Crazy Random Happenstance

Billy: So good... Hey, this is weird. I ordered one frozen yogurt and they gave me two. You don't happen to like frozen yogurt, do you?
Penny: I love it!
Billy: You're kidding? What a crazy random happenstance!
-Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Cakes, Comics, Vampires and A Hole.

In case you haven't noticed, I changed the design of the blog. Some people were saying the colors were making it hard to read, so I am going to try this one out. Don't be surprised if it looks different again the next time you stop by!

Since I finished re-reading the Sookie novels and the Flowers In The Attic books (apparently this is my summer for re-reading things), I have been filling my free time by watching cake shows (and trying to read Andromeda Klein, by Frank Portman). I'm not picky when it comes to these shows, I will pretty much watch all of them. Well, almost all of them...

I love Ace of Cakes (The Food Network) because I love the relaxed atmosphere of their bakery, Very rarely do you see any of them get stressed out over finishing a cake on time, or if something goes wrong during the design process. They all just go with the flow and that's awesome. Their cakes are always spot on, neat and clean. By that, I mean, they look simple and to the point. There is never anything too extravagant about the design and I love the simplicity of it. The end result is always, always impressive and by the end of the show, you just want to be friends with everyone who works at Charm City Cakes.

Since it aired, I have refused to watch Cake Boss (TLC). Why? I couldn't stand all the yelling. It wasn't until I sat down one night and forced myself to watch (because I wanted to see their process for creating/decorating the cakes), that I started to enjoy it. There, I said it, I enjoy Cake Boss. I am fascinated by how quickly Buddy can ice a cake, by the way he says "modeling chocolate" ("mwodeling chwocolate"), by the absolute busy-ness of that bakery and how many employees it takes to make it run efficiently. There are always TONS of people in the background working on different cakes and pastries. So. Much. Fun. I want to sample every delicious treat in there and help make little people sculptures right along with them. Some of the downsides to the show are his sister Mary being crazy annoying (I can't stand it when she yells at him) and at times, I find some of the cakes to be way over the top and almost gaudy looking. But I'll admit that one day, I would love to visit Carlo's bakery in person.

I have also been into Cupcake Wars (The Food Network) and Amazing Wedding Cakes (WE). I am absolutely enthralled by the decorating process and the way each bakery has their own techniques and recipes. I love it! The creativity of it all mesmerizes me and makes me want to practice, bake and eat delicious cupcakes!

I do not, repeat, DO NOT like DC Cupcakes (TLC). The two women who "ditched their corporate jobs to start a bakery" are not enjoyable to watch at all. All they do is bicker and call for their "mommy" and talk about their "signature swirl" (which any person with no baking experience could do). They are full of themselves and all of their employees seem miserable. I have no problem saying that I very strongly dislike the show and will not watch it.

Sticking with television and things I have been watching, True Blood has been A M A Z I N G this season. That is not an overstatement or an exaggeration. It has been wonderfully fun and entertaining. They have done a great job of remaining faithful to the book, plus making it more exciting at the same time. The new cast members have been phenomenal, particularly Dennis O' Hare as Russell Edgington, Joe Manganiello as Alcide Herveaux (Mmmm) and James Frain as Franklin Mott. All three have exceeded my expectations with what they have done with their characters. They were perfectly cast and have brought spunk and charisma to a show that was already exploding with it. Also, Bill is so much more enjoyable this season and I think it has to do with him being away from Sookie (can you tell I am Team Eric?). I cannot wait to see what the second half of the season brings.

Comic Con was last weekend and one of my favorite things to come out of it, was hearing J.J. Abrams thoughts on the Lost finale:
"I personally believe that Damon and Carlton kicked incredible ass and wrote an amazingly emotional finale"


Watching all the Comic Con coverage prompted us to take Charley to his very first comic book store. He was begging us to take him to the convention, "let's by tickets to go there!" so we figured the comic store would be the next best thing. We took him to Comic City in Novi (they also have locations in Canton and Pontiac and the owners are fantastic people, who Jeff and I have known for years). He loved it (especially the Star Wars stuff) and came away with a new fascination for Spiderman. I came away wanting the $70 Dr. Horrible figurine that they had in the display case (ahem... my 30th birthday isn't far off if anyone is looking for ideas...) and Jeff came away with a longing for the comics he used to collect every week. Ladies and gentlemen, we are grooming our Charley Bear to be a huge nerd and couldn't be more proud of it!

On a more musical note, Steven Page released his first solo single yesterday, "Indecision" (since departing BNL in February of 2009). Listening to it (3 times in a row) made me realize how much I have missed his voice and that I now have a love/hate relationship with my one time #1 musical crush. I looooove his voice and could listen to it all the live long day, but now I cannot hear it without thinking of him as the hole who broke up my favorite band and made me feel bitter. Damn him for that! The single itself is good and very reminiscent of "Bull In a China Shop" (from BNL's Barenaked Ladies Are Me). Hearing it makes his absence more noticeable on BNL's new cd, All In Good Time (obviously) and made me realize that while it is a good record, THAT'S what is missing from it (again, obviously). Maybe as more time passes, I will be able to move on from his departure from the band, but in the meantime, I can always put both of their new cds on and hit shuffle and it will be as if nothing ever even happened.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Alias "Lite"

It is a simple fact that I will always and forever compare all spy genre shows to my beloved Alias. It doesn't matter what the premise is, I will immediately say it's an Alias rip-off. When Chuck first came out, I was intrigued by it but at the same time, I was snotty about it and figured they were stealing things from the wonderful world of SD-6. They weren't. Like I said, i was just being an Alias snob. Chuck is actually a really, really fantastic show. It has all the fun spy stuff, it's super funny and they always leave you surprised. The storylines are original and it's this show that introduced me to Mr. Matthew Bomer (Of White Collar, which I will get into in a bit).

So, of course I had mixed feelings about watching the premiere of Covert Affairs on USA (Tuesdays @ 10pm). It stars Piper Perabo (of Coyote Ugly fame) as Annie Walker, a 28yr old CIA agent leading a double life... and she works at a bank! Just kidding, she doesn't work at a bank. I think her "cover" is that she works at the Smithsonian in Washington DC. I won't get too much into the plot in case people want to watch it for themselves, but there were some semi interesting twists and turns. It didn't overly impress me, but I didn't hate it, so that's good. Separately, I really like everyone on the show. Christopher Gorham (most recently from Ugly Betty) is my favorite part about the show. He's the "tech guy" who just happens to be blind. I really enjoyed his part in the episode. It also stars Peter Gallagher ( The O.C. and Center Stage), Kari Matchett (Invasion, where she played a Dr./alien fish) and hold on to your hats Heroes fans because the fan favorite (not really) Sendhil Ramamurthy (Mohinder Suresh) is in it as well. Though he wasn't in the Pilot episode, I am eagerly anticipating his appearance (not really).

Just a few observations (silly, yes, but they all ran through my mind as I watched the show):

  • Some parts of the episode were ridiculous, like the extremely long car chase scene. I told Jeff it reminded me of the pod race in The Phantom Menace. It was unnecessarily long and kind of pointless.
  • Annie Walker is no Sydney Bristow. At all. Though no one can compare to Sydney, she certainly doesn't kick ass like her. She is a likable character, but there is something off that I can't put my finger on.
  • Her apartment (which is really her sister's pool house? Guest house?) looks just like Sydney's.
  • Jeff kept saying the music was very Alias-like (though not as good, of course).
  • "Truth is complicated" is the new "Truth takes time"

All in all, I will refer to the show as "Alias-lite" (props to Carrie for that one). I will keep watching and see where it goes, but really, all it does is make me want to watch Alias. If I hadn't had an episode of White Collar to watch, I probably would have watched "Truth Be Told" before I went to bed.

I also watched the 2nd season premiere of White Collar. The basic premise of the show is about a white collar criminal named Neal Caffrey (Matt Bomer) who cuts a deal with the FBI to help them with crimes using his expertise as an art thief and counterfeiter. His partner is Peter Burke (Tim Dekay), who is married to Elizabeth (Tiffani Thiessen) and the 3 of them have a really fun relationship. They all play off of each other really well. There is always some crime (obviously) that they need to solve, but it is always done in a clever way. And the thing that always surprises me about the show is how funny it is. I love that. It also made me like Tiffani Thiessen again, who I liked on Saved By The Bell but hated on 90210. Willie Garson (Stanford from Sex and The City) plays "Moz" and he is actually one of the best parts about the show. It was a good season premiere and I am looking forward to next week's episode. I know I said it before, but if you are looking for something to watch this summer that isn't reality tv, you should check it out.

J.J. Abrams new spy series Undercovers premieres in the fall and you know I will have things to say about that. Hooray, something for all of you to look forward to!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Dear Emmy voters...

Emmy nominations were announced this morning and while there are a slew of awesome nominations (with Glee leading the pack), there are a few of the same names we have seen over and over and over and over and over!

Case in point: TONY SHALHOUB
Really? Tony Shalhoub again? Including this year, that is 8 times in a row. 8!! Have any of you ever even watched an episode of Monk?? I find it REALLY hard to believe that it's that good of a show (the show itself has never even been nominated). I remember watching a little bit of an episode a few years ago and not being impressed with it. I just don't get it. It's beyond ridiculous. There are so many fresh, new, talented actors out there. Wake up Emmy voters! Just so you know, Monk is no longer on the air but i'm sure that won't stop them from nominating him again next year out of sheer habit.

Alec Baldwin, I sort of get, even though this will be his 4th nomination in a row. He's funny and 30 Rock is a great show (and the rest of the cast is always recognized, along with the show as a whole).

I have a few other problems with the nominations, but these are fun problems to have...

Outstanding Drama:
Breaking Bad
Mad Men
True Blood
The Good Wife

Obviously, I am going to go with Lost here, but I can't lie... I would be pretty ecstatic if True Blood ended up taking this one. Lost deserves it though. Hands down.

Outstanding Supporting actor in a Drama:
John Slattery (Mad Men)
Aaron Paul (Breaking Bad)
Martin Short (Damages)
Terry O’ Quinn (Lost)
Michael Emerson (Lost)
Andre Braugher (Men of a Certain Age)

Smoke Monster or Henry Gale? If we are going by last season alone, I have to go with Terry O' Quinn, but gosh I love Michael Emerson.

Modern Family
Curb Your Enthusiasm
Nurse Jackie
30 Rock
The Office
Curb Your Enthusiasm

How to choose a favorite? With the exception of a few episodes (most notably the wedding episode), The Office had a pretty disappointing season. Jeff and I still have the last 5 episodes sitting in our dvr, waiting to be watched. You all know how I feel about Glee. I adore it so so much and would be thrilled if they won, however, Modern Family is the only show that actually had me laughing for the entire half hour. It's a brilliant comedy. The writing and acting are truly phenomenal, so I suppose they have my vote.

Larry David (Curb Your Enthusiasm)
Alec Baldwin (30 Rock)
Matthew Morrison (Glee)
Steve Carell (The Office)
Jim Parsons (The Big Bang Theory)
Tony Shalhoub (Monk)

Again, judging by my disappointment in The Office this season, I have to go with Matt Morrison. He’s crazy talented and would totally deserve a statue. Not to mention the fact that he’s super handsome. But Tony Shalhoub will probably win.

Chris Colfer (Glee)
Neil Patrick Harris (How I Met Your Mother)
Jesse Tyler Ferguson (Modern Family)
Jon Cryer (Two and A Half Men)
Eric Stonestreet (Modern Family)
Ty Burrell (Modern Family)

I told you Modern Family was a good show. Look at all those nominations! Jon Cryer is insignificant in this category, as far as I'm concerned. Chris Colfer was awesome on Glee and I loooooove NPH, as well as Jesse Tyler Ferguson and Eric Stonestreet but I have to go with Ty Burrell. The man is freaking funny.

Jane Lynch (Glee)
Kristen Wiig (Saturday Night Live)
Jane Krakowski (30 Rock)
Julie Bowen (Modern Family)
Sofia Vergara (Modern Family)
Holland Taylor (Two and A Half Men)

I am going with Jane Lynch. She’s a comedic genius.

Matthew Fox was nominated for Best Actor in a Drama and Elizabeth Mitchell was nominated for her "guest spot" this season. Of course, I believe both should win. If nothing else, Elizabeth Mitchell should win for us having to endure her heartbreaking scenes over and over and over again (thanks Lost editors!).

There you go, those are my Emmy thoughts. If you want to see the full list of nominees and not just my biased choices, here is the link: