Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Notes on Pop Culture: Favorite Flicks, Shows, Etc. from Past Week


While I’m planning on seeing the biggest movie of the summer this coming opening weekend – I speak, of course, of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 – I finally got to go to the delightfully air conditioned movie theater and enjoy Woody Allen’s latest offering, Midnight in Paris.

As someone who’s in the midst of tweaking my own novel and who has sought feedback from trusted sources, I identified with Owen Wilson’s naïve, romantic, insecure writer character, Gil who was fearful of letting folks take a peek at his manuscript lest they rip it apart and, in a way, destroy him. However when Wilson’s Gil got the chance to go back in time and enjoy 1920s Paris with the likes of Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Pablo Picasso and Cole Porter, that’s where the similarities end.

This movie about learning to appreciate what you’ve got, taking chances and daring to follow your dreams was clearly written by a dreamer. Maybe that’s why I liked it so much.


Women’s World Cup: Quarterfinals game. Against Brazil. Amazingly inspiring for all the sports-minded members of my household. The real-life, come-from-behind drama created by the U.S. Women’s World Cup team this weekend trumped even the inspirational Nike ad the team stars in.

Friday Night Lights: In preparation for a piece about the end of Friday Night Lights (*sniff*), I watched the first two episodes of the drama where, 33 minutes into the pilot episode, the clean cut, sweet, police hero high school quarterback is paralyzed during a pivotal play. Five seasons later, the show hasn’t lost its mojo. It’s so sad that the series will end this Friday evening.

Want to relive the Panthers/Lions glory? The entire series will be replayed on ESPN Classic, according to the New York Times. Starting tonight, ESPN will air those same first two episodes starting at 8 p.m., followed by a marathon of the first season on ESPN Classic on Thursday and Friday. The series will begin regularly airing episodes on Thursday evenings on ESPN Classic starting July 21, the paper reported.


In this past Sunday’s New York Times, the co-creators of The Good Wife, Robert and Michelle King wrote an op/ed about how strange the real-life marital twists of politicians’ love lives have turned out to be. Talking about everyone from Weiner, Schwarzenegger and Edwards to Spitzer and Sanford, they said, “Speaking as television writers: [The melodrama] is over the top.”

“One can imagine the studio notes,” the couple wrote. “’We like the husband who impregnates his housekeeper, but keeping her in the same house for a decade seems a bit mustache-twirling.’ ‘Love the presidential candidate cheating with the videographer, but do you need the wife to have cancer?’ ‘Tweeting semi-naked photos from the congressional gym: good – very hip. But making his wife pregnant: isn’t that too on-the-nose?’”

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