As we get older, certain books take us back to our childhood and simpler times.
In 1973, the beloved children’s book, Charlotte’s Web, by E.B. White was made into an animated film starring the late Debbie Reynolds as the titular spider. Through her wisdom and a flair for marketing, Charlotte is able to save a pig from ending up on the dinner table.
There is something magical about this adaptation, no matter how old you are. The lessons apply to young and old, but are couched in a way that does not feel like a lesson. It feels like a gentle maternal nudge in the right direction is that neither forced or sudden.
History has always been a fascinating topic. But sometimes, it must be couched or presented in a way that is exciting.
America: The Story of Us premiered in 2010 on the History Channel. Airing every 4th of July, this 12 part, 9 hour long documentary tells the story of 400 years of American history. Combining interviews, computer recreations and dramatic re-tellings of the events that shaped America’s history, this show is an academic history book brought to life.
As a history nerd, I find this program fascinating, even after multiple viewings. The history of our country comes alive, as if the viewer is experiencing it first hand. I especially appreciate how the changing technology is woven into the narrative, used an example of the American ideal of thinking out of the box to achieve our goals.
A wedding can be a glorious event. But if your single and your loved ones have well meaning and bothersome ideas about setting you up, going to a wedding may not be so glorious.
In 2003 TV movie See Jane Date, Jane Grant (Charisma Carpenter) needs a boyfriend ASAP. Her cousin’s wedding is coming up and she has stated that she has a boyfriend. The problem is that she is single.
Can she find a boyfriend in time to cover the lie she told to her aunt and former high school foe, Natasha Nutley (Holly Marie Combs)?
As I see it, this TV movie falls into the category of harmless and predictable. There is nothing spectacular about the film. However, as standard romcoms go, it’s surprisingly not the worst that I’ve seen.
Stories of witches, magic and the battle of good vs. evil have been with humanity since the begging of time. The question I think that a reader or an audience member has to ask is if the story is new and exciting or just an easy rehashing of an older story?
In the 2006 film, The Covenant, the film starts in 1692. Five families with unimaginable powers agree that only they speak of their powers. According to the outside world, they are five ordinary families. But then one of the families starts to use their powers for less than honorable means. Upon being discovered, this family is banished and forgotten about, until the present.
Four young men, the descendants of these four families attend an elite high school. Like their ancestors, only they know of their powers. Then a student is found dead and the centuries old secrets begin to unravel.
This movie is one of those movies that tries really hard. But it is dogged by a paint by numbers story, 2D characters and a feeling of just being a meh film.
The 7PM hour is an interesting hour on the television schedule. In between the end of the news and the start of the evening prime time shows, this hour might be considered by some viewers as the time to turn off the television.
Extra(1994-Present) premiered in 1994. It’s your basic entertainment news program. The focus of the show is everything and anything in Hollywood.
Yesterday, I wrote about Entertainment Tonight. My review of Extra is the same as it was yesterday for Entertainment Tonight. I would honestly turn off the TV for an hour rather than waste my time and electricity on a program that is mindless.
On the surface, working for yourself and opening your own business seems like the perfect antidote to the drudge of the 9-5 corporate world. But the reality is different than the image of the surface. Most businesses close within ten years of opening their doors.
The television show Bar Rescue (2011-Present) aims to change that. Based on the UK show of the same name, the premise of the show is to help the owners of failing bars keep their doors open. Hosted by Jon Taffer, owners turn to Taffer and his team to discover why their bar is failing and provide help to keep it open. The resolution often includes the firing of staff, changes of policy and alteration of the menu.
Though Bar Rescue is a reality show, it’s interesting. As a viewer, you root for the bar owner, hoping that they will heed Taffer’s advice and do everything they can to keep their establishment open. But, as the old saying goes, G-d helps those who helps themselves.
Parody, when done well, can illuminate the reality of a world that is almost too perfect.
Drawn Together aired on Comedy Central from 2004-2007. A sort of animated The Real World, the characters come from different cartoon genres. There is the super hero, the Disney-esque Princess, the chiseled hero from an action cartoon, etc. But, the different between these characters and their stock character predecessors that audiences have gotten used to watching.
Though it only lasted three seasons, Drawn Together was perfection while it was on the air. It took the the cartoon characters that we know and love and turned them on the head. It was funny, slightly sarcastic and perfectly mocked the genre in which it is based on.
To be a mentor is a wonderful thing. The hope is that the person you are mentoring will accomplish everything they hope to accomplish.
From 2006-2008, The Janice Dickinson Modeling Agency aired on the Oxygen network. Starring the self-proclaimed original supermodel Janice Dickinson, the show followed her as she opened her own modeling agency, hired would be models and clashed with her business producer Peter Hamm. The show also followed the models as they auditioned and went to work.
This show is the standard reality show. I watched while it was on the air. Looking back, I regret watching it. It was nothing more than free promotion for it’s star and her wannabe models.
Any woman who has ever gotten married will tell you that shopping for a wedding dress is fraught with enough tension. Adding the process of finding bridesmaid dresses to the to do has to potential to make things worse.
To the average audience member, it appears that those who earn a living by performing and have the title of “celebrity” live a charmed life. But the reality is far different from the image that is presented to the world.
The MTV show, MTV Diary (2001-2014) followed the lives of celebrities as told from their perspective. Shot documentary style, each episode tells the story of the celebrity highlighted in each episode as they go about their day.
What I liked and still like about MTV Diary is that unlike the slick, produced programs that tells is a “day in the life of…”, MTV Diary was raw, sometimes emotional and personal.