Day 65 – Counting down to The OA

I didn’t think any show would ever captivate me like Twin Peaks. Then LOST came along and earned itself a solid 2nd Place on my all-time favorites list. And while there are a lot of other things I’ve thoroughly enjoyed (The Sopranos, Gilmore Girls, Person of Interest, The Office, Parts Unknown, Better Call Saul), Twin Peaks always head that top spot.

Then The OA happened.

I’d never heard anything about it. One day, it was just there, advertised randomly on my suggested Netflix titles. I started watching one night after the kids were in bed while Stevie was out playing softball, and by the end of the first episode, I was hooked. I stopped at the end of episode 4. Halfway through that first viewing of the first season and I desperately needed someone to talk to about it.

Stevie indulged me and we started back at the beginning. He was intrigued enough to finish the first season. We debated theories, discussed episodes, and generally disagree on just what the hell is happening in this show.

And now, after a long two year drought, Season 2 is finally slated to drop on Netflix on March 22. I can’t even explain how excited I am to see where the story goes from here.

365 Project – Day 331 – Why You Should Watch “The Walking Dead”

AMC’s The Walking Dead is, by far, my favorite show currently on television. In fact, if I had to make a list of my all-time favorite TV shows, The Walking Dead would probably rank right up near the top with Twin Peaks, The X-Files, Lost, and Gilmore Girls.

I understand that a show set in the midst of a zombie apocalypse may not exactly be everyone’s cup of tea, but if you can stomach a handful of bloody undead corpses stumbling around as part of a much bigger story, then you need to get your butt to the local BestBuy and pick up Season 1 for yourself. Trust me, you won’t regret it.

See, what makes The Walking Dead so brilliant is that it’s not really a show about zombies…at least not in the traditional horror movie way we’re all used to. This is a show about people, about human nature, about what choices we make when we are faced with unimaginable possibilities. It’s a show about survival.

I’m not going to go into detail here, analyzing episodes and characters and spoiling things for my readers who have not yet had the opportunity to watch the show. Instead, I will just gently urge you all to give it a chance if you haven’t already. It’s one of those shows that you just can’t help but fall in love with, and one that you won’t be able to forget.

Tonight’s 365 Project entry is dedicated to the brilliant minds behind both the original comic and the new television adaption of the story. What are you waiting for people? Get out there and support the comic book industry to see where it all began, and then dive into AMC’s hottest new series to see what all the buzz is about. You’ll be glad you did.

365 Project – Day 271 – What’s Not To Love About Rango?

Some people think Steven and I are crazy, but we refuse to let Cadence get sucked into the mindless world of modern day children’s programming. I don’t care what anyone says, but some time in the early 90’s, children’s television took an ugly turn. Shows like Barney and The Mighty Morphin Power Rangers heralded the beginning of the end for quality children’s programming. I’ve sat through a few minutes of shows like Teletubbies and The Wiggles and Dora the Explorer and to be quite honest, two thoughts immediately ran through my mind.

1. What the hell were these people smoking when they created these shows?

2. How could I erase the horrifying images (and songs) from my mind without invasive surgery or voluntary decapitation?

Luckily, children’s movies do not seem to have suffered quite as drastic a decline as children’s television. We watch our fair share of TV and movies in our house, and I guess it’s just the English major in me, but I’ve always much preferred to watch things that have a little substance to them. Don’t get me wrong, the occassional leave-your-brain-at-the-door ridiculousness like the Austin Powers trilogy or Jackass is sometimes a much-needed escape from the pressures of reality, but in the end, I am a much bigger fan of shows that stimulate my mind and actually give me something to think about, whether I’m laughing or not. And that is definitely a trait that I hope my daughter has inherited.

When I saw the first trailers for the movie Rango, I immediately put it on my must-see list. I’ll watch any movie that has Johnny Depp in it, whether he’s in the leading roll or just lending his voice to an animated character. Plus, the trailer made me laugh. Sure, it’s billed as a kids’ movie, but we all know that much of the humor in kids’ movies is lost on the kids, and Rango is certainly a movie that can be appreciated as much, if not more, by adults.

When Cadence first saw noticed Rango in a commercial, she squealed and giggled and tried to climb up the TV stand to get to him. So, when the film was finally released on DVD and Blu-Ray, we figured it might be worth it to buy a copy.

And yeah, it was worth every penny.

First of all, the movie is a visual masterpiece. In a word, the animation is stunning. Anyone who made the mistake of jumping on the 3-D bandwagon will hop right back off again once they get a look at the exquisite detail in Rango. The scenery is gorgeous, the colors vivid, and the characters exaggeratedly detailed. If you have a Blu-Ray player and an HDTV, be prepared to marvel at the eye candy in this movie.

The characters themselves are not only visually captivating, but also very well-developed. From the hero to the villain to the extended cast of quirky sidekicks, you find yourself falling in love with each one, or at least appreciating the vital role they play in the story.

The overall storyline is another homerun. The story begins with an introduction to a slightly eccentric chameleon living a rather lonely, lackluster life as a family pet in the confines of a terrarium. But when an unexpected accident strands Rango in the Mojave Desert, he is suddenly thrust into the most important role of his life when he becomes the hero for a dying town. With intelligent, well-written dialogue delivered by a star-studded cast, this is a movie that hooks you immediately and keeps you engaged through the roll of the credits. Give Rango a go, and I guarantee you won’t be disappointed.

And just for fun, a few of the lines that made me laugh:

Balthazar: Thespians? That’s illegal in seven states!

Rango: I couldn’t help but notice you noticing me noticing you.

Spoons: I once found a human spinal column in my fecal matter…

Bad Bill: I’m going to slice your face off and use it to wipe my unmentionables!

Beans: Get your dirty, webbed phalanges off of my boots!

Rango: Hell, I’ve seen things make a grown man lose control of his glandular function.  You spend three days in a horse carcass, livin’ off you own juices. It’ll change  a man.

Tonight’s 365 Project entry is dedicated to the brilliant minds that brought us Rango. It’s one of those movies that I love a little more each time that I see it, and thank goodness for that, since Cadence has already asked to watch it three times this week.

365 Project – Day 264 – Why I Love Dexter

I’ve always been rather fascinated with the way the human mind works–how we learn things, how we process information, impulses, feelings, attitudes, behaviors. I think that if I hadn’t been driven by such a passion to write and pursue a degrees in English and writing, I probably would have been quite content to study psychology and try to unravel the intricacies of the human mind.

I was even more fascinated with criminal psychology, the way the minds of serial killers work, the strange methodologies behind their madess. And hell, after The Silence of the Lambs who didn’t want to join the FBI and start profiling serial killers?

So, when I first saw the promos for the Showtime series Dexter, I was immediately intrigued, and yet I never thought it was possible to actually find myself rooting for the killer. But, in this twisted TV series based on novels by Jeff Lindsay, you can’t help but to cheer Dexter Morgan on as he rids the world of scumbag filth one serial murder at a time.

Without revealing too much and ruining things for any of you who haven’t seen the show, here’s the basic premise. By day, Dexter Morgan and his sister Deborah both work for the Miami Metro Police Department. Deborah as an officer (later Homocide Detective) and Dexter as a Blood Pattern Analyst. By night, Dexter is secretly moonlighting as a serial murderer, focusing his bloodlust on remorseless criminals, murderers, rapists, and child molesters who manage to slip through the cracks and escape traditional justice–a strict code taught to him by his late adoptive father Harry.

There are a dozen reasons that I love this show. It’s well-written, perfectly cast and has a good balance of drama and dark humor. Plus, it’s one of those shows that just sort of gets you thinking. Watch a few episodes or a few seasons and you start to question the nature of good and evil, and whether those two things can be really clearly defined separately from each other. You start to think about how often our justice system manages to fail the innocents and the victims while protecting and coddling the guilty. You start wonder whether the world might actually benefit from having a few guys like Dexter Morgan around.

There would certainly be a few less Casey Anthonys and Joran Van der Sloots walking around, that’s for damn sure.

So, if you haven’t given Dexter a chance yet, maybe it’s time. I think you might just be pleasantly surprised.

Today’s 365 Project entry is dedicated to the brilliant minds that brought us Dexter. I’m counting down the days for Season 6.

%d bloggers like this: