COMMUNITY is back! And lots of other stuff

Happy Thursday, b-rollers! Just a quick note to let you know that Community returns tonight, and you really should watch it live (NBC, 8pm). Why, you ask? Well, this brilliant little show is hanging on by its fingernails, and frankly, I don’t want to live in a world in which the Kardashians have six shows and Community is cancelled due to low ratings. Also, the marvelous Jim Rash (Dean Pelton) not only has an Oscar, but an indelible moment in time. There is no reason for you not to watch, okay? Please don’t Britta this opportunity. (If that doesn’t make sense, read this article. AND WATCH.)

Now, for a look at some of the many things I plan to be blogging about in the days to come:

  • I have yet to see John Carter – my roommate and fellow Tim Riggins groupie was ill last weekend – but plan to do so soon. Look for thoughts next week. I am not usually a connoisseur of fantasy films, but I promise to attempt to offer a more thoughtful analysis than “oh my God, his abs.”
  • Longtime reader (and awesome baseball blogger) Verdun2 posed a great question: Which movies deserved the Oscar for Best Picture but were passed over? The list is long, of course, but everyone has favorites that were snubbed. I’ll put together some initial thoughts for this weekend – and from the get-go, I have a slew of ’em – but in the meantime, what are your favorite movies? I’m happy to do the research and find out how successful they were, Oscar-wise, and/or which films they lost to. Let’s make this interactive, b-rollers. Chime in.
  • Also, this brings me to a big project: My ranking of the films of 2011 (caveat: that I saw). A couple of years ago, I did a list of the 20 best films of the year, split into three parts; this year, I think I may go ahead and rank all of the films (and be pithier in my descriptions, so that it’s not the length of the King James). The awful films deserve their day in the spotlight too, methinks.

I shall get right to work, b-rollers. What else would you like to see? And who else is excited to go back to Greendale tonight?

Hot Child(ren) in the City

I turned 30 this past weekend, b-rollers. A momentous occasion, of course. I’d like to get a little philosophical, if I may, but me being the same old me (extra emphasis on “old”), I will, of course, relate this to pop culture.

I suppose the gag is to say that you’ll spend your 30th drunk and depressed, but in all truth, I spent my birthday in a state of bliss. I was surprised by my parents and the most remarkable group of friends, all of whom traveled to New York City to celebrate the day with me and a mutual birthday-girl friend; it was a stunning weekend of constant surprises and pure, total joy.  We skated in Rockefeller Center. We wandered through Bloomingdale’s. We danced to ’80s music in SoHo.

We were a walking ad for the complete DVD collection of Sex and the City.

Now, Sex and the City has become a sort of girly cornball cliche; time and a pretty awful movie (the recent sequel, blech) will do that. But for those who think it’s all cosmos and sex talk, allow me to disavow you of that notion. The reason that Sex and the City connects (with women, I know) is because it’s fundamentally about the love that you give and get. Not the romantic relationships; those were sub-plots. It’s about the family that will always surprise you, and catch you, and love you. (And yes, the shoes are amazing.)

And on a beautiful New York City weekend, I suddenly realized that – cliche be damned – much of what I know about life I learned from Carrie Bradshaw. Rather than dwell on the Oh dear God, I’m 30! and the five-year plans and bucket lists, I was overwhelmed by how extraordinarily blessed I am to have the family that surrounded me – my parents and my best friends, the loves of my life thus far. (Though I continue to hold out hope that a Hugh Dancy-type is in my future.) And I felt so damned special to be loved by a group that was so damned special.

Now since I’m theoretically wiser, allow me to share some sage advice. I quoth the Book of Bradshaw, final chapter and verse (ie, the finale episode):

The most exciting, challenging, and significant relationship of all is the one you have with yourself. And if you can find someone to love the you YOU love, well…that’s just fabulous.

Love yourself. Treasure those who love you back.

And if you must turn 30, do it in a badass pair of heels.


Howdy, b-rollers! It’s been a busy week and promises to be a busier weekend, so let me share a few random, long-winded rants to tide us through until next week. Please feel free to do the same in the comments section, if you’re so inclined. I’m listening.

  • If you are lucky enough to have HBO (that was not an intentional pun relative to HBO’s new show Luck, but if you want it to be then knock yourself out), you can catch the documentary The Union this weekend, which chronicles the making of Elton John and Leon Russell’s album of that name. I saw it at the Tribeca Film Festival last year (brief pause for you to be impressed…okay, cool), and allow me to offer a mini-review capsule. Pros: Great concert footage (both old and new), fascinating glimpse into Elton John’s writing process, and a terrific introduction to Leon Russell for those (like me) who don’t know anything about him. (Very impressive guy.)  Con: Elton John was really, really proud of himself for “rescuing” Leon Russell from obscurity, and I found it occasionally grating. Yes, Elton. You’re a lamb. Now back to the piano with you. But if you’re a fan of Elton John or Leon Russell, or are just curious how the hell an album is made, it’s worth the time.
  • Speaking of icons, Glee covered Michael Jackson this week. (This was basically the opening of the show: “I love Michael Jackson.” “Oh my God, me too.” “We should sing Michael Jackson songs this week.” “Great idea! I know how to start…” (wink)…and five teenagers break into “Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin'” and dance down a school corridor. Guys, this show was up for a Golden Globe a couple of weeks ago. Consider.) Anyway, in an early scene Rachel (Lea Michele, for the non-watchers) mentions that she never really “got” Michael Jackson (though she miraculously knew several of his songs by heart throughout the episode!), and the other kids acted like she had just declared herself the mistress of Satan. So I took the opportunity to say, in my apartment with just my roommate present, that I kind of agreed with her. It was a brave stand, b-rollers, but I had to make it. But I’ll be braver and say it here: I like much of Michael Jackson’s music, he owns several spots on my iPod’s ’80s playlist, I admit he’s iconic, he was an electric performer, and most of his songs sound exactly the same to me. And the crotch-grabbing was just unnecessary. Also, I say this not to speak ill of the dead, but there were a lot of issues. Remember? Just saying. Anyone with me on this?
  • True to my word, I moved The Tree of Life to the top of my Netflix queue and it arrived in the mail earlier this week. I haven’t even removed it from the envelope yet. This will end really well.
  • The Super Bowl is on Sunday! My beloved Patriots are in the game, so I will, predictably, be an absolute wreck. In a related story, I usually watch ESPN in the mornings while getting ready for work, but two solid weeks of nothing but the same few things to chew over – Is that guy hurt? Is that team’s line good enough? Where do we rank the QBs all time? Is this guy overrated? How many times can we talk about this before our fans disavow football forever and take up ice dancing? –  has left me ready to march to ESPN headquarters and target their satellites with a sledgehammer and a dream. Can we just, like, play the game now? Anyone have a problem with that?
  • Speaking of manufactured news cycles that drag on far too long, Donald Trump endorsed Mitt Romney’s candidacy for President today. There was a news conference and everything. Okay, raise your hand if you give a flying you-know-what who Donald Trump thinks should be President. If your hand is raised, please lay your head back as far as it will go, keep your hand in the air, and hope that the blood flow to your brain has increased. Thank you. Also, I know the election’s not supposed to be until November, but let’s just vote now. Please. I can’t take ten more months. In fact, let’s play the Super Bowl tomorrow, then head to the polls as soon as it’s done. Everyone cool with that? Awesome.

What’s bothering you, folks?

The Muppets stay awesome

Remember that earlier, uh, let’s call it an “incident,” when Fox News claimed that the Muppets were Communists? (I may have had a few thoughts at the time.) Anyway, the Muppets have finally responded, and it’s glorious. I don’t know why Fox News thought that they could out-zing Miss Piggy, but what a tragic miscalculation. Even better is how Kermit hears her response, and laments “Boy, that’s going to be all over the Internet.”

Yes, Kermit. Yes it is.

Even better? The Muppet response has gotten thousands more views than the original Fox News clip on YouTube. Fellow humans, I salute you.

Quick PS: Can we all appreciate the sheer awesomeness of the Muppets having a press conference? Kermit and Miss Piggy have their own placards and water glasses. Amazing.

Update your Internets

I’m movin’ on up to a registered domain name, b-rollers! b-roll is now You’ll be redirected from the old URL, but if you’ve got this site bookmarked (bless your heart), please update your settings.

I’ll be back with some fresh thoughts this weekend, by the way. I’ve been taking a post-Globes break; when live-blogging in a cake-fueled sugar rush, certain side effects may occur. Anyway, let’s reconvene shortly.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I hear Miss Piggy’s on Project Runway this evening…

Ringing in 2012, b-roll style

Happy New Year, folks! I hope you had a wonderful last few weeks of 2011, particularly since we’re all probably going to die in 2012. (I’m just superstitious enough that the Mayan calendar thing nags at me ever so slightly. Anyway.) I celebrated New Year’s Eve as God intended, with good friends, a nice dinner, and a movie doubleheader; as midnight struck, we were staring at George Clooney as he sat on a Hawaiian beach. Tell me that isn’t the way to ring in the new year.

Anyway, my New Year’s resolutions: blog more, exercise more, spend less, and, uh, resolve stuff? Whatever, I hate these things. But we should start off 2012 with a bang, since the awards shows are right around the corner (live blog, anyone?), and also because I’ve been #occupying the movie theaters recently. So expect some thoughts on The Artist, War Horse, The Descendents and The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo in the days to come.

In the meantime, a healthy and happy 2012 to you, b-rollers. May it be your best yet.


Happy Friday, b-rollers! A quick note on b-roll coming attractions as we head into the home stretch of the holiday season.

  • As noted, I’ll be posting my “b-roll TV Year in Review” on Sunday. Brace yourselves, it’s not a quick read. I, uh, watch more TV than I realized. I stand by my earlier statement that most of it isn’t that great, it’s just that I still consume it in bulk. Anyway. Sunday.
  • The reason I’m not posting it on Saturday is two-fold: 1) I have bought just one single Christmas present so far, and since I actually know more than one person, I have some heavy shopping to do. 2) To get myself in the Christmas spirit, I’m going to preface my shopping by seeing one of my all-time favorite Christmas movies, A Muppet Christmas Carol, on the big screen at the AFI Silver Theater (bless them and their Muppet-loving hearts). This is the first time I’ll get to see this movie in an actual theater and I am dizzy with excitement. I know, I’m a child, but it’s just not Christmas until Gonzo (as Charles Dickens) calls Rizzo the Rat an idiot.
  • And speaking of Christmas movies, I think that deserves a post all its own, don’t you? I’ll come up with some thoughts next week. There are just so many good ones. And a warning: I’m not a huge fan of the oldies (It’s a Wonderful Life, etc.) and lean more towards stupid humor (see above), so if you are preliminarily outraged, fair enough; feel free to defend your favorites.
  • And finally, this may or may not happen by Christmas, but I’ll have a post soon on a mini-debate raging among the tiny group of people who actually care regarding the frontrunners for the Oscars this year – The Artist (haven’t seen yet), Hugo (which I loved), etc. – and the nature of these “escapist” movies. You may not care either, but as soon as I get my thoughts in order (I’m trying to be articulate and stuff), I’ll let you know.

And that’s the plan up to Christmas. And then: a break. But you’ve been blogging so constantly, you argue (there’s no need to be snide). I’ll be home in New Hampshire for over a week, and there are people to see and presents to open and long naps to take, so that’ll be it until the New Year, when I’ll be back with more b-roll. I swear to Kermit.

It’s not easy being red

Do you ever feel like we’ve actually stepped inside the pages of The Onion? Today, I hit my breaking point with society. Follow with me, b-rollers.

Everyone is talking about The Muppets, including me. So, apparently, is Fox Business, which is related to right-wing Fox News, which, full disclosure, I detest because I’m a young Northeast liberal and thus, if you watch Fox News, probably a Communist. Therefore, no wonder I love the Muppets – they’re Communists too! I’m not kidding; this is really a conversation that Fox Business had. They had a debate about it, with graphics and stuff. Because the villain of the movie is an oil baron named Tex Richman – and that’s clearly an assault on capitalism and the hardworking philanthropists at oil companies everywhere – but even more than that, liberals are using the Muppets to indoctrinate the youth of America. How dare we.

Okay, you guys, honest question: Has Darwinism stopped working? We’re talking about a movie featuring puppets. A frog is romantically involved with a pig. Jason Segel’s “brother” is fourteen inches tall and orange. (And we shall call him…Snooki.) Vogue not only has a “plus-sized” section (sure) but has handed over the keys to aforementioned pig (glamazon though she is). In roughly 36 hours, the gang rebuilds a condemned theater and puts on a telethon. Shall we really nitpick?

Not to close the liberal loop here, but remember when President Obama released his birth certificate primarily to silence Donald Trump (oh, if only), then held a press conference and said, “We have more important things to do”? (About four days later bin Laden was killed, so no duh.) I thought that was our societal rock bottom, but apparently there are just so many layers. In these troubled economic times, Fox Business, WE HAVE MORE IMPORTANT THINGS TO DO.

Anyway, I’m going to take some deep cleansing breaths. If you’d like to see the video, head over to Entertainment Weekly, where one blogger wrote an ironic post about this. And if you really want to despair for humanity, check out the comments section, where many people were unable to distinguish that the piece was appropriately mocking of the dumbest argument that’s ever been made.