Monthly Archives: August 2018

Thank You, Cosmo UK And Tess Holiday

For too many years, women have been told that the only way to be attractive and successful is to be thin.

Tess Holliday proves that a woman does not have to be a size 2 to be either attractive or successful.

The fact that she is rocking the cover of the October edition of UK Cosmopolitan shows the progress that has been made toward representation of women of all sizes.

Of course, the story would be incomplete without the haters and the fat shamers. While it’s true that obesity is an issue that many are dealing with, so is eating disorders.

I can’t help but wonder if the rates of eating disorders would somehow be lessened if more women and young girls who looked like Ms. Holliday were on the covers of magazines and on the screen. The reality is that more women look like Ms. Holliday than the women who usually appear on magazine covers.

While we, as a culture, are far from an ideal world where a woman is judged by her abilities and not by her clothing size, this new magazine cover is giant step towards that ideal world.

 

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Flashback Friday-Even Stevens (2000-2003)

Sometimes, the best shows are based on the clashing personalities of the main characters.

From 2000-2003, Even Stevens was part of the lineup on the Disney Channel. Louis Stevens (Shia LaBeouf) is a young wannabe comic who worships Jay Leno. His sister, Ren (Christy Carlson Romano) is a type A for whom school is everything. When these two siblings clash, both at home and in school, it’s a game of top that.

Granted, this show was for the preteen/early teen set. However, given that the comedy comes from the games of one upmanship that Ren and Louis play, it has a slight appeal that goes beyond the target audience.

Do I recommend? Maybe.

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Will & Grace Character Review: Grace Adler

*Warning: This post contains spoilers about the characters from the television series Will & Grace. Read at your own risk if you have not watched either the previous series or the new series.

There is something to be said about a well written, human character. They leap off the page and speak to us as if they were right in front us, as flesh and blood human beings, instead of fictional creations.

In this series of weekly blog posts, I will examine character using the characters from Will & Grace to explore how writers can create fully dimensional, human characters that audiences and readers can relate to.

For many, Grace Adler (Debra Messing) is the iconic New York City single woman. She is an interior designer, lives with her gay best friend, Will Truman (Eric McCormack) is single, a little neurotic and also a little crazy. Grace’s story line begins in the pilot when she has broken up with her fiance. Will too, is newly single and they decide to live together.

Grace was born and raised in the suburbs of New York City. The second of three girls, she has the tendency to be dramatic, selfish and tries to get stuff for free if she can. The owner of her own design firm, Grace “employs” socialite Karen Walker (Megan Mullally) as her assistant. Using Karen for her contacts rather than for her administrative skills, Grace is often the butt of Karen’s jokes. But over the years, they have become friends and rely on each other outside of the office.

But while Grace takes all of these jokes in stride, she just has a big heart and treats her friends like family.

To sum it up:  When creating a character, the important word to remember is balance. No character or human being for that matter, is entirely good or entirely bad. We all have a mix of good qualities and bad qualities. As writers, our job is to ensure that the character you are creating has an equal mixture of good and bad. For example, Grace lets Will take care of her when necessary, but also mooches off of him from time to time. Without that balance, Grace would be a flat character, devoid of human complexities that can and will drive audiences away.

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Filed under Character Review, New York City, Television

Sticks And Stones Do Indeed Break Bones, But Words Hurt More

As children, many of us learned the following statement:

Sticks and stones may break my bones but names will never hurt me.

While the ideal of this statement is admirable, the reality is that words have the power to hurt even more than a physical blow.

Over the last few days, you know who has been disparaging the press at a rate that is becoming frightening.

Inspiring by the barrage of tweets and speeches claiming that the press is the “enemy of the people”,  Robert Chain called The Boston Globe newsroom fourteen times, threatening violence and murder. Thankfully, Mr. Chain was arrested before he could do actual physical harm to the newspaper’s employees.

All Presidents have a love/hate relationship with the press. However, most Presidents (with the exception of you know who) understand how vitally important it is for a living, thriving democracy to have news media that is not under the thumb of the government. If you know who had his way, only news media that complements him and his world view would be allowed to exist.

What is becoming increasingly scary to me is that there are far too many people in this country who don’t see what is happening. If we, as a nation, don’t step and stand up for our country and our Democracy, I fear that the America that our Founding Fathers dreamed, worked and died for will become a thing of the past.

 

 

 

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Filed under National News, Politics

Throwback Thursday-So Weird (1999-2001)

For some writers, using metaphors is a useful tool to advance the narrative and the character development in ways that the audience does not expect.

Between 1999 and 2001, So Weird was part of the lineup on the Disney channel. Fiona “Fi” Phillips (Cara DeLizia) is a preteen girl who has lost her father. Her widowed mother, Molly Phillips (Mackenzie Phillips) earns her living as a successful musician. Fi is obsessed with anything that is considered to be supernatural. While living on her mother’s tour bus, Fi has some really odd experiences and uses her laptop to discover the truth.

Granted this is a show aimed at young girls, but it’s not that bad. It’s charming enough to get by and the supernatural elements add to a twist to make it stand out from other programs of this ilk.

Do I recommend it? Maybe.

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Filed under Music, Television, Throwback Thursday, TV Review

Throwback Thursday-The Audrey Hepburn Story (2000)

There are few old Hollywood performers as memorable as Audrey Hepburn. Remembered for her iconic roles in Breakfast At Tiffany’s (1961), Roman Holiday (1953) and her humanitarian work, Ms. Hepburn will always forever be remembered for heart and her trend setting fashion.

In 2000, Jennifer Love Hewitt starred in the TV movie/biopic, The Audrey Hepburn Story. As a girl, a young Audrey Hepburn (Emmy Rossum) wanted to be a ballet dancer. But her parent’s divorce and World War II changed all that. The movie then follows her career as she becomes a movie star and has to juggle work, fame and relationships.

As biopics go, this TV movie is not bad. But it’s not good either. While Jennifer Love Hewitt is not the best actress, she certainly gives it her all. I just wonder what could have been done differently to make this program more palatable.

Do I recommend it? Sort of.

 

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Filed under History, Movies, Television, Throwback Thursday, TV Review

Thought On The First Ten Minutes Of Manifest

We all hope that when we get on an airplane, that we will arrive at our destination without any hiccups. But that is not always case.

Manifest will be premiering on NBC on September 24th. To get some buzz going, the network released the first ten minutes of the pilot. Manifest is the story of a plane that experiences turbulence. When the plane lands, the crew and passengers have discovered that five and a half years has passed. While time has moved on and their loved ones have aged, everyone on the plane has not aged at all.

 

I’ve been curious about this television program since NBC started airing previews earlier this summer. It feels like the show has a Lost like, which is perfectly fine with me because Lost is still one of my favorite television shows.

I will have to wait until next month to see if Manifest lives up the hype, I have a good feelings that it will.

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I Think You Know Who Is Jealous

By every measure, the late Senator John McCain was a true American hero and patriot. His loss will be felt for years to come.

While most remember Senator McCain as a giant of American politics who represented the ideals of America, you know who is taking an adult temper tantrum.

When a sitting Senator dies while still in office, it is tradition that the flags around Washington D.C. are lowered to half mast and remain so until this person is buried. The flags were lowered on Saturday, raised yesterday and then lowered again.

 

News reports have also stated that you know who is barred from Senator McCain’s funeral as per the late Senator’s direct instructions. Both Barack Obama and George W. Bush, who defeated Senator McCain in 2008 and 2000 Presidential campaigns respectively are not only invited to the funeral, but they will also be eulogizing their former Presidential opponent.

The thing about you know who is that it’s all about him.  If he doesn’t like what he is hearing or he doesn’t get exactly what he wants, he takes a twitter temper tantrum. He plays schoolyard bully style politics with those around him. When something goes his way, he brags to anyone and everyone who will listen. When something does not go his way, he will place the blame on everyone else but himself.

The fact is that the man or woman who takes any leadership position, there is an expectation of how they will behave. We, as the voting public, expect the President Of The United States to be mature, rational, composed and represent the United States as a beacon of democracy and freedom to the rest of the world. Instead, our current President is an orange-colored man-child who has the emotional temperament of a spoiled toddler and represents everything America is not.

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Filed under National News, Politics, Television

New Randy Rainbow Video-IF YOU EVER GOT IMPEACHED – A Randy Rainbow Song Parody

It has often been said that first impressions do not represent a full picture of who someone is. But then again, I’m old enough and I’ve experienced enough to know a pompous, blowhard, two-bit snake oil, used car salesman when I see one.

Randy Rainbow released his new video today. Entitled “IF YOU EVER GOT IMPEACHED – A Randy Rainbow Song Parody”, the song is based on “If I Ever Had A Brain” from the Wizard Of Oz.

Once again, Randy Rainbow hits it out of the park. We need more people like him. The more we speak out and speak the truth, the harder it will be for his lies and “alternative facts” to be taken as truth.

Randy Rainbow, G-d bless you. May we all have the courage to stand up for our country and our future.

 

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Filed under Movies, Music, Politics, Randy Rainbow

Thoughts On The Crazy Rich Asians Controversy

It’s no secret that there is a lack of representation of minorities in Hollywood.

The success of Crazy Rich Asians over the past couple of weekends has proved that audiences of all backgrounds love a good story, regardless of the ethnicity of the characters. But, with the success, comes controversy.

I am not Asian or Asian American, but I understand where those who are criticizing the film are coming from.

It’s as if saying that Fiddler on the Roof does not represent the full Jewish experience.  For those who are unaware, Fiddler On The Roof is the story of Tevye, a poor Jewish milkman and his family living in Russia in the early 20th century. Life is changing for Tevye and those in his immediate circle. He has five daughters, three of whom are of an age to marry. Each daughter, when it comes time to marry, moves farther and farther away from what is expected of her.

Fiddler is one of the handful of films that over the last few decades that represents Jews in a manner that is positive. None of the characters are token characters or strictly based on stereotypes. While it is certainly one of the most iconic Jewish films, it does not represent all Jews. Jews come from all over the world and are as varied as any group of people.

When it comes down to it, it’s about representation and fair representation. Crazy Rich Asians may not be perfect and may not represent the Asian ethnicity as a whole, but it’s certainly a step in the right direction that is a long time coming.

Crazy Rich Asians is presently in theaters.

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