OK. It’s coming up on almost a month that I haven’t posted. What gives? Well, for one thing, I haven’t really been out to the movies. Most of the candidates for my Saturday excursions to the cinema have gotten such mediocre/mixed reviews that I ended up staying home to catch up on the small screen. Movies like Blindness, Max Payne, Eagle Eye, City of Ember, RocknRolla, Zack and Miri Make a Porno, were all on my list and I just let them slide by. I will have to check them all out on DVD instead. I know everyone is now waiting to watch Quantum of Solace this coming weekend, myself included. However, I was wondering yesterday about the hype and anticipation around this movie. So much of it seems to be due to the fact that the target demo has not had a hit movie since Dark Knight. I don’t remember as much expectation was laid upon Casino Royale a few years back. I guess that one also had the problem of being in untested waters. No one was sure that Daniel Craig could be a good Bond, or that the whole aesthetic of the new reboot was going to work. Now that we all enjoyed the less campy, more contemporary Bond, we want more. The other gale force in this perfect storm of box office conditions has got to be strategic reshuffling of the release dates (courtesy of the semi-recent Hollywood writer’s strike). I know for sure that if I were anticipating Star Trek or Harry Potter in a few months (as opposed to the more than half-year wait that we’re facing), I would be salivating far less for this movie. Anyway, I’m no entertainment industry pundit. All I know is that when I read through my recent Entertainment Weekly fall movie preview, I was not too excited about any of the other movies coming out before Christmas (with the possible exception of the reboot of Klaatu in The Day the Earth Stood Still).
On the TV front, have you noticed the relatively ample standing room around the water cooler? (OK, we don’t have a water cooler at my office and frankly I’ve never been in too many TV conversations at work, but you get my point.) As much as I enjoy a lot of shows like Pushing Daisies, Chuck, Supernatural, The Office, Desperate Housewives, etc., none of these are really buzz-friendly shows conducive to water-cooler chatter. Even new shows like Fringe and True Blood do not really get the conversations going. It seems like those kinds of shows are still waiting in the wings. As I mentioned in my last post, I’m still looking forward to all those shows to come back in January and February: I want to know what happens to the Oceanic Six (especially what’s going on between Sun and Mr. Widmore) and how are they going to bring Jin back? I want to know who the frakkin’ last human-form Cylon is. For goodness sake, the tease is killing me! I want to see Jack Bauer in action again (thank Fox, we’re getting a telemovie in a couple of weeks). But be warned Fox, if Day 7 is as crappy as Day 6, that show will be dead to me (and no amount of adrenaline injected straight into the heart will save it). The shows that I am currently enjoying seem to be more run-of-the-mill fun. I can enjoy an episode of Chuck quite a bit without recalling anything about last week’s. Even Supernatural (which is currently my most-anticipated show of the week) is simple to enjoy in bite-sized pieces. I am totally digging the angelic story arc. It’s kind of the opposite of the “Touched By An Angel” approach to angels. Now I want them to bring on a female angel to add some interesting dynamics to the mix. I don’t know if it’s the macho overtones of the show, but it’s weird that they’ve moved to having the demons (Lilith, Ruby) be females, and the angels (Castiel, Uriel) be males. What is show-runner Eric Kripke trying to say?
Music is not really my strong suit when it comes to intelligent comment (or even just sarcastically quippy comment). Partly it’s because I have shamefully unsophisticated musical tastes. (Yes, I love Top 40 pop music. It’s a disease, OK?) Anyway, I was actually anticipating the debut album of American Idol runner-up David Archuleta. I don’t watch the show, but I was able to catch some of his performances and I enjoyed his style. When his first single, Crush, came out a few weeks ago, it was pretty disappointing how bland it was. His eponymous album does not seem much better. I don’t know what happened. Perhaps too many music industry cooks spoiled the broth, but having previewed the album on Amazon, I can’t say I remember a single track from it. I guess I’m really not the target demographic. Arculeta’s true audience of 11-year-old girls are probably crazy for his puppy-dog cuteness and can overlook the uninspired-even-by-pop-standards music. Unfortunately that does nothing for me so, whatever … The flipside of the reality-show-pop-song coin is a major hit in the UK (that’s where the tween girl inside me really comes from). It’s by Geraldine (not her real name or even gender) and it’s a spoof on music competition shows. The song is called The Winner’s Song and performed by British comedian Peter Kay (in character as the zaftig Geraldine McQueen) for a parody comedy show called Peter Kay’s Britain’s Got the Pop Factor… and Possibly a New Celebrity Jesus Christ Soapstar Superstar Strictly on Ice. Funnily enough, I first heard this song on Hit40UK (a legitimate UK pop chart) and liked it (to be fair to myself, it is written by former Take That singer Gary Barlow). It’s made its way up the charts over there — God bless the Brits!
So, that’s some of what’s been going on in my pop culture universe these days. I’ve also been watching a lot of anime. I’m working on a post about that. If you’ve been interested in anime but found most of it inscrutable and surprisingly dull, I hear you! Stay tuned for my recommendations.