Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Suburban Mom's Pop Culture Week: Tommy Gavin, Jason Bourne, Harry Potter, Michael Jackson, Sarah Palin & Red Sox

When I haven't been catching up on the latest news stories about Michael Jackson, the unfaithful South Carolina governor who doesn't know when to shut up, U.S. troops leaving Iraq and about Red Sox third baseman Mike Lowell being put on the DL (!), I've been coping with sick kids and have been sick myself . . . but that hasn't stopped me from consuming pop culture and watching Sox games. Here's what I've been up to pop culture-wise this week:


-- Sox, Sox and more Sox. Mercifully, I didn't watch the entire game when the Sox blew a massive lead -- and "imploded" according to Jonathan Papelbon -- against the Orioles. Silly gal that I was, I thought they were going to win because they were up by so much, so I tuned in to other things, like Rescue Me.

-- I said this last week and I'll say it again this week: Rescue Me has been great this season and has drawn viewers into dark, twisty, unpredictable places. This season warrants a full blog post on its own, particularly given the blow torch scene. Damn!

-- Nurse Jackie: Jackie Peyton's kid is creating drawings sans colors, with no sun in the sky? Sounds like the recent weather around New England. Kidding aside, this dark show has me hook, line and obligatory sinker.


-- Adored the Bourne Ultimatum which The Spouse and I saw on DVD. It sparked a heated discussion about who would take who in a fight: Jason Bourne or Jack Bauer. (I say Bourne. Bauer would be too busy yelling, "Dammit!" and trying to get patched in to Chloe on the phone.) While Ultimatum's handheld camerawork made me feel a bit nauseous at times (or it could've been the flu from which I was recovering), I was otherwise highly entertained.

-- What didn't I find so entertaining this week? Planning on watching the cerebral Frost/Nixon film by Ron Howard, only to find that I'd instead ordered from Netflix the ACTUAL Frost-Nixon interviews from the 1970s. At 10 p.m. on a Saturday, I could've stayed up to watch Ron Howard's hyped up dramatic version of the interviews, but I feared the real ones would've put me to sleep. It lies, still unwatched, next to the DVD player.

-- In preparation for a column in which I compare my kids' fascination with all things Harry Potter to my generation's fascination with all things Star Wars, I OD'ed on Potter films, specifically The Chamber of Secrets, The Prisoner of Azkaban and The Order of the Phoenix. I still tear up at the end of Phoenix.

-- In preparation for a different column for a different publication, I'm planning on going to the theater to see the Sam Mendes film starring The Office's John Krasinski called Away We Go. It's been a tad challenging to find it playing at a theater near me, seeing as though it doesn't have a massive, nationwide distribution. I can't decide whether to keep my expectations low or not, given that I really did NOT like the last Mendes film, Revolutionary Road.


-- I'm continuing to re-read Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince as we're now at T-minus two+ weeks and counting before the film version is released.


-- I've not yet read the Vanity Fair profile of Sarah Palin -- "It Came From Wasilla" -- but from what I've read on the internet, it sounds like it may well be a polarizing piece about a woman who's controversial herself. It's on my "must read" list.

-- I read a thought-provoking column in the New York Times over the weekend which mused about whether Michael Jackson is truly the last, worldwide mega-star who spans the generations. His music, the article suggests, was popular in the pre-internet days/pre-iTunes/pre-fractured pop culture world, when everyone watched MTV when it still played music videos. I tried to think of another cultural figure who is vastly popular with a wide swath of people, whose accomplishments affect people of varying backgrounds and nationalities, and who would cause people to spontaneously gather to celebrate and the only name that popped into my mind was Oprah. Do you think Times writer David Segal is right when he speculates that there will be no more mega-, multi-generational celebrities like Jackson?

Image credit: Vanity Fair/Risko.

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