Wednesday, July 28, 2010

The Unbearable Triteness of Being (an Unpaid Intern)

I need to vent. Seriously. I need to vent about life, about work, about school. Did I mention that I need to vent about work? And, alas, I cannot – for the protocols of the workplace prevent it. You see, as the New York Times Magazine not so subtly reminded us this past weekend, the internet is the end of the innocuous tirade. What was once a transient exercise in catharsis is now html-encoded permaglyph.
And so, despite the anonymity of this blog, we cannot occupy ourselves with topics of consequence and must turn instead to other things of import – i.e. movies and television shows.

Historically , the summer has been a veritable dead zone for television and a hotbed of cinematic delights. Of course, in 2010, a year that’s gotten increasingly strange with each passing day, the opposite is true. The small screen is shimmering while most summer blockbusters have been... well... busts.

Now, some of you are going to challenge my particular TV favorites – but, before you do, you should note that, as with all things in my life, I place a high premium on fun. As such, my summer TV accolades are awarded to the coolest crew at NBC Universal – the good people of USA Network. [Insert voice-over guy saying “Characters Welcome” here.]

Never has a network’s catchphrase been so accurate. (CBS’s “Welcome Home?” Really? Do I live with Les Moonves?) At USA, characters are not only welcome, but something of a prerequisite. Their shows, In Plain Sight, Burn Notice, and White Collar in particular, are chock full of engaging, fast-paced storylines, intriguing (and hot) men, and kick-ass women. They are examples of bubbly summer fare that never takes itself too seriously. Even In Plain Sight, a fascinating peek into the Witness Protection Program and the US Marshal Service, is banter-ific enough to keep the tone light.

Another great thing about USA programming? The myriad of West Wing alums who randomly show up to join the party. For starters, Mary McCormack and Josh Malina (WW’s Season 7 Lovebirds Kate Harper and Will Bailey), are In Plain Sight regulars. Richard Schiff (WW’s grizzly, yet lovable, Toby Ziegler) has guested on both IPS (as a rabbi!) and Burn Notice (as a criminal!). Tim Matheson (WW’s smarmy John Hoynes) is at his smarmiest as Psychopath Larry, a recurring thorn in Michael Westen’s side on Burn. And, just this season, the Flamingo-esque Allison Janney (WW’s Press Secretary-cum-Chief of Staff C.J. Cregg) joined IPS as a nagging, and nuanced, supervisor who butts head with Mary Shannon every chance she gets.

Why does any of this matter? Well, it doesn’t, but it does allow me to aggravate my father every once in awhile. You see, when I’m at my parents’ house we tend to watch a lot of USA together. Every time a WW alum enters a scene, I gleefully exclaim, “He/she’s from West Wing!” Most people would find this only mildly irritating. My father, however, hates it. Let’s just say he’s not the biggest fan of The West Wing. In fact, I’m not allowed to watch the show he scornfully calls “a love letter to the Clinton administration” while he’s in the house. The fact that I absolutely adore it? It irks him to no end.

Okay. We’ve discussed my love of USA shows. Though I have to say, these past few paragraphs have been extraneous. If you need to be convinced of USA’s greatness, I only need two words – Matt Bomer. Google Image him. You’ll understand.

On to film...
Inception was great. Really interesting, not as confusing as it could have been, blah, blah, blah. But, other than that, I haven’t seen a good film for adults in ages. Toy Story 3 was wonderful, and arguably more fun for adults than for kids, but that doesn’t count. The Kids are All Right is getting good buzz and I’m definitely going to try to see it in a few days. As for Charlie St. Cloud? When Zac Efron puts an “h” or a “k” at the end of his first name, maybe I’ll take him more seriously.

And in sports...How ‘bout dem Yankees?
B'ahava, Y

Friday, July 2, 2010

To Infinity and ... boredom.

I’ve stopped and started many posts over the past month or two. Posts about hot guys at the gym. Posts about the World Cup. Posts about nothing at all.
I’ve apparently come down with some kind of writer’s block. And yet, I keep on trying.

Perhaps I have nothing to write about because I don’t really have much going on. I go to work – where Chambers privilege precludes me from blogging about proceedings. I come home. I go to the gym. And, unless you want to hear about those aforementioned hot guys, there’s not much there to tell.

Oh, how I wish I had something witty to share. When did life get so boring?

Two nights ago, in a nod to boredom, I rented “He’s Just Not That Into You.” I know, I know. I ‘m about two years late. I simply hadn’t had time to see the film that I’d heard should have been subtitled “The [Insert the name of every girl you’ve ever known, yourself included] Story.”
So, best lesson of the movie? Hanging out is not dating.
Worst lesson of the movie? You are the exception to the rule.

The movie prattles on and on about how girls shouldn’t listen to movies and men don’t change – and, lo and behold, the movie refuses to heed its own advice.
I won’t spoil the pleasantly predictable ending for those who are even slower than I, but I will profess to having teared up at the close.

Damn me and my emotional vulnerability.

One last thing – the cutest part of the movie is by far the credits. So, if like me, Ben Affleck makes you cry in the last five minutes, don’t run for the tissues until you see Kevin Connelly and Justin Long in the credit clips.

For the sake of preserving my cinematic dignity, I must disclaim that liking this movie may very well be a consequence of having recently seen the truly awful “Valentine’s Day” – another ensemble Rom-Com. It was so bad, it made “HJNTIY” look like art.

Since we’re already in cinema-scope, I just have to ask – did you see Toy Story 3? Cute, eh? Pixar has a knack for assembling stellar vocal casts. Perhaps if there were more dialogue, I wouldn’t have fallen asleep during Wall-E.

See kids, I told you that I had nothing to write about.

PLEASE. Someone do something interesting. Or… I might have to rent “The Ugly Truth.”
Don’t let that happen.

Hearts, Y