Friday, February 25, 2011

Glee Goes Ke$ha

Today, I'm going to try something new and exciting. I'm going to draw crappy (and when I say crappy, I'm not just being humble) computer drawings to recap Glee's most recent episode, "Blame It On the Alcohol." I'm actually kind of dubious as to how this whole thing will turn out, but here it goes.

Okay, I was right to be dubious. I got bored after covering around five minutes of the show. I'll post what I've done, but trust me, it's not pretty.  Also, the Will that I drew kind of looks like he got an acid burn, but really, I just messed up with the spray can tool.

If you have any thoughts about the latest Glee episode or if you just want to mock me for me hideous drawings, feel free to comment below.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Movies Like Exam (or The Last Song)

I've noticed that a lot of (well, relative to my total amount of viewers) people have found my site by googling "movies like Exam." I also have gotten a couple of viewers searching for movies like the Last Song. At first, I thought that was slightly weird, but then I realized that it was probably because I have the word "like" in my blog title.

I like to provide readers with the content they want. So I thought I'd try and help out those who are looking for movies that are like Exam or The Last Song.

Personally, I can't think of any movies that are super similar to Exam. However, I watched Frozen recently, and it reminded me of exam, even though it wasn't extremely similar. It reminded me of Exam because it too was a minimalist thriller that took place largely in one setting. Also, it had the same indie vibe that I got from Exam.

As for The Last Song, although it's obvious, I'd have to recommend any other movies about teenagers based on books by Nicolas Sparks such as Dear John, A Walk to Remember (which is a much better movie than The Last Song), or even The Notebook (which for much of the movie isn't about teenagers). I'm going to mention the recommendation site, Jinni, below,  but they suggest that Remember Me is a movie similar to The Last Song. I'd like to second this recommendation. While Remember Me honestly wasn't a movie that I loved (neither was The Last Song), it did have the same teenage-angsty vibe that The Last Song had.

Although I tried my best with these suggestions, I honestly don't feel they were that helpful. So, I'm providing a link to a movie recommendation site that I feel might be helpful.

Jinni is one of the best movie recommendation sites I've come across. Here are the pages for Exam and The Last Song that include similar movie recommendations. However, you can also search by many different criteria to find a movie on the site. I'd definitely recommend checking it out.

Do you have any suggestions for movies like Exam or The Last Song? If so, please feel free to share them below. I'd love to hear what you'd suggest.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

The O.C. Series Finale: "The End's Not Near, It's Here"

I mentioned a while back that I'd just finished the O.C.'s third season. Well, in about a week, I've finished the fourth and final season. In fact, I just finished watching the finale about ten minutes ago.

One thing I can say with certainty about the O.C. series finale is that it wasn't what I expected. The episode began with a six month jump, the first of several surprises. I was a little iffy at first on the whole idea of the time jump, especially one that subverted most of the situations we were left with at the end of the previous episode. It gave the episode a sense of being off-kilter. However, as the episode progressed, I became convinced that this six month jump was a good thing. I think that in the finale, the writers were going for an "epilogue" kind of feel for the whole episode. While I supposed the last couple of minutes could be considered the actual epilogue, the whole episode felt that way. It was a bit rushed feeling, and it let us know where everyone was going.

I think one of the criteria for a good finale is if it does a good job of expressing or reflecting upon the show's pervading theme. While many people and situations were important in the O.C., I think at the show's center was the Cohen family. Going a little deeper, Ryan and Seth's friendship was a main point. Then, at the very center, you have Ryan, a kid in a bad situation who was taken in by a nice family. In the last scenes of the finale, you see these things represented. First, there was a nice scene with the Cohen family saying goodbye. Then, just Seth and Ryan have a moment together. Finally, Ryan is left alone to reflect on his time in the O.C. Because Ryan has spent exactly as much time in Newport as we have, his reflections on his time there double as a reflection for the audience.

I absolutely loved the idea of Ryan helping out a kid that the show ended on. It gave a perfect sense of closure that show ended much in the way it began. All in all, the O.C.'s finale was excellent. It was a bit self-indulgent (i.e. The couple who just happened to be a wedding planner and a gynocologist), but after four years they deserve it. As much as I hated Marissa, the mentions of her were unobtrusive yet necessary. Everybody's storyline got a sense of closure.

I'm thinking now that I probably should have waited to post this until a couple hours after I watched the finale because I sound kind of gushy and rambling.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

The Worst Movie You've Ever Seen

If you were to ask me what the best movie I've ever seen is, I wouldn't have an answer for you. I couldn't even tell you what my personal favorite movie is. I've seen so many good movies that to pick just one would be like Sophie's choice (which, by the way, I haven't actually seen, but I plan to watch it someday).

On the other hand, if you asked me what the worst movie I've ever seen is, I wouldn't even have to think for a second about my answer: Did You Hear About the Morgans? It was a movie so terrible that I can't come up with one positive thing to say about it. In fact, the best part of the movie was the twenty minutes or so that I fell asleep during it.

So, why did I give the "worst movie" title to Did You Hear About the Morgans? It was bad in every way possible. I normally love Hugh Grant and his movies, but even he couldn't save this one. In fact, he almost seemed embarrassed to be in it. So did everyone else. The dialogue was atrocious. In fact, one "serious" line near the end of the movie was so painfully written that I burst out laughing. And (besides maybe that one line) it wasn't even funny in a so-bad-it's-good way. It was terrible in a how-much-longer-is-this-going-to-last way. After sitting through the movie, I honestly felt like I should get some kind of reward. It was so bad that I would seriously wonder about anyone who liked its mental health. I'm actually pretty disturbed that it got as high as a 12% fresh on RottenTomatoes.

So, I pose the question to anyone reading this: What's the worst movie you've ever seen?

Friday, February 11, 2011

I Believe in a Thing Called Love...

Just try to tell me that reading of the title of this post didn't have you busting out your falsetto to sing "... Just listen to the rhythm of my heart." It didn't? Okay, I guess that's just a me thing. Anyway, that awkward  exchange was my attempt at introducing this post about the various Valentine's Day episodes I watched this week. Maybe I'm just a sap at heart, but I thought all of these episodes (except for one and that one exception was still pretty good) were really fantastic. Thankfully I watched all of these by myself (ironic, I suppose) because I kept smiling goofily at the sweetness. So without further ado, here are my reviews:

Glee: "Silly Love Songs"
I think we can all agree that the much-publicized Super Bowl episode of Glee was pretty mediocre (minus a couple of great moments like Rachel's smiling as she entered the football field). So, I wasn't expecting much from this episode. However, I was pleasantly surprised by it. Most of the characters were likable, there wasn't a million guest stars, there wasn't any ridiculous story lines about cannons, the songs were generally good, and there was actually some plot development. I loved both of the Warbler songs: "Silly Love Songs" and "When I Get You Alone." However, I did think that it was pretty creepy of Blaine to sing to and chase someone who was obviously trying to get away from him. I think Finn is adorable, so I really want to like him. But, he was kind of a jerk in this episode. It wasn't completely out of character for him, but it still made me sad. While I thought it was weird that he just happened to have a gift for Rachel with him (has he just been carrying that around everywhere?), I loved the necklace he gave her and the speech that went with it (even if it sounded like a cop out so he could get with Quinn). Overall, I'd say this was probably the best episode of Glee since "Duets."

Modern Family: "Bixby's Back"
Shockingly, Modern Family's Valentine's Day-themed episode was the one that I just wasn't feeling. It wasn't terrible, but it was mediocre for a show that I normally adore. None of the story lines really did it for me. As a plus, though, I'm excited for the return of Dylan.

The Office: "PDA"
If I had to describe this week's episode of The Office in one word, I'd use the word "adorable." Holly and Michael may be one of the cutest television couples I've ever seen. I was literally smiling the whole episode at how cute they are. Even if it's the most predictable option at this point, I really hope Michael leaves to be with Holly when Steve Carell departs from the show. But, the other couples featured in this episode were pretty cute as well. I know that some people complain about Erin and Andy being Jim and Pam 2.0, but I think they're adorable together. They were so cute going working on Gabe's puzzles together. I did feel a little bad for Gabe, though. He seems like a nice enough, if slightly annoying guy. Lastly, Jim and Pam were actually cute again this week. Their knowing smiles at the end were adorable. (Want to play a drinking game that'll most likely lead to alcohol poising? Take a shot for every time I've used the words "adorable" or "cute.") My only complaint is the lack of a Kelly and Ryan storyline. They always crack me up, and a Valentine's Day story line for them would have been assuredly fun.

Community: "Early 21st Century Romanticism"
This week, Community juggled several story lines, but all of them were properly developed and hilarious (except for maybe Pierce's storyline). The Britta storyline was hilarious. If you've watched the episode yet, enough said. I also loved Troy and Abed's storyline. It was such a wonderful subversion of the typical "two guys fall in love with the same girl and get into a fight over it" plot. I definitely awed when Troy broke up with the girl for calling Abed weird. Their bromance is so sweet. My heart melted when Jeff sent such a sweet email to the group at the episode's end. It was a super sweet moment, but because we rarely get to see that side of him, it wasn't overly so. Lastly, we have Pierce's story. I found it slightly tedious, but I have to give Community props for continuing what we saw of Pierce last week. I have to admit, I'm curious to see where his downward spiral is going to end.

In closing, (and pretend it's Monday for this part) Happy Valentine's Day everyone!!!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Best TV Kisses

Last night, I started to write some reviews for the three FOX shows I watched on Tuesday (Glee, Raising Hope, and Traffic Light), but I'm too lazy to finish them at the moment. Don't judge me too hard, okay? I'm having to keep up with another blog for one of my classes, and I actually should be studying for a Spanish test at the moment. Anyway, I offer this as a peace offering. It's a video in honor of Valentine's Day from TVSquad ( featuring some of the best kisses from television shows. While I can't say that I've seen all the shows featured in this montage, it includes some of my favorites (Pushing Daisies, Grey's Anatomy, Veronica Mars, Boy Meets World, just to name a few).

Friday, February 4, 2011

Pierce in "Dungeons & Dragons"

In lieu of reviewing the entirety of Community's latest episode, "Dungeons & Dragons, I'm going to focus on its handling of Pierce's character.

Well, that's a little bit of a lie. I'm going to mostly do that. However, I can't resist making a few remarks about the episode as a whole. Like last week's episode, "Dungeons & Dragons" was an excellently done installment of community. I ranted in my review of last week's episode about my disappointment with season two as a whole, but my love of Community has been restored. This episode was filled with hilarious moments, and almost every character got a chance to shine. Abed's character playing was amazing. Most of Britta's lines revolved around her over-activism (Honestly, I'm not sure if that's really a good word for it. If you can think of a better one, feel free to tell me so.), but all of them were hilarious, particularly when combined with the rest of the group's groaning. Jeff got a chance to shown how much he's grown since the beginning of the show. Despite the fact that he coined "Fat Neil," he was genuinely caring and mature in this episode. I loved Troy's "huzzah"s and note-taking. Annie's seduction of the keeper of the pegasi was priceless. And of course, Chang's makeup was pretty attention grabbing. I can't think of any standout Shirley moments, to be honest, but I loved her and Annie's "aww" at the village that accepts all races.

Pierce was also a standout of the episode but in a much darker way than the other characters. We've seen plenty of example of Pierce being horrible before this episode. I can't remember all of them. but among them are his ruining the secret of the trampoline, pantsing Shirley, and last week, even promoting drugs to kids. But this week, we saw a whole new level of horrible for Pierce. He was nasty and spiteful towards a suicidal kid. Although this week had some very funny moments, I found much of Pierce's taunting to be hard to watch. The scene in which he transformed Neil's character to be "as fat as Fat Neil" was absolutely heartbreaking. Even if you acknowledge that Pierce was acting largely out of hurt at being excluded, there's no denying that his actions were terrible.

To be honest, I wasn't sure what to think about the handling of Pierce's character. It was pretty dark for a comedy, but I can't say that it was out of character. I think my opinion is mostly going to depend on how he's handled in future episodes. If this darker development in Pierce is carried out, I think it could be a really interesting storyline. On the other hand, if the characters continue to interact with Pierce normally in future episodes, I'm going to be very disappointed. The way that Pierce acted towards Neil was far too cruel to merely be ignored. However, I have faith that the writers of Community know what they're doing.

I did really like the way that the writers ended the episode. The line about Pierce saving Neil yet learning very little was surprisingly poignant. It was touching without being saccharine for Neil to have a moment of glory defeating Pierce and then invite him to play again with him in the future.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

As Heard on TV

I don't proclaim to be extremely knowledgeable about the world of music. Judge me if you will, but a large part of the music I listen to is whatever pop music is currently popular. However, one way that I discover music is through television shows. When a song on a television show catches my ear, I can, thanks to the internet, usually Google the episode to find the song. Many of my favorite songs, I have heard through television shows. So, I thought that I'd share some of my favorites.

"Speeding Cars" by Imogen Heap from the O.C.
 This is actually the song that inspired this list. As I wrote in a recent post, I just finished season three of the O.C. I often take a while to really love a song, but this one was love at first hearing. I already was a fan of Imogen Heap, but I'd never heard this song before hearing it on the O.C. To give you an idea of how much I love this song, I'll disclose the amount of times I've played it in iTunes since buying it last Friday: 29. That doesn't even include the number of times I've played it on my iPod.

"I'm In Here (Piano/Vocal Version)" by Sia from Nikita
Like with Imogen Heap, I was already a fan of Sia before hearing this song. However, I fell in love with this particular song after hearing it on Nikita. At first, I thought the song featured in the show was the original version of the song. I listened to it many, many times. Then, after further "research" (yes, I just used sarcastic quotation marks), I found out that the version featured in the show was the Piano/Vocal version. So, I listened to that many, many times too.

"Marry You" by Bruno Mars from Glee
While Glee's song selections are sometimes incredibly off, they are also often very spot-on. While I'd already heard "Just the Way You Are" on the radio, but Glee introduced me to "Marry Me." It's a thoroughly adorable song, and I'm very thankful to Glee for introducing me to it.

"Keep Breathing" by Ingrid Michaelson from Grey's Anatomy
This song appeared in one of the most heartbreaking scenes of Grey's Anatomy: when Cristina breaks down after her failed wedding with Burke. "Keep Breathing" went perfectly with the scene and has since become one of the songs I listen to when I'm feeling down. As cheesy as it is, "Keep Breathing" reminds me to just keep breathing. (Okay, that was really really cheesy).

"I Hear the Bells" by Mike Doughty from Veronica Mars
During the "epic" speech scene this song is featured in, Veronica says "I really like this song." Well, so do I, Veronica. Not only does it complement the scene, but it's also a really great song on its own. In fact, I think it's the song that convinced me to buy the Veronica Mars soundtrack.

There's many more songs I could include in this list, five is a nice, odd number. Now, I want to hear from you. Last time I asked a question, I got a couple of response. So, I'm hoping I'll get at least a few this time. What songs have you discovered by watching television?