Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Suburban Mom's Pop Culture Week: Presidential Address, Julie & Julia, Beatles Get Cover Treatment & HBO's 'Hung'

This, in case anyone was wondering, is a non-Gosselin edition of Suburban Mom's Pop Culture. There's only so much of Jon & Kate that I can handle in one week, thank you very much . . .


Who out there is planning to watch the presidential address to a joint session of Congress tonight? I'll be there, in front of the TV -- likely tuned to NBC's Brian Williams, love Brian -- with an open mind and ready to listen. On Thursday, I'll be ready to analyze. One thing I can't stand, though, about these addresses, is the repeated jumping out of one's seating and clapping all the time. Drives me nuts.

From the commander in chief addressing Congress to a male prostitute. There's just no good segue here . . . I've been ODing on HBO's new comedy Hung, about the down-on-his-luck high school teacher/basketball coach/divorced father of two teens Ray Drecker who turns to high-priced prostitution -- calls himself a "happiness consultant" -- to pay his bills and get the funds to fix his home which was partially ruined by fire. (He didn't have the cash to pay his home owner's insurance premiums and let the policy lapse, so now he's living in a tent next to the house.)

After I've seen the season finale (airs Sunday night), I'll devote a separate blog item to the show. It's mighty quirky, in a Weeds sort of way. I love the dynamic between the main character and his pimp Tanya, a confidence-craving poet who has worked at a temp job in a law firm for more years than she'd care to admit.


I finished Julie Powell's book Julie & Julia on Monday, upon which half of the movie of the same name is based. I was entertained throughout, though the sections on Powell cooking organ meat curdled my stomach. (When I told my 11-year-old son about the chapter on cooking brains -- given, we were at the dinner table at the time -- he curtly thanked me for killing his appetite.) A great number of the events which occurred in Powell's life during the year in which she was cooking her way through Julia Child's first book and blogging about it were omitted from the film, so reading this helped fill in the blanks. Once I completed Julie & Julia, I moved on to finally cracked open Jack Kerouac's On the Road. I'm just at the very beginning though. Never read Kerouac. Have no idea what to expect.

After sitting unloved on my desk for a while, Wired Magazine's latest issue has been beckoning me. Meanwhile, I enjoyed basking in the Beatles Mania in this week's Entertainment Weekly and harassing my kids by singing tidbits of Beatles songs at random moments.


This week I watched the first DVD in the first season for The West Wing. God did watching that show that bring me right back to the 1990s, before people were using BlackBerries or doing things like Twittering and Facebooking. It's almost charming to hear people mention faxes, which aren't used like they were when this show began. I fondly remembered Leo, Sam, Josh and C.J., and realized I'd forgotten how sanctimonious Jed Bartlett could be. The discs for the remainder of the award-winning freshman season are on my Netflix queue. Can't wait. (And no, I haven't watched Milk yet, which I've had for some time from Netflix, sitting next to the TV.)

The Spouse and I did, however, watch Flash of Genius over the weekend starring Greg Kinnear and Lauren Graham. Aside from production/film issues (the camera would sometimes move awkwardly, almost jarringly, and some of the clothing did NOT appear period, maybe I've been spoiled by the anal retentive Mad Men folks) I found the tale of inventor/college professor Robert Kearns getting screwed by the Ford Motor Company after they stole his invention, bittersweet. The drama peaked when Kearns wouldn't drop his lawsuit against Ford, even with his family, his job and his sanity at stake. If this had been made 40-50 years ago, I can imagine someone like Jimmy Stewart in the lead role, of the little guy getting taken by the big, expensive-suited power brokers.

Image credit: Entertainment Weekly.


Kerouac fan said...

Forget West Wing and the other 'smart' media stuff. Forget for a week or three even The Beatles (and I'm their one of there biggest fans) and dig Kerouac - you're moving into culture!

Meredith said...

Kerouac fan -- I'll post here after I've finished reading "On the Road." I'm hoping that I will indeed dig it.