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True Blood Recap (S06 E08-E09): Tarlene Forever

Firstly, apologies for my truly lacklustre work ethic. Forgive me for schlumping two episodes together in this recap. Sure, I’m a lazy turd. However, let’s just all admit that jack-all happened in Episode 8 except for some sappy Sookie soul-searching.

The Fairy Princess Bride

Oh my god, Sookie has been wearing that same outfit (floral skirt, thigh high black socks, and boots) for three frickin episodes. Doesn’t it smell? Doesn’t it smell of SHINY FAIRY SEX JUICES and DEAD DADDY SWAMP MURDER? As harrowing as her story is, I was mainly glad that she finally got a hot shower and a fresh set of clothes. (Even if said clothes  looked like they belonged in my seventh grade wardrobe. Those pigtails, however, I left in kindergarten.)

Here’s the skinny: Bill wants Warlow’s blood so he can pass it around like the bloody Holy Grail and level up all the vampires at Camp Auschvamp into day-walkers. Tricky thing is that everyone hates Bill now because he’s a delusional megalomaniac and nobody wants to help him.

Nevertheless, Sookie wants to save her friends (yada, yada) so she opts in to Bill’s Vamp-Saving Brigade and agrees to persuade Warlow to help. In return, Warlow drops an ultimatum on Miss Fairy Princess – you want my blood? you better fuckin’ marry me. Well, he says it a lot nicer than that. He proposes (eternity) to her.

Hehe – look at Rob Kazinsky. Gosh darn it, ain’t he a cutie?!

She reluctantly agrees to being his Fairy Princess Bride for all of Eternity, of course, because she is the ultimate danger-whore. However, not before she tries to scam on Sam to try and make him ask her to give up her powers. Good on you, Sam, for telling her to shove off! (Applause)

What is it with Anna Paquin and trying to relinquish her powers to be normal? Sookie doesn’t want to be a fairy with bright shiny powers. Anna Marie doesn’t want to be Rogue and chill with the cool-as-fuck X-Men.  (Plus who the fuck doesn’t want to spend eternity with Warlow and his six-millenia hard on?) Does Anna Paquin just give off that normal nancy vibe, casting directors? I really want to know! As stupid as it is sometimes, I would rather be a fucking fairy with shiny hands that gets to bump uglies with hot supernatural men than be a regular ole bumpkin in Bon Temps with 3.5 children and a chubby booze-guzzling husband.

Final note – kudos to Anna Paquin for that stirring speech about how she’d rather be a walking corpse and for her parents to fuck off for being close-minded murderous douchebags. Snaps for Sookie!

Sarah Newlin is INSANE-ULOUS

MEGA-FUCKIN-SNAPS for ANNA CAMP and her award-worthy turn as Sarah Newlin: Crazy Christian Crackpot.

Item #1 – Sarah Newlin hamster-wheels her ex-hubby

Item #2 – Sarah Newlin tries to bake a pie with Vamp-gizzard filling (Bye, Steve Newlin – its been fun!)

  

  

Item #3 – Sarah Newlin smashes up the face of Asian Corporate Lady

I was totally rooting for bad-ass Asian chick though. YEAHH!! KNEE HER IN HER LADY BALLS!

Let this be a lesson to ye, little children. Stilettos kill. Let justice rain down upon those who are deserving. In the form of an angry Jason Stackhouse:

Screen Shot 2013-08-14 at 12.27.18 AM

Anna Camp as Sarah Newlin has been one of the most thrilling, psychopathic villains True Blood has had in a while. Though she is not physically intimidating, she has that maniacal glint in her eye – the same one that gives you the heebie-jeebies when you enter the same room as Hannibal Lecter or Ted Bundy. Albeit, she’s the Serial Killer Lite version. Essentially, she is Russell Edgington with bouncy blonde hair.

Uprising at Camp Aushchvamp

A big welcome back to Eric Northman: Badass Edition 2.0. We’ve waited for this as long as Pam has waited for Eric to forget Sookie’s fairy vagina. Let’s take a gander at Eric’s greatest hits the last couple episodes:

We have snarky Eric

We have puzzled Eric

We have playful Eric

We have magnanimous Eric

..and, we have scary Eric.

Last season, we were knee-deep in Eric’s love-sickness for Sookie and her fancy-smelling blood. Its such a delight to see him revert to the one-man massacre machine we all knew him to be. His rescue last night was like watching a sadistic Jason Bourne liberating the bloodthirsty inmates from that mental hospital in American Horror Story. Of particular note was his spectacular castration of the cowardly Dr Overlark – 7/10 for Technical Difficulty, 9/10 pts for Execution, and 10/10 for Style!

But of course, true to form, Eric abandons Pam as soon as he is able. “Alritey then, Pam’s okay – time for me to Superman off into the sunset and break her heart all over again!”

Pam and Eric’s relationship is certainly one of the strong points of True Blood. For Pam, Eric is a fascinating amalgam of father figure, lover, soulmate, brother, and idol. In fact, she kind of comes off as the most loyal follower in Eric’s evil cult. She’s a little bit like the Bellatrix Lestrange to his Lord Voldemort.

  

Can we just note how inhumanly good that prison jumpsuit looks on Pam. A real diva brings it, no matter what the outfit.

On a side note, I’m very much enjoying the new bad bitch in town: Violet Mazurski, the hardcore old-school medieval-times Catholic. There aren’t many people who can tell Pam to eff off and live to brag about it.

  

Plus, I’m really keen to see how Violet getting all Fatal Attraction on Jason will pan out. I bet there will bunnies involved.

  

(Pam be like, ‘You’re on your own, Jason.’)

The Terry Bellefleur Retrospective

Thank you, writer room, for this touching and bittersweet homage to the best husband and father in True Blood: Terry Bellefleur. As each mourner reminisced their ‘Terry story’ with the crowd, each vignette gave us a glimpse into his sweet, damaged, stoic soul. It wasn’t all doom and gloom though. From Andy, to Sam, to Lafayetter (especially Lafayette), it was nice to be reminded of Terry in all his charmingly eccentric glory.

  

  

And like I said before, Terry and Arlene’s stable, supportive romance grounds the show amidst the various supernatural shenanigans (i.e. shiny fairy sex, obsessive Catholic vampires, brother-sister vampcest…etc). Brangelina? Pfft, Tarlene ftw.

  

  

p.s. A Sneaky Note on Shifters and Wolves

While I don’t condone violence against women, props to Alcide for showing that crazy were-bitch, Ricki, who’s boss. I might be ready to offer a tentative hand of friendship to Alcide. Especially if he pulls more of these – behold, Alcide posing with a bottle of ‘Man-scent’ and his adoring fans:

 

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True Blood Recap (S06 E05): Camp Auschvamp

And the best title of the Season goes to…. “Fuck The Pain Away”!

Ironic, since there’s very little fucking going on. Especially considering that its True Blood that we’re watching.

The Fairy Princess

Why does everything dramatic have to happen to Sookie? Its like what Ron Weasley very astutely observed about Harry Potter’s misfortunes: “Why is it always you?”

Let’s summarise the ‘bombshells’ that we’ve gathered throughout this episode. (I resisted writing this recap for the longest time purely to annoy The Sister, as she kept scurrying around the apartment screaming about how many ‘bombshells’ were dropped this week and how I needed to watch it so I could geek out with her.)

1. Sookie is a Fairy Princess.

2. Warlow is her betrothed. Together, they are meant to save the fairy race. Or, create a new fairy-vamp hybrid race?

3. Sookie’s dad has a lot in common with Medea and her infanticidal ways. Basically, he reckons that dead child > vamp child.

4. Warlow killed Sookie’s parents to stop them from killing her.

5. Lafayette channels Sookie’s dad, who possesses his body and tries to kill Sookie again.

On the shit side – UGHH SOOKIE. Sookie is so annoying. Can’t all this exciting stuff happen to someone else? Anyone else? Not only must all the hot men fall in love with Sookie and her fairy vagina, but she has to be frickin’ Fairy Royalty as well? As if she doesn’t think she’s special enough.

On the plus side – Robert Kazinsky is a babe. It’s a bit fan-fiction-y for him to be her immortal knight in shining armour, fighting for her life and love through the centuries and dimensions, yada, yada. Nevertheless, I’m totally feeling it. It might have something to do with the fact that Rob Kazinsky is totally dreamy. (For more evidence, please see Rob Kazinsky in Pacific Rim as a sexy robot pilot.)

Billow (Warlith?)

Has anyone noticed how… uh… bushy Lillith’s lower department is? Is there someone on the True Blood crew specially assigned to wrangling her merkin? Like, “Hi, I’m Doris. I’m going to be your Pubic Wig Stylist today!” I get it, though. She’s, like, super old and European (?) so going au naturel is the only way to go. It’s just awkward because its so obvious that its a wig. You can see clearly the boundaries of the piece. Its like the True Blood hair department was over-budget and someone decided it was a smart idea to glue Bert from Sesame Street’s hair piece over her crotch instead.

Okay, sorry. I’ve just spent an uncomfortable amount of words discussing Lillith’s vagina-wig.

The only sexing we get in this episode is Lilith awkwardly raping a primitive Warlow (Rob Kazinsky with a bad wig of his own).

Yeah, Billith chomping down on Jesus-haired Warlow was kinda awkward. Chick Lillith was fully sexed up on Warlow. Now that Bill is Billith, there’s the whole homoerotic element playing out again.. Is is just me, or has anyone else noticed that Warlow is getting frisky with a lot of the True Blood men? I guess Sookie can only hook up with so many of them before we get bored.

To summarise, Billith can command Warlow as his maker because he has Lillith’s blood essence in him. He tries to command Warlow to help him save vampire kind. Warlow tells him to get fucked. 

Warlow is now one of my fave characters. 

Writers, please hear this – Billith sucks. Bring back Bill Compton!

Camp Auschvamp

Firstly, Anna Camp is THE BEST. If ever you need a self-righteous priss with a hidden crazy/bitch streak, she’s your girl. Case in point – Anna Camp as Caitlin in The Good Wife, as Bethany Van Nuys in Mad Men, as Vomiting Acappella Queen in Pitch Perfect, as Southern Belle-Bitch in The Help. She’s really carved a niche for herself. 

She’s fucked a gay guy. She’s fucked an old guy. Now, she’s fucked a vampire-lovin’ guy. She really has shitty luck with men. Oh wait, she’s a hateful bigot. Nvm. Let’s hope she comes across an actual vampire guy at some point. She deserves some comeuppance.

This episode, we are introduced to Vamp Camp. Its very Auschwitz meets Shawshank Redemption meets Girl, Interrupted in a shiny Hunger Games Capitol facility. Honestly, I think its the most creative the writer’s have been all season. We can only stomach so much of Sookie’s love dramas before we crave something a bit different.

The vampires picked up by the LAVTF are shipped to this facility where they become test subjects. It serves as a research facility as well as a holding prison for vamp kind in the South. 

The vampires are sorted into four tiers according to intelligence. The elite are studied in psychotherapy sessions while the rest undergo tests ranging from physical endurance to, uh, coital prowess. Meanwhile, the rest are detained in communal mess areas where everyone tries their darndest not to get Shawshanked.

After Pam gets caught, Eric and Tara turn themselves in. Jessica gets nabbed after running into Conservative nutjob Anna Camp at Jason’s. 

Eric proves to be a bad ass at retrieving rubber balls and shooting people. Pam gets psychoanalyzed by a pervy therapist who likes to watch her drink blood out of exotic Asian bloodbank, Som Chai. Jessica whimpers like a Baby Vamp to Tara (get it together, Jess). 

And then, the twisted vamp-hating bigots decide to get Gladiator on Eric and Pam.

Let me just make this clear – if Eric or Pam dies in the next episode, I REFUSE TO CONTINUE WATCHING.

Plea to the Writers: Notice how there is no mention about Werewolves or Shifters? On principle, I refuse to write about those of whom I care little. Do your TV show a favour on focus on the supernatural group people actually care about. RAH RAH VAMPIRES! (Okay, I guess you can write a little about Sookie so long as you promise that you’ll focus on Warlow and his shirtless scenes.)

 

 

 

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Pacific Rim Review: An Ode to Robots and Monsters

I’m the type of person who likes to hear the bad news before sweetening up my life with a bit of the good stuff. So lets get the pain out of the way:

1. Stereotypical character tropes – there’s the wise black commander dude, the feisty Asian chick, the wildcard beefcake hero…etc etc

2. Awkward pseudo-love story undertones between the wildcard beefcake and the feisty Asian (at least it was inter-racial)

3. Hammy dialogue. Like, very hammy dialogue. (Beefcake to Asian: “C’mon, c’mon! Let’s do this… TOGETHER!”)

Now that we’ve eaten our veggies, let’s gobble up some yummy sweets.

I’ll be honest, I gave Pacific Rim a lot of shit when the first trailer came out. What did I say again? “The Transformers Take Cloverfield”? I suppose I also said some other colourful stuff involving Michael Bay, JJ Abrams, and poop. I forget.

After further consideration, I respectfully forego my preconceived notions and pledge my allegiance to the kingdom of nerditude. In other words, sorry for being a dick, Guillermo, because your movie effing ROCKS.

This summer blockbuster season has been promised to be filmic candy-land: Iron Man, Man of Steel, Wolverine, Monster University etc etc. All season though, everything has either been hitting below par or merely meeting expectations. Pacific Rim has outstripped my (admittedly, low) expectations unlike any other. I said that it was arriving at the butt-end of the blockbuster season, didn’t I? Instead of being part of the superhero discard pile, little did I expect that Pacific Rim was the freaking clean-up batter for the entire round-up.

Pacific Rim tells the story of Earth’s epic battle against extra-terrestrial monster invaders called Kaiju (“strange beast” in Japanese) that rise out of cosmic portal located at the bottom of the Pacific Ocean. These deadly leviathans can level whole cities, and that’s exactly what they proceed to do to the coastal population centres encircling the Pacific Rim. The Kaiju were sent to exterminate mankind to make way for alien colonists.

After realising the futility of conventional warfare, the world’s leadership unites to form the Pan Pacific Defense Corps. In a stroke of fantasy-level collaboration, everyone overcomes their political differences (except probably North Korea, because Kim Jong-Un is a spoiled prick) to pour their resources into humanity’s final solution – The Jaeger Programme. Meaning ‘hunter’ in German, the Jaegers are colossal military mechas powered by two human drivers through a neural link-up. With these super-weapons in our arsenal, humanity finally starts kicking some ass.

After a few years of being badass, the aliens adapt and send out their bigger guns. Jaeger losses are at an all-time high when world leaders decide to shut down the programme in favour of something a little more stupid. In an epic move of bureaucratic dick-baggery, our wise leaders decide that a “coastal wall” is the solution to our problems.

However, after a Category 3 Kaiju blows straight through the coastal wall around Sydney, Australia in a matter of hours, this prompts the remaining Jaeger rangers to form a resistance. They plan a last-ditch assault on the alien portal with a skeleton staff of lone ranger gunslinger types. A plan involving nukes. How could it go wrong?! Thus, shenanigans ensue. Oh man, do shenanigans frickin’ ensue.

First of all, this movie made me irrationally proud of being human. HUMANITY, FUCK YEAH! I felt a little bit like I was in the bleachers for a massive football game – HUMANS VS ASSHOLE ALIENS. Go Team Human!!!

Secondly, Pacific Rim is an exercise in human innovation and  passion. In the years of late, the film horizon has been littered with blockbuster tentpoles that are pale imitations of Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy. I was getting incredibly sick of the dark-cynical-gritties that Hollywood was churning out at an astonishing rate.

Del Toro’s Pacific Rim is a colourful and imaginative entity. Most importantly, it is a completely original one. When was the last time we saw a movie of this scale that wasn’t based on a comic book, a novel, or a fucking Hasbro toy?

The universe of Pacific Rim is so expansive and so richly fleshed-out. Not since Underworld (before the slew of piece-of-crap sequels) has a filmmaker been rewarded for daring to tackle a such a visionary canon in a little under two-hours on the big screen. Maybe it was for this reason that I felt a flutter of nostalgia for the good old days when movies were original properties and not just some adaptation of the latest YA faux-Twilight craze.

What’s even better is that Pacific Rim manages to pay homage to the genre of Japanese Kaiju without ripping off scenes and monsters from other films (yes, I’m talking to you Tarantino). Despite the mostly god-awful dialogue and the paper-thin characters, it felt like I was living a well-crafted throwback graphic novel. We have our heroes and we have our monsters, and that’s that. (Plus, I’ve been watching a lot of SyFy’s special effects makeup reality competition, Face Off, which has given me a newfound appreciation for creature design.)

Let’s admit, though, that the majority of the reason for why I’m letting the shitty character development fly is because Guillermo Del Toro assembled a cast that’s got charisma leaking out of their eyeballs.

Charlie Hunnam as Raleigh Becket, aka. Beefcake Loose Cannon

Beefcake Charlie was more of a cypher than he was a character. I overlook that because I’ve liked Charlie since I saw Nicholas Nickleby on The Hallmark Channel. Perhaps that’s not the best testament to his acting talents. He was awesome as that Civil War douchebag in Cold Mountain. Unfortunately, I haven’t seen Sons of Anarchy, but he’s probably good in that too because he’s good at everything. Random note, ‘Beefcake Charlie’ would be a great name for home-style fast food joint.

Rinko Kikuchi as Mako Mori, aka. Feisty Asian Badass

Props to the writer/director for NOT turning her into exotic Asian sex kitten with heeled boots and bootie shorts. There was only so much stereotyping I could handle. Rinko is awesome, mainly because she’s my Asian brethren and I feel irrationally supportive. Yay for Asians in big blockbusters! I could’ve done without the awkward sort-of-but-not-really love story with Beefcake Charlie though. But then again, we totes need more inter-racial lovin’ on screens, folks!

Idris Elba as Stacker Pentecost, aka. British Nick Fury

Idris Elba is such a badass. He is the token wise black dude that Morgan Freeman has made a career out of.  He walks around, dropping corny bits of sage wisdom. However, the lame dialogue somehow turns to honeyed gold when it falls out of his mouth. That man could turn a Damon Lindelof script into Shakespeare with his voice alone. If this acting thing doesn’t work out, I suggest going into vocal acting for e-books. In all seriousness, he imbued the character with a depth and gravitas that obviously didn’t exist in the script. I would totally follow this man into war.

Rob Kazinsky as Chuck Hansen, aka. Cocky Douchebag Golden-Boy

I’m gonna be upfront – I’m really biased because I’m falling in love with Rob Kazinsky on True Blood. He’s so bloody earnest. So, it was actually incredibly jarring when he plays an asshole in Pacific Rim. Chuck Hansen is the cocky ranger with the best Kaiju kill-record. He pilots the Australian Jaeger, Strike Eureka, with his papa, Hercules Hansen (yeah, no joke, his name is Hercules. I can’t laugh because I have a cousin named Achilles). He’s the Val Kilmer character in Top Gun, that starts off disliking Charlie Hunnam’s Tom Cruise, but then starts acknowledging him as an equal once he proves himself. Credit where its due – him and Max Martini (who plays his dad, Hercules) have the sole scene in the film that might be remotely capable of spurring a real emotion in the audience. Its at the end, and its kinda sad / touching. On a brighter note, Australian outback represent!!

(I know this pic is so corny, but I couldn’t help myself.)

Diego Klattenhoff as Yancy Becket, aka. Brother Beefcake

*SPOILER* (Heed the spoiler warning lest you wish to be eaten by a Kaiju)

OMG Guillermo! How could you kill of Shane Oman / Mike from Homeland within the first 5 mins of the movie?! He is the bomb! But yeah, that’s right, Raleigh Becket’s brother is SHANE OMAN FROM MEAN GIRLS. HAHAHAHA. Random note: I’ve always found Diego Klattenhoff’s name so weird. Diego is Spanish, Klattenhoff sounds German, and he looks Irish. Its SO confusing to me.

Charlie Day and Burn Gorman as Doctors Geiszler and Gottleib, aka. Comic Relief

Their the odd-couple crack research team. We have the fly-by-the-pants scientist rockstar, Charlie Day, providing a foil to Burn Gorman’s, straight-laced British professor. They bicker. They do funny stuff. They become friends despite their differences. The Internet writes gay fiction about them. Yup. That’s how humanity rolls.

This is the cast that pop culture geeks are vibin’ with. They’re all from popular TV shows, they’re all kinda under the radar, and they’re all totally awesome. (Plus, Ron Perlman makes a sweet cameo to remind the world why he’s the best.)

Everything from the cast, to the concept, to the frickin’ monsters – everything feels like Guillermo has made a film just for us movie nerds in the world. It could’ve been a hot, hot mess (and some parts were). However, Pacific Rim isa testament to the fact that there are still some filmmakers out there who geek out to the same shit we do and are willing to invest millions into creating a high-quality movie for the fans.

How do I know that I loved this movie? Well, when I got home, I spent 2 hours perusing the Pacific Rim wiki, researching everything from the name of the sick-ass Kaiju with the wings (its “Otachi”, btw) to Stacker Pentecost’s drive-suit size (sadly, that info is not available).

If you’re not a pretentious douchebag whose favourite auteur is Godard, GO WATCH IT. This embodies the sense of batshit-awesome that summer blockbuster season was always meant to be.

Random Anecdote: When I left the cinema, I couldn’t stop yammering to The Boyfriend about how The Sister and I would totes make a great Jaeger team. (The closer your bond, the better your Jaeger will fight.) The Boyfriend, being the incredibly sarcastic and dispiriting person that he is, had this to say: “Oh yeah, I’m sure you guys could drive a Jaeger. What would it be called? “Spicy Noodle”? — UM, YES?! We are Asian. We are feisty/spicy. We love noodles.

Jaeger Spicy Noodle

The Internet’s going nuts over its newest toy – the Jaeger Designer. Check out this Buzzfeed list of incredibly convincing Jaeger options. Guillermo, take note for the sequel.

BONUS – Do you doubt just how much care and detail was put into this film? Listen to Guillermo Del Toro wax nostalgic about his “beautiful poem to giant monsters”. Btw, note how how talks about how he stays away from referencing previous films? TAKE A NOTE, TARANTINO. You can still make exciting films without plagiarism.

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Mad Men Recap (S06 E13): The 70s suck

I have not bothered recapping the last few episodes of Mad Men because (a) I’m lazy, and (b) the story arcs have been sub-standard.

As such, (a) + (b) = (c) I am lazy to recap sub-standard crap.

I understand that Mad Men holds itself to a different standard of story-telling. Matthew Weiner doesn’t do the cliff-hangers, the bottle episodes, the melodrama etc etc – all hallmarks of typical television dramas. However, it has to be said that skewering all the characters of your TV show can’t be considered good television either.

In seasons past, no matter what the crazy shit it was that they pulled, you always felt an illogical loyalty to whomever your favourite characters were. Whether it was Pete cheating on his wife, Don cheating on his wife, or Peggy cheating her way to the top, there was always a little voice in the back of my head going, “aww, but its not all his / her fault – they just have a shit deal.” Mad Men has achieved the impossible by rendering every character, no matter how minor, as an actual human being. And that, my fellow TV nerds, is what makes compelling television.

Now obviously, I’m not the type of viewer that watches Mad Men to analyze the significance of Megan Draper’s t-shirt (can we all just admit that the whole Sharon Tate murder thing was a complete red herring?) or the importance of Bob Benson’s coffee-drinking habits. I know that a bunch of viewers enjoy the intellectual workout that Mad Men offers – that’s where they get their kicks, and thats fine by me.

Take that, conspiracy theorists! Megan is STILL ALIVE.

However, I’ve taken enough film and television studies courses at university to vow never to over-analyze, and thus ruin, my TV shows. Mad Men is genius – its smart, well-written, highly cerebral, but more than that, it was engaging as all hell. For those who thought Mad Men was just a bunch of pretentious tosh, I would always shoot back, “YOU ARE DAMNED FOOLS!”

The reason for that has always been because of one reason: YOU CARED FOR THE CHARACTERS. You cared about their lives, their journeys – it was like watching your best friends screw up week after week, and you sat there in blind support because you gave a damn about their futures.

That’s why it pained me this season to watch all the main characters slowly screw themselves over and over. The glittering glamour of the 60s is over, folks. Welcome to the muddy mess that is the 70s.

Nevertheless, I have decided to break my silence because this episode gave me a glimmering flicker of hope that its all going to be okay.

Douchebag Draper – As much as I harp on about how I hate Don Draper, that doesn’t mean that I don’t want him to find redemption. I’ve hated on him pretty hard this season, but I see why now. He’s like that childhood friend that I can’t quit – no matter how much he fucks up, no matter how much I rage about his bullshit, I still want him to dig himself out of that alcoholic, philandering hole and get his shit together. Matthew Weiner tore him down, and this episode was Don’s rock-bottom. Sally won’t speak to him, his partners as SC&P have ousted him, and Megan has seemingly left him. He is finally getting everything he deserves and it was all of his own making. Strangely enough, I felt no joy at his ruin. Instead, I felt an immense tug of hope well up inside me when he took Sally and his boys to see his childhood home. This was Don trying to face his past, and rebuild his present. Kudos, Jon Hamm – I can’t ever quit you.

20 pts (for recognising the vast failures of your life and trying to get your shit together)

Miss Peggy – Hey girl, you finally got it on with Teddy Chaough. I hope it was hot, because we can’t be having that infidelity crap hampering your meteoric rise in the advertising world.

What up, Don? Peggy is in the house. As much as I liked Ted, her whole arc with him has been a distraction from where she needs to go. Where I need her to go. And that is, the top of the heap. God love her for not being a coldly ambitious ice queen – Peggy is still a girl who wants to love and be loved, as much as she wants to be the ultimate advertising dragon-lady. But hon, like Ted says, him leaving for LA is going to be the best thing that’s happened to you.

10 pts (for her ridiculous get up to make Ted jealous, proving that she’s just like the rest of us silly girls) + 20 pts (for telling Ted to get the hell out) = 30 pts

We’ve all been there, Peggs.

Ted Chaough – Oh honey, NO. It’s not okay to cheat on your family. You’re better than Don. It’s also not okay to seem so overwhelmingly decent and earnest in your love confessions, and then change your mind on a girl.

NOT OKAY.

– 30 pts (for cheating on the familia) – 20 pts (for “if I can’t have you, no one can”) + 5 pts (for going to LA after realising that YOU’RE BETTER THAN THAT) = -45 pts

Sideburns Campbell – Oh dear, his receding hairline is receding even faster. That dastardly Manolo! Pete’s family life is becoming a bit too soap-operatic for my taste – Oh no! He cheats on his wife! Oh no! She kicks him out! Oh no! His mom has dementia! Oh no! His mom’s gay caretaker marries her on a cruise-liner, throws her overboard, and tries to steal her money! OH NOOOES! (Seriously, read that last line again to yourself and tell me that doesn’t sound like a plot line from The Bold and The Beautiful.) (No disrespect to B&B – the women of my family have been enjoying the crazy adventures of Brooke Logan-Chambers-Jones-Marone-Forrester for over two delightful decades now.) But like Don, Pete has very much hit bottom (maybe not rock-bottom, but bottom enough to realise his life sucks) and there is a glimmering hope at the end of the tunnel. Bonus – we got to see Trudy! I’ve missed you, Miss Alison Brie. Like she says, Pete is finally free of everything. May he make the best of it.

10 pts (for his hilarious freakouts over the phone) + 5 pts (for his poignant moment with Tammy) = 15 pts

In commemoration of a happier time.

Silver Fox – Roger is the great love of my Mad Men life. You can’t ever hate him. And more than that, you genuinely feel sorry for him despite his shenanigans. He is that perpetual lost boy who doesn’t know what happened to his life.

20 pts (for calling out his brat of a daughter, because she’s a BRAT) + 10 pts (for his effortless charm with little Kevin) = 30 pts

Bob Benson – LOL Bob wins at everything.

50 pts (for being in everyone’s face all the time)

WINNER: Bob Benson – for being completely, and utterly unflappable. He is Don of the 70s, but better.

See that rosy sepia tint? That’s me missing the 60s:

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The Sound of Music Flashback: Cpt Von Trapp blows my whistle

I recently felt the overwhelming urge to watch The Sound of Music again. This urge has not reared its saccharine head in almost a decade. But, all of a sudden, I was struck by this resounding need to watch Julie Andrews yodel while running through the hills.

Okay, so she doesn’t actually do that in the movie, but when one thinks of The Sound of Music, one thinks of yodeling, hills, and lots of drape-clad children.

Green Drapes-Lederhosen: the hot new trend

Like I said, I hadn’t watched The Sound of Music in its entirety for years. I’d always remembered it as this fluffy family film that takes a random turn towards Nazis. This never really sat well with seven-year-old me – it was just completely bewildering. It got all serious and tense all of a sudden. Why weren’t they singing Do-Re-Mi anymore? Why is there a GUN?! Baffling.

The Sound of Music was always just a “yeah, it was pretty good” movie for me. I never understood is timelessness. However, re-watching it as a young adult with a comprehensive knowledge of the atrocities committed by the Third Reich, I’ve completely fallen in love with the hope and joy it unashamedly exudes in the presence of something as ugly as Nazism.

That’s it, isn’t it? That’s why its a classic. It’s totally un-cynical celebration of innocence in the face of a brutal reality.

I read somewhere that, in the event of a nuclear strike, part of BBC’s broadcasting programme consists of playing The Sound of Music as a way to lift morale with survivors. Well, I don’t know about you, but if I happened to survive being irradiated to an inch of my death in an atomic mega-blast, I would find it incredibly comforting hearing Fraulein Maria singing about raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens.

Its all right, my darlings. Nuclear fallout can’t hurt you. Simply remember your favourite things, and then you won’t feel so bad.

Another thing I failed to notice in my previous watchings of The Sound of Music was how dashing Christopher Plummer was. I mean, look at him! He’s such a babe. I’m not British, and I never use this term, but if there existed an exclamation more appropriate for this man, it would be ‘PHWWOOOARR’:

Being the huge film trivia scaveneger that I am, I immediately launched a fanatical expedition to discover as much as I could about Young Christopher Plummer. After hours (okay, maybe 20 mins – I’m not crazy) of stalker-ish behaviour, I uncovered various gems that I’d like to share. Initially, everything I found melted my insides. Please, watch for yourself and join in me bliss:

And then I thought, ‘my, doesn’t he look familiar?’

Of course, I should’ve quit while I was ahead. He wasn’t the dapper gentleman with the Hugh Jackman personality that I had pictured him to be. Why must I always go ruin my perfectly good fantasies with reality?

1. He hated being in The Sound of Music. So much so that he called it ‘The Sound of Mucus’.

2. He ‘flirted’ with Liesl, the eldest Von Trapp, on the set. *shudder* 

3. He was a huge arrogant dick and a nasty drunk with anger issues.

4. He was really pretentious about the whole acting shtick:

So, he basically, he was kind of a bad boy. Too bad I’ve never been too fond of bad boys. Key operating word being “boys”. I’ll stick to men, thanks.

Is there anything more off-putting than an actor being un-gracious about a role that has pretty much immortalised him in cinema history? Thankfully, it seems that old age has mellowed him out a bit.

 

That’s the Christopher Plummer I’d like to remember – the living legend who is an ever-charming class act.

 

 

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