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W and I watched Elvira: Mistress of the Dark on Netflix the other night after learning it was one of RuPaul's top five favorite movies. On Facebook I simply reviewed it: "Elvira, Mistress of the Dark: good movie or best movie?" but I'm going to talk about it a little more because it leads me to a generalized theory of Movies Teen Me Would Have Loved.

Fascinating! Tell me more! )
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I just watched this entire season so far of Parks & Rec on Hulu and I've seen the same set of five or six commercials over and over and over. I don't normally watch commercials, so I'm not desensitized to them anymore. Observe my perplexity.

Buick LaCrosse I'm almost impressed by the shameless unnecessariness of the features this car boasts, like Bose speakers and a heated steering wheel. No mention of a single relevant car feature.

Infants' Tylenol "We lowered her fever. You raised her spirits," a gentle wise-sounding female voice intones. After a bit more of this, she concludes, "For everything we do, we know you do so much more." While ostensibly admitting that PARENTS are more important to children than Tylenol, the whole function of the commercial is to put them on the same level. "Parents are more important than Tylenol" is the overt message of the commercial so you can't object to it, but it should not need to be said, and by saying it, they are implying that there is any comparison. Clever and gross.

Mobile banking of some kind A woman announces she needs to go deposit a check, so it's the uncle's turn to take care of the baby. The uncle stutters, panicked, as the mother deposits the baby in his arms. She steps away for two minutes, pushes some buttons on her phone, and returns to take the baby. The uncle, now gently smiling down at the child, says he's got it. This is cute enough, I guess, and the idea that mobile banking makes your life easier than it was in previous generations comes through, but the voiceover explanation that follows makes so little sense that it drives me crazy. It's something like, "Simplifying your life so you can create a bond that will last a lifetime."

The whole point is that the mobile banking shortens the time the baby has to be with the uncle! If the mom had had to go to the bank, the uncle would have had to baby-sit for real, not just hold the kid for ten seconds. I guess maybe the idea is that if the mother had actually had to leave, she would have had to find a real baby-sitter for the baby, since the uncle is clearly unprepared. "Capital One... Creating obligations on your phone that are not quite distracting enough to require a real babysitter but distracting enough that you shouldn't really be alone with your baby, so you can rely on semi-competent caretakers with abandon."

The one has nothing to do with the other, is what I'm saying. You can help your brother bond with your baby without mobile banking.

Planters nuts This one is just plain annoying. Claymation Mr. Peanut tells us, in a voice that reminds me a bit of Paul trying to be as smarmy and irritating as possible, "At Planters we know how to hold a great Holiday party... no matter who shows up." A nutcracker shows up and tries to bite the Planters nut. It's a little disturbing, although no more so than the whole idea of Mr. Peanut. I can't think of him without thinking of this tweet: Is there anything more capitalist than a peanut in a top hat and monocle selling you other peanuts to eat

Best Buy This series, one of which features Maya Rudolph, does that obnoxious but common Christmas thing of combining old-fashioned, epic style elements (like fairy-tale type language, fake reading from a giant leather book, and Carol of the Bells/Harry Potter soundtrack type music) with modern techie jargon to confuse people into thinking that words like "mobile carrier plan" are necessarily associated with Christmas. That tactic is familiar to be (though it still makes me feel itchy and greasy). Here's what bothers me specifically.

The commercial where the dad is trying to find phones for his twin daughters is told in rhyming couplets, mixing fakey "Twas the night before Christmas" language with embarrassingly out of touch slang like "mad quick" (but I guess this is a commercial meant to appeal to dads of teens, not teens themselves). At the end of the commercial, the dad concludes, "If I wrote these lines myself, they wouldn't be this... be this..." He trails off.

WHAT IS HAPPENING HERE? Are they implying that he did write the lines himself, and he's betraying himself by not being able to think of an ending (or not wanting to conclude with the logical ending, "bad"?) But why would he even start a sentence with "If I wrote these lines myself," then? And if he expects us to believe that he didn't write them, why does it matter if he says they're bad? I thought the whole point of distancing himself by claiming someone else wrote them was because he was aware they were bad. And if he didn't write them himself, why is he unable to complete the sentence? Is he too polite to insult the writers? I DON'T GET IT IT DOESN'T MAKE SENSE.

Aflac A PA is helping the Aflac duck run through his lines. The duck keeps saying Alfac in different gimmicky voices (Southern belle, various racist black voices, etc.) Each time, the PA praises the duck, then says a snide remark under his breath: "I LOVE IT! (I hate it.)" The duck finishes the commercial by banging his head against the mirror in self-loathing while the PA mutters, "I am so fired." This is an oddly heartbreaking picture of an actor duck in crisis. Why is the PA being such a yes-man? Obviously the duck is looking for some genuine direction here. He is keenly aware that his efforts are not panning out. He doesn't buy the PA's hype. He's blindly searching for some way to improve his craft and receiving no guidance. The PA is also aware that his current strategy is not getting him the results he wants--the duck isn't happy, he's not happy, he fears being fired. Everyone is miserable and nobody knows how to escape from the hell they've created for themselves in their hopeless pursuit of showbiz.

Wait, why is any of this supposed to make me want to buy car insurance?
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I was quoted as the Fannish Expert in the Canadian magazine Maclean's in TV reviewer Jaime Weinman's article about Girl Meets World, the upcoming Boy Meets World sequel, thanks to my Inconsistently Detailed Boy Meets World Episode Guide. While I was quoted pretty heavily for a short article (I knew mentioning Degrassi would do it), my narcissism compels me to post the full text of the interview, in which I waxed ludicrously verbose, as I am wont to do anytime the name "Rider Strong" is invoked. (I was disappointed to learn from the article that Strong is not slated to appear in GMW, a fact I optimistically didn't bother to research before the interview.)

Interview Full Text )
Music:: Oasis - Champagne Supernova
Mood:: 90s nostalgic
lauraredcloud: (laura)
I was quoted as the Fannish Expert in the Canadian magazine Maclean's in TV reviewer Jaime Weinman's article about Girl Meets World, the upcoming Boy Meets World sequel, thanks to my Inconsistently Detailed Boy Meets World Episode Guide. While I was quoted pretty heavily for a short article (I knew mentioning Degrassi would do it), my narcissism compels me to post the full text of the interview, in which I waxed ludicrously verbose, as I am wont to do anytime the name "Rider Strong" is invoked. (I was disappointed to learn from the article that Strong is not slated to appear in GMW, a fact I optimistically didn't bother to research before the interview.)

Interview Full Text )
Music:: Champagne Supernova - Oasis
Mood:: 90s nostalgic
lauraredcloud: (convoheart)
posted by [personal profile] lauraredcloud at 09:44am on 29/11/2012 under ,
This is the best news I've heard all week (and it's been an eventful week):

They're making a sequel series to Boy Meets World called Girl Meets World, and Cory and Topanga are going to be the parents!

Oh, man. Oh, man. This is going to be so great. This is going to be as wonderful as Degrassi: The Next Generation.

In Boy Meets World I was always annoyed when they spent time on the parent characters. Girl Meets World will not be able to resist spending even more time with the parents, alienating the countless (5) age-appropriate viewers. But I WILL LOVE IT. I will especially love it when Uncle Eric visits. Uncle Shawn will, presumably, not need to visit as he already obvs. lives in Cory and Topanga's bedroom.

The only question is, who will be the new Mr. Feeney? Minkus? Oh man, please let them get the cool motorcycle-riding English teacher back!
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posted by [personal profile] lauraredcloud at 12:08am on 18/04/2012 under
I started a new blog! Key Episodes is what it sounds like: I identify the minimal episodes you need to watch for all my favorite TV shows. It may have limited usefulness, but I'm having fun.
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posted by [personal profile] lauraredcloud at 10:00pm on 22/01/2012 under ,
I'm not watching vintage SNL in order anymore, but I am watching random episodes if I'm interested in the host.

Eric Idle, Steve Martin, Jodie Foster )
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posted by [personal profile] lauraredcloud at 06:55pm on 25/12/2011 under ,
I got great stuff this Christmas! Thanks, friends!

I'm looking forward to playing Agricola and Carcassone with friends at home; to making good homemade coffee and rice with my perfectly sized 4-cup french press and rice cooker, respectively (I've already been using my red cast-iron maple leaf teapot to make loose-leaf tea!); to adding my mom's handmade Space Towels to my space bathroom; to making baked goods with my red silicone bakeware; and to offering people in my home (including myself) any of a selection of teas from my beautiful tea chest. I guess I largely asked for domestic goods, huh? (I count the games! They make your house better.) I also got books and lipsticks and candy and Kiva loans. Pretty awesome!

In other news, why did New Directions get like three songs at sectionals and we only saw one from Trouble Tones? And how come the ND choreography was so weaksauce, especially in an episode with a Mike Chang storyline? I like the impediment of not having their usual crutch Rachel, but even considering that, this was seriously not their A-game. I call shenanigans.
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posted by [personal profile] lauraredcloud at 12:58pm on 15/12/2011 under
I'm midway through season 3 of Mad Men. I'm sucked in. Everyone was right!

I know you've all seen John Hamm's Mad Men SNL parodies--Don Draper's Guide to Picking Up Women and the A-Holes in a Ad Agency sketch which admittedly spends too much time with the boring A-Holes; watch the first minute and then from 4:00 on--and I'm also a huge fan of his monologues, like the one where he believes he has learned to be a Don Draper style advertising genius and one where he showcases his wide-ranging acting career.

The parody on a recent The Simpsons episode was so-so. Weird to watch The Simpsons post-1990s, right??

Mad Women is pretty dumb and pointless--a straight-up recreation of scenes from or like the show, only with the genders reversed, like, that's not a point that really needs to be made since the show is certainly not unaware of or unbothered by the unfair power imbalance and gender stereotypes that exist in its universe--but I sort of love the performance of the guy cast as Joan.

Am I the only one who thinks the Sesame Street Mad Men could have been a lot better? I actually like the way they handled it for the kids' show--having Don review various underlings' pitches with, "That makes me mad!" "That makes me sad!" until OKing an ad that makes him happy--and the puppet looked like Don Draper, but the voice was all wrong. I mean, come on, what is that, the Grover guy? I feel like it's not that hard to parody Don's crisp, Rod Serling-like enunciation. I also would have liked it if the underling puppets had been specific characters.

I've also recently discovered the Man Men Power Rankings, which starts with the beginning of season 3 and continues weekly, inconsistently tagged. (For you, and for me, I will link them here! week 2, week 3, week 4, week 5, week 6, week 7, week 8, week 9, week 10, week 11, week 12, week 13, week 14). I haven't read ahead of where I am, but the website is annoyingly hard to navigate so I figured I'd find 'em all. Season 4 is on the author's tumblr.
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posted by [personal profile] lauraredcloud at 09:20am on 08/11/2011 under ,
Wow, I had this completely written on Thursday, but I suddenly got too lazy to post.

SNL episodes 4-6 )

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