Prepping for the Oscars

How do I watch the Oscars without an actual TV that broadcasts live network channels? Well, I rent a hotel room. I’ve done it before and I’m doing it again. But instead of the incredibly sleezy motel room I used a couple of years ago, this year I’m upgrading to the Sheraton. At least I can use the hotel gym before the big event. And please don’t suggest I make a friend who has a tv, because . . . ugh.

But other than booking your hotel room, and setting up your snack nest, you really just need to see about ten movies in preparation for the ceremony. But that might be impossible at this point, so let me give you the cliff-notes:

  1. All the best picture noms are actually great movies . .  . except for the Revenant. The Revenant and its star Leo are totally dumb and overrated (grunt, grunt, symbolism). And they are going to win everything. Here are all the great films that won’t win: Brooklyn (so delicious, who cares if its “important”?), Bridge of Spies (Spielberg! Good job. Make more of these and less War Horses), Spotlight (you should win, but you are too quiet, subtle, and dread-free to be an Oscar winner), Mad Max (you don’t need my help, but I love you, enjoy your money pile), Room (man I really did not want to see you, but I really really enjoyed myself. Weirdly this movie is deeply pleasurable and briskly plotted. And not soul crushing. Actually kind of spirit lifting. Too spirit lifting? Whatever Brie, you were great), and the Martian (enjoy your money pile as well! I enjoyed every second of your big dumb face). The Big Short is also great but it made us laugh, so it can’t win any awards. Also treat yourself to the amazing Best Case for Best Picture videos (Dana Stevens eating cake while walking and talking!).
  2. All the best actress movies are superb: Carol (I actually loved you slightly less than Far from Heaven, but Todd Haynes and his degree in semiotics from Brown can do no wrong). And Joy, man I loved you too. Joy is a train-wreck with a propulsive soapy heart but my heart is made of soap. And 45 Years! Objectively good, but man, if you are married, plan to marry, or have parents who are married, maybe you don’t need to subject yourself to this film.
  3. Most of the leading dude movies are stupid and I don’t care about this category.
  4. The only other category I really care about? Short live action. Yes you heard me. This is because my first boyfriend is the producer for one of the nominees which means that if I had made better life choices I could have gone to the Oscars. That’s right, it’s not just my poor choice of careers . . . I also gave up the Oscars. He’s cute right?-D

Better Call Saul

I was resistant to Better Call Saul even though I am its primary demographic: I loved Breaking Bad and loved the character Saul. I just didn’t feel compelled to return to that universe. But the good news is that Better Call Saul is not really the same universe as BB. It is a quieter, funnier universe where Saul (who is not Saul yet, but Jimmy) is neither anti-hero nor road meat for bad guys. Except for the second episode of the first season, where they play around with the violence and tension of BB, the whole show is pretty stress free.

The show’s primary theme is fresh and totally quotidian: what does it mean to be good at something? What is a vocation? Jimmy is a late-in-life lawyer who knows really good fancy lawyers (his brother and girlfriend). Compared to their glossy lifestyle, his law degree from American University of Somoa will always seem inadequate. But the show also demonstrates (rather than tells) that Jimmy is a really good lawyer. I love shows/movies where you get to think about why someone is good at their job, and despite not being a traditional law procedural, BCS kind of borrows from The Good Wife part of the TV universe by taking us through the mechanics of a case one revelation at a time.


Secondly, the show is different from BB because we are allowed to fall in love with its hero. And I don’t just mean root for him. BCS is kind of a study in Bob Odinkirk’s sexiness, which is surprising since the entire comedy of his character on BB was his slovenly loserness. But on BCS Odinkirk glows with sharp intellect and charismatic charm. Who knew that Bob Odinkirk’s eye-crinkles could carry a show?


Jake Lacy, American Hero


Oh Jake Lacy, feminist fantasy

are you shimmying your shoulders? Is this beat too contagious?

Even though you are not very good at dancing, you participate! Because participation, much like listening, complimenting, and being completely unfazed by ladies’ superior wit, power, and competence is  . . . your thing.

Good looking? Kind of. Not too good looking. More like, the kind of face you want to smoosh around with your hands.

Is it okay that I’m a lesbian Jake Lacy? “Of course!”

Is it okay that I’m ten years older than you Jake Lacy? “Of course!”

Most improbably: Is it okay that I’m Hannah Horvath and most likely going to reunite with Adam? “Of course! I’ll make you ready for a mature relationship with him.”

We thought Ben Affleck and Paul Rudd could provide us with this comfortable, un-threatening rom-com charm, but we were wrong!! It was only Jake Lacy.

We have been waiting for you Jake. And we didn’t even know that we were waiting.


Bellarck 4Ever

It felt like a miracle: a new show with two whole seasons on Netflix during New York’s blizzard.

Like a few other people I know (my parents and June Thomas), I fell in love with The 100. Now I am not saying The 100 is Outlander good, but . . . have you been yearning for a mashup of BSG, Lord of the Flies, The Hunger Games, Lost and quite a few other shows of various genres?


They’re stuck in space, until a group of teens comes to Earth to see if the post-nuclear air is survivable and . . . you can can probably put together the rest of the plot. This show’s strength is not originality. But in a world of fan fic and endless reboots I am surprised by how rarely people get bricolage right. The 100 is kind of like the new Star Wars in that it reuses all the good stuff and dispenses with the rest.

What to expect:

  1. A feminist ethic so deeply entrenched in the DNA of the show that it never asks you to congratulate its effort
  2. hot hot teenage love triangles (if you are a person who is not looking for Dawson’s Creek in space, you should know that after the first 5 episodes it loses some of its YA camp)
  3. some pretty weak production design (it gets stronger in season 2 and 3 when the budget increased)
  4. Season 2 loses a little momentum by borrowing from a terrible season of a terrible show–The Governor season of The Walking Dead. But my passion for Season 1 kept me going, and Season 3 is rewarding my patience
  5. Lesbianism!
  6. Adult level pathos around issues of leadership, cultural relativism, and trauma



Blog at