Square Eyes Saturday, Mar 20 2010 

Seeing as I have just spent a lot of moolah on TV DVD boxsets over the past two weeks, I thought I’d tell you which shows have caught my fancy! I love TV shows, love watching them, but never seem to find the time to do so after work. I go out a lot, and inevitably miss so many episodes of shows that by the time I sit down to watch one, I am absolutely lost! (And not just with LOST either :P) So I find that the best thing to do is buy all of the seasons on DVD and watch them at my leisure – usually at 3AM on a Friday/Saturday night!

So far, my collection entails…

House MD

House

BTVS: Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Buffy The Vampire Slayer

Angel (the spin-off from Buffy)

Angel

Boston Legal

Boston Legal

LOST

LOST

The Nanny

The Nanny

Baywatch

Baywatch

Heroes

Heroes

Sliders

Sliders

Quantum Leap

Quantum Leap

Lois & Clark: The New Adventures Of Superman

Lois & Clark: The New Adventures Of Superman

Roswell

Roswell

Medium

Medium

The Outer Limits

The Outer Limits (New)

The Twilight Zone

The Twilight Zone

The Hitchhiker

The Hitchhiker

True Blood

True Blood

The X-Files

The X-Files

That’s my collection so far, but I am adding to it almost every other day! ūüėÄ Will keep posting as I buy… This is an extremely fulfilling hobby, watching all of these. Some people go learn another language, or go to a cooking class. This is what I do. And I LOVE IT!

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Flight Of The Conchords Tuesday, Jan 5 2010 

You would have to have been in a coma for the past several years if you didn’t know who Bret McKenzie and Jermaine Clement are. Either that, or you don’t own a tv, computer, read the news or listen to the radio – and only by accident stumbled across this blog now!

These two dorky comedians make up the band/standup duo Flight Of The Conchords, who moved from NZ to the USA proclaiming themselves to be “Formerly New Zealand’s fourth most popular guitar-based digi-bongo acapella-rap-funk-comedy folk duo”.¬†

Bret and Jermaine were flatmates while studying at Victoria University in Wellington, New Zealand, and started their later to be infamous “band” in 1998. Through comedic events, and stints at festivals and slots at places like Auckland’s comedy club, they gained a loyal following in their home country and also Australia. In 2007, they moved to America to film their own television series with HBO.

The show was a hit with everyone, worldwide. Despite it’s Kiwi-isms and humour, people seemed to really get it. Bret and Jermaine play fictional versions of themselves in the show – two Kiwi’s trying to make it big in America with their unique (cough cough) band. Throughout the two series, these cringeworthy characters bumble their way through dating mishaps, money problems and lame gigs that always end in hilarity. Each episode is peppered with on-the-spot songs that are so funny, so brilliant and so well done that they have now become some of my top played beats on my iPod to boot.¬†

Bret and Jermaine are hapless losers РBret always dressed in his woolly jumpers (which always seem to have animal prints on them), and also the more sensitive and oblivious of the duo. Jermaine is slightly deluded, thinking himself to be cooler than he actually is, and is the most desperate to find a woman. Together they are deadpan, outrageously pathetic and oh so clever. The show is a laugh a minute, especially with Murray the band manager (Rhys Darby) and Mel the obsessed, slightly unhinged fan (Kristen Schaal). 

But the absolute best thing about Flight of the Conchords – of course – is the comedic music. It’s clever, it’s witty, it’s catchy and fun to listen to. Buy the CD’s, or download the singles on iTunes. You will crack up!

Also, both seasons of the series are available to buy – this is definitely one you want in your collection!

Flight Of The Conchords

 

Flight Of The Conchords

 

Flight Of The Conchords

 

Flight Of The Conchords

Ricky Moment Update Monday, Jan 4 2010 

Everyone who knows me knows I love Mr Ricky Gervais. Honest to god, I love everything he does. God bless Youtube for bringing more of him to the world!

Have you seen him and Elmo playing around behind the scenes when Ricky was on Sesame Street? Watch it here.

Or perhaps bloopers/corpsing from Extras? Watch part one here, but make sure to also watch part two! It will make you cry with laughter.

Ohhh, and just so you know, Ricky, Steve and Karl’s new podcast (Guide to the Future) is now available on iTunes. Brilliant, hilarious stuff.

Also, the new Flanimals pop-up book is available – get it for your kids, or just for yourself. So clever. Ricky is a talented man.

Ricky Corpsing

2009… Farewell… R.I.P… Lesson Learnt Saturday, Dec 26 2009 

What did 2009 mean to you? What stories caught your attention, what songs buzzed around in your brain like a fly whacked on speed? Everyone had their own personal ups and downs, of course. For me, it was (is) recovering from a pretty bad car accident. Breaking up with a boyfriend of over five years (my choice, but none the less hard), coping with the backlash of the recession and trying to move past my friends death that happened at the end of 2008. Sorry to be a downer there, but 2009 has been ROUGH! I’m looking forward to a fresh beginning in 2010, but before the year rolled over, I thought I’d blog about the events and happenings that caught my attention in ’09.¬†

First off, the recession. It’s almost become it’s own entity, hasn’t it? People talk about it like it’s a living, breathing thing with actions and no conscience. People have lost their jobs, homes, security. Businesses have closed down, new graduates have struggled to find work. It has been a terribly hard year for everyone, but we battled through and its only up from here!

The Recession Trend

 

The Chris Brown/Rihanna debacle where Chris attacked Ri-Ri while he was driving and she was in the passenger seat. This was brutal and alarming – you don’t think such horrendous behavior happens between celebrity couples. It has highlighted how violence can permeate into anyone’s life, including those who seemingly “have it all”. I won’t go into the he said, she said stuff – google it if you want details. All I want to say is that after it happened, the world was awash with sympathy for the Umbrella singer, and Chris continues to be shunned. Abusing someone is never okay, and I’m just glad that Chris was given the dunce hat on this one as opposed to being excused. I hope a lot of people out there learned from this situation, at the very least. Rihanna will continue to make great music, and seems to have become stronger despite all of the negative media attention and hype. Chris played the “I don’t know what happened, it just wasn’t me” card, but at least owned up to what he did. He didn’t blame her. I just hope he can learn to harness his temper so that the next girl doesn’t cop it too, and I also pray that his fans don’t take direction from his actions and let themselves lash out too. Sad to say, it happens when people are impressionable. This was a big story in 2009 – and I look forward to seeing more and more celebs being pulled up on their behavior in the coming years. I don’t care about sex, drugs and alcohol. That’s personal, it’s not my business. But when it’s something like violence, I do not believe they should get away with it because of their fame. Step one.¬†

Chris Brown and Rihanna

 

President Barack Obama had a bit of a full on year. He was elected 44th president (and first African-American one to boot, whoop whoop!) ¬†in November of 08′, but was inaugurated as president¬†on January 20, 2009. Along with that, he also won the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize. What a year, and what a man! The news has been saturated with everything Obama has done, from his decisions regarding Iraq to his economical plans and strategies to beat the global recession. I finally have faith in the US government with him at the reins.¬†

Barack Obama

 

The release of the movie¬†The Twilight Saga: New Moon (based on Stephenie Meyer’s bestselling books) was a big event in my eyes! My friends and I, all avid fans of both the books and the first flick, spent most of the year discussing the up and coming release. Edward or Jacob? Could they get across the sorrow of New Moon, the book, into the movie? Could Taylor Lautner pull off Jacobs physical change? Would the movie work with Edward leaving at the beginning? Ahhh, it’s the big questions in life! You may laugh at me, but I was merely one of MILLIONS waiting for the same thing. A bit of Vampire/Werewolf action – oh yeah!¬†

New Moon Movie Poster

 

On a sad note, many celebrities died in 2009. A scarily high amount, and a lot of them far too young. This struck a chord with me, and I do believe, with the world. So R.I.P. to the following greats:

* David Carridine Р08/12/1936 to 03/06/2009. An actor, well known for many roles over the years. One of his most recent magic roles was Bill in the Kill Bill movies. He was found dead in Thailand from, err, accidental asphyxiation. Enough said. 

* Edward (Ted) Kennedy – 22/02/1932 ‚Äď 25/08/2009. A United States Senator and an integral part of the Kennedy family. In 2008 he was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor, and died from the ensuing complications in 2009.¬†

* Farrah Fawcett ¬†– 02/02/1947 to 25/06/2009. An actress known most famously for her role in Charlie’s Angels. Died from the complications of rectal cancer.¬†

* Frank McCourt – 19/08/1930 to 19/07/2009. Teacher and famous author of the books Angela’s Ashes and Teacher Man. He died from metastatic melanoma.

* Jade Goody – 05/06/1981 to 22/03/2009. TV personality and “Queen” of reality television in the UK. Died tragically of cervical cancer.¬†

* Jett Travolta – 13/04/1992 to 02/01/2009. Jett wasn’t a celebrity, but his parents were (John Travolta and Kelly Preston.) This poor kid captured the heart of the world when he died. It made everyone think, if it could happen to a celebrities child it could happen to mine. So sad. His cause of death was an epileptic seizure

* Michael Jackson – 29/08/1958 to 25/06/2009. This was probably the most famous death of the year, and one that truly stopped people in their tracks. MJ was possibly the most talented performer ever to live (okay, I’m a bit biased, so sue me) and was known world-wide for his amazing music and bizarre lifestyle. He died in his home from an overdose of drugs… It has yet to be determined if this was the fault of his Doctor or just the result of his chosen lifestyle. Either way, we lost an amazing talent.¬†

* Natasha Richardson – 11/05/1963 to 18/03/2009. An actress in movies like The Parent Trap and Maid In Manhattan. Died far too young due to a skiiing accident which resulted in a fatal epidural hematoma.

* Patrick Swayze Р18/08/1952 to 14/09/2009. Actor and dancer Рfamous mostly for his roles in Dirty Dancing, Ghost and Point Break. Died of pancreatic cancer. 

* Stephen Gately – 17/ 03/1976 to 10/10/2009. Singer with Irish boyband Boyzone. Died from a pulmonary oedema.

* Walter Cronkite – 04/11/1916 to 17/07/2009. Famous US journalist. Died from cerebrovascular disease.

* Brittany Murphy – 10/11/1977 to 20/12/2009. An actress famous for rom-com roles in such movies as Clueless and Just Married. Her autopsy results have yet to be released at the time of me writing this, but she was found collapsed in her bathroom from suspected heart complications/failure. So young, so sad.

There were more, but these are the people that passed that truly made their mark on the world (in my eyes, at the very least.) R.I.P. to you all, you amazing, talented, wicked bunch. 

R.I.P.

 

The Swine Flu Pandemic. Now, that lasted through a huge chunk of 2009! A lot of people poo-poo’d it, but at the end of the day, it was a flu that could take down someone with a compromised immune system. The young, the old, the already sick. But it certainly caused an uproar – but with less panic than the Bird Flu (remember that?) At the very least, I hope it taught people to wash their blimmin’ hands. (Pet peeve, don’t mind me!)¬†

Swine Flu

 

The Tiger Woods debacle. The car accident, the cheating, the media circus surrounding it. I kind of feel sorry for the guy… I don’t believe in cheating, and his poor wife for having to go through it all, but imagine how it must feel to be them! With the media glare watching their every move – how humiliating. Over a dozen women have stepped forward to say Tiger cheated on his wife with them, and at this point (to be fair), there’s no proof that these allegations are all true. I’d say most of these “ladies” (scoff) are lying just to get into the headlines and on tv. But Tiger has admitted to transgressions in his statement here and most recently, his wife Elin (a model, so why Tiger, WHY?!) has walked out on their marriage with the kids in tow. Looks like this sports star has a rough path ahead of him… But at the end of the day, he is human. If everyone could forgive the rapscallion President Clinton for his “transgressions”, I’m sure we can all move past judging Tiger and leave him and his family to sort themselves out in private. This has been such a major story for 2009 – sad huh?

The Woods Family

 

This year has been a major year for book to screen adaptations. Of course this is a concept that has been around for ages, and has been gaining real momentum in the past ten years or so. But I found 2009 to be quite heavy with it. The movies that came out in ’09 that were originally books are:

* The Twilight Saga: New Moon – The sequel to the movie Twilight about two star-crossed lovers, Bella anordinary human girl, and Edward, a tortured vampire. Another dimension is added with Jacob, a werewolf who is also in love with Bella. Based on the series by Stephenie Meyer.

* The Lovely Bones – Directed by Peter Jackson and written by the amazing Alice Sebold. This is about a young girl who is raped and murdered, and how she watches over her family as they fall apart over her death. She is stuck in the “in between”, having not quite passed over and yet not on earth. Her Father strives to find her murderer, and becomes consumed by this. Heart wrenching.

* My Sisters Keeper – A wonderful movie made from the amazing book by Jodi Picoult. It’s about a beautiful teenaged girl who has spent her entire life dying of cancer, kept alive only due to her mothers absolute refusal to give up. When her daughter is diagnosed with cancer, the mother chooses to give birth to a genetically specified child so that she can harvest blood and stem cells etc from this healthy child to save her dying daughter. Heartbreaking, thought provoking and makes you appreciate your family.¬†

* Up In The Air – Originally a novel by Walter Kirn, this movie has yet to be released in NZ, but has been (just!) in the US. This is about a corporate downsizer and his travels. Where he goes, who he meets and what he learns.

* Invictus РA movie directed by the great Clint Eastwood and based on a book called Playing the Enemy, by John Carlin. A true story about newly elected Nelson Mandela, and how he joined with the captain of the South African rugby team in the wake of the apartheid to push forward his country, leading them to the 1995 world cup championships. 

* Julie & Julia – A movie about the chef Julia Child, based on the book about her experience with Julia’s cooking by Julie Powell.¬†

* Where The Wild Things Are РA childrens book by Maurice Sendak that has been adapted for the big screen, about a boy called Max who is naughty and sent to bed early, and creates his own world where there are monsters and he is king. 

* Precious – You may have heard of it, because it has Oprah Winfrey’s fingerprints all over it. The movie is based on the book that was originally titled Push (later renamed Precious) by the author Sapphire. The story follows a young african american girl called Precious, who is overweight, illiterate and living in poor-town Harlem. She becomes pregnant after being raped by her own father, and struggles with the help of her teacher to create a real life for herself and her child.¬†

* Harry Potter And The Half Blood Prince – This is the sixth book/movie in the multi-million dollar franchise that J.K. Rowling wrote as a struggling, single mother. Harry Potter is a teenage wizard who attends Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry with his friends and has to face many challenges along the way. (Usually evil ones)

* The Time Travelers Wife – This novel by Audrey Niffenegger has sold so many copies worldwide that it’s not surprising that it was turned into a movie. About a man who spontaneously¬†time-travels against his own will, and the complications it brings to the absolute love of his life, his wife.

* Angels & Demons РThe sequel to The Di Vinci Code, another very smart book by Dan Brown turned into a bit of an action flick for the big screen. 

* Confessions Of A shopaholic – Based on a series of light-hearted books by author Sophie Kinsella, this was easily adapted into a Rom-Com type flick.

* The Road РA book written by Cormac McCarthy, about a father and sons relationship evolving as they are left alive while most of the world is killed. A post-apocalyptic tale about survival. 

* Coraline – A children’s book by Neil Gaiman, turned into a movie, about a little girl called Coraline who finds a way into an alternate world where all her dreams come true. It’s a tale of “be careful what you wish for”.

Honestly, that’s not even all of them, just a few of my picks! Obviously they have caught on to the idea that you just can’t beat a good book – or perhaps they are just relying on the pre-existing fan base? Hmmm…

Adaptations: Books to Movies

 

Another thing that stuck out in 2009 for me was the iPhone. I know it wasn’t released in 2009, but it has become stronger and stronger in popularity, especially in the past year. From applications, to music, to using your iPhone to update your Twitter/Facebook account, the iPhone is this years must have.¬†

The iPhone

 

2009 also brought forward the brilliant Lady Gaga. She truly became an artist of her own standing this year, and I kind of see her as the Madonna of the naughties. Weird, funky, catchy, freaky – she is an odd act, but one no one can get enough of! I have even caught my Mum singing along to her – which has to mean she is saturating the market because my Mother only listens to the oldies stations!

Lady Gaga

Michael Jackson found the uber-talented, Australian born guitarist Orianthi before he died – he even had her set up as his lead guitarist for “This Is It”. She released an album this year due to her sudden popularlity – and it’s okay, she can sing, meh – but OMG her guitar riffs are orgasmic! (I can say that, it’s my blog!) So check her out on iTunes or YouTube – WOW! Best newcomer for 2009, even if it’s for her instrument artistry.¬†

Orianthi

So, 2009 has been insane for celebs having babies and calling them Sunday-Roast or whatever. But I don’t want to do a run through of that because I don’t have another 12 hours to list them all. So I’m going to list another popular hobby this year for the rich and famous: Breaking up. Doesn’t matter how sexy you are, or how much money you have, there is always someone willing to leave you. Bless.

So here are a list of some of the most famous of golden couples that have decided to walk (according to magazines and gossip websites – I take it all with a grain of salt myself!)

* Kim Kardashian & Reggie Bush

* Joe Jonas & Camilla Belle (Awww… Poor kids)

* Kim Cattrall & Alan Wyse

* Jessica Simpson & Tony Romo

* Jon & Kate Gosselin (Thank god, for the kids sake, sheesh)

* Billy Joel & Katie Lee (Might be the age difference… ?)

* Megan Fox & Brian Austin Green

* Paris Hilton & Doug Reinhardt

* Miley Cyrus & Justin Gaston

* Mel Gibson & Robyn Moore 

* Lindsay Lohan & Samantha Ronson (Not that they ever publicly declared they were together either *shrugs*)

* John Mayer & Jennifer Aniston (Poor Jen ūüė¶ )

* Holly Madison & Criss Angel

* Hayden Panettiere & Milo Ventimiglia

* David Cook & Kimberly Caldwell

* Patricia Arquette & Thomas Jane

There are sooo many breakups it’s not funny. And yet, a lot of the big ones stayed together… Tom and Katie, Brad and Angelina, Posh and Becks… Maybe it only happens when your are only so-so famous? PFFT, yeah right. ūüôā

Heartbreak

 

One of the really sickening events in New Zealand in 2009 was the Clayton Weatherston case. He was sentenced this year for the murder of his former girlfriend, the beautiful and intelligent Sophie Elliott. He stabbed poor Sophie 216 times in her own bedroom while Sophie’s mother tried to break down the locked door. No one believed his plea of self defense (that she had tried to stab him with scissors first – but even if she had, why retaliate by stabbing her that many times? Who goes somewhere with a knife? One word: Premeditated) and he was sentenced to 18 years non-parole. This was another case that highlighted the culture of brutality between some couples, or at least the potential of it. As awful as it sounds, I hope he rots.

Clayton & Sophie

So thats the things (or as much as I can be bothered to write about) that shaped my year… Events and news that touched me, angered me, stayed with me. What was yours?

My Top Ten Movie and TV Couples Sunday, Dec 6 2009 

So, I was out the other day, and overheard someone going on about couples in literature that had changed romance and relationships as we know it. Too true, and a very interesting topic. It got me thinking about the couples on TV and in movies that had influences ME, and came up with the following list. This is probably very generational, but hey.

1) Bella Swan and Edward Cullen from the Twilight Saga movies and books – Now, everyone knows Twilight. And most women who have seen the movies and/or read the books, just melt at the idea of Edward Cullen. Sure he’s a vampire, but he is also dark and tormented, which women invariably love. (Maybe we all wish for the challenge of being able to soothe his pain? I know I do!) Plus he is an utter gentleman who never deviates from loving Bella, a girl who is, even in her own words, ordinary. Their relationship is deep, full of pain and temptation, with both of them only wishing for a life with each other. This is the kind of relationship most women dream about – complicated, loyal, complete. So it probably wouldn’t work in real life, but thats not the point now, is it?¬†

Bella Swan and Edward Cullen

 

2) Fox Mulder and Dana Scully from the TV and movie phenomenon The X-Files – Now these two characters played on the edge of innuendo for eight seasons before their first “real kiss” (they almost kiss in the first X-Files movie, but Scully is stung by an genetically modified bee before their lips could lock) let fans finally see their favourite characters move towards the relationship they were born to have. Two complete opposites – Mulder the believer in the unexplained and Scully the scientist the believer in cold, hard fact – they weren’t really suited to being partnered together in the FBI, and yet found an even ground where they balanced each other out. Their deep trust in each other, their respect and friendship, strengthens their characters bond over the years. Each continuously saves the other from peril and death, and despite many disagreements and varying beliefs, never turn their backs on each other. The romantic angle is built up excruciatingly slowly over the seasons, never blatant, but always there enough through furtive looks and body language. Theirs is a relationship of utter truth and trust, of danger and respect.¬†

Fox Mulder and Dana Scully

 

3) Ross Geller and Rachel Green from the hit TV show Friends – Here is a couple that truly shaped a generation. The up and down relationship between Ross and Rachel is well known to all. Ross’ character always held a flame for Rachel from their High School days, and ten years later when they come to be in the same group of friends, that spark is still there. Over the many seasons you see Ross and Rachel fall in love, fight, get jealous, go on a break and ultimately break up. They both go on to date other people, but with at least one of them still nursing strong feelings for the other at any given time. They struggle with letting the other move on, Ross even getting married to another woman at one point much to Rachels heartbreak, but he stuffs it up at the alter by mistakenly naming Rachel in his vows as opposed to his wife-to-be. They go through copious amounts of real-life situations together, as well as the ludicrous, but always come through it with a strong sense of friendship, respect and ultimately, love. By the last episode of the last season, Ross and Rachel have come to find they cannot live without the other. (Which is great because by then they have a kid together, from a passionate “one more time”) A modern, deprecating look at love in this day and age – along with being hilariously rediculous!

Ross Geller and Rachel Green

 

4) Max Evans and Liz Parker from the TV show Roswell – Not everyone was a fan of Roswell, but I certainly was. It focused on Roswell, New Mexico (you know, where the 1947 UFO crash was supposed to have happened and the US government covered it up?) and three aliens that came down with the UFO. Crashing to earth in the guise of kids, the show opens on them as teenagers who have been adopted into the human world. Max is the unofficial leader of this band of aliens, whose goal is solely to find out where they came from and why they ended up on earth. Liz is a popular, sweet High School student who one day see’s Max for what he is when he saves her from being shot in a freak accident. Liz and Max quickly fall hopelessly in love with each other, both fascinated by the other to the extreme. Liz (and eventually some of her human friends) helps Max and the others search for the answers they need, cementing her place in his life. There is nothing they wont do for each other, despite their obvious differences. It’s a deep, very sweet, one of a kind type relationship. In a way doomed, but also pregnant with possibilities.

Max Evans and Liz Parker

 

5) Buffy Anne Summers and Angel (aka Angelus) from the award winning TV show Buffy The Vampire Slayer (and the Spinoff Angel) – Buffy and Angel is one of the most heartbreaking unions ever created for TV, in my opinion. Buffy, a vampire slayer, and Angel, the vampire with a soul, have obvious complications from the start. Despite their deep and honest love for each other, they face both disgust from those around them, and danger due to who and what they are. They “meet” in season one, and go on to fall hopelessly for each other, despite their better judgement. By season two, Angel loses his soul when his curse is lifted due to one moment of happiness – a night in Buffy’s arms. He turns evil, and starts killing the people Buffy cares about and wreaking havoc on the town in general. He tries to end the world and Buffy is forced to kill him and send him into a hell dimension to stop this from happening, causing her to break down. Angel returns in season three by The Powers That Be, but after tortuous months trying to be with Buffy but unable to “Be” with Buffy, Angel leaves Sunnydale to start a new life in LA. But over all of the Buffy seasons and the Angel (spinoff) seasons, neither of them ever finds love again quite like what they had. They both take on partners, but it always comes back to wanting to be with each other. It is true love, dark and filled with pain, and given up due to their responsibilities to keep others safe. It doesn’t have a happy ending as they never really let go of each other, never truly move on, and so are forever doomed to be detached to whomever they are with in the meantime. But ahhh… So sexy!

Buffy Summers and Angel

 

6) Marge and Homer Simpson from the animated TV show The Simpsons – Okay okay, they aren’t “real people”, but they are an extremely famous TV couple, are they not? Their marriage is one of uneven footing, with Marge being attractive and sensible, and Homer being a bit of a lovable, idiotic slob. Homer creates more trouble than he is worth, throwing the Simpson family often into upheaval (losing the house, getting fired from his job, gambling away all of their money etc) but Marge ALWAYS stands by him. She gets frustrated, she gets upset and worried – sometimes gets even! – but she always supports Homer and helps him get them back on track. They love each other, and Homer often reminds himself how very lucky he is to have Marge as his wife, and Marge is constantly having to remember that her love for him is more important than the amount of crap he creates for her. Great, hilarious couple. It may be a cartoon, but I think their relationship is quite poignant.¬†

Marge and Homer Simpson

 

7) Carrie Bradshaw and Mr. Big from the TV series (and recently, box office movie) Sex and the City – The relationship between Carrie and Big is one many can relate to. Both with their twenties long behind them, they face all the pressures of life – careers, ex’s, their expectations of relationships – which invariably get between them. Their relationship is realistic in the sense that despite the fact their feelings for each other are true and passionate, they often let everything else come in the way. Dramatic, filled with hurt and betrayal, their relationship is one that seemingly should work, but never does. Of course, everyone around them pushes them to move on, get away from each other and find happiness with more appropriate people. This works on and off over the series many seasons, but inevitably they end up back in each others arms. Their relationship isn’t perfect, their characters are flawed and often selfish, but at the end of the day they love each other. They like each other. By the end of the last episode of the last season, the two of them deicide that being together is the only thing that really matters – even if it is going to be a lifetime of hard work! This relationship is a great example of modern day couples facing the stresses of work, money, appearance and acceptance – all the while getting older!

Carrie Bradshaw and Mr Big

8 ) Henry Roth and Lucy Whitmore from the movie 50 First Dates РThis is a comedy, and not even a particularly big budget film. Henry is a laid back, commitment-phobic ladies man who is quite happy being a bachelor and living on the beautiful Island of Hawaii. That is, until he meets Lucy by chance one day in a diner. Lucy is beautiful and quirky, funny and sweet Рand he falls for her almost immediately. But then he finds out the horrible truth about her Рyears before she was in a terrible car accident and suffered a serious head injury, and every day she wakes up she thinks it is the day before the accident, and every night her memory resets itself and she forgets everything she did that day and starts again. Obviously, a relationship with Lucy would seem impossible, especially for a guy who has never been in a serious relationship with anyone. But the absolute beauty of this movie is the journey Henry goes through as he falls more and more in love with Lucy and decides no matter how hard it got, just being with her was worth it. So every day, he sets about making her fall in love with him all over again. He creates albums,videos and diaries of their times together, puts this woman above his own wants and needs for the first time in his life. Lucy, on the other hand, struggles every day with new and fresh guilt, with confusion, but ultimately falls in love with him by the end of each day. This is a uniquely sad and equally funny movie that tugs at your heartstrings. 

Henry Roth and Lucy Whitmore

 

9) ¬†Frances ‘Baby’ Houseman and Johnny Castle from the movie Dirty Dancing – Dirty Dancing is one of those iconic movies that everybody has seen and almost everyone loves. It’s set in the 1960’s, and Baby and her family arrive at a resort in upstate New York’s Catskill Mountains¬†for a holiday. Baby is an ambitious, intelligent and slightly bookish 17 year old with aspirations to join the Peace Corps before marrying a Doctor just like her Father. To kill time at the resort, she starts a few dance classes and finds she has an interest in it. And then she meets Johnny, one of the resorts dance instructors. He is gorgeous, he is sexy, and he dances like no one she has ever seen before. In the repressed 1960’s, Baby has never witnessed the dirty style dancing that Johnny does, but she is drawn to him and to his dancing style. They are thrown together as dance partners due to Baby trying to help another resort worker, and from there an impossible romance blossoms. They dance, and you can see the passion flaring between them. They talk, and Baby’s eyes are opened to a much harsher world than she has ever known, while Johnny is suddenly hopeful at a future, pushed by Baby. Their love is one that struggles with their differing socioeconomic groups, with their varying views on the wold and people as a whole, but their love is so pure it washes everything else aside. It is a coming of age love, and a beautiful one at that.

Frances "Baby" Houseman and Johnny Castle

 

10) Sam Wheat and Molly Jensen from the movie Ghost – Another famous flick, and if you haven’t watched it your life is most certainly lacking. Sam and Molly are a couple that are happy and have just moved in together. While Molly is openly in love with Sam, Sam is still a little bit reserved and hasn’t quite worked up to the “I love you” bit yet, and instead replies “Ditto” whenever she says it. While walking home together one night from the theatre, they are accosted in a dark alleyway and Sam is shot and killed. Obviously, this puts an early end to their relationship, and Molly is devastated. Sam, on the other hand, becomes a ghost and chooses to stay as an earth-bound spirit rather than moving on because he can’t yet let go of Molly. As he watches over her, he also starts to piece together that his murder didn’t happen by chance and that now Molly is in danger too. He finds a woman that can see and hear him in his new form and begs for her help him save Molly from an untimely end. He does everything he possibly can, and runs the gamut of emotions, to keep the woman he loves safe. By the end of the movie there is no question how very much he loves Molly, and their connection is beautiful, epic and worth a bit of a cry. They really are soulmates.

Sam Wheat and Molly Jensen

So, there you have it! My top ten screen-based romances. Hopefully you learned something, or at the very least went “Awwwwwwww” ūüôā

Safe As House Is Monday, Nov 30 2009 

When you have to go to hospital, don’t you just WISH for a vicodin popping, abusive genius with a limp for your doctor?! Okay, maybe not, but it certainly makes for good TV viewing!

The show House stars actor Hugh Laurie as Dr Gregory House, the abrasive, insulting, sometimes cruel genius of a medical diagnostician. At this point, we are up to series five with series six about to air – and let me tell you: I’m totally hooked! House is not just another medical show like E.R. and the like, but a brilliant show about one man and the impact he has on the people around him. Greg House is a Doctor like no other – he is completely politically incorrect, sometimes so disconnected from people that he treats them like dirt for their show of humanity, but makes up for it with acerbic wit, obsession to diagnose patients, intelligence which is so focused its awe-inspiring and a rebellious nature which just makes his character fun to follow. He is a maverick in the true sense of the word.¬†

The character House works at Princeton‚ÄĎPlainsboro Teaching Hospital as the Head of Diagnostics, and for the first three seasons had three Doctors on his team whom he abused, taught and challenged into being better doctors. They then all quit, being replaced by a new team, with Foreman (From the original team) coming back into the fray while his other former teammates continued to work at the hospital in different roles. House’s boss, the Dean of Medicine Dr Cutty, is the only person who is ever able to reign House in, but often by trickery due to the fact House follows no rules other than his own. Cutty and House have a sexual tension that dances through the plotlines, never quite turning into anything (Yet!) but adding a scintillating depth to their characters tug of war over right and wrong. House’s only friend is another Doctor at the hospital, the head of Oncology, Dr James Wilson who is almost the opposite of House. Wilson is caring, decent and thoughtful. The friendship makes no sense and yet they both need each other, play off of each other, gain strength from their friendship.¬†

With all of the players now in place, let me tell you a little bit more about the show. Basically, every episode introduces a new medical case in which no one can diagnose what is wrong with the patient. House will only take on the most interesting or bizarre cases, and doesn’t care much for the patients themselves. His main goal is ascertaining what ailment the dying patient has and treating them. Quite often he breaks ethical rules to gain this insight, pushing his team to work alongside him. House is brilliant, and picks up on things that no other Doctor would ever notice. He saves people in the most fantastic ways, and comes across illnesses and complications which just boggle the mind. It makes you really appreciate the amount of things that can go wrong with the human body, I’ll tell you that much!

It’s not easy – Even House gets things wrong. Due to his cases being so difficult, sometimes the diagnoses are wrong. Sometimes this is because of the circumstances surrounding the patient, wether they have lied to him, wont let tests be done or freakish environmental factors. Sometimes it’s because of House’s state of mind, or that of his team. Wilson and Cutty spend a lot of their time trying to keep House in check, for the sake of the patients and the hospitals reputation, but also to look out for House himself. Despite his acidic nature, they care for him, and even though he doesn’t quite accept it himself, he cares right on back. It is a startlingly dark look into the human psyche, into pain and suffering. These characters make you think, make you laugh, make you cry. They each have their own personal demons, their backstories which unfold across the seasons. In each episode you learn another little piece about every one of them, you understand their motives more and you marvel at the brilliance of each medical case and what they bring to it.

This series isn’t about heartwarming moments (Although there are a few), it’s about the darkness in life, in sickness and self hatred, but finding a place within that. Finding a reason to BE. The acting is flawless, the plots absorbing. It is never boring, always insightful and totally addictive. I highly recommend it to anyone with an attention span. You wont “Get It” if you don’t follow it closely. You wont understand its REAL brilliance unless you catch on to the undercurrents. But man, this show is so worth watching. Hugh Laurie is one of the best actors ever, and his character House is a surly, selfish genius that you cant help but love. House is safe in my top five shows EVER.

 

House

 

 

Don’t Stop Believing Tuesday, Nov 17 2009 

Every now and then a television show comes along that is just so different, so bizarre, that you wonder if it’s going to die a horrible death in the ratings within its first few episodes. When I first heard the buzz about Glee, this was my first thought.

Then I heard it was created by the brilliant (though usually dark) Ryan Murphy, who in the past has created Nip/Tuck and Popular, and that it had even attracted Joss Whedon (Of Buffy, Firefly and Dollhouse fame) to write a few Episodes. This certainly piqued my interest. I thought “There has to be more to it than just a school glee club, right?”

So I’ve read up on it and started watching it (Two episodes have aired so far on TV 3 here in New Zealand) and I’m hooked!

Is it light and funny? Yes. Is it a spoof? Kinda, yeah. Is there more to it than a superficial glee club dork-fest? Oh god YES.

The plot follows a teacher, Will, who wants to revamp the school Glee Club. He collects a group of hugely talented , err, well, freaks from the school populace and hilarity ensues. Glee is about these school outcasts finding themselves, stumbling across their potential as well as understanding they are worth something.

It’s high school, so there are bullies and bitches, romances and heartache, footballers, cheerleaders and behind the scenes wars between the teaching faculty. I won’t go on about the plot or even the characters. All I want to say is that so far, it’s made me laugh so hard I cried, the songs are amazingly catchy and there is definite darkness to this show that can only happen with high school.

Watch it. Love it. I do.

Glee Vs Cheerleading

 

 

The Truth Is Out There Tuesday, Nov 10 2009 

I am a lover of television that is both intelligent and different. I like controversy and strong character development. I like plots that delve into the unknown and challenge the watcher to think beyond the norm. 

Hence, I absolutely love The X-Files. The show was created by Chris Carter and first aired in 1993, and ran for an amazing nine seasons. The show revolves around Agent Fox Mulder, a man who’s belief in extraterrestrials and the paranormal pushes him into seeking the truth in every step of his life even as an FBI agent. The other leading character in this show is the stoic Agent Dana Scully, also a medical doctor, who is originally partnered with Mulder to disprove his theories on the X-Files by FBI higher ups.

Over the many seasons, Mulder and Scully uncover a conspiracy involving the US govern

X-Files

Pop Culture Reference made famous by The X-Files

The X-Files Agents

Mulder and Scully

ment along with beings from… Well, you know. Up there.

 

They fight, together, to uncover the truth, each step of the way finding new tidbits of information. Scully rationalises Mulders far-out theories, while Mulder pushes Scully to see the truth. To see that there really is more out there than science can easily explain. 

The X-Files series is a integral piece of television history, for both it’s impact on pop culture and it’s many legions of fans. But for me, it’s simply a brilliant show that is led strongly and beautifully by two amazing and flawed characters whose only real constant is their faith in each other.

This is a show for those who want to watch a masterpiece of science and the supernatural, of conspiracy and government entanglements, of human nature and inhuman evil.

Still to this day, I can watch and re-watch an episode and see something I had missed previously. This show has so many layers it just never gets boring.

Bite Me Monday, Nov 9 2009 

 

Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Buffy Anne Summers "The Slayer"

So I have a confession to make. In my oh so hallowed opinion (cough cough) Buffy the Vampire Slayer was, and still is, one of the best television series ever made.

 

I began watching it when I was 12, waaay back in 1997. From that very first pilot, I was hooked. A gorgeous, sassy blonde that tackled head on both the evils of high school and the insidious vampires (And other creatures) that roamed the night. Along with her tight knit group of friends, Buffy Anne Summers spent Seven Seasons growing up the hard way. On the hell mouth.

Now, this show has a massive and extremely loyal cult following. Despite the show wrapping up several years ago, people are still chatting daily about the show. Interviews of the stars on Youtube still get thousands of hits, comic books and novels are still being created along with so many fan-made websites a person couldn’t possibly have time to look at them all. Why? Many people turn their nose up when they hear anyone mention this show. I think thats sad. They really are missing out on a true gem.

Over the years, in an intricately woven, poignant plot written beautifully by creator Joss Whedon, we watch Buffy and her crew (Giles her Watcher, Xander and Willow her two best friends) grow up in Sunnydale. We watch them fight evil in the form of supernatural forces – vampires, werewolves, witches, demons and curses to name but a few. The show started with a very tongue in cheek feel to it, quite light, with lots of humour. Well as the years went by the quick, flippant jokes never stopped flowing, but the show grew up and so did it’s characters. Everything became darker, the themes went from mildly childish to unabashedly adult.

Here’s a few things that happened to shape this show:

Willow, Buffy’s best friend goes from a geeky little schoolgirl crushing on her friend Xander to the girlfriend of a werewolf named Oz who plays guitar in a rock band. She later becomes a hardcore Witch, and a lesbian after Oz leaves her. She falls in love with a fellow Witch called Tara who is later shot and killed, causing Willow to lose her sanity and almost end the world through her powers.¬†

Xander, Buffy’s other best friend throughout the series, goes from a dorky teen always trying to pick up chicks, to dating the most popular (If not bitchy) girl in school, Cordelia. He later goes on to become a builder after many failed career attempts, and falls in love with an ex vengeance demon named Anya. During the final season he loses one eye when it was gouged from his face by a minion of The First Evil. But throughout, Xander continues to be absolutely hilarious, his sense of humour really making the show what it is.

Then there’s Giles. Buffy’s stuffy British Watcher sent to guide her through the perils of slaying, who ends up becoming more a friend and father figure. Giles starts off very rigid, but throughout the seasons his dry sense of humour becomes his main trait. He falls in love with Jenny, a gypsy, who is murdered by Angel. Her body is left in his bed for him to find, an event that haunts him forevermore.

And then there is Buffy herself. Buffy fall’s completely in love with Angel. He is a vampire, but the only one in the world with a soul. He loses his soul through one moment of happiness with Buffy (Take a guess at how ūüėČ ) and turns evil, forcing Buffy to kill him after he goes on a mass killing spree. Angel is brought back from hell by The Powers That Be, but can no longer be with Buffy due to the risk of him losing his soul again. He leaves Sunnydale, but neither of them ever get over loving each other. Along with that, Buffy dies twice and is brought back, she gets kicked out of school and runs away from home, priests insert a Sister into her family one day using magic and most tragic of all, her Mother dies from complications associated with cancer. From that you see a very human superhero. She grieves, she has to pay the mortgage, she has to make sure her sister does her homework, all the while dropping out of College and working at a fast food joint.

The show is a masterpiece of darkness and humour, of the unexpected and the every day stresses of life. It is sex and sin and wit, but most of all, heart.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Buffy cast - Season 4

Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Buffy crew - Season 2

I will forevermore adore this show, because it truly is brilliant. I have every episode on DVD, and continue to watch the show on and off whenever I need a pick me up.