storyline is old, and even after just sitting through the more lengthy promo the repetitiveness of the plot has me annoyed as well as bored. The promo for AiA includes scenes from a classroom where the teacher blatantly ignores and down-talks the Pakistani boy whilst the class proclaims fear and anger at his presence. Wow, way to re-new the concept guys, I can almost pretend not to recognize it…

As I have not yet witnessed the pilot (nor am I certain I will) I cannot dismiss the show completely. It seems like an attempt to do a little Hollywood spinning with the contemporary political climate of the world, and as always it is done in such a subtle manner… sort of…You know, not. If the world was painted in black and white life would be much too easy, and much too dark. That is why we have shades of gray, where a fuzzy land of contemplation is provided and where we can escape stereotypes and definitions. It does not become much more stereotype than this show. If you want to make a statement through your show against racism, high school bitching, or anything else then for heavens sake do it well! Only a very precious few can pull off comedy with meaning.I doubt this will be one of them.

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Which leads us to none other than Josh Schwartz and Gossip Girl, the one preview that actually tempted me to stay online. I admit it, shamefully, I watched through not just one but three various promos and sneak-peak scenes. There is just something about Josh that spells success story.

When he left The OC (well, took some leave at least) to hold its own it faltered. But what did he do? Not much. Yet when he ended his hit show it was classy, despite it all (yes, it hurts to write but I watched the finale… come on, it was Josh!), and I felt certain he had big things waiting ahead. The only question now is whether or not he will truly come through and merge into hit maker and magic fingered creator/writer or remain a one-hit-wonder child?

A part of me is cheering for him, and after my promo watching I’d say he stands a good chance. In Gossip Girl, which is apparently the only NY show shot entirely on location (good job CW!), he has mixed some of his classic recipes for success (you’ve got a secluded privileged world to which he grants us VIP invitations and lovable troubled/crazy enough characters) as well as some refreshments (like the blogging and the voice-cover by miss gossip girl (Kristen Bell) whoever she might be, how very Perez, and the private school costumes, which we saw some glimpses of at the end of Mischa’s run on the OC) as well as seemingle appropriate actor picks.

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The show is based on best selling girly books ‘Gossip Girl’ (google it) by Cecily von Ziegesar.

I will be watching the pilot, and I think I might just cross my fingers a bit in his favor. After all who am I to miss out on either cat fights or New York drama, especially when this one could turn out to be a classic… That is, if Josh stays at least somewhat involved (he recently spoke up in an article about staying fairly passive, only heading off to NY to say hi and inspire the crowd every once in a while).

Onto the other networks then, and I know I’m getting booring by now so let us just do the quick scan. We have a lot of experiments, it would appear, airing this fall. Bionic woman, on NBC, is one of them. And I didn’t think I would be saying this… but I like the promo. Come on, woman of steel. Or, you know. Loads of scary tech stuff, kicking butt? I think it could be fun. It is a re-invention of an old show and concept. The difference is, however, that today it no longer seems too far fetched. For example (see picture) Claudia Mitchell ( recently became the first woman to receive a bionic arm after a terrible motorcycle accident (wear helmets, and don’t ride them in traffic…yeah, sucks). The arm, it appears, is thought controlled. This is only one example of the results of science when it comes to replacing injured body parts. Scary? Yes. Sci-fi feeling? Definitely. Tragedy prevention? Could save your life…

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On the less serious note, maybe there is a cross-over with fluffy Smallville in the future, Clark and the chick with the green scanning eye facing it off. Yeah, I think I like it.
Then of course we have the Grey’s spinnoff Private Practice which has had people doubting ever since whispers started swirling on the internet about its existance. Now hold your horses pessimists (see that’s usually my job). I think it might work.

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While Grey’s Anatomy is struggling to renew itself entirely and survive with an intact fanbase (I give it another season, then it’s truly dead. If they keep airing it that’s because the network is afraid to drop a hit or insanely loyal), Private Practice feels like a concept we recognize but still manages to be refreshingly new. Addison has that… Thing. Maybe it is the red head thing, that fiery temper vibe that shows on camera (I do not care whether or not she colors it) or maybe it is a mix of a character that we started out hating but grew to if not love then remain intrigued about. She is fun. She is quirky. She is a Loralei who went to med school and had red hair. And I really want her to stay on TV. Not on Grey’s, because it would end her career, but here? Plus, Paul Adelstein has this air of adorable crazy naivity about his character. Out of Prison Break character, I just adore him.

For tonight, that's all folks...