Tag Archives: entertainment

Too Old for MTV

I remember thinking I would never be too old for good music.  I would never lose touch with the new stuff.  It would be my way of rebelling against Father Time.

Yeah…about that.

Tonight was the MTV Video Music Awards, or the MTV VMAs as they are called.  Once upon a time, I would sit down and watch it live, hoping that, even though I knew Tori wouldn’t win, the fact that “Silent All These Years” was even nominated made me hold out hope that maybe, this year would be the year.  The original Kanye interrupting move was done by Nathaniel Hornblower, interrupting R.E.M’s acceptance speech for Everybody Hurts.  Jared Leto was there because of his role in “My So Called Life,” not because he was in a band (though, the years have been very kind to Jordan).

Remember that awkwardness????

Remember that awkwardness????

Oh yeah and MTV showed videos 90% of the time back then.

Aside from all that…I tuned in to just check it out and talk about feeling slightly out of touch. I mean, I do know some of the artists because you’d have to live under a rock to not know Taylor Swift.  But some of these others just made me realize I’m old.  Le sigh.

The categories too have changed.  Best Video with a Social Message.  Didn’t realize that was now its own category.  Remember the days when the songs alone, without any videos, were the social message?  I mean yes, Macklemore’s song did have a social message – a very important and needed social message, but remember Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young’s “Ohio” – there was no video…yet there was quite the social message.

And now that I’ve ranted a little about this age gap, I’m cementing the fact that I’m turning into an old lady.

I wasn’t planning on watching the show. My Facebook feed though, had exploded with people who had rejoiced at the NSync reunion, hence the reason for me checking it out.  Curiosity, my name is Cat and you have killed me.  Also, I should confess I’m not too above admitting that I have come to adore JT over the years – boy can dance…and sing…and act…and entertain.  Let’s face it, the NSync reunion is much better than the NKOTB reunion (even though I feel like I’m denying my true first boy band love by saying that) just because they can ALL still sing and dance (unlike the even older NKOTB).

What will the VMAs look like when the Daughter is a teenager?  Will there still be music videos?  I hope so.  When the right song finds the right visionary, whether it be the recording artist or a director who just was moved by the song, magic can happen.  Art really can change a person and even though you may not like the song personally, you can appreciate the small video and the story created and told to the song.   I mean let’s face it, “Thriller” is a good song, but it’s epic when set to that amazing zombie dance scene.

I’ll be waiting MTV VMAs 2023 – let’s see if you can deliver.

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Did She Really Know He Was Trouble When He Walked In?

My four-year old loves to sing.  She’ll sing anything.  She made up a great song this past Memorial Day, a new family classic.  “It’s Memorial Day.  It’s Memorial Day.  Everyone shout hooray, hooray!”  It went on for about four verses and I was lucky enough to capture it on video.  I also have her on video singing along to “Call Me Maybe.”  Not my proudest moment but she begged to have a video of it.

I sometimes worry about the songs I let her listen to on the radio and after reading this article on the Huffington Post, I’m glad to see I’m not alone in my worry.

I know that I can’t keep her in a bubble but I want her to be a little girl as long as humanly possible.  I know right now, she’s just innocently singing along to Taylor Swift but I still cringe hearing that innocent voice singing those lyrics.

Parrothead-20My Mom is a Parrot head (aka a die-hard Jimmy Buffett fan).  We were raised on Jimmy Buffett music, long before the masses were singing Margaritaville and reminding us all that it’s 5 o’clock somewhere.  The staple in her car during our childhood was the greatest hits album, Songs You Know By Heart, aka the yellow case.  Almost everyone who knows Jimmy Buffett knows this album.  It’s got them all.  Mother, Mother Ocean. A Pirate Looks at 40.  Cheeseburger in Paradise.  Boat Drinks.  And then there’s the song that was always fast forwarded.  The one that Jimmy Buffett once called the New Bedford national anthem (it got a lot of laughs from the crowd at that concert).  The one that as a kid all I remember was the part about a water bed.   Now that I’m an adult, I realize that she was trying to make sure our innocent little minds didn’t come up with questions she didn’t want to answer.  I can only imagine how that conversation would have gone…

Us Kids: “Mommy, What’s ‘get drunk’ mean?”

Mom: “It means drinking a lot.”

Us Kids: “Oh, like too much kool aid?”

Mom:  “Yes. Exactly.”

A moment of silence and then the chorus comes back on “Why don’t we get drunk and screw?”

Us Kids: “So does screw mean go to the bathroom?  If he drank a lot of kool aid, he would have to pee.”

Mom:  “Yes.  That’s exactly what that means.”

Because of that glorious little fast forward button, that cassette tape hardly ever played that song.  We never had a chance to really ask that question.  Even if we had asked the question, I wonder if we would have understood the answer.

The scary thing for me is that the radio plays much more intense things now.  That would have been considered mild today.  Would have and is… It’s not just the radio though.  As the article points out, it’s tv too.  There’s so much that is said and it’s as if we forget that the English language is fortunate enough to have THOUSANDS of words to describe so many different things.  But pop culture seems to dictate speaking in text talk, hash tags, and with a profanity laced dialogue (or monologue depending on the person) that once upon a time would have made a sailor blush.

profanity

Even today, when we were driving home, Daft Punk’s “Get Lucky” came on and she was soon singing along in the back seat “We’re up all night to get lucky.”  Either I have a dirty mind or she’s singing something she has no idea about.  I felt like a prude.  The song has an awesome beat and you can’t help but want to dance to it, no matter where you are.  I like it.  It’s on almost every radio station every ten minutes or so.  You can’t avoid it.   What does that mean as a mom?  Do I resort to censorship until she’s old enough to have a better understanding even though the very thought of censorship makes me feel a little nauseated?  Do I put her at a disadvantage, even at 4, because trust me, the kids know what is cool at 4.  Or do I just go along and pretend like it’s nothing until she asks?

It’s such an odd question to have to deal with. I will not worry too much about it right now but I will turn off the more “suggestive” songs (read “Blurred Lines”) even if I want to listen.  I’ll blast them when I’m driving to and from work.   In the mean time, I will continue to play the Beatles, big bands, and folk music mixed in with the occasional top 40 radio station that incessantly plays the same five songs over and over and over and over and over and over…

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My Real Secret of Energy Refills

I am a reality TV junkie.

There, I admit it.

When I feel like I’m fed up with life, I know I can always turn on Bravo and watch some form of (possibly scripted) drama going on in the lives of some over the top individual who can’t possibly live life like that every single day.  It just can’t possibly be their real life because it would take so much energy to live such a dramatic life.

I watch all the Housewives, except Orange County.  I know that they are the original ones but I really cannot handle them for some reason.  The rest play out like a badly acted telenovella and that says something.  They live in ridiculous homes.  They wear too much make up and put too much stock in designer things.  They schmooze and do the fake double cheek kiss.  Then they fight.  And when they fight, I feel relieved.  It’s like some kind of sick confirmation that even though they have all this material wealth, they still have issues.

Yes, I am fully aware that it  contributes to the downfall of our modern society.  But you know what, at least it’s not Honey Boo Boo!

These women are brave to put their lives “on display.”  They are all over tabloid magazines (which I do not read, in case you were wondering) and their lives play out real or fictitiously in front of those, like me, who watch.

I wish I could say I’m watching them as some part of elaborate sociological study of domesticated American women with too much wealth and free time on their hands, but I’m not.  I watch them to let my mind unwind.  I don’t have to think when I watch them.  I just sit back and pretend I’m in the room with some imaginary extended family that is exploding at a family gathering.  Sometimes, I wonder if that’s what happens in big families.  I had a big family when I was child but then things happened and well, thanks to Facebook, I’m slowly reconnecting at least on a virtual level.  I watch the housewives and wonder if I ever met them in person if it would end up like Tre and Melissa fighting or if it would be like Kyle and Kim full of resentment.  Or would it be more like Jacqueline and Caroline who have put the past behind them in the name of being family and enjoying what time they have with each other.  I will always wonder I suppose.  I wish I could go into more of it here, but I fear that again, dear reader, I would be turning you into my personal therapist and that you might just end up like the guy sitting next to Ted Striker.

One of the many unfortunate neighbors of Ted Striker on Airplane!

One of the many unfortunate neighbors of Ted Striker on Airplane!

The Housewives, as well as my newest obsession – the Shahs of Sunset, let me quiet my brain.  I can escape into their lavish lives and just recharge my batteries because it doesn’t really require any brain function to watch these shows.  I know some people turn to other means to get that sense of calm – yoga, wine, meditation, and other methods – but I’ll take my trashy TV. Every night, I send a Maazel to the Universe for Andy Cohen and his idea to showcase these amazingly excessive women.

I hope, dear readers, that you have not lost any respect for me.  When today’s NaBloPoMo prompt came up, I knew I had to spill my guilty pleasure because it’s how I restore my energy.  Please don’t judge me.  I promise I won’t judge you.

This post was written as part of the January 2013 NaBloPoMo.  The theme for this month is Energy.  Today’s prompt was “What is your favourite way to recharge when you feel drained of energy?”  Again, please don’t judge me – I really am a smart person who just happens to love trashy tv.  I promise.

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This Week in Pop Culture

I am a TV junkie.  There I said it.  I own it.  I like TV.  Yes, I could spend my time doing other things but I, like many people, just find myself watching the latest new show, “just to check it out.”  Then I get hooked.  Some of the shows are good, some of the shows are my secret shame.

The summer season is sadly winding down.  I say sadly because I really feel like the summer seasons are not long enough.  I know that the shows that they play are usually highly produced and usually cost mucho dinero, but I just feel like they fly by!

True Blood, for example, is one that just feels like it was really picking up steam and this coming Sunday is the season finale.  So much is just starting, so much is on the edge of amazing.  I know that’s why it’s ending but really, it could go for a few more episodes before it leaves us on the edge of our seats as it most likely will.  I like how the show is different from Charlaine Harris’ world in the books but I also don’t like it.  I have not been a fan of evil Bill.  I like how he kind of is there but not really there in the books, just being Bill.  This Lilith stuff is just kind of wacky to me.  I wanted to see the Faerie War.  And where’s Quinn?  Coming soon?  And what in the name of all that is Sookie is going on with her losing her power?  That is kind of lame too.  Just my thoughts.

The Cast of True Blood Season 5. Love this show and glad this season has been so good (for the most part).

The Newsroom is my new summer favorite.  I was a huge fan of the West Wing and when I heard that Sorkin was back with a drama about a cable news show, I was in.  The first episode I had to keep putting the image of Jeff Daniels in Dumb and Dumber where he makes the most annoying sound in the world.  It didn’t take me long to get rid of that image.  Daniels is so good in this role.  He is the journalist I dream of.  He doesn’t let up on the hard questions.  He wants the truth. He doesn’t care if he agrees with it or not, he just wants the truth and that’s what he strives to report.  The dialogue is amazingly written, the characters are real people working for a cable giant, ironically enough, headed by Jane Fonda.  For me the show portrays what I wish the world was like.  I wish that the news anchors would ask the questions that matter, cover the stories that matter, cover our country like it mattered.  Instead, we are inundated with Honey Boo Boo, “Kimye,” and whatever else is out there that really isn’t “news” but because people watch it (because it’s all they put on and we don’t turn our TVs off), they keep producing it. I wish Newsroom were real.  I would love it if people really cared about the country and the real issues.  Sigh…I am stepping off my soapbox.  I love this show.

Best new show of the summer. Period.

I love Sci-Fi so when Falling Skies was announced, I was intrigued.  Post-alien invasion world; resistance force based in Massachusetts, aliens – right up my alley.  It has been really, really good.  A sci-fi show like this is truly a story of humanity.  Yes there are big bad aliens invading, but really, it’s about how humanity prevails even when threatened to the point of extinction.  It’s about how we are all basically the same yet it takes great tragedy for us to realize that.  Yes there are the bad apples, like Pope, but overall, everyone is able to work together to keep some semblance of the world they know.  If you like rooting for the underdog and aren’t afraid of aliens, you really should give this show a shot.  It’s very well done, the effects aren’t too cheesy and the dialogue is pretty good.

The Battle for Earth Begins – Falling Skies

Then there is the never-ending stream of reality TV.  It’s like soap operas come to life in some cases.  In other cases, it’s watching grown adults act like three-year olds.  Hell’s Kitchen is a train-wreck that I cannot take my eyes off of.  These foul-mouthed chefs are amazing to watch.  I constantly wonder where they were trained and who allowed them to have the mouths that they have.  It’s amazing.  They beep more words than they actually say.  Then, there’s Master Chef where the home cooks have to compete each week for the chance to have a cookbook and a car.  That one is a little more sophisticated.  Less language beeping, more cooking.  Keeping with the food themed shows, we come to the best of them, Top Chef Masters. This is the spin-off of Top Chef where the already famous and well-established chefs come together and compete as the Top Chef contestants do, but they donate all their winnings to charity.  This is where the real cooking happens.  This is where the real chefs come.  This is the ultimate cooking show!

Moving from food, there are my Housewives.  My New Jersey Housewives and their “do-people-really-truly-live-like-this?” show.  I can’t stop watching.  Each week is more ridiculous than the last.  Their dramas are bigger than their hair.  Their feuds are more intense than their make-up.  They yell, they cry…it’s how I imagine a family reunion to be if I had a big family like that.  There is no rhyme or reason as to why this show exists other than people like me who tune in week after week to find out if Teresa is going to finally wise up to her ways or if Caroline is going to pass judgement on someone else.

However you cut it, I probably watch way too much TV.  No, not probably, I do.  I do watch way too much TV.  It’s on the lists of habits to change but right now, I will enjoy my gluttony of summer TV shows.

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The Dark Knight Rises and Remembrance

The Husband and I finally got around to seeing The Dark Knight Rises.  Like most of the people in the country, the very utterance of that movie title made me feel uneasy.  Like there was something now taboo about it.  I had wanted to see it before the tragedy that will now, forever, be synonymous with the film.  But after that tragedy, every time it was mentioned, I had this pit in my stomach.  After all the stories of heroism, of loss, of sadness, of healing, it was hard to imagine myself sitting in a movie theater and actually being able to enjoy this film.

When the previews ended, I felt as though there should have been a moment of silence for those who never got to see the movie.  Even though a lot of the country has moved on (the Olympics are currently being played non-stop and with nothing else on the competing networks if you didn’t notice that), I still find myself thinking about those who lost their lives simply because they were excited to see their favorite crime-fighting hero fight the very same type of pathological madman who brought so much grief and tragedy to so many.

That being said, I had my own moment of silence and tried then to focus on the film.

I love Batman.  I’d have to say of all the comic characters of which I have some knowledge, Batman might be on top.   I know he’s no Superman, but Batman could be anyone (even the film says that).  It’s true.  He is every man or woman who is tired of the injustice.  He fights for those who are unable to fight and does it without hope of recognition.  There’s something chivalrous in the way Batman takes on the crime and evil that corrupts Gotham.  He does it because it is what is right.  He realizes that the Police have laws but Batman is able to transcend them and yet abide by them.  The laws are his moral compass.  How he enforces them, well, that’s a gray area but in the end, justice is ultimately served.

The first of the Christopher Nolan movies, Batman Begins,  was excellent.  Bruce Wayne discovering that he can make a difference not just by being rich, but by using his riches to help develop tools to fight the crime that continues to grow worse each year in the city that his parents had worked so hard to build up.   It was masterfully crafted and made this new version of the masked vigilante seem that much more realistic.  The possibility that some socialite with too much time and too much money on their hands would decide to fight crime, somehow didn’t seem that unrealistic after this first film.

The second film, the film that also sadly caught press for some not so happy events, The Dark Knight, took Batman even deeper.  He loses more in this film.  He goes farther into his own pain in this film.  We see familiar foes reinvented and possibly the most iconic of those villains played hauntingly by yet another actor gone too soon.

With this third and final installment of the Nolan Batman trilogy, the sense of ending for Bruce Wayne was perfect.  It was time.  Here was a man who had lost so much over his life.  He gave selflessly to the city that he loved.  So much that he was now beaten by it.  The growing army, led by Bane, was enough to get him to consider fighting one last fight to save his beloved Gotham.  He was devoted to fighting for the innocents who could not possibly stand up to such forces and that devotion came through clearly in this installment.

Despite the sometimes funny “Batman” voice, Bale’s portrayal of Batman/Bruce Wayne is probably my most favorite one.  Yes, Adam West holds the title for the campy somewhat comedic version (sorry George Clooney – you are probably a close second for the campy version of Batman) and Michael Keaton came in a close second for  favorite.  There was just something about Christian Bale that, for me, captured that sadness of an orphaned boy who simply wanted happiness but because of the tragedy he faced as a child, saw nothing but tragedy everywhere he looked.  There was an emptiness, a desire for something more that just oozed off the screen for me.  In this last movie, in particular, that sense of anguish and despair just made it that much more real.

The loss of everything that Wayne had found in life that might have allowed him happiness was gone.  Batman was now a villain.  No allies, no love, nothing.  The story that started with this emptiness and anguish, took those feelings and made the final film a story of one man’s triumph not only over the evil of the world around him, but also of the  sadness within himself.

I left the film feeling quite satisfied.  It ended as it should.  There is still hope for the hopeless.  There is still light for those in darkness.  All one must do is face it and fight on.

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