Tuesday, January 29, 2013

are these reviews?

I have been incredibly depressed.  To put as blasé a spin on it as I can, since that seems the most apt tone for a blog no one reads, I’ll just say I’m going through a 1/3 life crisis (and/or I am between effective anti-depressants).   Accordingly, I have been treating myself with kid gloves, which primarily entails letting myself go balls-out in indulging my constant need for entertainment, even though this indulgence is inconvenient for a fulltime worker, attentive mother, and sometimes mean but always well-meaning wife like me.  Yet, I’ve somehow managed to squeeze in many, many plotlines these days.  

When I get a spare moment at work, since I take my lunch at my desk, I have been reading the novel David Copperfield by Charles Dickens, which I downloaded from the free ebooks (for classics) website Project Gutenberg.  This is really a great book.  I usually gravitate towards contemporary fiction, but since I discovered the Project Gutenberg site, I have gotten myself to read several classics, and it’s been comforting to step outside of time.  David Copperfield has a worthily famous opening; the first chapter is called “I Am Born” and starts: 

Whether I shall turn out to be the hero of my own life, or whether that station will be held by anybody else, these pages must show. To begin my life with the beginning of my life, I record that I was born (as I have been informed and believe) on a Friday, at twelve o'clock at night. It was remarked that the clock began to strike, and I began to cry, simultaneously.

How great to start at the BEGINNING like that. 

For further proof that I have been keeping myself heavily distracted, here is the list of DVD’s I have watched in the past week: 

Brave (2012)
Bored to Death Season 3 Disc 1 (2011)
Mad Men Season 5 Disc 4 (2012)
It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia Season 7 Discs 1 & 2 (2011)
Ted (2012)

Ted and Brave are completely disposable, and It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia is hard to write about, because part of me doesn’t approve of this show.  Its sense of humor is very ugly and mean.  However, somehow the creators are able to convey the fact that they are not mean or spiritually ugly themselves, and though any snob could rightly call this show asinine, I think it’s so funny.  It has cute little absurdities in it, too, like my favorite character Charlie lie-bragging that he’s an expert in “bird law.”  People from my birthplace and current home of Los Angeles have asked me if people are really that bad in Philly, where I lived for 2 years, and I have to break it to them that nope … they are WORSE.  I have never let my bitch flag fly as much as in Philly, because I had so many unpleasant encounters there that I couldn’t even begin to spin to myself as an “oh well, I’ll never see this person again, best just to pick my battles and walk away from this one”-type pep talk.  One time in a Dick’s Sporting Goods (aptly named) I was treated so rudely that I made it to the cash register before creating a scene that started “This store is BULLSHIT!”  Oh boy did I exorcise a lot of swears in that fucking shit-hole of a city.  I am more direct since living there though, and I think that’s an asset.  There is a lot of hemming and hawing in California, and I try to cut to the chase more now.  Anyway, I watched both discs of season 7 in a row on a day when I was too depressed and with too strong of a migraine to go to work, and it sort of cured what ailed me, so I give it a good review. 

Bored to Death is a great show.  The concept of bromance is sort of played out, but when it’s examined in this show, it is still totally “aw…that’s so sweet”-inducing.  There is one scene where the 3 main characters, a young-ish unsuccessful-ish writer, his best friend and their older mentor/father figure, are all sharing a king size bed in matching pajamas, it’s a little slumber party, and it looks so nice, I bet there are a ton of men who wish they had a couple close friends like that that they could just truly be taken care of by and unravel with for a night – what a nice break that’d be from everyday life.  It also made me feel envious and wish I had a couple good friends I could be that comfortable around.  In general I think it’s harder for men to share their feelings and get close to other men, and I feel sorry for them for that, but I also think it’s just a bad side effect of being a grown up of either gender -- it gets hard to make friends.  It’s true that I’m able to be much more open about my feelings than most men I know, sort of without batting an eyelash, but that ability doesn’t necessarily lead to friendship.  Anyway, Bored to Death is a great show and you should all watch it.  It’s so funny and smart and its quirkiness isn’t obnoxious.

Now I come to one of the best things I have seen in a long time, and that is disc 4 of season 5 of Mad Men.  HOLY SHIT.  Matthew Weiner really outdid himself this time.  It’s funny because Disc 3 isn’t currently available from Netflix so we have skipped several episodes of this season, since we went straight from Disc 2 to Disc 4, but even with that hiccup, I was wholly engrossed in every episode, and I really can’t describe how well done these episodes are, and really haunting.  I wonder what Weiner’s influences are (not aesthetically ---- everyone knows the show has a great Danish Modern etc aesthetic, but that’s beside the point), but creatively.  Episode 12, “Commissions and Fees” has a plotline with Sally Draper that feels very Salinger-inspired.   

xoxo robin

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